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Singapore Laksa Bowl!

Singapore Laksa Bowl

 

After a day packed with meetings in Mumbai, this one time I checked into Hotel Ibis at Sahar to stay over. Days when your meetings go well and you’ve managed to get a lot done from your check list, you get that feel good factor which calls out for some good sumptuous food. The food then acts like a cherry on well baked cake and makes your day – ala your meal worth it!

But then, I wasn’t sure if I’d get bang for my buck at Ibis. Its not known for its food after all. Besides, I was too tired to step out and I had loads to prepare for the next day – so wanted to grab something at Ibis itself. Checked into my room and then walked into the restaurant they have called Spice It.

Called for the menu and my eyes zeroed on like that of a hawk on to this thing I absolutely love – The Singapore Laksa Bowl. It’s basically laksa curry with ginger, noodles, bok choy, prawn, chicken, boiled eggs, spring onions, fried onions, chilly oil and bean sprouts. One bowl of the laksa and yours truly walked away happy. Never imagined that I’d get such amazing Laksa at Ibis of all places. But then that really is the punch isn’t it – a lot of times, the most unexpected places deliver the most amazing food. Next play! :)

 
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The Belgian Waffle Dream

Haagen Dazs

 

Last week I was in Chennai for work on Thursday and Friday. Thursday was a busy day – so much so that I didn’t get time to grab lunch. By the time I was done with work, the clock struck 6 pm and I began to question who’d give me lunch at that odd hour. 7 pm and restaurants open up for dinner but I was so hungry that I couldn’t wait and wanted something then and there.

While I was walking around Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Chennai, I stumbled across Haagen Dazs and the heart instantly knew what it wanted. Walked into Haagen Dazs, went through the menu and decided that my lunch was going to be an amazing Haagen Dazs desert. Oh yes! :)

So went ahead and ordered something called The Belgain Waffle Dream. This was a scoop of pralines and cream ice cream, dulce de liche, warm Belgain waffles, butterscotch sauce and freshly whipped cream. The ice cream was majestic! The Belgain waffles – supreme. The butterscotch sauce – macho! And the freshly whipped creme – nice and light! Kudos Haagen Dazs! I’m coming back for more soon! :)

 
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Tiramisu at California Pizza Kitchen

Tiramisu at California Pizza Kitchen

 

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned that I’d dined at California Pizza Kitchen and when I wrote that post I knew that I had to write one about CPK. CPK in Bangalore has three outlets located at Indira Nagar, Koramangala & Phoenix MarketCity.

My favorite CPK Outlet is the Indira Nagar one. A few things that I really enjoy on the CPK Menu are the Chicken Thai Crunch Salad, Santa Fe Pizza and Shakey Prawns. But most of all, I love their desserts. In particular I’m a big fan of their Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese.

What I enjoy most and go time and again to CPK for is their Tiramisu. CPK’s Tiramisu is one dish that makes me salivate instantaneously. It comprises of rich mascarpone cheese and espresso soaked lady fingers with a touch of Kahlua topped with house made sabayon sprinkled with freshly grated dark chocolate. Life is good! :)

 
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Butter Garlic Crab at Mickeys, Goa

Butter Garlic Crab at Martins Corner, Goa

 

I’ve been brought up in a city called Belgaum which is sandwiched between Bangalore and Mumbai. One of my favorite things about Belgaum is the fact that it is a mere 150 kms from Goa – which is on an average, a three hour drive.

That being said, you can only imagine the number of trips I’ve probably made in the last few years. One of my favorite food joints in Goa is Mickeys. If you like sea food and are in Goa, your trip is not complete without visiting Mickeys which is located at Colva Beach.

Talk about Pomfret, King Fish, The Red Snapper, King Prawns, Tiger Prawns, Calamari, Lobster – you name it, these guys have it all. But what I love most there is a good old fashioned Butter Garlic Crab. Every time I’ve dined there, the consistency in terms of taste is just spectacular. The same flavors hit your palette each and every time – which is the hallmark of a great restaurant.

 
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Pan Seared Basa with Burghul Risotto

Pan Seared Basa with Burghul Risotto

 

Was in Mumbai for business this one time – so a good friend of mine Jacqueline [also my colleague at work & an avid foodie] decided to take me out to lunch. We wanted to go somewhere close-by and we zeroed in on two options at Bandra Kurla Complex – California Pizza Kitchen and Le Pain Quotidien.

Since I’d already been to CPK before, we decided to give Le Pain Quotidien a shot. Le Pain Quotidien which means ‘The Daily Bread’ is a bakery and restaurant that serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare made with organic ingredients. It has a nice ambiance which is typically filled with business folk who operate out of BKC in Mumbai.

