“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea,” Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Letters And Social Aims, and I would heartily agree.
Tea, for me, is more than just an everyday thing. It is a ritual. It is a thing that brings comfort and solace. It is me time. It is a rejuvenation of the body and soul. It is time for introspection. It is time spent bonding with near and dear ones. It is time to reflect over things trivial and deep. It is time to ponder over your day or life. It is a break from routine. Oh, I could go on and on and on.
Considering the love that I accord to tea, I was thrilled to discover this place called Chai Galli, in Brookefield, that is dedicated to tea. A swarm of food bloggers descended upon this place recently, on an invite, to check it out. This post is all about our experience at Chai Galli.
Location and ambience
Chai Galli is located in Brookefield, alongside a couple of quirky-sounding eateries. It wasn’t difficult to find at all.
Inside, the place is done up beautifully, with simple furniture, but with bits and pieces of colour and quirk thrown in here and there. Indian-style cans of milk deck the ceiling, and the lights are made of glasses of chai. Posters on the walls pay tribute to classy Indian films. A distressed chest of drawers adds oodles of charm to the place. Colourful teapots hold spoons, knives and forks, on each table, at the same time speaking about famous Bollywood movies. One wall is dedicated to that lifeline of India called the Indian Railways. I loved the fun and youthful, yet comfortable vibe that Chai Galli gives off. This is the sort of place where you can sit and have a conversation with friends or family over a cup of tea and some snacks – there’s no rush.
The place is decently sized, and seating is comfortable. Natural light is ample.
There is a lovely outdoor sitting area, too, where you can watch the world go by as you sip on your cup of tea. We chose to sit indoors, though.
Chai Galli, of course, serves chai, and a whole lot of it, too. For the tea lover, there’s lots here to choose from – teas from the mountains of South Africa and Darjeeling, saffron-infused tea from Rajasthan, simple ginger tea done in the style of road-side stalls, and so on. For those who aren’t really into tea, there’s coffee, milkshakes and a variety of juices.
The menu also has on offer some quick bites that you can grab with your drink of choice. There are a few varieties of Maggi, the quintessential maska bun and jam bun, sandwiches, poha, pakoras, pasta, lasagne and chaats. There is some quirky stuff in there too – like pizza made with Gujarati khakras. What attracted me most, though, was khamni, a typical Gujarati dish that isn’t so easy to come across in Bangalore.
The food and drinks story
Now, let’s get on to the nitty-gritties, shall we?
First up, I sampled a Pasta In Red Sauce, which was well done. The pasta was cooked just right, there was a generous amount of veggies in there, and the sauce was tasty.
I also sampled a Khakra Pizza, veggies and cheese and sauce spread out over a khakra and baked. This was decent, but the taste didn’t really stand out. I love the idea of this kind of pizza, though – pizza, definitely, but one that isn’t heavy on the stomach.
Then, I opted for a Desi Tadkewali Maggi, Maggi cooked with Indian spices, which came generously garnished with fried onions. It was simple and mild, yet delish.
From the teas, I chose a Ginger Tea, which came in a little white teapot, along with a couple of glasses and a pack of Parle G biscuits. Ah, nostalgia! I loved the way the tea was done.
For each of the dishes, presentation was simple – I liked how they have kept things natural, instead of going overboard trying to project dishes in a quirky fashion. Portion sizes were decent for one person, as a snack. The teapot of ginger chai was good enough to serve two people, generously.
The prices here are mid-range, neither too low nor too exorbitant. Chai for two, along with three or four snacks should set you back by INR 600 or so.
Chai Galli is a lovely place to head to for a cuppa and some simple eats. It is the sort of place I would go to to unwind and recharge my batteries, as well as for some bonding with loved ones.
The Spanish word ‘Flechazo’ translates into ‘love at first sight’. Flechazo, the Mediterannean-Asian restaurant near Marathahalli, promises to make you fall in love with it, the same way, right from the word go. When a friend recently invited me to visit this relatively new restaurant, it was, indeed, love at first sight for me, too.
Flechazo is located above the Surya Nissan showroom in Doddanekundi, near Marathahalli. It isn’t a tough place to find, quite visible from the main road.
The restaurant is quite popular with employees from the number of IT firms that it is surrounded by, so getting a table on week days can be quite tough. On weekends, too, the place is heavily populated by families and friends. Prior reservation is advisable, if you plan to visit here.
Valet parking services are available.
Cuisine and concept
Like I said before, the restaurant serves Mediterranean-Asian food, catering to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. There’s something for everyone here – from chaat, sushi and tapas to mezze platters, pasta, pizza and daal makhani. And, of course, there are some gorgeous desserts to be tried out, as well.
Flechazo aims at making the dining experience of its patrons an enriching one. Once you choose one of the two types of buffets it offers – vegetarian and non-vegetarian – you are served bread sticks with an assortment of sauces as well as pita bread with a variety of dips. Then, you pick your choice of cocktail or mocktail, while you are served assorted starters. The non-vegetarians are served shawarma at the table, while there’s grilled pineapple for the vegetarians.
There’s a Food Shots counter where you can grab bites of food off a conveyor belt.
There’s a live pasta counter, where you can request for a customised-to-your-tastebuds plate.
