Love is in the Air – Hearty Party at Phoenix Market City, Bangalore

Love is an important part of our lives and everybody wants love and compassion. To celebrate the very special feeling of being in love, February is the month. The month of love has such a potential that despite being the shortest month in an year, every four years it impacts the name of the year. It’s a month of love, wherein Valentine’s day is celebrated all over.

Valentine’s day, which is also known as Saint Valentine’s day is celebrated in the honour and memory of the saint from a bygone era. This day needs no introduction as people from all around the world celebrate it in various ways, which could be a romantic date at a starred hotel or a spending quality time with your partner by the beach. Many people choose to propose the person they love or adore. While there are some who choose this special day for their marriage. The gifts exchanged during the Valentine’s week are greeting card, teddy bears, chocolates, jewellery, and flowers, particularly red roses!

Many restaurants and eateries enhance their look and feel, and often offer some good packages for couples who want to celebrate the day there. But this is not all, in my view, that day should be really special where you enjoy shopping, great food, alcohol, party, DJ, and above all a great time with your loved one.

Phoenix Market City, which is a pioneer among the shopping malls in Bangalore had an intention to include everyone in this festival of love and offer them with great choices to celebrate. So, they had arranged the Hearty Party event in the courtyard of the mall on 10th and 11th February 2018. It was a special event with splendid performances and DJ night.

Phoenix Market City in Bangalore has always been a place where you get everything under one roof, be it branded clothing, lifestyle products, multiplex, fine dine restaurants, pubs, or a food court. It’s a mall which is spread across a huge area and houses numerous stores. It’s a preferred choice for shopping and spending some good time with your loved ones.

When I entered the courtyard of the mall to witness the Hearty Party event, I was surprised to see that they had transformed the area into a paradise. It was all decorated with hearts, cupid’s bow and arrow, beautiful posters, and all of this was in red theme, which is the colour of love.

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Featured in Photograph: Food Bloggers Association, Bangalore (FBAB) founder, Chef BB -Bibhuti Bushan Panigrahy (with his permission)

There were areas very tastefully designed with awesome background to click photographs. Cupid, the God of love was also present with his bow and arrow. People were happily clicking selfies with him and those who were struck by Cupid’s arrow were enjoying it to the fullest. The ambience was truly symbolizing the feeling of romance and love.

There was a big stage that was set up in the courtyard where Karaoke session was ongoing. After that there was a dance performance by Ocean Kids, who are one of the finalists in the popular television show, India’s Got Talent. The performance was mesmerizing!

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Later, DJ Vipul Khurana, known for mixing some desi Beats with the usual EDM, gave the night a different twist. It was laudable.

But as the party is not complete without delectable food and alcohol, there were stalls of some good restaurants, such as Café Noir, Whitefield Social, and Bar Bar surrounding the courtyard area. There were also some innovative food trucks and bikes! Some of them were the Smoke Signal BBQ, Indian’s first BBQ Bike, and the Rolling Chef. The food stalls were a hit and people were enjoying the festival while having so many options for food. The taste and quality of food was good.

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It was a delightful party for the alcohol lovers, as they had Kingfisher and Bira in beers, and also Rum, Whiskey, and Vodka were available. With these many options in drinks along with great music, what else would anyone look for.

It was time for something sweet, and I love desserts. So, there was a stall of Smoor, serving pastries and chocolates. I headed to their stall to find out what are they serving for Valentine’s. I was glad to find out that they had some amazing offerings for Valentine’s day to gift to your special one. I purchased some chocolates and had a memorable time from evening till night.

Next day, there were spectacular performances by the Naik & Jois Project, Ocean Kids, and Bangalore’s own DJ Ivan, thereby making it a perfect weekend just before the Valentine’s day. The music was enthralling and made everyone groove with it.

Hearty Party was focused on love, romance, and friendship. It was a great enjoyable experience at Phoenix Market City, looking forward to attending many such enticing events.

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Sea Rock – Paradise for Sea Food Lovers

Sea Rock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sea Rock, a name that makes me drool over the ghee roast masala and seafood. It is a legendary restaurant that primarily serves the coastal cuisine of Mangalore. The irresistible aroma of fresh ghee roast seafood and the awesomeness in taste blends together for an impeccable and satisfying experience. This place serves one of the best seafood in the city. And it’s not all, they also serve Chinese cuisine and some delicious vegetarian dishes, so the vegetarian friends can have wonderful options to choose from. Their service is superb, and ambience is also classy!

ORDER:

I went to this restaurant with a group of foodies, so I had an opportunity to try out many of their signature dishes.

In soups, I had their Crab Soup.

For starters, we ordered Prawns Ghee Roast, Squids Ghee Roast, Chicken Ghee Roast, Crab Ghee Roast, Kane Tawa Fry, Pomfret Masala Fry, Anjal Masala Fry, Mussels Masala Fry, and Egg Ghee Roast.

