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Showing posts with label food review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food review. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Petoo: Startup or Goof-up ( Food Review )

Pandemonium has been reigning over the house ever since the BBMP guys started the waste segregation drive. No, I don't have anything against it and infant support it wholeheartedly as a righteous and law abiding citizen. But for the fact that it arrived at the wrong time for us. Given my resolution for more of home cooked and healthy food this year, I have been spending more time in the kitchen. So, hubby dear sometimes steps in to lend a helping hand. And that is exactly where it goes wrong. Despite multiple permutations and combinations ( read separate color/size/location of the bins/bags), he is still not able to figure it out. As a result, I have to spend even more time rectifying his bloopers. Or in simpler terms, segregating the mixed up waste.

Just to escape the mind numbing routine ( ain't they all? ), I decided to take a break from cooking on Sunday. Though I wanted to eat out, a recent stomach bug had put the men ( hubby & sonny boy ) of the house, out of the dining-out equation (Sigh!!). Seeking out some comfort food, I scoured (or rather scrolled) through Swiggy, and unfortunately ended up at Petoo as my favorite Biryani joint was not delivering on the day. Jab aap kisi cheez ko puri shidaat se avoid karna chahte ho, to puri kayanat aapko usse milene mein joot jati hai !! Did Paulo Coelho get it all wrong in 'The Alchemist' ??

Looking though the options, I finally settled on 'Hyderabadi Tikka Biryani' (Non-Veg) which was priced decently enough at Rs 220. Moreover I was bowled over by the description which read "Delicate long grains of Basmati rice gently cooked with fragrant whole spices & layered with delicious hot chicken tikkas bursting with flavours of spices, ginger garlic & tomatoes. " I placed the order and waited patiently for the food to arrive.

And sure enough it came on time. The packaging looked attractive ( but never ever judge a book by it's cover ) and the contents were packed quite hygienically. The Biryani was accompanied by a raita and a salan. They had also provided a spoon, a tissue and a hajmola candy in the package. Full points for the packaging and presentation. Quantity is also good for the price. Can't get it better on this front.

But sadly, it goes downhill from this point. The moment I opened the package, the strong waft of 'kewra' hit my nostrils. Now kewra is a dangerous spice. Add just a drop and it is heavenly. Go overboard with it and it turns the dish unpalatable. Ignoring the offending kewra, I started to dig through the rice in search of the 'delicious hot chicken Tikkas' that I had been promised. And then it hit me on the face. "I have been swindled", I screamed to my husband and have been doing so to all people who care to hear me out. Instead of the tikkas, I got a few pieces of boiled chicken sans any spice. "Touheen". This is just not Hyderabadi Biryani. I sincerely believe that the inventors of this incredible gem of a dish would be tossing in their graves at the travesty perpetrated by the 'Petoo' kitchen. I would have done so had I been in their place .

Not wasting more of my time nor yours, this is a must avoid. !! Petoo guys please clean up your act else your epithet is going to read something like "Start-up se pack-up tak" .

Monday, October 26, 2015

9th FBAB Meet-up (Food Tasting @ Bungalow, Whitefield)

It is rather unusual to stumble upon an oasis of peace amidst the mind-numbing cacophony of vehicular traffic in Whitefield. And just as one is getting adjusted to this bounty, a quaint white building looms into one's field of vision. Nothing spectacular about the facade except for the neon lighting sign which spells out "The Bungalow".

But just as one steps through the very dated looking and rather small wooden doors, one is magically transported to a bygone era where reality sharks had not yet made their fortune and living spaces were much larger and had a lot more character. The ambiance is that of an old Bungalow with lots of overhanging balconies, incandescent bulb lighting, brass fixtures, colonial style furniture and multiple knick-knacks that one can only hope to find in a grandmother's attic.

It was a very enthusiastic group of food bloggers and reviewers that gathered at this place on a Sunday night to taste the food and catch-up with the latest happenings in the food world. With a really relaxed ambiance heightened by all the sumptuous food and languid conversation, Bungalow actually managed to help us lose track of time and yet relish each moment of it.

