Monday, September 14, 2009

BM Review: Eurasia

Last Friday, I visited Eurasia, since the reviewing of restaurant for the coming week was pushed to Sunday afternoon lunch. My guest was the co-owner of The Egg Factory, who from now on shall be called Mr. Cackleberry. The entire review can be read here.

Some of the pictures of what we ate are below.

Jalapeno salsa

Crostini assortment

Margherita (right half) + Manali pizza

Fusilli with putanesca sauce

Lasagna alla napoletana

Sizzling brownie

Classic Tia Maria torte

Food - Very good
$$$ - Moderately expensive, Little Italy rates. going all out could result in a tab of about 500 per head, but this could vary depending on the size of the group and the appetite.
Service - Decent
Verdict - Must visit if in south Bangalore as it spares you the trouble of driving to the congested city center.
Extra Info - They have valet parking, but even the valet staff end up parking it in one of the side streets, so you might as well park in one of the side streets on your own and walk it up.

Eurasia, #12, 32nd Cross, 7th Block Jayanagar, Bangalore. Phone: 22452202, 22452203, 22452204

The full review is here:

If you heard the words Bangalore, vegetarian, and Italian in the same sentence, you’re sure to think Little Italy, and who could blame you. And yet, jumping to conclusions has proved all of us wrong on more than one occasion. Eurasia, the new kid on the block (7th block, in this case), is a franchise of Little Italy. A look at the menu dispelled any fears of being served the same food as Little Italy. To put it in perspective, the menu isn’t as big as Little Italy’s, but then again, it isn’t entirely Italian, as they have a barbeque and Mongolian section, which according to co-owner Shilpa Muthanna, will start from October 15.

Co-owned by three close friends Shilpa Muthanna, Savita Rao, and Meera noojabail, Eurasia is located in a predominantly residential area, where trees form a canopy over most roads, and has an open (ergo, bright) seating area. While the setting may not transport you to the rustic countryside of Italy, you’ll certainly be at ease, and although the restaurant gives out a fine dining glow, Shilpa says they want it to be a little informal, hence doing away with the table cloth, and replacing the traditional knife-fork-spoon combo alongside the plate with just a fork. My guests for the Sunday afternoon lunch were my friend Yogesh Mokashi, a hard-core foodie and co-owner of the Egg Factory (St Mark’s road), his wife Suman, an HR-executive with Infosys, and their energetic 3-year-old daughter Navya.

We started off with a simple tomato soup for Navya, a jalapeno salsa, a tabbouleh, and an assortment of crostinis. The jalapeno salsa was good —jalapeno chopped and added to a creamy, cheesy mixture served with pieces of toasted bread, and was just spicy enough to make you realise that you’re alive, but not over the board spicy. The tabbouleh salad was nice, but the use of tomato was a little too aggressive, masking the taste of the rest of the ingredients. Finally, the crostini assortment had decent variety and was nice, but nothing special.

An Italian meal isn’t complete without pizza; those who'll scream murder at this because I'm upstaging pasta can cry in a corner. The staff offered to serve us half a Margherita, and half a Manali, which had olives, corn and cheese among other things. It was a beautiful sight - the honey bee coloured Manali against the striking red of the Margherita, and the taste was superb. The fusilli with puttanesca sauce, made from tomatoes, olives and capers, giving it a tangy twist, was good.

Puttanesca means whore’s, originating from the Italian word puttana (prostitute), and one theory states that Sandro Petti, a restaurateur, was down to just the aforementioned ingredients and had to serve a group of friends, who in their drunken stupor, yelled (in Italian) “Make any kind of garbage”, using the Italian word puttana in a contextual meaning for garbage.

The lasagna alla napoletana we ordered was fabulous — a cardiac patient’s nightmare, it was rich with ricotta and mozzarella, but being a vegetarian restaurant, the usual ragù was replaced by a tomato sauce. To top it all, there seemed to be some more cheese on top — presumably parmesan (if they were going authentic), but in the medley of all that we had, it was hard to tell. To round up our meal, we had a flambéed chocolate fudge brownie (aka sizzling brownie), and a classic Maria (a Tia Maria torte). While the brownie was super fresh and was yummy, the Tia Maria is a dish that could be described as one with an acquired taste. Not that we didn’t like it - on the contrary, I liked it a lot, although the liqueur used, the Tia Maria (originally made from the famous Jamaican Blue Mountains coffee beans), was a little too strong, and it's the taste of the liqueur that takes getting used to.

All things considered, Eurasia is a nice place for a meal, one where south Bangaloreans can flock towards when not in the mood to head towards the congested city center. A noteworthy point is that all the portions served were very generous, making up for the price, which is slightly on the higher side, considering this is vegetarian food. A word of advice: skip the antipasti, start off with a pizza, move on to the pasta, and mop up with dessert. Buon appetito!

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