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Showing posts with label FBAB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FBAB. Show all posts

Saturday, October 31, 2015

10th FBAB Meetup ( @ The Great Indian Thali, Kormangala )

What can possibly be common between the Chinese philosophy of 'yin and yang' and Ugadi pacchidi, a finger licking dish from Andhra. Actually not much apart from the fact that both signify a beautiful balance between opposing elements. And balance is the first thing that came to my mind when I had the chance to lay my eyes upon this awesome thali offered by 'The Great Indian Thali'.

Honestly speaking, I am not a great fan of the thali meals. Have tried out some monsterous thalis with 30-35 items on the menu such that one ends up skipping half of it. I find it to be waste of money. At other times, I have found it to be a mismatch of North Indian and south Indian dishes that end up irritating my taste buds. Such experiences made me look up this restaurant's menu on the net before I dared to try out their offering. And as it later turned out, I was in for a most pleasant experience.

It was just another Sunday evening and we had gathered at TGIT, Kormangala for yet another FBAB meetup ( 10th one ) and the food tasting that goes with it. Though I was there for the first time, I had no difficulty in locating the restaurant as it is situated at the very popular Sony World junction. If you happen to be travelling from Indiranagar, you need to take a right at this signal. The restaurant is located on the 4th floor of the 3rd building to the right.

Stepping into the place, I found it to be somewhat smaller in size than what it appeared in the photos. But the sitting arrangement looks good and the lighting is quite ambient. Decor is kept to a minimal and is tasteful. The first thing that arrived was the watermelon juice which was a tad too sweet for my taste. But it was more than compensated when the golgappas arrived next. Fresh and crisp with a delicious filling, and with an awesome spicy 'paani' ( there was a sweet one too but I do not prefer it) to go with it, it was the best I have had in a while.

The next thing to grace the table was some yummy dahi papdi and a few varities of starters like the paneer tikka ( good flavour but not that soft) and the potato kebab (quite good). And finally the most awaited thali arrived. There was the subzi meloni, aloo bhindi, karela kurchan, kadai paneer, dal makhani, pindi choley, dum aloo with a selection of four kinds of Indian bread and 3 varieties of rice. My favorite turned out to be Dum Aloo (just the right amount of tang), Dal makhani (not too buttery but with a delicious smokiness to it) and the subzi meloni. The Kadai paneer also deserves a mention as it was good but just too spicy for my personal taste. Loved the bhatura and the delicately flavoured veg biryani.

The desserts were excellent. Hats off to the Moong dal halwa which got a noteworthy makeover. Loved the tomato twist to it. Even the rasgulla, the gulab jamun and the shrikhand turned out to be scrumptious.

Overall, it was a great thali which had accommodated the most popular North Indian dishes in it but without making it too overwhelming. And at Rs 489/-, it is well priced. Go for it !!

The Great Indian Thali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, October 12, 2015

8th FBAB Meet up @ Absolute Barbecue, BTM ( and of course the review !! )

As the clock raced towards 7:00 pm and the storm clouds loomed on the horizon, I sent out a quick prayer to heaven. Having braved the fury of the rain Gods last Sunday ( the 7th FBAB meet up), I was in no mood for a encore at such a short interval. Especially when I needed to get though the Silk Board Junction which is the "Lakshman Rekha",the mythical boundary, for folks commuting from Marathahalli. I always have second thoughts when I have to take this route.

Mercifully, the clouds retreated and we were able to make the trip without any traffic hassle as the rain threat ensured that many people stayed indoors. Locating the restaurant was no hassle either as it is located next to an Indian Oil petrol bunk and the ground floor of the building is rented out by Reliance Fresh. Once we reached, we were promptly ushered into the restaurant and led to this huge table set up for the FBAB members. There were quite a few new faces, bearing testimony to the growing popularity of FBAB. A quick round of introductions and the table was all set for the barbecue.

