Friday, September 24, 2010

Under The Mango Tree

On Tuesday, Manuscrypts asked me to join him on a review of Under The Mango Tree. The review can be read here. Let me state straight away that since this was his first review, I guess he was a little, well, diplomatic, I guess when it came to his opinions, because I thought I used to be the lenient type, but even I found this place quite unsatisfying. Trust me, I tried hard to like, I mean I didn't even put on my reviewing hat - alright, enough already.

So Manuscrypts had invited three other people whom he'd known through the twitter world. Gautam (lawyer, entrepreneur, 'kurta'-type worker), Prmod (fashion designer, photographer), and Radha (accounts specialist @ Dell, photographer). And of course, the mercenary. Me. Although I wasn't featured...rules, you see. So we started off with soup - Manu with cream of mushroom, Gautam with French onion soup (vegetarian - not made from beef stock), and I had settled for the chilled melon soup with a hint of cinnamon.

Let's go backwards - there was ice in the chilled soup! I don't know but maybe it hadn't occurred to them that the melon is supposed to be refrigerated, and that's how it would be chilled. And hint of cinnamon? I guess some people would struggle to find the cinnamon, and so it seemed like they added several spoons extra, just to be sure it wouldn't be lost. What was lost, however, was the taste of the melon, which was already marred by the addition of ice to it. The cream of mushroom wasn't a good mushroom soup - it needed to be a puree of mushrooms, and not some stock mixed with sliced of mushroom and cream (which is what it was - unless the puree was so diluted it seemed like stock). The French onion soup lacked body, plain and simple.

Chilled melon soup with a hint of cinnamon

Cream of mushroom

For starters, we ordered the Goan sausages. Thankfully, there was an option between pork and chicken, and we asked for pork with glee. The masala used was an imitation of the Goan reshad masala, but thankfully again, it didn't kill the dish. Tasted quite good actually. I guess my overall dissatisfaction over the meal resulted in forgetting whether we had any other starters (notably the veg ones).

Goan sausages

For our main course, I settled for a pepperoni pizza, Manu ordered the king sized sausages, Gautam had the sea bass with fennel, cheese, and lemon oil, Prmod ordered a veg lasagna, and Radha settled for a veg pizza. When it arrived, it raised our hopes. As it got introduced to the palate, we wished we hadn't ordered it. It said sea bass. It was mackerel! I'm a Mangalorean, and I'll know the taste of Mackerel even in my sleep. I guess it's this deception, deliberate or accidental, that put me off. Gautam's response was even more acerbic. To quote him verbatin "I think this fish swam out of the sea, swam up a river, hiked across long distances and landed on my plate" or something like that. In short, it wasn't fresh. The mash potatoes though, although a bit grainy in texture, were quite good, and though I'm not a fan of mashed potatoes, I could have eaten it all.

Luckily, Manu's sausages were saving grace and were pretty decent. My pepperoni pizza and Radha's veg pizza were OK, and luckily being thin crust, weren't too hard to down. I think Prmod's veg lasagna was the best dish of the evening.

Pepperoni pizza

Sea bass with capers

Vegetarian pizza (mushrooms replaced with olives)

King size sausages with caramelised onion sauce

Veg lasagna

I guess since we were out reviewing the place, we were 'forced' to try desserts (I'd have left after the show thus far if I was out for casual dining). They were out of blueberry cheesecake (something the owner claimed was their specialty) and so we settled for a mango cheesecake, chocolate with caramelised bananas, and a chocolate mousse.

The mango cheesecake was more cake and mango essence than 'cheese' and/or cream (save for the top), and chocolate thingy with caramelised bananas, well, we didn't know we had to dig deep to reach the bananas, and the chocolate tasted quite awful on it's own, but combined with the banana, it was much better. The chocolate mousse seemed more like a thick sauce than a mousse, and I don't even care enough to think hard enough of it tasted.