At the wood-fired oven next to this, you can make your own pizza (read: don an apron and a chef’s hat, roll out your pizza, choose your own toppings, and shovel it into the oven, posing for pictures simultaneously, too!).
There are a variety of breads that you can choose from at the Breads counter, where you can fill up on soup of your choice as well.
Then, there’s a wide choice of dishes for main course. There’s also a counter serving a variety of chaap for the non-vegetarians, and soya chaap for the vegetarians.
At the live dessert counter, you can watch as your jalebis are fried in a wok of hot oil right in front of you, or your cake pops are decorated with colourful little baubles.
There is also a well-stocked refrigerator, from which you can take your pick of Indian desserts. And, as if all of this isn’t enough, you can choose the flavour of ice cream that you want, and watch it being made before your very eyes, at the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream counter. To bring back sweet memories of childhood, there’s also a live gola counter, where you can order for an ice gola of your choice to be made for you.
The eatery has a busy, yet warm and friendly vibe to it. Seating is comfortable.
The decor is simple, yet quirky and pretty.
The kitchen here is open, so you can watch all the action within. It can get a little noisy and hot near the kitchen, but then, the little discomfort is totally worth in, just for the experience of looking in.
Plenty of photo-ops available at this place – be warned!
The food and drinks story
Here is a round-up of the food and drinks that I sampled at Flechazo.
Non-Alcoholic Fruit Sangria: I opted for the non-alcoholic fruit sangria, which completely wowed me with its presentation. The taste wasn’t bad, but not brilliant either.
The other friends dining with us picked cocktails, all of which were presented wonderfully well. Most of them were well received.
Paani Poori: I grabbed a plate of pani poori from the Food Shots counter. It didn’t really win me over, but wasn’t too bad either. Full marks for presentation, though.
Mezze platter: The mezze platter was absolutely brilliant. The pita bread was perfectly done, and every single one of the dips served with it was lovely.
Bread sticks: The bread sticks we were served were superb, with a hint of spice to them. All of the sauces that the sticks were accompanied by were just gorgeous.
Spiced Pineapple: The spiced pineapple was lovely, fresh and juicy, with a hint of cinnamon to it. It was grilled just right. However, the taste was more on the sweeter side – a little bit of spiciness would have worked wonders for it, I think.
Crispy Corn: Spiced corn, deep fried till crispy – what is to not love? This was another dish that was executed very well. I loved it!
Cheesy Potatoes: These were absolutely stupendous – my personal favourite of the entire dinner, I would say. They tasted so scrumptious that I had to stop myself from eating only these, for fear of missing out on the rest of the items on offer!
Crispy Water Chestnuts: These were lovely, too. They were just perfect, crispy on the outside and juicy within.
Paneer Tikka: This wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed. It was strictly okay, with the cottage cheese a tad chewy and the dish lacking in flavour.
Spring Rolls: I wasn’t enamoured with the spring rolls here, either. The outer shell was crispy and nice, but the filling seemed to lack flavour.
Farm Fresh Pizza: I opted out of the self-pizza-making, and requested for a chef-made one instead. The Farm Fresh Pizza I was served was extremely fresh, but, sadly, the taste didn’t blow me away.
White Sauce Pasta: I am not a great fan of white sauce in my pasta, but I really liked the way it was done here. The sauce was tasty, and the dish was executed well. There was a generous dosing of veggies in the pasta too, which I liked.
French Macaroons: The macaroons looked absolutely beautiful, sitting there in a gorgeous, colourful heap. I simply had to try them out! Sadly, though, they were quite flaky and biscuit-y in texture, lacking the softness that macaroons should possess.
Brownies: The brownies here weren’t the best that I have had. They weren’t soft and moist, but crumbly instead.
Lauki Ka Halwa: This was super-duper gorgeous! The straight-off-the-stove bottlegourd halwa tasted delicious.
Piping Hot Jalebis: When there are jalebis being served piping hot, straight out of the pan, how do I resist? I tried out a couple of them, and they were brilliant.
Gulab Jamun: The gulab jamun was too good, too. Very well made!
Orange Souffle: The orange souffle here was simply gorgeous! I loved, loved, loved it.
Paan Ice Cream: There were several interesting flavours of liquid nitrogen ice creams to choose from at Flechazo. I opted for the paan flavour, just because this particular flavour has been on my mind a lot lately. It was so very thrilling to watch the ice cream being made fresh before my very eyes – a lot like magic, really. The ice cream was super-duper fresh (Had to be, right? It was made just then!), and tasted gorgeous.
Value for money
The vegetarian buffet here is priced at INR 500 (plus taxes), and the non-vegetarian buffet at INR 600 (plus taxes). I think that is absolute value for money, total paisa vasool, considering the huge variety of food you get to sample here, and the range of experiences that you can have. They have some ‘early bird’ offers as well, if you’d like to avail of them.
Flechazo is a lovely place to be at, with friends, family or colleagues. It is wonderful for team lunches, family parties, farewells, and birthdays (How did I forget to tell you about the little celebratory dance that the staff at Flechazo does when you celebrate your birthday here?! We witnessed one such gig, and it was so much fun!). I absolutely loved the feel of the place.
It wasn’t possible for me to sample everything that the place has to offer, on my one visit. Most of what I tasted here, though, was good, though there is definitely room for improvement as far as certain items are concerned. (Pro tip: I’d recommend hogging the beautiful starters here, as well as the gorgeous desserts, with just a customary sampling of the main course fare!)