In main course, we tasted the Mangalore Fish Curry, Kori Roti, Neer Dose, Palak Rice, and Boiled Rice.

In desserts, we tried Ragi Manni and Gulab Jamun.

TASTE AND QUALITY:

Although, I am an old-time seafood lover, but this was my first introduction to Mangalore’s cuisine, which I relished to the extreme.

Crab Soup had the distinct aroma of crab and it was yummy. Broccoli added with Crab, made a really healthy and tasty combination.

Special mention for their Ghee Roast items, the masala in all the Ghee Roast food is absolutely drool-worthy and made me salivate!  It’s heavenly and gave an extremely fulfilling gastronomic experience.

Prawns Ghee Roast had the freshness of prawns blended with the flavourful masala, and the aroma of pure ghee, a fantastic combination! Now, what else does a seafood lover wants? Maybe, squids and crabs but need not worry, Sea Rock has all of them to offer.

Squids Ghee Roast was very also very good in taste. I love Squids, so it was one of my favourites at Sea Rock.

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Chicken Ghee Roast was OK but the seafood and vegetarian at this place are far better!

I like the savoury taste of crab and but it’s not always that I look forward to eating it wherever it’s available. This is because you don’t get fresh ones at any other restaurant, so, I mostly try them during my visits to any of the coastal places or at a few selected restaurants in Bangalore. Crab Ghee Roast absolutely quenched my desire to have an amazing crab-eating experience in Bangalore.

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Well, it’s time for something fishy! I am talking about the incredible variety and taste of the fishes here, Kane Tawa Fry, Pomfret Masala Fry, and Anjal Masala Fry. Unquestionably, the taste got to be perfect and yes, it was! I loved the presentation too.

Do I like mussels? If anyone would have asked this question to me before I visited Sea Rock, I would have shaken my head no. Probably, because I never got to try much of the mussels except in Goa, where I had a bad experience with it, at a restaurant. This place changed my perception completely with their Mussels Masala Fry. I had many of those and can vouch for its palatability.

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Egg Ghee Roast is not only for the eggetarians, but it made me crave for it even while writing this article. I hope this clearly communicates my opinion about how delightful it was.

After having an overdose of the appetizing starters, I didn’t have much appetite left for the main course, but I certainly wanted to try Mangalore Fish Curry. I relished this speciality with Neer Dosa, Boiled Rice, and Kori Roti. The curry had all the awesomeness in it, however, I didn’t try the pieces.

Apart from seafood, I also love vegetarian food a lot. In vegetarian, spinach is one of my favourite leafy vegetable. So, Palak (Spinach) Rice, another speciality, and a signature dish of Sea Rock did a thoroughgoing justice to its name our exceeded my expectations. Not only it was luscious but also healthy.

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If you’re still reading, you would know that it’s time to talk about the desserts we had. Although, I never had Ragi Manni before, so I am not the best person to comment on its authenticity and taste, nevertheless, in my opinion, it was just not up to the mark. Therefore, Gulab Jamun, served hot was good enough for me to change my palate.

SERVICE AND AMBIENCE:

The staff is polite and courteous, they served us well. The service is prompt and considering that they were serving a big group in the peak hours, kudos to them for their attentiveness.

Ambience is decent with nice interiors and décor. It looks upmarket and the seating layouts are also relaxing and comfortable. You get a feeling to relax and have a good time while dining.

LOCATION:

https://goo.gl/maps/DKGKCQUqeEJ2

GOOGLE MAPS:

HOURS OF OPERATION:

11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM

Open all days.

ZOMATO: https://www.zomato.com/bangalore/sea-rock-seshadripuram

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Donne Biryani at Halli Jonne Biryani, Jayanagar

Donne biryani is a variation of biryani that belongs to the authentic Nati cuisine of Bangalore/Karnataka. Having Donne biryani at Halli Jonne Biryani is a delight for taste buds! I visited this restaurant as a part of my biryani expedition in Bangalore. Now, some people must be wondering like I did as what Jonne biryani mean and how is it different from Donne biryani as I recently came across this name Jonne biryani. The owner told me that both are the same and the difference is only in the way some people pronounce it. Also, he told that Jonne is an older version for the name Donne, which I couldn’t verify myself.

ORDER, TASTE, AND QUALITY:
I ordered a mutton biryani and chicken fry. The mutton biryani was served with raita and gravy.


Mutton biryani was delicious and flavourful. It was a bit milder/less spicy than some other popular joints, which is easier on the tongue and suits my taste. But, the aroma of biryani spices and fragrance of rice was mouth-watering. 🙂
The mutton pieces were tasty but chewy and slightly undercooked. They should’ve cooked them for some more time. 😦 The raita and gravy were good and tasted great along with biryani. Biryani portion is good for one person with medium appetite and someone with big appetite might feel that it’s less.

