Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sicilian Food Festival at Italia -The Park, Bengaluru

After a spectacular Emilia Romagna food fest, Italia- The Park is back with yet another interesting event– Sicilian Food Fest. Chef Basheer has integrated all the main flavors from the largest Mediterranean Island, Sicily. A few weeks ago I was invited to Italia for a food tasting session and tried some of the best dishes from their Sicilian menu. As Sicily is famous for its fresh catch, you will see a lot of interesting fish dishes in Italia’s Sicilian fest menu.

Some of the must-try dishes are -

Insalata pantesca (Antipasti) - Potatoes, onions, and cherry tomatoes with a tangy dressing of vinegar, lemon, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

Arancini di fromaggio (Antipasti) – Deep fried crispy rice balls with cheese stuffing.

From the Minestra (Soup) menu, Zuppa di lenticchie Siciliana (Fennel flavored lentil soup) which makes you feel like not leaving even one drop of soup which had the strong fennel taste. We Keralites love fennel flavor :P

Zuppa di pesce siciliano -Tomato-based fish soup with prawns, octopus, and basa. If you are a seafood lover, you will love this soup to the core :)

From the pasta menu, I liked the ‘Penne alla norma’ which is penne pasta with eggplant, tomato sauce and topped with pecorino cheese.

The Risotto con broccoli ragu (Risotto with broccoli ragu) could have been better with a creamier sauce and flavors.

The ‘Spaghetti marinara’ served was a perfect combination of Spaghetti with seafood in a spicy tomato sauce.

Veg and Chicken versions of calzone and pizzas were also good with finest ingredients and the best stringy mozzarella cheese.

Tonno in agrodolce con piselli e mentuccia (Tuna with sweet and sour onions, green peas and fresh mint) is a perfect main course for the fish lovers. Somehow I’m not a Tuna lover so for me the winners were Agneddu a’missinisa (oven roasted lamb chops in red wine, carrot, onion, capers and rosemary sauce) and Involtini siciliani di manzo (Tender Beef rolls stuffed with asparagus and mozzarella cheese, tomato, raisins and pine nut sauce served with sauté veggies.

The sublime food served can be best enjoyed with a glass of Italian red wine and I opted for a new brand -‘Montepulciano D’Abruzzo’. Towards the end of the meal, I had a glass of Screwdriver which is nothing but Vodka with Orange juice.

Desserts served were literally a piece of art. For me, presentation of the food matters. I love the simple but elegant presentation of desserts being served. Out of three desserts, my favorite was the Sicilian special ‘Cannoli siciliani’, a tube-shaped fried pastry with sweet, creamy and orangey flavored ricotta cheese filling.

Cassata Sicilliana, a tasty sponge cake soaked in liqueur layered with ricotta, almond mixture and served with raspberry and mango sauce was also delicious.

Pignolata, as its name sounds interesting this dessert too was interesting with soft fried pastry balls covered in chocolate and lemon flavored syrup, topped with chopped pistachios.

Chef Basheer has done a wonderful job by including variety of Sicilian dishes in their menu. Sicilian Food Festival is on from 7th Oct - 30th Oct and menu is 'a la carte'. A meal for two would be INR 2500/- (approximately).

The Park
#14/7, Opp 1MG mall
MG Road, Bengaluru
For reservations, contact - 080 25594666 / +91 7204888083

For more information checkout, The Park, Bengaluru

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Airport walk by Burrp at Kempegowda International Airport - Here are more reasons to spend time at the airport!

Traveling in flight is always a 'just-on-time' practice for me. Often I end up going to the airport on time and never get a chance shop or spend time at the airport. But it's not gonna be same anymore.
Earlier this month a couple of us, bloggers were invited for an airport walk by the Burrp team at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Devanahalli. From the pics, you will realize the amazing time we had at KIA. As Dussehra festival is the time for grand celebrations at Mysore, the airport was fully in festive spirit. KIA is the ultimate destination for those who want to know more about our culture. As part of the festival, the airport authorities organized various cultural activities throughout that week.

My first event with Burrp team was well-organized one. Most of 'em had already seen my social media posts and wondered how I spent almost a day at the airport as it's difficult to enter the airport without a boarding pass. Thanks to team Burrp; with the help of airport authorities (after going through a verification process), we bloggers made our entry to the airport with temporary identity cards.

