Monday, August 14, 2017

Garhwali Food Festival (11th -20th Aug) at Kava, Fairfield by Marriott, Rajajinagar,Bengaluru!

As a Food Blogger I always get excited about the various cuisines I come across. A recent addition to my list is Garhwali cuisine from Uttarakhand. Kava at Fairfield by Marriott, Rajajinagar is having a Garhwali Food Festival this week to celebrate the cuisine from the land of holy rivers and valley of flowers. I was invited for a preview and thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with delectable Pahari dishes.

The ambiance is perfect for a relaxed meal and the service at Kava is also great. They have decorated the restaurant according to the festival theme and the first thing you will notice will be the two beautiful women at reception, dressed in traditional Uttarakhand attire.

As I am a pure non-vegetarian, my Thali had the following dishes – Akrot Kebab, Jakhiya Paneer, Phannu (dish made of mixed lentils), Pahari Rajma, Kafuli (Spinach and fenugreek leaves dish), Chakhor (Partridge) Kebab, Pahari Murgi Aloo Tamatar Jhol (curry), Ghanuo Jhol (Lamb Shank), Teetar Biryani, Jinnu ki roti, Pahari Lal Chawal, Mandua (Finger millet) ki Roti, and Gahat ke Parathe <3

Bhang ki chutney (Yes.. you read it right!), Bhatt ki chutney, Amla chutney, Batuwe ka raita and Amchuri ( a sweet and spicy version of Mango Murabba) were my favorite accompaniments. Surprisingly this is the first time I had a Thali without any fried items like papad or fritters and I really didn’t miss those.

For desserts, though there were plenty of options I tried only Kheer, Coconut Barfi and the famous Bal Mithai (Chocolate colored barfi made of sweetened khoya coated with sugar balls).
Along with Head Chef Aniket Das and other Chefs, the man behind this fest is Chef Kripal Adhikari who is also from Uttarakhand. So authenticity is guaranteed :) All the dishes were exceptional when it comes to simplicity and taste. The sizzling flavors are still in my mind and this experience will be cherished for a lifetime.

The Dinner buffet is priced at INR 949 + Taxes. This festival is from 11th – 20th August and only at Kava, Fairfield by Marriott, Rajajinagar. Don’t miss it!
Kava, Fairfield by Marriott
59 C Cross, 4th M Block,
Bengaluru - 560010
For reservations, contact 080 49470020

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Explore the world of healthy dishes through Pop'I Food Truck - Inorbit Mall, Whitefield!

Cheese filled sandwiches, deep fried snacks (oh! I hate those deep fried oreo) and thick milk shakes; these are the items which come to my mind when I think about any food truck. I always thought the food truck is another way to grab some fast food till I visited a new food truck near Inorbit Mall, Whitefield recently – Pop’I; which serves only healthy food.

Pop’I, the brainchild of Mr. Vishal Gupta & Ms. Rashmi Upadhyaya, brings together the finesse of a quick, friendly and casual food truck dining experience. From Sprouts Khichdi to Roasted Beet Salad with Feta, Zero-oil Palak Paneer to Thai curry, Pineapple- Ginger- Aloe Vera drink to Coconut Mojito; they have interesting healthy vegetarian options.

I was invited for this food truck launch and after tasting the food, I felt most of the healthy dishes from their menu was much better than what we get in most of the QSR’s. I liked the raw banana salad, roasted beet salad with feta, Sprouts Khichdi, Mushroom Sliders, Grilled cottage cheese sandwich served with three dips, Aloe Vera Halwa, and Pineapple- Ginger- Aloe vera cooler. While most of the dishes and drinks were too impressive, the Zero-oil Palak Paneer was not up to my liking. I am sure I will go back again for some of my favorites dishes from the menu or when I really crave for some quick healthy veg options when I am around Whitefield area.