I would love to visit again, with family, to experience more of it – I would sign up for that in the blink of an eye. Do visit Flechazo, if you haven’t already – highly recommended! Irrespective of whether your food preferences are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you surely won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to carry your camera along!
Code of ethics
Since this was an invite, I didn’t pay for the meal. The views expressed herein are completely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone. I don’t stand to receive any sort of gain by recommending this place to you.
Not a single summer goes by without me thinking of the gorgeous Lonavali ice cream that is available in small family-run ice cream parlours in Ahmedabad. These parlours specialise in sort-of home-made ice creams, both common flavours like Kesar Pista and Chocolate and some highly uncommon ones, like Lonavali.
Lonavali ice cream, as the name suggests, is a tribute to the famous chikkis of Lonavala. With a faint hint of rose, a gorgeous green colour, a generous dosing of pistachios, and bits and pieces of crunchy sesame brittle or chikki in it, Lonavali would make for a fabulous treat any time of the year. My friends and I would down cupfuls of this green beauty, especially in the hot summer months. Sadly, though, it has been ages since I had a cup of Lonavali – it isn’t available anywhere in Bangalore.
I had been wanting to try out my own version of this ice cream, at home, since ages, but it kept being pushed to the back burner again and again and again. Finally, the experiment happened yesterday, and was a happy one at that. I managed to create an ice cream with sesame-and-jaggery brittle that was very, very close in taste to the Lonavali, and everyone at home loved it to bits. Coincidentally, yesterday was Ugadi, the Kannada new year day, when it is customary to consume ellu (sesame) and bella (jaggery). So, yay to that!
I’ll be improvising on this recipe with time, but, for now, let me share with you the one that I used yesterday. So, here’s presenting to you Lonavali aka Ellu Bella aka Tilgul ice cream! Ingredients (Makes about 4 servings):
200 ml fresh cream (I used Amul)
200 grams sweetened condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai Mate)
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon rose essence
1/4 cup sesame-jaggery revdi (use the large ones that have a rose fragrance to them)
1/4 cup jaggery powder or to taste
About 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios
Lightly crush the revdi using a mortar and pestle. Do not make a fine powder, and let large-ish chunks of the revdi remain. You should get chunks of the revdi in your mouth as you eat this dish – that is the whole point of this ice cream! Keep aside.
In a large mixing bowl, take the condensed milk, cream, salt, pistachios, rose essence, crushed revdi, and jaggery powder. Whisk well, until everything is well combined together.
Transfer the mixture to an air-tight, clean, dry box.
Put the box, closed, in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Freeze at maximum temperature for 3-4 hours or until the ice cream is set well. That’s it!
I used fresh cream to create this dish, but you could use whipping cream, too. Whipping cream will give you creamier, richer ice cream.
Adjust the quantity of jaggery that you use, as per your taste preferences.
The jaggery will add a slightly salty undertone to the ice cream. If you are not okay with that, use sugar to taste instead. Alternatively, you could use a mix of jaggery and sugar. It is the jaggery and the revdi together that give this ice cream its lovely caramel colour.
I used revdi to make this ice cream because of the hint of roses that they possess. I would strongly recommend using revdi, but if you don’t have them, you could use sesame chikki instead, too.
The Lonavali ice cream in Ahmedabad makes use of sesame chikki, as far as I remember, so I used revdi with sesame too. You could make this recipe using peanut chikki or peanut brittle as well.
This ice cream melts dreadfully fast, in a matter of seconds. It melted before I could bring a cupful of it from our kitchen to the living room, to take a picture! So, remove the box from the freezer only when you are ready to serve the ice cream.
Add green food colour if you want, if you wish for the ice cream to look exactly like Lonavali from Ahmedabad. I skipped that, though.
You like? I would love it if you could try out this recipe at home, and I hope you’ll love it too!
Just last week, the happening locality of Koramangala in Bangalore saw the launch of a brand new restaurant. This restaurant, however, is very unique. It is different from the rest. In what way?, I hear you ask. Well, this place, Echoes, is different because it promises you a different sort of dining experience.
Echoes, Koramangala, is fully managed by hearing- and speech-impaired staff. This includes the overall running of the outlet, except for the kitchen, as far as I understand. The same hearing- and speech-impaired staff serve customers as well. Noble thought behind the outlet, right? I was humbled to be a part of a bloggers’ table at Echoes, recently.
This is Echoes’ second outlet. The first one, in Delhi, has had a really good innings.
The concept and ambience
Echoes has a wonderful warm and friendly vibe to it. The decor is absolutely beautiful, there is no doubt about that. Brick walls, tastefully chosen knick-knacks, cosy nooks, a spacious sit-out, the smiling crew, the thoughtful quotes on the walls, the lovely motto on the T-shirts of the service staff – everything adds to the effect. It is clear that a whole lot of thought has gone into creating just the right sort of place and atmosphere at Echoes.
I especially loved the way they have done up one of the walls entirely using kitchen utensils. Classy!
Echoes has taken several steps to ensure a hassle-free ordering and dining experience for its patrons. Each dish on the menu, for instance, has a number alongside it, which is to be written down on a notepad when the service staff visits a table to take an order. (Each tubelight, fan and bulb here also has a number, to facilitate things for the staff – I loved the way they have paid attention to these little details!).