Mango cheesecake

Chocolate with caramelised bananas

Food: Pfffbbbt. Not up to the mark...veg dishes may probably be saving grace.
$$$: Around Rs. 500-600 per head.
Service: Decent.
Verdict: Don't visit and have me say "I told you so!", coz I'd love to say it. Nice ambiance, and probably if you want to eat only sausages and veg food, then visit maadi.

Under The Mango Tree, #03, The Bat and Ball Inn, Laurel Lane, Richmond Town, Bangalore. Phone: 22111112/3/4


Anonymous said...

Shettre :

Thats one real sad looking lasagna. I think the "chef" knows only "aged musty jack cheese ".

Some ricato or mozarella cheese was needed for the lasagna.

Swaroop S

Anonymous said...

Living in Bangalore temporarily and found your blog. So helpful and all looks delicious. Thank you for sharing.

Karthik Shetty said...

Glad you liked the blog Julie, and hope your stay in Bangalore will be a pleasant one.

Kiran said...

hey.. lovely writeup on G.Habba.. I suddenly developed a craving for Belaguam Kundha... Dad used to bring some home every time he visited Belaguam.

Now, I live in the US - 1000s of miles away from my beloved Kundha :(

Tried looking for it - but had no success.

Any ideas if any stores in Bengaluru/Dharwad will ship some over here??

Kundhapriya :-)

Karthik Shetty said...

Thanks Kiran. However, I'm not sure of places that ship kunda to the US.

The cost of enterprise mobility solutions said...

It looks really gorgeous,no words to say..

Karthik Shetty said...

looks are one thing, taste, quite another

Anonymous said...

came back to report to this blog i'd seen before was dragged into the restaurant by a friend who is regular there..
Well, surprisingly buddy, every item mentioned in your blog was amazingly yum.. the SEA BASS- which WAS SEA BASS was yummm and so was the ooh so gooeyly cheesy lasagna... dint try the goan and few other dishes you mentioned, but helllo!!! the mango moussecake was to DIE for,,
so frankly, have no idea what you're talking about..

Karthik Shetty said...

If this some PR job for the place, then sorry, I don't think I'd want to respond. If, however, these are sincere observations, then here's my response:
1. We visited on a Tuesday night. In my experience, restaurants in India usually don't stock up on good 'stuff' on Mondays and Tuesdays, and start doing so only from Wednesday or Thursday. That being the case, I could have excused them for not having bass that night, but passing off mackerel without a mention - unacceptable. And it was mackerel. If it was bass, no chef worth his salt would massacre the lovely bass fillets by cutting them up the way it's done - see photo for proof!
2. I too mentioned that the veg lasagna was the best dish of the night, indicating it was quite good, and so were both the sausage dishes, so I don't know why you mentioned it.
3. You probably liked the mango mousse cake, and I can't comment on that 'coz we had the mango CHEESE cake, and from the picture (even though it's a top view) it's quite clear it's not how a cheesecake looks. And it tasted only of essence.

So I hope that answers "what I'm talking about". Also, my write-up here was based on my experience ON THAT NIGHT...could be a one off, things could be better on weekends, but someone else will have to testify to that :)

mridula said...

Hey Karthik,

i live nearby this place, and kinda read a few good reviews about it and thot i'd check it out someday.
we din't order much..but we tried the corn flakes crumb fried fish (their speciality)..didn't quite like was over-fried. the chicken steak was ok i thought..did not really wanna try the dessert over there.
and did you say lenient?? lol

I think the place is yet to be discovered..hardly any crowd on a saturday afternoon. (I could be wrong!) maybe that is why i have no complaints about the service.

Nice review btw!

Karthik Shetty said...

'ello Mridula,
I'm happy for you that you overall liked the place. I just wish my experience was almost as pleasant as yours was. I don't know how many people will actually 'discover' the place given it's location...kinda hard to figure out if you're not familiar with the area, and without parking available easily, it'll be tough. Thanks all the same.


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