Starting with the American cheesy potatoes(nice), the cheese corn balls (muaah), the mutton gilafi sheek (turned out to be somewhat dry) and tandoori Tangdi (nice and juicy), almost 11-12 starters, including prawns and fish were served at the table. Apart from the cheese corn balls, Murgh boti and the tandoori tangdi, which stood out, the rest of the dishes turned out to be pretty ok.

One surprise element though was the barbecued pineapple which was not mentioned on the menu. With an amazing caramelized flavour and texture, it made everyone swoon.

Now coming to the USP of the place, the 'Wish Grill' is something that just needs to be experienced.

Men at work. The energy at this place is palpable and one just feels like spending a few moments checking out how they coordinate it all. Clockwork precision.

The 'Wish Grill' is made up of an exotic selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients which are paired with AB's signature sauces. You wish for it and they cook it for you. Normally one is expected to walk up to the 'wish grill' , pick up their choice ingredient and the sauce, and return to table. Once it is reday, the staff pick it up from the grill and serve it at one's table. Simple enough.

I tried quite a few of their exotic meats/seafood and my vote goes for the squid !!! Cooked to perfection with undertones of coconut and subtle spices, it was a rare enough treat. Even the shark meat is worth a mention. Sadly the duck turned out to be too chewy.

This is what I wished for !!

And that is how they served it !!

I will go with the latter anyday...what about you ???

Moving on to the main course, there were quite a few hidden gems. And I was glad that I took the effort to try some of it even though I was quite full after the barbecue and the wish grill. The AB's special dal turned out to be subtly rich and bursting with flavors while the Sri Lankan Prawn Curry was just out of this world. One of the best prawn curries that I have ever tried, it had the juiciest prawns buffeted by a gravy that almost felt like a caress on the tongue. Now I am getting a craving for it even as I write this review. The Noorani paneer is also worth a mention as it is something that all vegetarians would love.

No visit to AB's is complete without sampling some of their delicious desserts. Mind blowing variety and some pretty crazy stuff too.

Ghewar with Rabdi ?? Two outstanding dishes but sadly incompatible !! The unfortunate marriage resulted in each one losing out it's own essence. Reminded me of some of the translated books that I have read. 'Bereft of a soul', as I would like to put it.

Best among the lot ??

The Paan Icecream !!! Yay....I scream, u scream, we all scream for Icecream !!!

And finally, introducing the man behind a million smiles....ask those lovely ladies (and some guys too) who were queuing up for the Stone cold icecreams !!

Thank you for being patient with us and obliging us as we struggled to capture the perfect frame !!

Overall, a great experience with food and the foodies. It is always a pleasure to interact with people who can talk the talk when it comes to food. Thank you Absolute Barbecue for the awesome experience. And I am definitely coming back for the wish grill and the Sri Lankan Prawn curry !!!

Adding this as an afterthought. As I have been to their Marathahalli branch earlier, I could not resist comparing it with the newly opened one at BTM. Personally, I would pick the former any day as it is a lot more spacious and has dim lighting which gives the feel of being in a fine dining restaurant. The interiors are tastefully done and the menu is also great. Just a few small changes. Subtle but effective.

AB's - Absolute Barbecues Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, July 27, 2015

Product Review : Saby' Barbee Benefit Chai Masala

The monsoons are bearing down on us and I am forced to spend most of my time indoors. The absence of sunlight and the dampness that accompanies the rain also brings on a host of seasonal complaints like cold, cough and indigestion. Hence the desire to curl up with a good book and a cuppa of steaming hot chai. Mind it, I am not talking about the very austere English tea in bone china cups but the very aromatic brew steeped in Indian spices and served in those earthen kulhads.

And since I am very particular about my 'chai', I always end up making my own spice mix. Hence, when I received the samples of Saby's Barbee Benefit Chai masala, I was a bit skeptical about it. And it remained unopened on my kitchen shelf for a week. But one day I was down with a sore throat and feeling too ill to brew my own concoction. I picked up one of the samples and read the instructions. It seemed simple and I gave it a try. And loved it.