We reached the airport at lunch time and our airport walk started from the beautiful South Indian restaurant - Tiffin Centre at the Domestic Terminal. We started our lunch with a refreshing glass of Nannari (Indian Sarsaparilla) Sherbet and Rasam. Nannari has got lots of medicinal values and it really helped us in feeling fresh after a long journey to the airport. Rasam made of tomato and Indian spices; is like a clear soup for South Indians which is widely consumed in all five states. Along with these two drinks, we were served a plate of piping hot assorted vegetarian and non vegetarian snack platter/ Bajjis/ fritters. The platter contained Lentil fritters (Parippu Vada), Chilli Bajji, and Rava coated fish fry. We also tried their Pepper chicken which was flavorful. Here at TC they believe in quality, hence they source the raw materials from the place it belongs to; like pepper and Nannari from Kerala, Biryani rice from Tamil Nadu etc. Their service was quick and staffs were really helpful. Chef Murali explained each and every detail to us. Before leaving the place, I couldn't resist myself taking a pic of their beautiful thali.

Second place to visit at the airport was an Italian restaurant, La Alta Vita. It's a small restaurant but worth visiting. Their food is made of fresh ingredients and we tried Zucchini fritters, Chicken Arancini and a Bruschetta with tomato, cheese, and olive topping. The food served at La Alta Vita was delicious and this place is good for a quick Italian bite when you don't have enough time at the airport.

As interesting as the name sounds, at La Tapenade the third and the final destination; we had a cook-off session where Chef Murali prepared us two brilliant dishes - Penne in Pomodoro Sauce and Chicken Tajine. Here comes an interesting part. When we came to know about the cook-off session, we were thinking how well that can be executed as inside the airport there is a restriction to use knives or few other cooking methods. But Chef Murali told us how they cater their customers with all the constraints and cleared our questions. He made two wonderful dishes which literally took us to a different world, especially the Chicken Tajine, a heavenly Moroccan one pot meal cooked with chicken, vegetables, and aromatic spices. True to its name, this Mediterranean Cafe offers a lot of variety dishes including Spanish, Italian and Greek dishes. Their decor is modern and you don't feel like leaving the restaurant.

After visiting these three wonderful restaurants, we had our lunch from La Tapenade. We had Harira soup, Garden fresh salad, Veg and Chicken Pizzas, Chicken Tajine for the main course. If Chicken Tajine was outstanding then the thin-crust Pizzas tasted deliciously wonderful.

No meal can be complete without a dessert. For desserts, we had the Blueberry Cheesecake, Tiramisu and a classic Banoffee pie. All three desserts were well-balanced and when it comes to sweetness, I can't say which one was better. Big thanks to Chef Murali Murthy and his team for making our day so special. After my airport walk, I realized that how well I can spend time at the airport next time. Unlike flight food, you don't need to burn your pocket for having a meal. Whether you have enough time to spend or just need to grab a quick bite, all the restaurants I mentioned are right places to try when you are at the airport. Please don't blame me if you find yourself indulging in a hearty meal and miss the flight :) Once again thanks to team Burrp and KIA officials for a wonderful airport food walk.

Mysore Dussehra special decorations in front of the airport
P.S: If you love short drive to airport or Nandi Hills, then there are few eateries outside the airport. Some of my favorite places include Hatti Kaapi, Chai Point, Subway, and Cafe Noir.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

When foodies meet for a carnivorous meal and fell in love with Parsi food at Sodabottleopenerwala, Bengaluru!

SodaBottleOpenerWala in short SBOW is your quintessential guide to Parsi food. SBOW located in Lavelle Road is an ideal place for those nostalgic memories of DD era and devouring some Parsi food while your favorite classic Bollywood and International pop music is playing in the background. This place has got an ample ambiance with quirky interiors and elements to add that old charm.

SBOW was on my wishlist for a long time. Every time I see someone post the pic of Berry pulav, Dhansak, falooda or even Shrewsbury biscuit, I curse myself for not being to this restaurant.
As I believe everything has the right time, I was invited to try the new menu at SBOW along with few other die-hard foodies.