For the time being, they will operate in and around Inorbit Mall, which is surrounded by IT companies. Pop’I’s menu is not complicated and their portions are generous and reasonably priced which is ideal for working people who just want to grab a quick bite. They also provide home delivery. A meal for two would be ₹400/- (approximately).
Inorbit Mall,
EPIP Zone, Whitefield
For more details, contact - +91 8884400303

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Persian Pop Up by Anaida Parvaneh at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Lavelle Road, Bengaluru

Something really interesting is happening at SodaBottleOpenerWala these days. They are having a Persian Pop-up menu by Anaida Parvaneh who is Famed Singer, Artist, Healer and Chef for this special culinary experience at SodaBottleOpenerWala located at Lavelle Road, Bengaluru. People who have tried this Persian Pop-up menu are going back again. The menu is magical and the person who created this curated menu, Chef Anaida Parvaneh does wonders with her culinary skills. If you love Persian cuisine or finger-licking food, then this Persian Pop-up is a must-try – a guilt-free pleasure indulgence which will leave you to crave for more Persian flavors. This festival is on till 16th Aug.

Recently I attended a spectacular ‘Food and Spirituality workshop’ at SBOW and that’s the first time I met Anaida Parvaneh. If you’re 90’s kid, you will surely know this famous Indi-pop Singer’s songs ‘Tan bole oova oova’ and animated song, ‘Hoo halla hoo’. Back then more than Hindi movie songs I used to love Hindi album songs. 90’s album songs are very nostalgic. When I met Anaida before the workshop, I couldn’t believe my eyes. She is very sweet, down-to-earth kinda person with abundant knowledge about food and spiritual matters. The workshop was so useful and interesting which anyone can practice on day-to-day life for bringing more positive vibes.

PC: Anuvechi

At the workshop, she created a ‘magic soup’ for the audience with basic ingredients like mushrooms, green chili, onion, garlic, pearl barley, turnip, corn, carrots and coriander etc. She explained the benefits of each ingredient while cooking. I tried the non-veg version of it with Chicken and trust me; I was dumbstruck by the flavors. Without adding any dry spices or masala this super healthy and light soup tasted awesome. We learned simple tricks to change our negative thoughts into positive one. The workshop was truly a learning experience.

Just two days after the workshop, I visited SBOW again for Anaida’s special Persian Pop-up lunch for my love for Persian food and culture. Another interesting thing happened that afternoon was, a famous and crazy person joined for lunch – RJ Tuhin from Red FM 93.5. I was very lucky to meet Anaida again for lunch and she suggested us what to try. In next few minutes, our table was filled with aromatic dishes.


We started with Persian Jujeh Kabab – a mildly spiced, Saffron flavored kebab which was succulent. They served the kebabs with spicy mint chutney.

Haleem with Pav – One of my favorite dishes from that lunch was this slow cooked Haleem with no-oil. This is a very popular breakfast dish in Iran. The flavors from fried onions made it extraordinary. They served Haleem with in-house Pav.

Baghali Polo (Fava Bean Rice) – Dil leaves make any dish flavorful and tasty. This rice was no different. Dil leaves and fava beans topped with Saffron flavored butter tasted amazing wonderful that we really didn’t bother about accompaniments. All the dishes served were nonspicy to mildly spicy ones.

Laboo Burani –Such a beautiful, colorful and creamy raita made of beetroot, hung curd and garnished with rose petals and pomegranate. I can even have this as a dessert. She uses Iranian rose petals for this delicious raitha.

Lubiya Polo – Tomato and Cinnamon flavored minced Lamb with French beans and rice- another must-try dish from the Persian pop-up menu. For an extra kick of flavor, pair it with Mast-O-Khiyar (Cucumber Raita) or Laboo Burani (Sweet Beetroot Raita). I chose the latter one.

Esfahan Beryani – This was one interesting dish. My initial thought on Beryani - spelling was written incorrectly till Anaida threw some light on this topic. Esfahan/Isfahan Beryani is the actual biryani which doesn’t contain rice. This is one of the oldest Persian dishes which is made of incredibly soft and fire roasted lamb patty. This is served in Naan / taftoon bread. The term Beryani means, ‘roasted in fire’.


For desserts we tried, Anaida’s special Shole Zard (Yellow flame rice pudding) and Wheat Halwa. Both the desserts were carefully created and served with so much love. Traditionally Shole Zard was served only for special occasions the reason being Saffron was considered to be so precious. Shole Zard was light and tasty.

My favorite was the Wheat Halwa made of Clarified butter with the richness of rose water, cinnamon, and dry fruits.


