Friday, April 30, 2010


It's a bit hard to get to but I love everything about this place. It's a small restaurant (seats about 20 people) but it has a lovely atmosphere in an open area that is surrounded by a beautifully manicured garden.

I don't quite know how to categorize the food from this restaurant because it's not an all out French cuisine but it is definitely French inspired. We had a 7-course meal (Grasshopper offers only prix fixe meals) and the entree portions aren't small, so be really hungry for good food before you get here.

(Sorry, I forgot my camera and had to use the iPhone camera, an older iPhone at that.)

Ceviche with capers and peppercorns
Course 1: Ceviche with capers and peppercorns.

grilled eggplant, goat cheese, caramelized onions and pesto crostini
Course 2: Crostini with grilled aubergine with cheese, caramelized onions and a dollop of pesto.

prawns in wasabi lemon sauce and mangoes
Course 3: Prawns in wasabi lemon sauce and in-season mangoes.

fig salad
Course 4: Fig salad.

baked fish in garlic butter sauce
Course 5: Baked fish in garlic butter sauce. I love that they didn't overcook this and the sauce is so light, you could still taste the delicate flavors of the fish.

braised lamb
Course 6: Braised lamb. By now I'm ready to pass out but how do you say no to this? The meat is so tender, it falls right off the bones.

And for the the vegetarians:

roasted red pepper
Roasted red pepper stuffed with tofu and cherry tomatoes.

pickled cucumber with cream cheese and garlic
Pickled cucumber with cream cheese and garlic.

Course 7: Desserts
There were six of us and six dessert choices, so we ordered one of each.

chocolate truffle
Chocolate truffle - yummy!

cheese cake
Cheese Cake - not our favorite.

chocolate chili ice cream
Chocolate chili ice cream - it's actually pretty good! The chocolate flavor is still very dominant but you could taste a bit of chili but not the spice.

basil ice cream
Basil ice cream.

coffee ice cream
Coffee ice cream.

lemongrass ice cream
Lemongrass ice cream.

A 7-course meal costs Rs1500/pax. A little pricey for Bangalore standards but it's totally worth it. My only complaint is they won't pack your leftovers because they don't have "packing facilities", so I would bring my own tupperware next time. Also, be sure to bring an extra piece of clothing because this restaurant is in the middle of no where and is surrounded by farmlands and trees, so it gets a bit chilly.
Reservation required.

Overall Ratings:
Po's and everyone else: 9/10

Would we return?

45, Kalena Agrahara,
Bannerghatta Road,
Bannerghatta Main Road,
Phone:080 26593999

Thursday, April 29, 2010

37 China Town

I've been doing some research for Chinese restaurants in Bangalore but I have yet to find a real Chinese restaurant and by real I meant Chinese food that Chinese people all over the world would eat. I have nothing against Indian-Chinese food but it's a different cuisine altogether. It's kinda like American Chinese; it's localized and is usually deep fried and then smothered in sauces, which could be tasty if you aren't craving for a real Chinese meal.

Here's a restaurant that was recommended by a friend of Papa V, who claimed "the food is really great!". Good (if you are starving) maybe, but "great" might be a bit exaggerated.

Fried vegetarian wontons.

Soy sauce pork, slightly spiced. You can't go to a Chinese restaurant without ordering pork. Here, the slivers are so thin you can hardly taste the meat but the seasoning is pretty tasty.

Stir-fry bak choy and broccoli with garlic.

Pieces of fish with a lot of sauce - so much that it was hard to tell if you were eating fish or chicken.

Fried mai-fun (thin rice noodles). I guess if I have to come back here, I would order this dish. It tasted a bit like chow-mai-fun I had growing up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Fried rice - looks plain and simple but it was actually quite tasty and goes well with the spicy soy sauce pork.

Butterscotch ice cream. Are you startled by how fluorescent it looks? Yeah, I was too. Tasted very artificial and not a hint of butterscotch. Not recommended.

The interior of the restaurant.

I'm determined to find a real Chinese restaurant in Bangalore. If there are authentic Korean and Thai restaurants in this city, I'm sure somewhere out there is a Chinese man or woman serving a plate of steamed pomfret or a bowl of wonton noodles.

Overall Ratings:
Po's: 5.5/10

Would we return?
Don't think so.

37Th Crescent Hotel,
37, Crescent Road,
High Grounds,
Phone: 080 40373737

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This restaurant is something else! We were all surprised that none of us (except for Sammie, who came with his friends a few weeks ago and then told us how “deadly” the food was) heard about this gem of a restaurant even though it has been around for 7 years.