Ingredients -

  • mint
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • mixed herbs

The brand claims the following benefits -

  • Weight loss
  • Relief from joint pains
  • Fortified with Calcium and Iron
  • Relief from cold and cough
  • Stress relief
  • Digestion

My opinion - It provides relief in case of cough, cold, stress related headache and aids digestion. I did not experience the weight loss benefits as I tried it for 2 weeks only.  However, the spices used have certified weight loss properties so I am sure that it would aid weight loss in the long run.

Instructions for use - In your tea, with or without milk . Or even with plain hot water.

How I like to have it ? I add 1/2 tsp to my regular tea ( skim milk and no sugar ) towards the end.  Let it boil for a minute before decanting. Stir in 1/2 tsp of honey. Sip with pleasure.

Disclaimer - Samples provided by Saby's Barbee Mania and Food Bloggers Association Bangalore. However the opinions are the author's own.

You can buy it on Paytm .

Monday, April 20, 2015

Askme Foodies Meetup with FBAB @ The Lalit Ashok

It started on a bad note for me. The cab that I had booked to take me to The Lalit Ashok was late by 10 mins. And the driver said that he was caught up somewhere in Domlur and it would take him another 30 mins to reach Marathahalli. Though I have used OLA cabs multiple times, it was the first time I faced something like this. I tried reaching their call center. It took multiple attempts but luckily I was able to speak to one of their guys who assured me another cab in 10 mins. Though it took a little more than 15 mins instead of 10 mins, I cab finally arrived at my doorstep.

The cabbie informed us that since there was traffic on the way ( it being a Sunday afternoon ), it would take us around 45 min to 1 hour. The route took us through MG Road which was bustling with activity and skimmed the precincts of the Chinnaswamy stadium which was to host the RCB Vs DD IPL match that very day. With the teams supporters being wooed everything ranging from T-shirts, banners, flags to even colorful headgear and the large number of police vans parked outside the stadium, that stretch of road did its best to look the part.

Finally we arrived at the hotel. A good one hour late for the meet. Though it was strikingly beautiful, we hardly had the time to appreciate the ambiance before rushing into the lift. As we entered the room, all the foodies were already ensconced in their chairs and enjoying the treats laid out for them. We were quickly ushered onto a table and after a swift introduction, the plates were laid out for us. As Ms. Randeep from the Askme team enlightened us about Askme, its user friendly interface and the plans (in pipeline) for the food community, I dug into the lovely looking treats. Most of them were the miniature ( or bite sized ) types that are much in vogue these days. Since most of us were there after a rather late Sunday brunch/lunch, it was just as good.

It was followed by a quick session on food photography by Mr Satheesh. Nothing earth shattering, just the regular stuff that one can come across while googling. Now everyone would agree that it is rather tough to cram a session on DSLR usage in a foodie meet that last for just about 3 hours. By that time desserts has been laid out and everyone had already dug in. And suddenly the emcee announced a quick contest in which everyone had to click the dessert plate. But only with their mobile cameras. There has to be a catch..rite. The hotel guys were gracious enough to bring out the fresh plates ( one per table ).  The laid back atmosphere of the room was magically transformed as everyone got busy clicking the pics. It ended with two winners being picked out.

The dessert plate as I clicked it !!

Then there was a quick session on presentation with Chef Ajit, one of the in-house chefs of Lalit Ashok. We picked up some useful tips about the basics while working with the sauces on the plate. Another quick contest followed. This time it was about coming up with the best plate.

Finally there was a quick session on food carvings by Mr Bibhuti ( Chef BB as we call him ), who also happens to be the founder member of FBAB (Food Bloggers Association Bangalore). We were presented with a small starter kit for trying out the carvings. By the time the session ended, it was almost 6:30 pm. A quick photo-op followed and we were handed over the goodie bags on a final thank you note.

Thank you FBAB, Askme.com andThe Lalit Ashok for the wonderful experience !!

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