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Chicken fry was awesome! The chicken was cooked to perfection and served as a gravy dish. The aroma and taste of Nati spices were delectable. It was a great combination with mutton biryani. Overall, this place offered an above average biryani experience at the centre of Jayanagar.

SERVICE AND AMBIENCE:
It’s a self-service restaurant so there is no service at all. Ambience is very basic and had nothing special but it’s not a place for ambience. It’s a place for good food.

LOCATION:

https://goo.gl/maps/FRBu5ALvr372

GOOGLE MAPS:

HOURS OF OPERATION:

7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, closed on Mondays

ZOMATO: https://www.zomato.com/bangalore/halli-jonne-biriyani-jayanagar

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Donne Biryani at Shivaji Military Hotel, Jayanagar

Superb Donne biryani! Amazing taste and flavourful!
This is an old and famous military hotel in Bangalore that serves a variety of Non-Vegetarian food. Their Donne biryani is considered to one of the best Donne biryani in Bangalore. Donne biryani is a variation of biryani that belongs to the authentic Nati cuisine of Bangalore/Karnataka.
I heard a lot about Shivaji Military Hotel and finally decided to visit this place and try their much-hyped biryani. This place is located very near to Banshankari bus stand, so the location is good and easy to find. Usually, I’ve read that this place has a lot of waiting time but as I went before 1:30 PM, I didn’t have to wait and immediately got the seat.


I have had Donne biryani at some other restaurants earlier and didn’t like it much because of the bland taste and missing flavours. So, this time speculations were high about the taste because of the hype but the expectation was still low because of the past experience with Donne biryani elsewhere. I am glad that their biryani lived up to its name and we had an amazing biryani feast!
I could’ve rated as this place as 4 or 4.5 because it doesn’t have a very good ambience, interiors, or decor but this is not a place for all these things, it’s not a fine dine or a high-end restaurant, instead it’s a place to go only for great food, that’s all it offers. Anything under 5/5 would be injustice to their delectable biryani taste and humble service!

ORDER, TASTE, AND QUALITY:
I ordered a chicken biryani and a mutton biryani. Both the biryanis were served on banana leaves with raita, lemon, and gravy.


The taste of mutton biryani was amazing! It was delicious and flavourful. I loved the flavours of the authentic cuisine of Bangalore. The mutton pieces were tender and succulent! 🙂 The gravy served alongside was spicy and loaded with flavours, which added to the taste. The raita was made of cucumber and onions, it was OK but along with biryani, it tasted good.
Chicken biryani was delicious as well and the taste and quality of rice was the same as mutton biryani. Chicken pieces were succulent and had the right taste. However, I really liked and enjoyed their mutton biryani much more than the chicken biryani.


SERVICE AND AMBIENCE:
The service was prompt and they served us quickly. Ambience is very basic and there is nothing much to it.

LOCATION:

https://goo.gl/maps/wBpsYf3JCMN2

GOOGLE MAPS:

No. 718, 1st floor, C Main Road, 45th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560082

HOURS OF OPERATION:

8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, closed on Mondays

ZOMATO: https://www.zomato.com/bangalore/shivaji-military-hotel-jayanagar

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Legendary Indian Coffee House, Church Street

Indian Coffee House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I am a big fan of the legendary Indian Coffee House (ICH) chain that has its presence in all major cities of India. ICH has a glorious history and once it was considered an iconic place to have coffee and indulge in a discussion with friends for hours.

It was such a place where people used to come and attend meetings to discuss all sorts of political or social issues. Many notable and prominent political personalities of the past had visited the ICH restaurants and discussed the future strategies.

It’s said that the restaurant in Delhi, Connaught Place is the place where strategies were made by the opposition during the Indian emergency. This particular restaurant is also close to my heart as I was a regular customer and I met my wife and her family for the first time here. The one in Allahabad is also known to have witnessed regular visits by top politicians and notable literary people of the country in the bygone era.

ICH still has the good old and its very own culture that nobody asks the reason for sitting and discussing political issues or college chats for hours while having just a cup of coffee or sometimes maybe not even ordering anything. No one interferes in the discussions and arguments going on.

Over the decades, ICH has become a place for the common people and the elderly or sometimes college students as well. The food is really inexpensive, but the taste and quality has always been good. This place is good for breakfast.

On Zomato, I have already reviewed almost all the Indian Coffee House restaurants that I had visited in various cities. The first ICH restaurant that I visited during my childhood days was the legendary ICH restaurant in my own city of Allahabad. This was followed by visits to ICH restaurants in Jaipur, New Delhi, Bhopal, and the two restaurants in Bangalore.