How can I have a meal at SBOW without my favorite Raspberry Soda (this was not part of the Persian Pop-up menu)? They make this refreshing drink with fresh raspberry crush and soda. A break from the virgin drinks made of artificial fruit crush.

Some things are better left incomplete and I don’t want to spoil the fun by sharing all the details I’ve experienced at Anaida’s workshop and Persian Pop-up (see the happy faces in the above pic). If you like my dining experience at SBOW, you should surely visit before 16th Aug to experience the same. A meal for two would be ₹1,200 ++
#24/4, Lavelle Road, Opp Harley Davidson Showroom
Bengaluru - 560001
For table reservations, contact -  7022255299

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sizzling Sizzlers Festival at Cafe Mangii, Bengaluru

I usually skip the events if I need to travel a lot within the city. But when few restaurants which always treat some of us like family members, I can’t say no to them. In such cases, distance won’t be an issue to try some lip-smacking food. Recently, I visited Café Mangii at ‘Orion Mall for their ongoing Sizzling Sizzlers Festival’ (from 15th July – 31st Aug). Located at Level 2 in Orion Mall, Café Mangii is an absolute spot to spend quality time with your loved ones. Café Mangii’s primary focus is on Italian and Continental dishes.

So what’s special about their Sizzling Sizzlers festival? My answer is fusion food at its best! Most of the places follow the regular pattern of serving sizzlers with mashed potato or flavored rice along with sautéed veggies. Here the game was completely different. Chef created some crazy sizzler combos and I never had such good sizzler experience in Bangalore.

I always choose light drinks to go with sizzlers, just to balance the taste. So this time it was a chilled, refreshing mocktail, ‘Strawberry and Guava Cooler’ along with a glass of Fratelli red wine.

We started our lunch with pizzas. Café Mangii is famous for their thin-crust wood-fired pizzas. Even non-vegetarians will say ‘Wow!’ to Café Mangii’s Verdure pizza made of caramelized onions, 3 peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and zucchini. We also loved their Smoked Barbeque Chicken pizza, Fettuccine Siciliano, and Greek pizza.

The first Sizzler to come to our table was the Chermoula Cottage Cheese one. Paneer in Sizzlers? Seriously? That was the first thing to come to my mind. The answer to my question was the bursting flavors of Chilli Mint Pesto Grilled Cottage Cheese with crispy Baby Potato and Zucchini strips. I liked the combo but I have better suggestions.

Next, we had the Lemongrass Chicken Sizzler. It came with a Char grilled Chicken, Carrot Noodles, Mace and Pepper Pilaf served with Rum Raisin Jus. Lemongrass flavor was very minimal and the buttery sauce overpowered the flavors.

I do like veg sometimes :P The cheesy Broccoli and Quinoa poppers with Lyonnaise Potato, Pepper slaw, and Turmeric Coconut coulis made the ‘Broccoli and Quinoa pops sizzler’ just amazing.

I was about to say ‘No Thank you’ for the next sizzler and the Café Mangii team told us that’s the best selling sizzler and it’s a must try one. When I heard the name Mushroom Baklava I was like :O as for me Baklava is always a sweet pastry filled with dry fruits.  But what’s in the name? The mild aroma and creamy flavors from the phyllo pastry stuffed with Truffle Oil Scented forest Mushrooms and Gruyere served along with Riso Bianco and Thyme Butter Peas was one of the best Sizzlers I’ve ever had.

Ever since I saw an Instastory of Coconut Prawns Sizzler by Debolina (a blogger friend of mine), I was craving for the same. I couldn’t quite enjoy this sizzler as I was so full. The honey mustard sauce went well with the crispy golden fried Prawns served on a bed of Rice.

Tahini Lamb Kebabs Sizzler surely had interesting flavors but it was not up to my liking.

For desserts, we had a luscious Velvet Brick Brownie topped with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream.

View infront of Orion Mall

Compare to mall standards, Café Mangii has great ambiance and you can have a relaxed time there. The service can be a bit slow on weekends as the restaurant will be so packed with mall visitors.
Cafe Mangii
Level 2, Orion Mall
26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road
Brigade Gateway
Malleshwaram West
For table reservations, contact - 080 22682213

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