Thursday, August 20, 2009

BM Review: Fame

Last week I had been to this small café called Fame, on the Kammanahalli Main Road, just before Jal Vayu Vihar. I was told about this place by a guest who'd accompanied me to Coastal Junction a couple of weeks back while on a Bangalore Mirror review. The review for Fame can be read here.

Here's a snapshot of the image that appeared in the paper

I forgot to click pictures of the our mocktails, the starters and the desserts, so I guess the image from the paper will have to suffice. The pictures of our main course are below.

For starters, we ordered an Indonesian chicken satay, a plate of Mexican meatballs, a bruschetta, and a plate of stuffed mushroom caps. The satay was alright, a bit spicy and minus the peanut sauce. The bruschetta's bread should have been a little more firm and crispier. The stuffed mushroom caps weren't all that great, but then again, I haven't had stuffed mushrooms caps that tasted good anywhere in Bangalore so far, so we can give that a pass. The Mexican meatballs were the best, with the sauce glazed over it nicely complimenting the meatballs.

For the main course, I had the Fame chicken burger.

Fame Chicken Burger

Ms BakeACake had a Chateaubriand steak.

Chateaubriand Steak

Her friend, newly wed Ms GreatBacheloretteParty had a fish steak in garlic sauce.

Fish in Garlic Sauce

Mr VP had a chicken Bolognese with macaroni.

Chicken Bolognese with Macaroni

Mr P & Ms BakeACake's hubby had shashliks.

Veg Shashlik

For dessert, we had a chocolate cake and an ice cream called strawberry ripple, which was vanilla with strawberry sauce.

Food: Good
$$$: Not too expensive; our bill came up to Rs. 2115 for 6
Service: OK
Verdict: Good steaks - a must visit if you're in the vicinity and have a craving for steaks and don't want to drive to the city center.

Fame, 43, Swetha Complex, Kammanahalli Main Road, Bangalore. Phone: 41208888

The full review is here:

The word ‘café’ brings up vivid yet vacillating images in each of our minds. As far as cafés go in Bangalore, you could see several eat out joints with the word ‘café’ emblazoned outside, but each one differing in looks and food served, with few of them having the quaint “I can relax” atmosphere. Tucked into a small lane off the busy Kammanahalli main road, just before Jal Vayu Vihar, is Fame, a café that came up 3 years ago to serve the cosmopolitan crowd in the Kammanhalli area. Owner Brian Bangar, a Singaporean, started Fame with the intention of serving steaks to the expats living here, who would otherwise have to travel to the city center for the same. Going by the recommendations we got from several people, there had to be something good about the place.

I certainly wouldn’t call Fame a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ joint, but a small, cozy café should suffice for now. The first thing that flashed through my head was “Authenticity be damned — let the food taste good!” We started off with Indonesian chicken satay, Mexican meatballs, a bruschetta and stuffed mushroom caps. Although the satay didn’t come with the usual peanut sauce, it was spicy (a little too spicy for one of my guests) and well done. The Mexican meatballs though were the best. The sauce that was glazed over it complemented it well, and the meat itself was flavoured nicely. The bruschetta’s bread should have been a lot more firm and crispier than what it was. Our drinks were fairly decent, with a couple of the mocktails - the Rainflower (mixture of orange, pineapple and grenadine) and the Berry Cooler (consisting of strawberries) standing out.

My guests, Padmini and her husband Bharat, techies who’ve lived in Germany for a while not too long ago, and a friend of theirs, Malavika, a techie working for insurance clients in the UK but more interested in dogs, the environment, travelling…and food, of course, seemed to have a penchant for small, cozy cafés, with taste trumping authenticity when it came to the food. Thus far, we were in agreement about the experience at Fame. Did things take a turn for the surreal? No, thankfully not, but I will admit that asking the question would have given rise to doubt.

Our main course consisted of a variety of dishes — from steaks to burgers, and shashliks to macaronis, we tried what Fame had to offer to its loyal patrons, most of whom were students that night. Working our way up from the lows to the highs, the shashliks didn’t seem to have the typical tangy flavour due to the lack of or reduced quantity of vinegar used in the marinating process of the meat. Now I know I said I wasn’t going to scrutinise a small café down to the last bit, but some things that hit you straight away need to be mentioned. It tasted good, served as they usually are with a bed of rice, but the tanginess would have heightened the taste. The Fame chicken burger was nice, and thankfully wasn’t like the ones you get at fast food joints with prefabricated patties. The chicken Bolognese with macaroni did seem a little dry and bland, but then again, that’s how a Bolognese is with only pepper adding the zing to it.

The steaks we had were far better. The Chateaubriand and the fish in garlic sauce were pretty good, and considering the fact that this wasn’t a fancy restaurant, we were very pleasantly surprised at the huge portions served. The chateaubriand is a cut from the tenderloin, originally created by a French chef for his master, François-René de Chateaubriand who worked under Napoleon. We asked for it to be well done, and although there was no way to guess which cut of meat was actually served, it was cooked well, and was nice and juicy. The fish steak in garlic sauce was good, and since the garlic wasn’t overpowering the fish, it blended well with the fish.

For desserts, we had a chocolate cake and an ice cream called strawberry ripple. While the ice cream was just vanilla with some strawberry sauce drizzled on it, the chocolate cake was pretty good. Overall, a pretty satisfying, and in equal measure, a pretty filling meal, justifying the use of ‘café’ in its name.

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