Friday, April 20, 2018

It's T20 season and check out the Full Toss menu at Monkey Bar, Bengaluru!

It’s that time of the year again when tosses are won, crazy cricket fans cheer their favorite teams and stadiums across the country get ready to host the most exciting cricket extravaganza - the T20 Series of 2018. Have you ever seen a menu which is exclusively on cricket theme? I came across one recently at Monkey Bar, Bengaluru as they have come up with an interesting T20 IPL special food menu, ‘Monkey Bar Full Toss’ menu clubbed with offers on drinks. It doesn’t matter whether you support RCB or Mumbai Indians or Kings XI Punjab; your team preference may change after tasting the scrumptious food which has interesting team names. IPL started early this month and just like it’s a celebration for Indians, Monkey Bar’s Full Toss menu live up to the expectations and keeps you going while you watch the match on their big screen. The special Full Toss menu is only available till May 27th 2018.

This time I tried the Watermelon Mojito while exploring the T20 special food and they also have options like Mangaa pitchers, shots, beers and Toss hour specials. The Watermelon Mojito was refreshing and it’s a perfect drink for the hot weather in namma ooru.

Inspired by the local favorites from around the country they have T20 inspired small plates menu which is perfect for the thrilling season. I tried the following –

Rajasthan Dahi ke Pithore – A melt-in-mouth combination of Semolina crusted hung curd and gram flour cakes on a bed of green peas masala served with sweet yogurt and date-tamarind chutney. While editing pics, my mouth was filled with water as this was one of my favorites.

Kolkata Fish Fry – If you’re a fish lover, then you must try this dish and because this dish is too good, you may not share it with anybody else for sure. The crumb-coated fried bhetki fillet served with Kasundi Mayo and Pui Shak (a Bengali side dish made of Malabar Spinach/Basella leaves). 

Another favorite of mine from the menu was Delhi’s Butter Chicken Samosa. I was bowled over this one. The crispiness of Samosa and creamy, flavorful butter chicken filling was like match fixed :P The portion size was also good.

Chennai Pulled Pork Paniyaram – South Indian’s favorite Paniyaram got a twist in shape and taste with the addition of Pulled Pork spread. The rice crisps gave that extra crunchiness to this dish.

Hyderabadi Nagarjuna Chilli Chicken Roll – Nagarjuna inspired Chilli chicken in paratha wrap and served with coconut chutney was good but I would prefer it bit spicier.

Mumbai Malvani Chicken Tacos gave a desi twist to Multigrain Tacos with its tasty Malvani Chicken Sukka filling. This was served with coconut chutney.

Punjab Sarson Di Shammi - Sarson and Soy cooked with Punjabi Garam Masala and served with Makai Phulka. As Punjabis can’t avoid Ghee and aachar (pickle) from their food, this dish was served with a small bowl of ghee and pickle. A spoonful of ghee takes this dish to the next level.

Desserts are not part of the Full Toss menu, but when at Monkey Bar we can’t skip the desserts. We had the Cinnamon sugar dusted Churros with Mexican Chocolate Dip and Chocolate Pot De Crème with Salted Caramel.

Whether your favorite team will win or lose, I don’t know, but Monkey Bar’s Full Toss food will surely win your heart. You can also have loads and loads of fun by playing some indoor games like Beer Pong, Beer Relay, Flip the Bottle and Swing Shots. The T20 IPL special Full Toss menu is available till May 27th 2018.

Monkey Bar
#610, 12th Main, Indiranagar
Bangalore -560038
For table reservation, contact -  080 44114455
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Straight from the Streets - Asian Street Food Festival at Equinox Bar, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Bengaluru!

When it comes to music, there are genres. Some people like rock music and some like pop; some like jazz and some like EDM. The list is endless. Same applies to food. There are inestimable cuisines, and types of food. But everywhere in this world, there is one category of food which is very common i.e, street food. People love street food to the core; so do I. My love for street food took me to a preview of Asian Street Food festival at Equinox, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Bengaluru. Equinox is famous for their lounge bar, Bollywood nights, and happening parties. Now you can enjoy your favorite music with the company of some great street food and Asian inspired cocktails till 30th April, 2018.

From Dim sums to noodles; baos to spring rolls; satays to fritters, there are enough options to explore which transports you to the streets of South East Asia. As we were a small group, we ordered the dishes in small portions and tried as much as possible. We started off with some refreshing Asian flavor inspired cocktail shots like Som Tum Sling, Tom Yam Kick etc and my drink of the day was Coconut Ginger Twist which was White Rum based drink with coconut water, Cilantro, Ginger and lime juice. This drink went well with the Asian street food.

Now coming to the food – Their festival special menu is so elaborate and if you get confused like me, then ask for Chef’s suggestion. As I eat anything and everything possible in non-veg, I enjoyed eating Nam Prik Pao ( Prawns tossed in Thai Chilli sauce), the classic Chicken Satay served with peanut sauce, Bao with different fillings (loved the mutton and chicken version). The Pork bao was tasty but it was a tad too dry. I took a second serving of Prawns and Chicken dim sums. The dim sum wrap was soft like a rose petal. Ayam Percik - the Malaysian Grilled Chicken with Tamarind sambal was really good.  An Asian flavor literally creates a delightful experience with the following tastes – spicy, tangy, sweet, sour and salty. Even the tradition Vietnamese Rice paper Spring roll (with vegetable stuffing) tastes amazing with basic Chilli sauce or peanut sauce.