Furthermore, each table is equipped with a calling bell, which will summon the service staff when pressed. The tables at Echoes also have a set of placards, each one containing a word that is commonly used in communication between the patrons of a restaurant and the wait staff – ‘Menu’ and ‘Plates’, for instance, or ‘Please get the manager’. Hold up the right card, get your word across to the service crew!
Very well thought-out, right?
The food and drinks story
Now, let’s move on to the grub we had at Echoes, shall we?
Echoes has a mixed sort of menu – there’s a little bit of everything on it. There’s Italian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese, among other cuisines. The eatery serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Here’s a round-up of the food and drinks I sampled at Echoes.
Raju Veg Tiffin Service: This was a beautifully presented dish, with papad, butter roti, and rice on a plate and two different kinds of gravies (butter paneer and rajma) served in an old-world tiffin carrier. I loved the taste of everything that was a part of this combo.
Baked Cheesy Nachos: These were simply lovely! The sauce the nachos were served with were just the right amount of tangy, and the cheese was simply perfect.
Rajma Galouti: I thought this was very ordinary. It seemed to lack flavour.
Vegetarian Steamed and Tandoori Momos: Both the versions of momos lacked flavour, in my humble opinion. There’s definitely scope for improvement here.
Stuffed Shrooms Tikka: This dish, again, was quite unexceptional. It felt quite bland.
Paneer Makhani Pizza: This pizza had paneer as well as two other types of cheese, with a makhani-style gravy. It was quite average, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of taste.
Makhani Pasta: This was something very new to me – penne pasta served with a paneer-butter-masala kind of sauce. Odd combination, probably, and maybe not meant for everyone, but I loved it to bits. I thought it was really well done.
Milkshakes: Echoes has a whole lot of milkshakes for the chocolate-lover, with every conceivable flavour on offer – Oreo cookies, Snickers, Kit Kat, Black Forest, Ferrero Rocher.. you name it, they have it! We tried most of these chocolate-based milkshakes, and they were really very well done. Good job on this! My personal favourite milkshake, though, was the Red Rave, a red velvet cake-based shake that was mildly sweet, with bits of cake in it. Try out the milkshakes here, but don’t miss the amazing Red Rave, I say!
Strawberry Lemonade: This was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful drink, both in terms of taste and looks! The blend of sugar, strawberry and lemon was just perfect, making this a very refreshing thing to have. It sure didn’t have that ‘cough syrup’ taste that I have come across at a lot of other eateries, in case of strawberry-flavoured drinks. This is a must-have here, for sure.
Virgin Mo: The Virgin Mo or mojito at Echoes was just perfect. It was very well executed, with the mint, sugar and lemon all perfectly balanced. Quite the salve for parched throats. This, again, is a must-have, as per me.
The prices here seem to be slightly on the higher side, but not too exorbitant. A meal for two would set you back by about INR 1,000.
I absolutely loved the time I spent at Echoes, Koramangala. The service staff seemed to be so put-together and well-organised, and all of them had a warm and welcoming smile on their faces. That said, I was here as part of a very formal set-up, so I am yet to experience the entire ‘service experience’ as such. I would definitely love to go back to this place, any time!
The place seems to have quite a strong hold over Indian cuisine. We loved the Indian dishes here a whole lot more than the other fare. Likewise, the eatery is very, very strong with respect to its mocktails, juices and milkshakes. Every single one of the drinks we tasted here was beautifully done.
I loved some of the food I sampled here, but was not overly impressed by some stuff. The place is very new, though, so it would only be fair to give them some time to gain a foothold. I would wait and watch as to how the food story here unfolds in the times to come.
The ambience and decor here is absolutely amazing. Full marks to that. I would go back to this place just for the ambience, the service experience and the drinks!
I was served this meal free of cost, along with a group of other food bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed herein are entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
Have you been to this place yet? I would definitely urge you to visit!
Serves over 60 different variations of one of your favourite foods i.e. momos
Offers some innovative dishes like street bhel-style momos
Promises to be pocket-friendly
All of your foodie friends who visited are raving about it
… you’ve got to check them out, right? Right! So, that is exactly what I did.
I’m talking about Momo Jojo, the new momo place in town, which recently opened up in BTM Layout, after a good innings at JP Nagar and Koramangala. Recently, I was offered the opportunity to be part of a bloggers’ table at Momo Jojo’s spankin’ new BTM Layout outlet, and sample the menu – an opportunity that I absolutely had to grab with both hands!
I did go on to have a lovely, lovely experience here, and that is exactly what I am going to tell all of you about.
Location and ambience
The place is located in the midst of BTM Layout, not very difficult to locate.
It is a small place, suitable for quick bites and not really suited to long meals and conversations. The eatery is well done up and colourful, and has a friendly, youthful vibe.
Momos of all sorts dominate the menu here. But of course! What else did you expect with a name like that? 🙂
Momo Jojo offers momos with different types of fillings – garlic cheese, mixed vegetables, mushroom onion, seasoned potato, paneer salsa, spinach cheese corn, spicy soya and peanut paneer. You can mix and match the filling you want for your momos with how you want them to be served – steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, chilly-fied, tandoori, street bhel-style or sizzling. Now, how cool is that?! You can permutate and combine and make over 60 different versions of momos, like I said before – so you have something new to try out even if you visit the place over 60 times!