Since I really enjoy seafood and one thing that I’m super fond of is risotto, I decided to order Pan Seared Basa with Burghul Risotto. The basa was cooked perfectly and the risotto complemented it really well. Add to it mushrooms, chilly and balsamic sauce and you have one happy belly! :)

 
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Shahi Tukra!

Shahi Tukra

Jiski khusbhoo se mehek utthe fizza; Jiski rangat se bhi aa jaye maza;
Ho nafees aur lazeez har luqma, zaiqa iska ho har ek se juda;
Kha ke ho jaye jehvan kushk mehman, hum bechaate hain wahi dastarkhan!

The above is an old couplet by Rizvi. And something that I precisely experienced at Kebabs & Curries Restaurant at ITC Gardenia in Bangalore recently. The service is par excellence, the food is absolutely majestic and the ambiance – la jawaab!

What I enjoyed most as part of my dinner was this exquisite desert called ‘Shahi Tukra Asal’. This magnificent dish is a combination of delicately produced milk poured over crisp home made bread sweetened in  saffron syrup garnished with silver leaf and fine pistachio. If you have a sweet tooth, this is luxury you must experience!

 
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Quintessential Lasagna!

Quintessential Lasagna

So I was visiting Gurgaon on work sometime earlier this year and my colleagues Vandana & Aprajita took me out for lunch. We went to this place called Di Ghent Cafe at DLF Phase 4. Nice place to hang out at – pretty rustic ambiance – but nice.

We went there over lunch and I ordered something called Kanaal. Kanaal is Lasagna with home made Lamb Bolognese. The lamb bolognese had really bold flavors – the base was tomato – but the mince lamb was cooked really well – it had this amazing taste that lasted in your mouth for a while, the layers of pasta were perfect – nice and light – the addition of cheese was good too – overall a great dish.

What I loved most about this dish is, surprisingly it wasn’t very heavy – it was easy on the stomach. And ofcourse, the garlic bread served along side, was bliss! :)

 
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Introducing Crab Rangoon!

Crab Rangoon

 

Wontons can be nice if cooked well. Crispy layer on the outside – you bite into them and they give you a bag full of flavors – depending on what you’ve ordered off course. So this one time, we headed to Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge at Orion Mall, Bangalore.

Saw something interesting on the menu called Crab Rangoon. A close friend of mine Rakesh was with me and we instantly ordered the same. When the dish was served, picked one up and popped it in – holy cow! It was one of the most yummiest things I’d ever had! Think about spiced crab and cream cheese hitting your palette when you bite into a crisp wanton – yup, that’s exactly what happened!

The dish but ofcourse, did more than a couple of repeat rounds and tell you what – this is one dish that I highly recommend!

 
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Honey Chilly Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings at Mother Cluckers

A really nice place in Indira Nagar to hang out is Mother Cluckers. They have a nice rugged ambiance and the food – just about amazing.  My favorite dish here is the Honey Chilly Chicken Wings.

I’ve had wings at plenty of places in Bangalore and have liked them too. A few great places where I’ve enjoyed chicken wings include Millers 46 on Millers Road, Rewind at 100 Ft Road Indira Nagar and News Cafe – again at 100 Ft Road, Indira Nagar. However, my most favorite place to grab some wings – Mother Cluckers.

Whats spectacular about this dish is its contrasting flavors. The wings are tossed in red hot chilly and then honeyed up. They’re not sweet by any means – no, but they are spicy as hell. Having said that, when those two contrasting flavors of sugar and spice come alive, you know you have a winner of a dish!

 
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YouCook – Grill up, then fill up!

Aadil & Mahesh at YouCook

Some time last month, the guys at work decided to go out for a team dinner. We chose to head out to this place that one of my colleagues Sebastian recommended called YouCook at IndiraNagar, Bangalore.

What’s cool about this place is that they have really large tables and right at the center of each table – they have this huge grill – where in you actually grill stuff, cook it and then eat it. Now I understand that when we’re paying stuff, we should get ready food on the table, but this by itself – the fact that you grill / cook your own meal is an experience in itself! Something that yours truly thoroughly enjoyed!

They have all kinds of kebabs which are already marinated in different textures and masalas – you pick what you like – grill and indulge! There’s chicken kebabs, lamb sheekhs, beef kebabs, crab meatballs, fish fillets, prawns, squids – you name it. For the vegetarians, there’s options too – potatoes, paneer, baby corn and other stuff – that I didn’t concentrate on. Bottom line though – a great experience!