We ditched the ol' menu (except few items) and tried loads ‘n’ loads of dishes from their new menu. As few of my friends were regular at the SBOW, they suggested some of the must try dishes and drinks.


Raspberry Soda – A must try drink made of crushed Raspberries, soda, and sugar

Sekanje Bin – Persian inspired drink made of mint and prunes

Mumma Nu Double Dose – Another favorite of mine which is a cocktail made of whiskey, rum, saffron, dates flavor, and beaten eggs.

The Bumsuckerwala – A cocktail made of frozen Raspberry, thyme, and Vodka. Don’t forget to ask the story behind this funny name while you enjoy your drink :P

Bombay Julep – A cocktail made of Bacardi rum, mint, Apricot, honey, and lime juice which is served in a cute Julep glass garnished with flowers.


Crispy Corn and Bhel – The classic Bombay bhel with crispy corn tossed with tangy chutney.

Carnivore’s Bhel – Bombay bhel with bacon, chicken, and ham tossed in tangy chutney.

Raasta Sandwich – Sandwich made of multigrain bread, veggies, and cheese; served with spicy French fries.

‘Boil’ Egg Sandwich – I love this bread sandwich with a filling of boiled eggs, green chili, and cheese; served with spicy French fries.

Bacon Vada Pav – A twist to the classic vada pav by adding Bacon. But somehow this was not a ‘wow’ dish for us. The vada lacked bacon pieces and taste.

Cafreal Chicken Salad – Chicken salad made of Cafreal masala, lettuce, and pickled beet. I really don’t know why Portugal inspired Goan dish has found a place in Parsi kitchen. But the salad was delicious.

Main Course 
From the 'Daily Specials' menu we tried the Saturday Jardaloo Ma Gos which is Parsi families Saturday special mutton dish in a thick gravy with apricots. From the combo menu, we tried the 'Paneer Sanju Baba' and 'Khattu Meethu Pumpkin'. They told us the chicken version is Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's recipe served in Noor Mohammadi Restaurant in Bombay. We tried the veg version made of Cottage cheese (Paneer). Khattu Meethu Pumpkin is a sweet and sour pumpkin dish. Both dishes can be taken with Rotli or Pav (Bun).

'When in doubt, break an edu (egg) on it', seeing this on the menu we got two interesting dishes - 'Friday Sausage Par Eeda' and 'Guava Jelly and Onion Par Eedu'. Both the dishes were made of Sunny side-ups, with different stuffing. Guava Jelly was a bit too sweet for my palate. These dishes can be best enjoyed with fresh pav.

When you are at SBOW, don't miss their signature dish - Berry Pulav (Veg/Mutton/Chicken). We tried the non-veg one which was to die for. The berries and fried cashews on a mildly spiced pulav will surely win your heart. We also tried the Bambaiyya Chicken Biryani which is the classic Bombay style flavorful biryani, cooked perfectly at SBOW. This goes well with any side dish. The Parsi style fried fish served with two accompaniments was an exceptional dish.

From their 'Bar Snacks' menu we tried the Parsi style Jumbo Prawns served with coconut milk gravy and steamed rice. Either you can have it as a starter or have it as a main course. I wanted to break from non veg dishes and tried 'Brinjal and Drumstick Kari' served with steamed rice and Kachumbar. This was really a heavenly combo.


You can't ignore the smell coming from Bakery inside SBOW. Some of the must try desserts are Mawa cake, melt-in-mouth Shrewsbury biscuit, Mixed berry truffle, Matunga Coffee cake, Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, Falooda and the famous 'Lagan Nu Custer (custard) which is a Parsi wedding custard made with milk, eggs, cardamom, chironji and nutmeg. Being South Indians all of us vouched for the Matunga Coffee Cake. The dessert served in a filter coffee vessel is a must try for the coffee lovers.

A great company of foodies and awesome food indeed ended up in a hearty meal. A special thanks to Mohit Balachandran who explained us about Parsi Food and also Manju Rangarajan and Rahul Nanda for introducing me to the world of Parsi food and culture. A meal for two would be INR 1300 (with alcohol).

25/4, Opp Harley Davidson Showroom
Lavelle Road, Bengaluru

This place will be always crowded. So suggest you to make prior reservations before going there.
Contact - 080 45128763
For more stories and updates, checkout their FB page, SBOW India

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