Coastal meals in India mean food from the Western coast of India specifically Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra and Mangalore and are usually loaded with delicious seafood cooked in rich sauces and curries. Every item we ordered were absolutely delicious, the restaurant has a nice ambiance and the friendly wait staff knew their food so well, we pretty much ordered everything they suggested.

Fresh seafood from Mangalore.

Prawn ghee roast. Yes, you read it right, it was ghee and it was delicious! No, seriously, I would come back here just to eat these spicy succulent prawns. Highly recommended.

Karne rawa fry - semolina battered fried fish. So crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside. There are a lot of tiny bones so be careful not to eat too fast. To finish off our starter course, we also had mango gobi fry (picture) and clams cooked in coconut masala, which were very, very good as well.

"Bread" basket - I can't find another word that would describe the carbohydrates we ate here, but they include neer dosa (or water dosa), mudai (yellow idly), pundi (sp?) (another kind of idly made of crushed brown rice).

Can't have an Indian meal without some curries. (From top, clockwise) Country chicken curry, vegetable stew and super yummy Mangalore fish curry.

Kokum kadi is a spicy kokum fruit drink from Kerala (which I later found out from a reader that this drink originated from Nothern Karnataka). The waiter realized I was a bit apprehensive (because he mentioned there were coconut milk in it), so he gave me a little glass to try. It tasted like fruity buttermilk with spices.


Overall Ratings:
Po's: 8.5/10

Would we return?

Goldfinch Hotel
# 32/3, Crescent Road
High Grounds
Vasanthnagar, Bangalore, 560001
Phone: +91.80412.91300

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cafe Noir

The brother of Toscano's owner Chef Jean Michel Jasserand opened a French cafe earlier this year. Cafe Noir is located at the U.B. City Piazza, the same venue as Toscano. The al fresco dining area didn't remind me of cafes along Champs-Élysées but the modern decor and ambiance of the place made me forget for a moment that I was in India.

onion soup
Onion soup - most onion soups made anywhere in the world is done with beef broth but this one however is made with vegetable broth, which is very welcoming for me who doesn't eat any parts of a cow. Served with a small piece of mozzarella toast submerged into the savory broth.

zucchini soup
Zucchini vegetable soup - light broth with pieces of vegetables and a hint of sweetness from mushrooms.

club sandwich
Club sandwich - layers of ham, cheese, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes in between crunchy toast. All sandwiches were served with sides of crispy fries and leafy green salad.

roasted chicken sandwich on baquette
Moist chunks of roast chicken served in a crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside baguette. According to the owner, these breads are baked fresh every morning.

Croque monsieur - "A" thought this was good but I thought it was too close to a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich.

salmon quiche
Salmon quiche - the portion is a tad small compared to the rest. I was a bit worried that it might taste fishy (despite the use of smoked salmon) but I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture of salmon, asparagus and egg combination. Be careful not to eat it too quickly, the inside parts are piping hot!

creme brulee
Crème brûlée - the first I've had in a while that's been done perfectly. The perfectly burnt caramelized sugar tops a smooth rich custard.

Other desserts to choose from. The owner mentioned that the pastry chef used only local ingredients.

Our tasty meal for four came up to a whopping Rs1700 (US$39)! When we consulted the owner about the reasonable price, he replied again that using mostly local produce (whenever they can) from chocolate to flour to fresh fruits, have helped keep the prices low. "A" was of course very impressed by this since using local produce equals lesser carbon footprints and is also very eco-friendly. I think this place would be perfect for a quick light bite or a sumptuous afternoon tea.

Overall Ratings:
"A"'s: 8.5/10
Po's: 8/10

Would we return?

2nd Floor,
The Collection UB City,
24, Vittal Mallya Road,
Karnataka, India

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pizzeria Romano

This meal was a detour. We meant to check out Olio, which had pretty good reviews on the Food Lover's magazine but it didn't even cross our minds that we needed a reservation. Rejected and feeling rather famished, we walked up and down the street searching for a restaurant and Pizzeria Romano looked good, from the outside.

The interiors were okay. I guess I should give them some credit for actually *trying* to make the place somewhat stylish except why bother installing good lights when you are going to turn on half of them and leave the other half of the restaurant in total darkness?

The menu looked more like suburbia-American-Italian than Italian and "A" thought the same about the food. Half of the wine options listed were unavailable and when we finally got a glass of shiraz, it tasted like it's been sitting around for a while.

I was really looking forward to some wood-fire pizzas except the wood apparently ran out, so we had to settle for some oven pizza, which turned out pretty good. The thin crust was crispy and we had plenty of good toppings.

Don't let this photo fool you; it's mozzarella sticks and not fish fingers. If you are looking for plain ol' mozzarella, you're in for a surprise. This one has pieces of jalapeno and a skewer and served with spicy tomato sauce. Just remember to blot it before you eat because it was extremely greasy.