You can also make your own wok box – choose any one type of rice (from the many they have on offer), and choose a topping to go with it (of which they have many, too). Apart from this, Momo Jojo offers two signature desserts – Sizzling Brownie and Choco Bao. They also have two drinks that you can sip on while you attack your plate of momos – the Mango Tango and Iced Tea.
The food and drink story
Mango Tango and Iced Tea
I started the meal with Momo Jojo’s Mango Tango which is, basically, aam panna in a mason jar. The presentation was nice, and I absolutely loved the drink!
Some fellow food bloggers who opted for the Iced Tea told me it was lovely, too.
Momo sampler platter
Then, of course, we wanted to try out each one of those lovely-sounding fillings! So, we chose a sampler platter that included a couple of momos with every type of filling available, all steamed.
My personal favourites were the mixed vegetable, paneer salsa, garlic cheese and spinach cheese corn stuffings! The mushroom-onion was strictly okay. The peanut-paneer, seasoned potato and spicy soya were good, but I liked the ones I have mentioned earlier, better.
Another thing that I must mention here is that the momos at Momo Jojo are served with three different types of dips – mint, mustard-peanut, and chilli. All three dips tasted just gorgeous. The mustard-peanut dip is what you will commonly be served momos with in Nepal (as Ankit Agarwal, one of Momo Jojo’s partners, who hails from Nepal, told us), but is quite difficult to come across in Bangalore.
Assorted Pan-Fried Momos
Next up, we opted for a platter of pan-fried momos, with assorted fillings.
I much preferred the steamed version to the pan-fried one, but I fell in love with the garlic cheese, spinach cheese corn, paneer salsa and mixed vegetable stuffings all over again!
Spinach cheese corn momos, street bhel-style
Then, we were served bowls of spinach cheese corn momos in street bhel-style (Sandekho– or typical Nepali street food-style, we were told).
This was oh so lovely – a burst of flavours in the mouth. There were potatoes, peanuts, coriander and lemon and all things that make for a lovely chaat, and momos, of course. I would never have thunk I would love a chaat with momos so much!
You have to try this out to believe just how delish it was – I urge you not to miss this whenever you visit Momo Jojo. I don’t think a momo chaat is available elsewhere in Bangalore either.
Assorted Tandoori Momos
Next, we were served momos with assorted fillings, done up in the tandoori style. These momos were served with some very delish slices of onion, over and above the three dips.
The tandoori effect was absolutely lovely – the marinade was perfectly spiced and added beautifully to the taste of the momos instead of detracting from them. This is, again, something I would recommend you to try at Momo Jojo, for sure.
Then, we chose a sizzler with garlic cheese momos on a bed of noodles (You can choose between rice and noodles), which was served with french fries on the side.
The sizzler was, again, absolutely scrumptious. The sauce that coated the momos was packed with flavour, and the noodles were thin and lovely, unlike the thick noodles that you typically get in a sizzler. This is another must-have at Momo Jojo, I say!
Next, we decided to sample one of their wok boxes, and opted for Schezwan rice with an Exotic Veggies topping.
This one was pretty average, most of us felt. Neither the rice nor the topping was anything special. But then, I wouldn’t choose a wok box in a place that primarily specialises in momos – I would choose momos any day!
Sizzling brownie and choco bao
We ended our meal at Momo Jojo by trying out both of the desserts they have on offer – Sizzling Brownie and Choco Bao.
Both of the desserts were lovely! The sizzling brownie was perfectly done, as was the choco bao. I loved, loved, loved the coconut-ty, chocolate-ey filling of the bao, though the outer shell was a wee bit tougher than it should be.
Everything on the menu at Momo Jojo is very reasonably priced, for the quality of food that they offer. A meal for two here would set you back by INR 350 or so.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Momo Jojo. Most of the items we tried out were delish, and there’s a whole lot on the menu that we need to try out, still. This is definitely a place I’ll be visiting again and again, and dragging the husband to, too.
Good job, Team Momo Jojo!
You guys, do visit this place to satiate all your momo cravings and more!
This meal was served to us free of cost, in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
Last weekend, I was honoured to be invited to the crowning of the Femina Miss South India 2017, at Crowne Plaza, Bangalore. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the star-studded event, and watched agog as one beautiful nymph after another walked the ramp, wearing one marvellous creation after another.
The event was judged by celebrities like Grammy award winner Ricky Kej, notable Kannada actor Suraj Gowda, World Billiards and Snooker Champion Pankaj Advani, Kannada actor Prajwal Devaraj, and Former Miss World Runner Up Parvathy Omanakuttan.
Ms Omanakuttan made a dramatic entrance on stage, resplendent in her white-and-black gown.
She looked stunning, that is for sure!
Prajwal Devaraj was absolutely charming, too – elegant and handsome in the sherwani he was wearing for the event.
The pageant began, to a packed audience, with a presentation on the long journey that Miss Femina India has been on, ever since 1964. Every Miss India since then made a brief appearance on screen, talking about the moment the crown was placed on her head. Wow moments, indeed!
Then, we were introduced to the 15 contestants who were competing for the title of Miss South India 2017 – meticulously chosen from across the five Southern states of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. With each girl looking gorgeous and confident, we were left with nail-biting excitement to wonder over which of these would, finally, win the title.
