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

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

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