Chicken quesadilla. Whoa wait, isn't this Mexican?

What is up with restaurants that are trying to serve multi-cuisines? It just sounds like they are offering cafeteria food. Why bother claiming to be a "pizzeria" and then serve Lebanese and Thai? I don't get it *scratching head*.

And last but not least (are you ready for this?), my biggest complaint about this place is the amount of mosquitoes that were flying around and trying to eat us. It's really hard to enjoy a meal when you have to constantly wave your hands around, slap your legs and eat at the same time. The waiter did apologize and said he would mention the problem to the owner. Let's hope the owner buys an electric-swatter-bug-zapper racquet for the restaurant.

Overall Ratings:
"A"'s: 6.5/10
Po's: 4.5/10 (mainly because of the mosquitos)

Would we return?

55, 5th Cross, (Above Sprocket)
6th Block,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

ITC Windsor - The Raj Pavilion

It was midnight by the time we left the Chinnaswamy Stadium (we just watched an IPL cricket match between Bangalore and Hyderabad). There were not a whole lot of 24-hours dining options in Bangalore so we ended up at the ITC Windsor Luxury Hotel’s coffee shop called The Far Pavilion. It's a fancy name for a small coffee shop but this restaurant is covered by glass and has an interior that resembles a botanical garden. It was quite pretty. We ordered from the continental menu (or I'd like to call it "American") but they also have Indian-British and Chinese cuisines.

Chicken sandwich - came with a thin layer of omelet and toasted white bread. The cubes of chicken were tender and wasn't dry. Served with crispy fries and some pickled cauliflowers.

By the time we sat down at the dining table, "A" was drunk and famished so he had to order the biggest entree on the menu. Unfortunately, I think the best thing about this meal was the fried eggs. :-(

Fish & Chips - the best choice of all! The fillets were crispy on the outside but very moist on the inside. Served with wasabi mayonnaise on the side.

In case you're interested, Hyderabad beat Bangalore by 7 wickets. And click here for my IPL cricket experience.

Overall Ratings:
"A"'s: 6.5/10
Po's: 6.5/10

Would we return?

25, Windsor Square,
Golf Course Road,
Bangalore 560 052,
Karnataka, India
Tel: (91)(80) 22269898

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bliss Luxury Chocolates

I want to quickly tell you about this chocolate store we stumbled upon while walking around in the Forum Value Mall in Whitefield. "A" had a piece of black chocolate with rum and I had a piece of dark chocolate with coffee cream and they were both very good! I ended up packing a box for "A"'s family and another box as a birthday gift.

They also have a lounge and some decadent looking cakes on sale. This should be a nice place to have a cuppa joe (A: chocolate shake *snap of fingers*) and split a slice of chocolate cake with someone.

Wide selections of chocolates

Overall Ratings:
Po's: 8.5/10

Would we return?

The Forum Value Mall,
224, Ground Floor,
62 Whitefield Main Road
Whitefield, Bangalore 560066

Pizza at Toscano's Forum Value Mall

Something was bugging me on Saturday and I couldn't shake it off. I was feeling antsy and it was beginning to show. "A" was busy with work but he couldn't bear to see me like this, so he said, "Let's go out for dinner". Not having much of an appetite, I suggested pizzas but I didn't want to venture into the hustle and bustle of town, so we went to Toscano's in Forum Value Mall in Whitefield.

Prosciutto pizza - the pizza crust was a tad soft even though the menu clearly says "thin crust", which is a big pet peeve of mine. If I wanted a soft pizza, I would've gone to Pizza Hut for a pizza pie. Thin crust usually means crisp. The marinara sauce was a bit too sweet and was lacking the deep slow-cooked tomato sauce flavor.

Smoked salmon pizza with pesto - I have the same complaint about this pizza as well and in addition to that, the salmon was tasting a bit fishy. It'd be nice if they gave us a bit more of the delicious pesto.

Mango pana cotta - along with the bread basket with yummy butter and basil olive oil, the dessert was also good. It wasn't too sweet and had a creamy smooth but jelly-like texture.

Compared to meals I've had at Toscano's UB City, which have all been pretty good, the food I had here was quite mediocre (A: come on, it was better than mediocre!). I've had better pizzas at Herb and Spice and Road Trip, but I would come back to try other non-pizza entrees because this place has nice interiors and ambiance.

Overall Ratings:
A's: 7/10
Candice's: 6.5/10

Would we return?
Most probably

The Forum Value Mall,
224, 2nd Floor,
62 Whitefield Main Road
Whitefield, Bangalore 560066