Monday, August 29, 2016

F for Falafel! - Checkout Lebanese food at Falafel's, Bangalore

The term Falafel is very special for me. One of my favorite Rom-com movies, West Bank Story (2005) is based on the story about two Falafel outlets in Israel and Palestine border. I watched this movie in 2008 and back then Falafel was not so common in Namma Ooru, expect in those posh fancy fine dining restaurants. Now Bangalore scene has changed a lot. I love Lebanese food and there are many good restaurants which serve Lebanese food. Recent addition to this is the recently opened Falafel’s outlet in Forum Mall which is in Level 2, Transit.

Middle Eastern food is simple, healthy and made with fresh ingredients. I was invited to the Falafel’s outlet launch. Just like the Turkish colorful monuments, Falafel’s outlet is vibrant and colorful. They have a healthy variety of pita bread, dips, and sides to choose from the menu. From wraps to hummus; shawarma to Lebanese pizzas, they have a myriad of dishes in their menu. Some of my favorites were Zaatar pita, grande nachos, classic chicken shawarma, firecracker falafel chicken pocket, original falafel, garlic sauce, basil hummus, pide pizzas (Turkish flat bread which is baked to perfection with choice of your toppings), Malabi ( a Middle Eastern special creamy milk pudding with rose water, and coconut), and chocolate lava cake.

With so many new malls around, I usually skip going to Forum mall nowadays. But now I have a reason to go there often. I am sure with the fresh ingredients they use for each item, one will never get bored of food at the Falafel’s. A meal for two would be ₹300 (approximately).

Level 2, Transit
Forum Mall, Koramangala 7th Block
Phone number - +91 9886204234

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Few reasons why Shao's new menu is interesting! - Shao, Park Plaza, Bengaluru

This was my 3rd visit to the Hotel Park Plaza, Bengaluru and this time I was there to try some of the new foodgasmic culinary treats at Shao which is known for their Pan Asian food. Shao has come up with a new menu which is very much interesting for a person like me who love Pan Asian food.

Located at Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli, this place is very close to where I live. It's very difficult to beat the traffic and reach there on a working day. But once you enter Hotel Park Plaza, you will forget about the traffic block or the noisy locale. Shao's contemporary interiors and serene atmosphere are created in such a way that diners won't feel like leaving the place.

Park Plaza, Bengaluru is part of one of the largest group of hotels in the world; Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Park Plaza's Executive Chef, Narender Singh is experienced, very enthusiastic and a prestigious member of Chaine Des Rotisseurs; an International Association for Gastronomy. His passion for creating amazing dishes is remarkable. Shao's new menu is carefully curated by Chef Narender Singh. From starters to dim sums, vegetarian main course to non vegetarian extravagances and nouveau desserts; you will see a wide range of dishes.

Shao is the only restaurant in Bangalore where you will see women staffs inside the restaurant. Another plus point about this place is the live kitchen counter. Shao has got a very good ambience just like a mansion hall.

After settling down, we started our meal with a hot bowl of Tom yum goong soup which was spicy Prawns soup flavored with Galangal and Kaffir lime. The strong flavor from the soup was so refreshing. To settle down the spice, they served rice crackers along with the soup.

After finishing the soup, we tried some of the classic cocktails from their menu.
Dim sum

Meanwhile we got our hot-hot dim sum which was Prawns potstickers (steamed). They have a pan fried version too. By now I was impressed with their Seafood serving which was so tasty and fresh.


Wok fried Sichuan Mushroom - A spicy preparation of crispy Mushroom with Soya and Pepper sauces.

Banana wrapped Chicken - A classic Thai chicken dish made using wrapped banana leaves and served with peanut sauce.

Mongolian grilled Prawns - A lightly spicy preparation of Grilled Tigers Prawns which is marinated with Mongolian spices

Honey Chilli crispy Lotus and Potato - Another favorite of mine. Wok tossed crispy thin slices of Lotus stem and Himalayan Potato, tossed with sesame seeds. Honey and Chilli combo makes a perfect sweet and spicy starter.

Vegetarian Sushi - A Japanese Maki and Californian rolls which is prepared using rolled vinegared rice with vegetable fillings and served with Soya sauce.

King Prawns Yakitori - King Prawns cooked in Shichimi Togarashi, a Japanese spice mix. Being a die-hard Prawns lover, this starter was ecstatic. Perhaps all the starters served were good, in terms of delectable taste, quality and quantity.

Our tiny glass of hot Jasmine tea was kept on refilling when we were busy chit-chatting along with enjoying our meal. Next part was interesting as well as confusing for what to order for the main course. Be ready for spoilt for choice as they have an array of delectable Pan Asian dishes from Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam.

Main course

Pomfret Bok Choy in Sichuan Sauce, Thai Angus Beef with Chestnuts and Coriander, Thai Yellow curry, Shredded Chicken, and a bowl of Jasmine rice.

As there were no Beef takers in my table, I quietly enjoyed the Thai Angus Beef with slices of Chestnuts and Coriander along with Thai Yellow curry, shredded Chicken and Jasmine rice. Jasmine rice was bit disappointing as it lacked the Jasmine flavor. Rest all the dishes were scrumptious and filling. Pomfret bok choy in Sichuan Sauce was slightly spicy but tasted awesome.