Coming to the food and drinks, we were welcomed with a rather simple Tamarind drink that just managed to get my mouth all tingly. Then the starters arrived and all hell broke loose on my palate. Be it the succulent Nawabi Murgh kebab or the delicious Pesto Paneer, each one was a lovely amalgamation of flavors and textures that had my taste-buds crying for more. Then there was the finger-licking Basil Chicken, another very delectable deep fried chicken and prawn starter and some pastry kind of a thing stuffed with veggies and cheese which were really good. Apart from these there were some amazing Dimsums, lusty mocktails, assorted veggie kebabs and a juicy Fish Paturi on the menu.

But the best part was the amazing thin crust pizza baked in a wood fired oven. Be it the vegetarian version with Mediterranean toppings or the very Indianized Mutton Kheema pizza, I could not resist going for second helpings. These was a live pasta counter and I tried one with white sauce. Turned out to be good.

Next I targeted the soups and salads section. An amazing variety of Classic salads with assorted breads and a hummus or harissa dip to go with it made it tough to narrow down the choices. I choose the Almond and Broccoli soup with a Greek salad, Caesar salad and veggies tossed in blueberry dressing. While the salads were really yummy and fresh, it was the drool worthy soup which still continues to haunt the dark alleys of my mind.

All that delectable food ensured that we went for the Main Course with rather full tummies and ended up just nibbling at it. But still the luscious 'Rajasthani Laal Maas' egged me on to take quite a few spoonfuls. The Awadhi Saag and Dal Makhani also turned out to be equally good.

Moving on to the desserts, I just settled for the yummy pancake and some Baskin Robbins icecream (Yup...pinch urself if you think that this is a dream) !! A big round of ovation for the guy who plated that pancakes so well that they resembled some piece of art . Somehow he managed to make each plating look quite different from each other. Plus thanks to each one of the service guys who managed to take really good care of us and even our kids.

Another brownie points to the Bungalow guys for their awesome range of mocktails. I tried the Lychee cola and the Virgin Mojito and both were good. Some of my bloggers friends were also going gaga over the Guava cooler but I was too stuffed to try one.

After having downed so much of great food and relished their incomparable hospitality, I am convinced that I need to come back to haunt this 'Bungalow' for an encore.

Rating - 4.5 / 5 . It is worth spending Rs 700 (inc taxes) for this unforgettable experience.

The Bungalow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Restaurant Review: Barbeque Factory, Indiranagar ( For the 7th FBAB Meet-up )

"Sheekampuri ke sikhaye,
 Nalli ke Nihare,
aur Palak to palkon pe bithaye,
ek ehsaas ko hum review mein utaren !!"

Excuse me for the bad poetry but good food can do a lot of things to one. And as you see, in my case, it has aroused the slumbering poetess in me.

Stepping into Barbeque Factory for the 7th FBAB meet, I could not help but notice the warehouse like interiors with wiring running all over the place and those over-sized overhead lamps. We were among the first ones to step into the restaurant. It was raining quite heavily and hence most folks were stuck in the traffic. After being greeted most warmly by Ajay who owns the place, we were given the table with the best view (the perks of being a food blogger). The restaurant front is open and the shades had also been pulled up and the fresh air felt quite soothing. It was the prefect setting to introduce the food bloggers and reviewers to their new menu.

Suddenly I spotted some kids with cotton candy. Walking around the place, I found that they had installed a machine for it and a few kids had gathered around it. Feeling rather excited, I got one for my son who duly refused to pose with it (din't I say that being a Mum is a thankless job) !! Slowly everyone started trickling in and the starters were served.

The very first dish which came in was their signature Shikhampuri kebabs with honey paratha and 4 awesome chutneys. Apparently there is a signature style of devouring it too as demonstrated by our host. And what a dish !!! Totally blown away with those flavours...the chicken, the saunth, the chili, the coconut and quite a few other ingredients coming together in a beautiful way.

This was followed with chicken tandoori, chicken wings, golden fried prawns, fish tikka, tandoori mushroom, tandoori achari paneer, palak kababs, dahi kebabs and seekh kebabs, the usual suspects that one finds in any barbecue place. While all of them were quite good, it was the Basa fish tandoori and the palak kebabs that left me in a drool. Have never tasted a more flavorsome Basa preparation !!
And the bits of papad (or was it something else like chana jor garam) embedded in the palak kebabs took it to just another level. Don't miss it for anything.