In the first round of the pageant – the Modern India round – each of the 15 contestants donned beautiful, beautiful white dresses from acclaimed designer Shravan Kummar’s collection called Resplendent Whites.
In the next round of the pageant, the contestants donned glamorous, modern outfits from fbb. This was followed by a super enthusiastic performance by Indian playback singer Jubin Nautiyal.
The final round of the pageant saw the 15 contestants wearing lovely evening gowns by designer Bhawna Rao. Each one of the girls looked stunning, filling the ramp with colour as they walked around.
And, then, finally, the moment all of us had been waiting for arrived – the moment of the crowning. Before this pageant happened, each of the contestants had already been judged on various factors (ramp walk, talent, skin, congeniality, et al). The final winners were chosen on the basis of the points they had earned in total, this pageant as well as the earlier contests included.
Srishti Vyakaranam (Andhra Pradesh), Sherin Seth (Tamilnadu), Mannat Singh (Kerala), Ruhika Dass (Karnataka), and Simran Choudhary (Telangana) were the chosen winners.
These five lovely ladies will represent South India in the grand finale of fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2017, which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai. Phew! Choosing the winners must have been a very tough call, indeed!
Now, I’m eagerly looking forward to this year’s Miss India pageant. I’ll be watching out for more updates about the pageant from other states as well. How about you?
Imagine a cake that looks exactly like a drop of water. Cut into it, and you feel its lightness – it feels like you are cutting a drop of water. The taste too is exactly the same – just like a drop of water. That is Mizu Shingen Mochi, the Japanese dessert, for you.
The back story
Popularly known as ‘Raindrop Cake’, Mizu Shingen Mochi is the brainchild of the Kinseiken Seika company of Japan. ‘Mizu‘, in Japanese, means ‘water’, and ‘Shingen Mochi‘ is a kind of rice cake that is popular all over Japan. Thus, ‘Mizu Shignen Mochi‘ literally translates to ‘water cake‘. Apparently, the company makes the cake using fresh water from the Japanese Alps, which is so sweet and tasty that the cake doesn’t need any other flavouring!
This dessert was all over the international food world in 2016 and, of course, I wanted a bite of it, too. 🙂
I understand the dessert dissolves into a puddle of water within 30 minutes of being served. Thanks to this fragility, the cake isn’t available at a lot of places, even in Japan. So, when I heard of this eatery called My Cousin’s Place in HSR Layout serving the cake, I had to drag the husband there, one fine weekend, to sample it! (My Cousin’s Place, BTW, earlier used to operate in Electronic City, and has now shifted to HSR Layout. It has a very different-from-the-usual concept of dining, but more about that later. This post is all about the raindrop cake.)
How was my first tryst with the raindrop cake?
When the raindrop cake arrived at our table, the husband and I ooh-ed and aah-ed over it. It looked exactly like a droplet of water on a leaf! This is a work of art all right!
The cake felt and tasted exactly as I had imagined it to be. It felt like a drop of water on my tongue. The cake had no flavour of its own, deriving all its taste only from the mildly sweet powder and syrup it was served with, just as it is supposed to be.
I understand that, traditionally, in Japan, the cake is served with kinako soyabean powder and brown sugar syrup. At My Cousin’s Place, too, I guess, the same two flavouring agents were offered along with the cake. The Japanese often add fresh or dried sakura blossoms to their raindrop cakes, I gather, which, of course, weren’t present in this Indian version.
Considering that I have never sampled the original cake from Japan and have no benchmark to measure this dessert against, I will refrain from doing the same.
Did I like it? Not really. The cake is, obviously, very different from the typical Indian and international desserts that we are used to, so it definitely possesses a novelty value. However, it didn’t satiate the huge sweet tooths that my husband and I possess. But still, this is something really, really cool – something that every foodie must try out at least once in their lifetime. Sampling this cake for the first ever time was, definitely, a dream come true for me, an experience I will cherish forever.
For those of you who are interested, the cake is priced at INR 100 at My Cousin’s Place. You might want to enquire whether the cake is available before you visit, though.
This cake makes it to the list of seemingly crazy food stuff we have tried out.
Would you like to know about the other things on the list? Here you go!
Shenga Holige from New Mangalore Store, HSR Layout
The husband and I picked up a packet of peanut-and-jaggery polis on a whim, while visiting the New Mangalore Store on 19th Main, HSR Layout. They turned out super-duper delicious, so lovely that we couldn’t keep our hands off them!
These are, apparently, a North Karnataka specialty, called Shenga Holige.
They are just beautiful, I repeat. If you haven’t tried them out ever, I strongly urge you to.
Price: A packet containing four holige is priced at INR 60.
Walker’s Toffee & Pecan Biscuits
Biscuits with bits of toffee in them? Unique and interesting enough for me to want to try them out. I am glad I did, for they were just beautiful!
I understand these biscuits are made in the Scottish Highlands, strictly adhering to a traditional recipe. Charming, right?
We received these biscuits as part of a gift hamper from the husband’s workplace, but I know they are available at Food Hall, too. I understand they are also available on sites like Amazon India, Zopnow and Godrej Nature’s Basket.
These biscuits make it to the list of crazy food stuff we have tried so far!