The beautiful staff who got featured in NDTV ad

There was no confusion on the desserts. We ordered one of their Signature desserts - Date pancake with Ice cream. I liked the crunchy and gooey Date Pancake tossed with Sesame seeds served with a scoop of Ice cream.
Good friends are the biggest fortune :P

After long time I enjoyed some really nice Pan Asian food at this part of town. Thanks to the team from Hotel Park Plaza for inviting me to try the new menu. A meal for two would be ₹1800++ (taxes extra). Timings: 12.30 PM - 3.00 PM (Lunch) and 6.30 PM - 11.00 PM (Dinner).

Shao, Hotel Park Plaza
#90/4, Outer Ring Road

For reservations, contact +91 8884400139/ +91 8884400175 or

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Salubre - A Mediterranean Food Festival at Verve Cafe, Howard Johnson,Bengaluru

Mediterranean food is always a treat for the senses. Mediterranean cuisine can be best explained by the cuisines connecting to the Mediterranean Sea which includes French, Spanish, Moroccan, Lebanese, Greek and many more. What makes this cuisine so special? It's the fresh ingredients used for any dishes in the Mediterranean kitchen.

Howards Johnson or HoJo, Bangalore is going to host a Mediterranean Food Festival from Aug 19th - Aug 28th, 2016. I was invited for a Bloggers Table for the upcoming Mediterranean food festival at the Verve Cafe, HoJo. Spread across 14 countries, HoJo is a well-known group of hotels from early 1950's.

Located at Hebbal near Thanisandra Main Road (or Manyata Tech Park), HoJo can be easily located using Google maps. When you step into HoJo, a casual atmosphere with the wooden interiors, classy lounge and friendly staffs will welcome you. Verve Cafe was no different when it comes to interior. They have a minimal and earthy decor at the Verve Cafe. Limited seating arrangement at the Verve Cafe is perfect for a business meeting.

At Verve Cafe, welcome drink served was a nice shot of Sangria served with thin wedges of apple. This Mediterranean Food Fest is special as the menu is carefully curated by HoJo's Executive Chef Dev Bose and its mainly concentrating on the Greek dishes. It's a huge relief from the regular Mediterranean dishes like Hummus or any other Lebanese dishes we see at other places. Soon after we settled in a wonderfully arranged table, we were served a glass of chilled Fratelli Chenin Blanc wine followed by fresh salads and a basket of freshly baked breads.

Salads served were -

Mediterranean Fig & Mozzarella Salad - The classic Mediterranean salad which comes with fresh Figs, chunks of Mozzarella cheese and Balsamic reduction.

Dehydrated Tomato Salad with Crisp Black Forest Ham - The dehydrated tomatoes served with thin slices of smoked and dry-cured German Black Forest Ham along with few lettuce leaves for that extra crunchiness.

Next on the menu was a soup which was Tomato & Red Pepper Soup - Tomato and Red Pepper combination is a match made in heaven. Tomato along with the smokey flavor from the roasted red peppers tasted amazing.

After a 'heavy' as it sounds and 'light in tummy' salads and soup, main course served were -

Roasted Aubergine with Tzatziki Sauce - I couldn't stop eating this perfectly cooked roasted Aubergine served with Tzatziki sauce and pomegranates. Tzatziki sauce is a Greek dip which is made of Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and mint/dill.

Creamy Mushroom & Fettucine Stroganoff - Who doesn't like Pasta? Fettuccine pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce was truly delectable.

Stuffed Chicken Roulade in Tomato Sauce - The making of Roulade itself is an art. The Chicken Roulade in the shape of a roll with Spinach and Feta stuffing served with sauted veggies and a thick sauce made of Tomato.

Seafood Couscous Paella - Paella is a Spanish dish which is made of rice, meat or seafood, saffron and vegetables. Chef Dev showed us how good Paella can be if it is made of Couscous than the regular Spanish rice. Slowly couscous is taking its place in Indian kitchens.

I was eagerly waiting to try the desserts as I just loved the spread they offered for our lunch.
Desserts served were -

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Ouzo- Poached Figs - When I saw the name of this dessert in the menu, I thought its just a regular Cheesecake. But to my surprise HoJo served a melt-in-mouth creamy Cheesecake made of Greek yogurt and poached Figs. Some of us felt it was bit too sweet and conveyed the same to the Chef.

Guava Sorbet with Mint, Vanilla and Guava Cream - Oohh-la-la.. Guava is very much wasted in our country by just having it with salt and red chilli powder. I think it's high time that we start creating innovative dishes with Gauva just like the Western people. This Sorbet was the best Sorbet I have ever had. Gauva and mint combination was totally divine.
Pics from HoJo's all-day dining restaurant- Nest

Overall my experience at HoJo was really good. They also have a cool bar named Marea and also a casual all-day dining resto, Nest. Both the places has got really nice ambience which makes me feel like going back there again to try these places.

Mediterranean Food Fest is priced at ₹1000 and it's happening from 19th - 28th Aug, 2016.

Howard Johnson
#132, 2nd Floor, Near Manyata Tech Park
Thanisandra Main Road, Nagawara
For reservations, contact 080- 46467000 or send a mail to

To know more about HoJo, checkout Howard Johnson, Bengaluru

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