In Bangalore, while the restaurant in Koramangala is new and looks classy with nice interiors and ambience, the restaurant in Church Street is the old restaurant, which looks similar to the other ICH restaurants and has the similar ambience that is very minimal and basic.

ICH, Koramangala is like a flagship restaurant of the ICH chain, which is far ahead in terms of ambience and has a huge list of items in its menu. However, the usual breakfast items remain the same in both the restaurants.

Last week, my wife and I went to Brigade road and after shopping and roaming around for a while, we decided to visit the Indian Coffee House at Church Street. It was our first visit to this restaurant and we ordered Hot Coffee, Masala Dosa, Bread Toast, Omelette, and Mutton Cutlet.

Hot Coffee was a typical ICH filter coffee, which was a bit strong. Masala Dosa was good in taste but it was served only with coconut chutney. On asking for Sambhar, they told us that it’s served in the morning.

Bread Toast and Omelette were also good in taste and quality. The toast was crispy and roasted with Amul butter. I liked the taste. Mutton Cutlet was yummy! It was fresh and crisp. The taste was awesome.

It’s recommended to visit this restaurant but don’t go there with high expectations of ambience and class. Instead, visit it for the legendary history behind it and the tasty food that it offers.

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Filter Coffee and Snacks at Hatti Kaapi, Brigade Road

Hatti Kaapi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I wanted to have a cup of coffee and some light snack before exploring the busy market in Brigade Road. When I looked around in search of it, I saw a couple of places and one of them was Hatti Kaapi.

Hatti Kaapi is a popular chain that serves a variety of filter coffee, tea, and snacks. I had earlier visited a few outlets of this chain so I was quite familiar with the brand.

I ordered a Bella (jaggery) coffee, a special coffee, and mini Idli.

Bella coffee was good in taste! It was neither too strong nor very mild. A perfect balance of milk, sugar, and coffee liquor. I felt refreshed after having it.

The special coffee was although good in taste that was similar to the taste of Bella coffee but I didn’t find anything special in it to call it as “special coffee”. What I noticed was that the “special coffee” was a bit on the milder side with perhaps more milk in it.

Now, comes the mini Idli, which is the main highlight of my visit to Hatti Kaapi. They served us about 6-7 tiny Idlis dipped in delicious sambhar. It’s not that the taste was totally out-of-the-world but definitely I didn’t expect this tasty South Indian snack at a coffee shop. It was really good in taste. The small size Idlis looked yummy!

It’s a pocket-friendly chain and a medium sized cup of special or jaggery coffee costs just Rs. 50. The range starts at Rs. 30. for a small cup. They have multiple joints in Bangalore so it’s easy to locate a nearby joint.

They are quick in service and the staff is courteous. But there is no seating available at Hatti Kaapi. So, it isn’t a place to sit and relax while having coffee. I didn’t mind this because I was in hurry and just wanted to have something quickly.

Delicious Biryani Delivery from ReadyBowl

ReadyBowl is a delivery-only chain that specializes in biryani and South Indian food. An interesting fact is that they serve biryani and all food items by weight! After reading some reviews on Zomato, I figured out that one of their outlets is in my locality. So, I decided to visit their kitchen to order the food. I could have ordered online as well but as I was already heading outside and their kitchen is at a walking distance from my home so going there was a better option to me.

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They have a big kitchen and it is well maintained, neat and clean. Hygiene is an important factor and cannot be overlooked. ReadyBowl managed a decent score on cleanliness according to me. I ordered a 1/8 portion of a kilo of Special Chicken Biryani with leg pieces. I also ordered a 1/8 portion of a kilo of Chicken Bhuna Masala gravy with butter fulkas (chapati).

On asking the chef, he told that it was a dum biryani. If that’s correct, then they would have cooked the biryani using Dum Pukht method. I can’t assure you about this fact as they haven’t mentioned anywhere about their biryanis being dum biryanis. Nevertheless, it’s just a cooking method but the taste is really superb! I can easily say it was one of the best Hyderabad-style biryanis I had so far in Bangalore. It was a mildly-spiced biryani that suited my taste buds. They use long grain Basmati rice for preparing biryani and the flavours are perfect. The biryani was served with raita and salan. Both were good. Although, I don’t like to have biryani with salan and I always enjoy it with raita but it was the tastiest salan I had with biryani.

Chicken Bhuna Masala was a South Indian-style spicy chicken gravy with curry leaves, cashew nut and South Indian spices. It seemed like the chef had gone an extra mile to make the gravy rich and delicious. It had similarities with the Chicken Chettinad curry, I had once at a Rayalaseema cuisine restaurant. The taste was good, quality was rich, and an aroma of spices and curry leaves made it even more delicious. Overall, it was a satisfying experience.