Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dum Pukht

Hello friends and readers. Apologies for the lack of updated restaurant stories on this blog. I have a good excuse; I’ve been busy getting married and now I’m back and eating!

I have to admit that recently, it’s been challenging to find foods and restaurants that are worth writing about. That’s up until last night when we went to Dum Pukht Jolly Nabobs. No, it’s not slang for Dumb F*cked and it’s definitely not a dive bar in an old part of town. It’s a very good Indian restaurant that serves Lucknowi food and dare I say, the very best biryani I’ve ever eaten! The restaurant is tucked away in the corner of the newer wing of the Windsor Manor hotel, a side that I never knew existed and if I did, I must’ve thought that's where the guest rooms were located.

The old interior of the restaurant complements the rest of Victorian-stlye d├ęcor of the hotel and if it wasn’t for the occasional Caucasian men in bermuda shorts and polo shirts who were walking around to grab a beer or two, I would’ve been lost in my olden-Anglo-Indian-palace fantasy. It’s easy to be lost; the crystal wine glasses, life-sized paintings of Indian ladies in fancy sarees and prints of photographs taken in the 1800s all hung on the wooden walls, chandeliers, chinaware and middle-aged servers in black suits with names like Hamilton added to the charm.

The dining room.

Here’s what we ate (sorry, the meal was very meat-centric because "A" did the ordering.)

Murg Chandi Tikka (left) and Kakori (right). This must have been the most "royal" tikka I've ever eaten. Tender thighs with smokey tandoor taste. That is not leftover aluminum foils from cooking, it's actually eatable (I hope) silver foils that were added on purpose I'm unsure why (do you?). And kakori was super finely minced mutton blended with cloves, cinnamon and saffron that melted in my mouth!

Can't remember the name of this roti, but it was served with my kakori and it was delicious!

Murgh Rezala. Pieces of chicken morsels cooked in creamy oinon and almond gravy and eaten with  steamy hot roti tasted like freshly baked whole wheat bread that just came out of the oven! This was meant to be our "second" course but I think we could've done without because it took up space for our precious...

... Dumpukht biryani. Have I mentioned, the best biryani ever? Every spoonful had so many layers of flavor and with the oh-so-tender mutton pieces and the side of "burrani" - a type of raita but tasted and looked more like spicy aioli, was the most expensive but totally-worth-it Rs1500 I've spent on biryani. 

Overall Ratings:
Po's: 9/10
"A"'s: 9/10

Would we return? 
Yes, when we want to splurge on a very good meal.

ITC Windsor Manor, Golf Course Road, Bangalore

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Tasty Tangles

It's always strange to me that tables at Tasty Tanlges remains empty while its neighbors (Toscano's, Subway, Cafe Noir, and Rajthani) are packed during meal times. They have a nice-looking indoor area, and also a spacious open-air section that is great for people watching especially on weekend evenings. Their exposed kitchen is quite entertaining; you can observe the slightly self-conscious cooks as they prepare your food. The reviews they have from burrp website are fairly decent. So, why is the place so empty?

I was craving Chinese food during lunch one day and remembered my in-laws saying that this place serves yummy Peking ducks, which I came to know is a rare find in Bangalore. To my disappointment, they were not serving duck that day, and on top of that they have an "Asian" menu, instead of a Chinese menu.

So here's what I ended up eating.

Siu Mai - it was just okay, considering there aren't too many options in town for dim sums. I know it's very easy to screw this up, but they managed to get the flavors as close as a siu mai can be. Nice little trick replacing orange fish roe with finely chopped carrots.

Har gao
Har Gao - nicely steamed with dumpling skin still intact. The prawns used as the filling was decently cooked so there was still a slight crunch to it.

Penang Curry Laksa - disappointed but to be fair, the last time I tasted curry laksa, I was actually in Penang, hence there is really no comparison. This dish tasted more like the Burmese "khao suey" but with a thinner broth. Basically, I was looking for a punch and I wasn't finding it in this bowl of red coconut noodle soup.

Nasi Goreng - not bad except it's also missing a few ingredients that makes up a good nasi goreng like sambal and eggs. Served with a piece of chicken satay, which was also so-so.

Lamb stir-fry
Stir-fry lamb, kung-pao style. Pretty spicy and not too drenched in sauce, which I like.

Stir-fry bak-choy
Stir-fry bak choy, which tasted like it was pre-boiled and then had some oyster sauce stirred-in.

My conclusion: I guess the reason why the restaurant always seems quiet even though the location is great and ambiance good, is because the food is really just so-so. And since they can't compete with Rajthani and Subway prices, they end up being the last choice. That's what I think.

Overall Ratings:
Po's: 6.5/10

Would we return?
When we're really hungry and the other restaurants in UB City are full.

UB City, Vitay Mallya Road