Sunday, May 31, 2009

TGIF on Wednesday

Two of us were recovering from a slight illness - me from a fever and a sore throat and Mr VP from an upset stomach. Well, ok, let's add one for Mr P as well - he was recovering from working a lot unnecessarily. VP had a presentation at work on Tuesday but it didn't go through, and on Wednesday all of us were yearning for a break, and so TGIF it was.

We got there during the 'happy hours', so buy one-get one drink free time, but since they didn't have anything 'hot', I was a bit peeved (didn't want my sore throat to flare up again). But what the hell, we were there to enjoy, and so that's what we did. We had a lemonade and a summer cyclist - mixture of strawberry and orange juice, and since it was happy hours, we got one extra of each.

To nibble on something while we were planning the movies to watch during the coming weekend, we ordered a plate of grilled pita dippers, with hummus and salsa.


Angels & Demons it was, but with the governments new rule for theatres to show movies only at certain fixed times had us in a bit of a bother - none of the usual multiplexes that we go to would be showing the movie :( [eventually we went to watch it at Rex on Brigade Road]. Mr P and I also had a bowl of soup, broccoli cheese, which wasn't the best I've had, it was just eh.

For the mains, I had a nice fat juicy strip steak, and it was juicy. 12 ounces of red meat, and it was only once the order came that I remembered that I'm supposed to be off beef - my 2 cents towards helping in the fight against global warming. :( I'll need to remember from now on.

VP had a half rack of ribs with the Jack Daniels sauce, which came with a side order of onion rings. And surprisingly, this was the first time he finished everything he ordered! I mean he actually finished everything, and I didn't have to polish his food off lest it were wasted.

Mr P ordered something called a Mediterranean veg stack.

For desserts, we ordered the mini desserts, four mousse like desserts in glasses slightly bigger than shot glasses. After much debating as to who will have which flavour, I can say with some authority that none of them were good. Try to avoid these if you go there, order something else, or go out to Corner House next door and have a nice ice cream there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chilis Grill and Bar

Chilis is in Bangalore! Well, actually, it's been here for a couple of months now. So Friday night (2 weeks ago), since mom and bro are out of town, and I wasn't in the mood to cook dinner (for once), P and VP accompanied me to Chilis. As usual, I got there first and had to wait as VP went over to P's place to pick him up (off late, P's been acting a lil cranky and fussy about going out - kinda like when women are on the pill!).

The one thing we instantly agreed was that this place was another TGIF - with the kind of drinks and food available, but where it would score is with the number and variety of veg dishes. However, overall, I think TGIF still ranks above this place as being more memorable...for what reason, I'm able to put my finger on it right now, but take my word for it.

P and I ordered a cream of mushroom since it was a cold, rainy night outside, while VP, who had a tummy bug, just had a glass of orange juice. The soup was nice - hot, thick, creamy, with a hint of pepper.
Cream of Mushroom

For starters, we ordered the Texan veg roll and a plate of nachos (which came at the end of the meal - confusion on a Friday night I guess). The veg rolls were amazing - not just the way they looked when served, but they tasted great too, and the dip along with it was super as well. As for the nachos, they were ok...nothing mind blowing - you know, the usual nachos, crispy chips covered with cheese with a piece of jalapeno pepper on it.
Texan Veg Rolls

For the main course, I ordered a chicken fajita, which came on a hot plate. It was nice, although considering the cold weather outside (and that it had a Mexican sounding name), I wanted it to be a little spicier.
Chicken Fajita

Mr P ordered a veg quesadilla with mushrooms, and although the only other place I've had a quesadilla was at Shanghai Salsa, I can say that the quesadillas here were at least as good if not better.
Veg Mushroom Quesadilla

Mr VP ordered the honey fried crispy chicken, and soon after eating one piece, wasn't in a mood to continue - not because the chicken tasted badly, but he just wasn't up to eating.
Honey fried chicken

And so the evening passed, with us discussing the upcoming marriage of a classmate of ours, and about all those married, and those in the queue. I'm sure you've all heard, or even imagined a scenario where it's raining outside, and a small group of friends (3 in our case) discuss, gossip and bitch about classmates and acquaintances from the past over drinks or food. Many of you would probably have already indulged in such activities. And if you're wondering what happened to the chicken that Mr VP couldn't eat, don't worry, I didn't let it go to waste, I had it parceled and took it back home.

Food: Pretty good; vegetarians can feel happy as there's more veg here than non-veg.
$$$: Expensive, a la TGIF
Service: Good, prompt
Verdict: Veggies can frequent this place if they like TGIF sans the non-veg. Drinks are almost the same here as in a TGIF. Non-veggies can stick to TGIF.
Extra Info: It's just after Total Mall on the old Airport Road. They have Valet parking.

Chili's Grill & bar, Phoenix Idiom, Above Papa John's Pizza, Old Airport road, Bangalore.

Beijing Bites

On the night before my brother was to leave for Mangalore to join my mom in attending a cousins wedding, the brothers Shetty decided to head out to Beijing Bites in Jayanagar for dinner. Nothing fancy, just a splash ans dash for dinner, and so we started off with a plate of Dragon spring rolls with garlic sauce, and for the mains, my brother had a Chinese Chop Suey, and I hada Thai dish called Khad Pao Tham (I think) which was basically flat noodles in a slightly gravey like sauce with sliced veggies.