Price: A 150-gram packet of these biscuits costs INR 299.
Alphabet biscuits from New Mangalore Store, HSR Layout
While at the New Mangalore Store, we also picked up a packet of alphabet biscuits. It’s been ages since we saw these, so we couldn’t help but get all excited about them.
The biscuits taste just lovely, and we enjoyed munching on them, just as much as we loved admiring them. Crispy, sweet and salty, we loved these!
Price: A packet of these alphabet biscuits cost INR 40.
A while ago, I was invited to be part of a bloggers’ table at Jalsa Gold, a new place in Kadubeesanahalli, near Marathahalli, Bangalore. I had a great time lunching here, along with a bunch of other food bloggers. This post is about my experience at Jalsa Gold.
Location and ambience
The place is located in the vicinity of several other popular eateries like The Boozy Griffin and Wok To Asia, as well as Cessna Business Park. It is quite easy to locate.
Jalsa Gold, as the name suggests, is a gold-themed restaurant. Everywhere you look here, it’s all gold, chandeliers and flower pots and tableware included. You cannot help but feel like you are royalty and are dining in your gilded palace. The service staff, dressed in period clothes, with turbans perched on their heads, only add to the effect.
Gold, gold everywhere!
The regal tables that bowled us over
Isn’t this just gorgeous?
(Click on each of the above pictures to see the full view!)
The ambience here is, without a doubt, grand and rich. Photo-ops here are aplenty. The old-time Hindi music playing at the eatery quite fits in with the Indian food that is their mainstay.
The eatery specialises in Indian fine dining, though its extensive menu includes quite a few fusion dishes.
The food and drinks we tried
Like I said before, Jalsa Gold has an extensive menu, spanning vegetarian and non-vegetarian, Indian and fusion, starters, main course dishes and desserts. For the bloggers’ table, we were served the house specialities, saving us the trouble of choosing from the menu and allowing us to sit back, relax and focus fully on the food.
The vegetarian starters that we were served included Popeye Ki Spinach Tikki, Peshawari Paneer Tikka & Malai Broccoli, Lal Mirch Ka Paneer Tikka, Coleslaw Rolls and VegetableTarts.
The non-vegetarian starters included Chidiya Ka Ghosla, Murgh Kulfi Kabab, Mutton Seekh Kabab, and Chicken Swans.
Every single one of the starters was presented beautifully. Some of these starters were served in a sort of belan and some on golden plates (in keeping with the theme of the restaurant). I particularly loved the presentation of the Chidiya Ka Ghosla (Oriental-style chicken served in a bird’s nest) and Chicken Swans. It was evident that a lot of thought had gone into the presentation.
All of the non-vegetarian starters went on to be much loved. They were delicious, as per my fellow foodies. I tasted only the vegetarian food, though, and felt that the starters were okayish in terms of taste, not really great. The paneer in the Paneer Tikka & Malai Broccoli and Lal Mirch Ka Paneer Tikka was too chewy and not melt-in-the mouth soft. The other vegetarian starters, too, were lacking in flavour.
Along with the starters, we were also served drinks of our choice. I chose a Virgin Orange Mojito (a mocktail), while the others chose from cocktails with names like Sanam Bewafa, Nasheeli Raat, Haste Zakhm, and Halka Halka Suroor (yes!)
I loved my Virgin Orange Mojito, and understand that the cocktails were much loved, too.
Next, we were served Pizza Napoli (vegetarian), Chicken Tikka Pizza (non-vegetarian), Paneer Lababdar (vegetarian), Dal Makhani (vegetarian), Khada Masala Ki Murgh (non-vegetarian), and Gosht Nihari (non-vegetarian), along with Cheese Naan, Butter Naan and Tandoori Roti.
I heard from my non-vegetarian foodie friends that the Chicken Tikka Pizza was nice, but that the Gosht Nihari was just okay. The Pizza Napoli was good, but didn’t had that ‘Wow!’ factor to it, I felt. The rotis and naans were good.
I loved the Dal Makhani and the taste of the Paneer Lababdar, though the paneer was, again, a tad chewy. I heard that the Khada Masala Ki Murgh was nice, but not great.
Then, we were served vegetarian and non-vegetarian biryani, the Lucknowi version.
I loved the vegetarian biryani – the spice level, the texture, the taste, everything was just perfect! The raita was perfectly spiced, beautiful in taste.
I hear the non-vegetarian biryani (chicken) wasn’t as great.
Then came the desserts – a whole host of them, in fact – which had us awed with their presentation. I loved, loved, loved the presentation of the desserts!
I loved the Gulab Jamun With Rabdi And Malpua – the rabdi was outstandingly brilliant. The Chocolate Swans and Paan Pannacotta failed to win me over, though.
I loved the pastries, as well as the American Cheesecake and the Mango Panacotta.
We were also served a couple of other desserts – like Strawberry Panacotta and Caramel Custard – which were okayish.
The prices here are on the higher side. An a la carte meal for two would cost about INR 1800. They also offer a variety of lunch- and dinner-time buffets, with prices ranging from INR 479 to INR 1599 per head.
The ambience of the place is just awesome. A meal here would definitely be an experience worth savouring.
I thought the eatery has a stronger foothold over Indian cuisine rather than fusion cuisine. Given a choice, I would opt for strictly Indian starters, main course and dessert here.