Most of us were feeling a bit full by the time we ventured for the main course. I spooned some peas pulao with some dal makhni and dal tadka onto my plate and was rather enjoying the simple stuff when the Biryani came in. One of their signature dishes, it turned out to be quite delicious with lots of flavors going into it. But having sampled atleast 20-25 types of biryanis ranging from the Southern varieties like Hyderabadi, Andhra & Ambur to the North/East ones Lucknowi, Kolkata & Sindhi,  I can tell you that it is among the heavier ones. Biryani lovers should try this atleast one.

But there was something else in the main course that took me my surprise. The Nalli Nihari which turned out to be just my types. With places like this, the main focus usually remains on the starters and the main course can be quite boring. But here I had a totally different experience. The meat was soft and ready to fall off the bones while the rich gravy has a silken feel to it and continued to tickle by taste-buds for a very long time. The spices were minimal and the flavor of meat was demonstrated in full glory. This is the best Nihari that I have ever had till date.

And of course there were these oysters too !!

Finally when it came the desserts, I decided to go for just one thing. And after much deliberation and consultation with the in-house folks, I picked up the coffee icecream. Low on sugar and just the right note of bitterness, this turned out to be a delight !!

Overall, it turned out to be great evening with a awesome spread and some great conversation. And the best part is that you get to enjoy this experience at just Rs 729 bucks which is a steal deal. 

Barbeque Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, July 20, 2015

Food Review : Tandurust ( Delivering Healthy Food in Bangalore)

When I first moved to Bangalore, the thing that stuck me was the levels of health consciousness among the folks of this IT hub. Every other person was running a marathon, riding a cycle to office, playing tennis, swimming and trekking over the weekends, stuff that would have been unthinkable in Hyderabad. And the differences between the two cities turn even more stark when one looks at the food. It is not uncommon to find folks who carry health food in their lunch box. A brown rice pulao paired with raita, a wholesome sprouts salad with one or two slices of brown bread, quinoa upma, oats upma, and sometimes even plain oats steeped in boiling water. Stuff that made me feel positively uncomfortable about the post pregnancy weight I carried.

But cooking and carrying healthy food from home may not be an option for bachelors, families where both spouses are working and  in quite a few cases where the awareness about healthy eating is low. This is where Tandurust steps in. It strives to provide 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to working/housebound individuals in the vicinity of Bellandur, Marathahalli, Sarjapura,Mahadevpura, electronic city, ITPL and Koramangla in Bangalore.

According to their website and the discussions that I have had with Sudhanshu Sharma, who is the brains behind this concept, they use a combination of good quality ingredients coupled with the right cooking methods. This is what the website claims -

"We use healthy and nutritious ingredients like whole grains, legumes & pulses, green vegetables and flax seeds among others to prepare our food. We practice healthy cooking in order to retain nutrients. Our three meals plan (breakfast-lunch-snacks) meets 50-80% of the daily nutrition requirement of a person. Our food is packed with essential macro and micro nutrients like complex carbs, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and other PUFAs & MUFAs, high dietary fiber content and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals)."

Please visit their website HERE  for more information and subscribing to their plans. 

Coming to one of the meals I have tried, it came neatly packaged in a plastic tray with a spoon and an extra sachet of salt. It included 3 multi grain rotis, a serving of brown rice, palak tofu, whole masoor dal, raita fortified with flax seeds, and salad. Wholesome, filling and with the right mix of carbs and proteins.

Pluses - 

  • Hygienic packaging
  • fresh and good quality ingredients
  • low of fat and high on fiber
  • Suitable for everyone including diabetics and women trying to lose weight post pregnancy 

Minus -

  • Taste is a little on the bland side which might be a concern for those with South Indian taste buds.
  • Personally I felt that price is also on the higher side. But for folks who depend on meal substitutes, this might work out to be a reasonable option.
  • Limited area of delivery

Overall, it is a good option for lunch/dinner for folks who are inclined to eat and live healthy. They are constantly experimenting and improving their fare and one can expect a better menu in the coming months.

Click to add a blog post for Tandurust on Zomato

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