Dragon spring rolls

Chop Suey

Khad Pao Tham (something sounding like that at least)

The place isn't 'great', but like most other Chinese (Indianised Chinese, IC for short) joints (although I'd certainly rate a Chung Wah above this place). The food, again, isn't too different from most IC joints. The dragon rolls were oily, but crispy and tasty enough with the garlic sauce to set th tone for the food to follow. As for the main course, my brother's chop suey was a little bland (but then that's the way he likes his food), while my Thai stuff was actually pretty decent. A little spicey, but not so spicey that you'd blow fire out of your mouth.

my one disappointment was that I didn't find momos in the menu - maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I'm fairly certain that there weren't any momos on the menu, surprising for a Chinese joint, but then again, while a Chung Wah has them, the other varient, Chungs doesn't have them either. Ah what the hell, I've been preaching to a lot of people to avoid IC joints for the amount of MSG or ajino moto that is added to the food, I shouldn't be cribbing about what I can't find on the menus now. Sigh! Such is life.

Beijing Bites, No 45, 11th Main, Next to Pill and Powder, Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bored of work, head to Egg Factory!

Eggs can really cheer you up, and when you're in good company, discussing 'spiritually' uplifting stuff (apart from food talk, of course), then the meal can be all the more delightful. I visited TEF twice in a week; the first time when I was pretty frustrated with work and just wanted to go and have a good meal in the evening, and the second, a week later, with my brother when my mom had gone to Mangalore to attend a wedding.

The night I attended alone (alone because P and VP were held up at work and couldn't make it), I started off with a cilantro chilli pesto omelet with toast. The owner, Yogesjh, while chatting with me suggested I try the Cha Tan (Chinese fried egg topped with peas, bits of carrot and soya ham served with rice) for my mains, and that's what I did, finally winding up with a bread custard. I also got around to asking why they stopped serving my favourite dessert, the poor knights of Windsor any more, and Yogesh gave me a valid answer for that (not too sure if I should be putting it down here without his permission). I also got a few pointers for my upcoming trip to Delhi next month. All said and done, dinner was great, as usual, and no complaints.

Cilantro chilli pesto omelet

Cha Tan

Bread custard

When my brother and I went (second time), I was supposed to meet the lil tyke (not so little anymore!) at around 6:30, but got held up at work till 6:15, and so by the time I reached TEF, it was almost quarter past 7. Thankfully, he was carrying a storybook (that's something genetic with both of us), and so was passing away his time reading. We ordered a French toast stuffed with cheese and blueberry preserve, and then went for the main course - a pasta mushroom ragout for him, and I settled for the omlete curry combo.

French toast stuffed with cheese and blueberry preserve

Penne with mushroom and cheese ragout

Plain rice and the omelet curry

A couple of parathas with raita

After dinner, we thought of going to Lakeview Ice Cream parlour since it had been ages since we'd been there, and so walked the almost 1 KM to MG Road. As luck would have it, the place had shifted - to the complex adjacent to TEF. Thankfully, my brother wasn't in a foul mood and so didn't crib about having to walk back the same way we came.

Upon getting there, it just didn't feel the same, although the wait staff were. I guess location does matter! My brother had the chocolate mallow sundae, while I had an old favourite - the Callison special.

Chocolate mallow sundae

Callison sundae

Laajawaab

Mr VP and I read about this place in Friday's edition of Bangalore Times (written by Priya Bala), and since I was to head to work on Saturday to wrap up a few things, and Mr VP was headed in the direction of my office, we deicded to hop in for lunch, especially since Priya Bala gave this place a 3.75 out of 5 for food.

The insides are nice, as you'd expect with most places that are opening up these days. The menu is shaped...uniquely, to say the least. However, the food items aren't too different from any other north Indian/Mughlai restaurant. In fact, according to Mr VP (and I agree), a Copper Chimney can be rated above this place. Which isn't suggesting that this place is bad, just that if this place gets a 3.75 from Priya, then you've got to wonder where a lot of other places go wrong. I mean I know this whole rating thing is subjective, but you'd imagine that there would be several areas where two different opinions intersect.

Anyway, since it was just the two of us, we settled for a kabab platter, which had two types of chicken kababs, a fish kabab, and seekh (mutton) rolls. Apart from the seekh rolls, the rest of the kababs were pretty decent, although Mr VP made his comparisson to Copper Chimney when it came to the chutney that was served along with the kababs - the mint chuntnet and another one, garlic I think. He said he preferred the chutnies at Copper Chimney to this place.

For our main course, we ordered the chicken biryani, and we weren't disappointed. Fragrant, colourful, soft, slightly oily, tender meat...just the way a good biryani needs to be.

We finished off with dessert, I settled for a paan ice cream, and Mr VP had the rasmalai. Although it may sound weird, the paan ice cream was actually quite refreshing, and Mr VP had one as well once he was done with this rasmalai. One thing I can say for sure, you don't have to go out of your way to come and visit this place; I'm sure if a Copper Chimney or a Bombay Post, or any other decent north Indian place is closer, you could head in that direction instead.

Food: Decent
$$$: Moderately expensive, as mentioned in the comments section
Service: Decent
Verdict: Don't feel bad if you've not been here and someone you know has - you're not missing much.

Lajawaab, Krishvi Aspire, 1st Floor, CMH Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore. Phone: 42173232, 42183232