I would suggest that you opt for one of the different buffets that they offer, rather than going the a la carte way. That way, you get to taste a whole lot more at a relatively lower price. Oh, and the buffet here is not the stand-in-a-queue-and-weigh-your-hands-down-with-heavy-plates kind of thing that is common in other eateries. Here, they serve you the buffet, while you sit down. Even the buffet which costs the least consists of about 50 items – so, definitely, a royal treat!
This is definitely a place that I would love to go back to. We have sampled just a small part of the huge menu, after all.
Like I said earlier, the starters we were served here didn’t impress me, but I liked the main course dishes and most desserts. The other (non-vegetarian) food bloggers with me loved the starters and desserts much more than the main course. I have a feeling I would have loved the starters too, had the eatery chosen strictly Indian ones to serve.
We were served this meal free of cost, in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed herein are not influenced by anything or anyone. I do not stand to receive any sort of gain by recommending this eatery to you.
The husband and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, and we decided to head out for lunch. We chose to lunch at Nasi And Mee Asian Canteen in Koramangala, an eatery that has been on my radar ever since it opened, some time in 2016.
Location and ambience
Nasi And Mee is located on the hip-and-happening 80-foot Road in Koramangala, quite easy to locate. (I just got to know they have another outlet in VR Bengaluru Mall near Whitefield, too.)
It is a small place, with about ten tables, and, I hear, it gets quite crowded on the weekends. Prior reservation is, therefore, advisable on weekends.
The moment we entered, we were struck by the beautiful decor of the place – it is contemporary, simple and classy. There is a warm and friendly vibe to the place. There is plenty of natural light inside, and it is far from being dark and dingy.
The eatery’s name, ‘Nasi And Mee’, literally translates to ‘rice and noodles’ in the Indonesian language of Bahasa. The place serves Asian food (of course!), a selection of items from Indonesia, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, including street food from these places as well as time-tested classics. The menu includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
This isn’t a ‘fine dining’ spot, but an ‘Asian canteen’. As per their website, they aim to provide good food and unforgettable experiences to their patrons, and pride themselves on using the freshest of ingredients.
The husband and I had a lovely, relaxed time here, gorging on some delish food. It might not be a place for fine dining, but it is surely a place for a leisurely, nice meal, we can vouch for that.
From the extensive menu, we first opted for a Nasi And Mee salad, an in-house specialty.
The salad was juicy and delish and just beautiful, and we loved it to bits.The veggies were super-duper fresh and crisp, and the dressing was just the right mix of sweet and sour and spicy. It was light, but satisfying, a perfect appetiser that stimulated our taste buds and prepared them for the next course, I would say. The portion size was good for only one person, though.
Next, we went for a plate of Mushroom And Water Chestnut Dumplings, another in-house specialty.
The dumplings were very well done, and the filling was, again, fresh and juicy. The water chestnut-mushroom stuffing inside was very mildly spiced, and was just perfect. This dish, too, was light but soul-satisfying. Again, the portion size was good for just one person.
To go with the appetisers, we ordered a Chendol drink, a Malaysian specialty, apparently. This is one of the eatery’s signature drinks, too.
The Chendol, a coconut milk-based drink, turned out to be very beautiful, too. We had initially thought it would be quite heavy on the stomach, but it was light and flavourful. It made for a perfect in-between drink, for sure.
For the main course, we opted for Pad Siew, a food straight off the streets of Thailand.
The Pad Siew was strictly okay, as per both the husband and me. It was an interesting experience eating those flat rice noodles, but we felt the dish lacked flavour. The sauce it was made in (a mix of soya sauce, sugar, and vinegar, as far as I understand) didn’t feel enough, and the noodles, sort of, felt quite bland. The portion size was good for one.
Next, we ordered a plate of Nasi Goreng, Malaysian fried rice flavoured with sweet soya and chilli. This was an in-house specialty, too.
The fried rice was lovely, just the right amount of spicy for us. It tasted beautiful! We especially loved the on-the-skewer babycorn grilled with Hoisin sauce that the dish was served with. I believe these babycorn beauties are part of the restaurant’s ‘Asian Grills’ section – we are so going to order some of those the next time we are here! The portion size of the fried rice was good for two.
For dessert, we chose to go for one of the many home-made ice creams on offer on their menu. We opted for the Kaffir Lime flavour.
The ice cream was brilliant! It was infused with the fragrance of kaffir lime, something which I adore. There was no sourness in the ice cream, though – it was beautifully sweet.
And that was how we ended a beautiful, beautiful meal at Nasi And Mee.
I have heard loads of good things about the service staff at Nasi And Mee, about how friendly and interactive and helpful they are, and now, we can vouch for these qualities, too. We loved how the service staff was courteous and friendly, without being overbearing. We were asked, after eating each dish, whether it was to our satisfaction. All of our questions and doubts were addressed so well. The staff here surely knows their job, and are well-informed as well.
The prices here are at par with fine-dining establishments in the city. We paid about INR 1600 for our meal, including taxes, which I didn’t mind paying considering the quality and taste of the food and the wonderful hospitality they offer.
We loved the experience of lunching at Nasi And Mee, food, service, experience, et al. We are definitely going back to this place again! There are so many more items on the menu that we would love to try out!
If you have never been to this place before, I would definitely urge you to go.