While most of the pubs/bars have finger food options on their menu; this time Equinox has included an exclusive main course menu for serious Asian food lovers like me. Bowl meals are very Asian and one can experiment with different flavors. I liked the Thai dish, Kanomjeennamya (Thai minced fish curry served with steam rice), and Tom Kho Danh (Vietnamese Prawn wok-tossed in shrimp paste; served with a bowl of rice) and Ikkam Asam Padas (Malaysian Vegetable curry served with rice).

Desserts were not part of the Asian Street Food menu but as always DoubleTree Suites by Hilton team surprised us with two desserts. Thai inspired Mango sticky rice pudding was yum. The staffs here are very polite and helpful.

This time I was lucky to see the Infinity pool area where they regularly conduct swimming classes. Oh man! What a view it was! This is the perfect place to relax with your favorite cocktail. The Asian Street Food festival started on 16th April and it’s on until this 30th April 2018.

Equinox Bar at DoubleTree Suites by Hilton
Iblur Gate, ORR Sarjapur Junction
For reservations, contact - +91 80 67656565
To know more check out, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Bengaluru
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Experience the Baisakhi Special Menu at Baluchi - The Lalit Ashok Hotel, Bengaluru!

I totally agree with this quote – “Good food is a celebration of life” by Sophia Lauren. April is the month of harvest festivals like Vishu, Bihu, Puthandu, Baisakhi etc and regardless religion people celebrate these festivals in full swing. This Baisakhi, celebrate the harvest festival in a special way as Baluchi, the Pan Indian restaurant at The Lalit Ashok has come up with a festival menu (from 12th - 22nd April, 2018). This award-winning restaurant creates some authentic Punjabi flavors on the occasion of Baisakhi. April 14th is marked as the harvest festival or New Year for most of the Indian states and being in Bangalore; the cultural hub, you get to see many festivals celebrated. I am so glad that I could try this exclusive festival menu at Baluchi, The Lalit Ashok Hotel recently.

The restaurant is near the pool area and what wins your heart may not be the size of this place but definitely the décor and the polite service by the staffs. This time I met Chef Wahid who is from Jharkhand and has got more than 10+ years of experience with famous five-star hotels. He is a person who doesn’t speak much but creates a storm in the kitchen. Under the guidance of Chef Ashish, each dish was carefully created by Chef Wahid and it was well presented. It was a treat for all senses.

What I savored –


I started with a glass of ‘Chatti Di Lassi’ which was thick sweet yoghurt drink; the way it should be and had flavors of rose essence and cardamom. This was a perfect start to my meal after a long journey.


Bhuney Makai Te Dhaniye Da Shorba - A light and flavorful soup made of charred corn, coriander leaves, and spices. Unlike other restaurants which serve very grainy sweet corn soup, Baluchi had a better version of this soup. I really enjoyed it.


Bhutte de Kebab (Kebab made of corn and spices)

Rajma Di Tikki (Tikki made of mashed rajma with spices and grilled to perfection)

Tandoori Achari Macchi ( Tandoori – Achari flavored grilled fish cubes with smoking flavors)

Bhune Champs (Grilled Lamb Shanks with handpicked spices)

Bhatti Da Kukad ( Perfectly grilled Chicken pieces with hot spices)

OMG! The appetizers served were all amazing; it created a burst of flavors in my mouth especially the Bhutte De Kebab, melt-in-mouth Rajma Di Tikki, spicy Bhatti Da Kukad and Tandoori Achari Macchi. Bhune Champs was tasty too but compare to other exceptional starters; this failed to impress my palate.

Main Course

After a very long time, I had a great North West Frontier meal. Though this was my first time at Baluchi, I am a fan now. You will have a foodcoma for sure. For the main course, I had Amritsari Chole, Punjabi Rajma, Nalli wala meat, Dal Baluchi, served with Roti and Kheema Naan. The main highlight of the meal was Dal Baluchi and Nalli wala meat. Dal Baluchi is their signature dish which is slow-cooked for more than 36 hours. Its thick consistency with a slight topping of cream will work wonders; a piece of Naan and a portion of this gravy is like a match made in heaven. Similarly, Nalli Nihari is another slow-cooked star dish according to me. The rich gravy and the perfectly cooked Shank complimented each other well. I have tried Nalli Nihari in few restaurants in Bangalore and so far Baluchi is the best place for Nalli Nihari.


Gulab Ki Kheer and Kulfi – Gulab Ki Kheer was a bit disappointing as it was very thin and lacked flavors. They politely took my feedback and replaced this dessert with another signature dish of theirs – Kulfi. The savior was the Kulfi. I polished off this dessert in few seconds. The creamiest Kulfi I had ever tried in Bangalore with rose flavors, rose petals and falooda. If you want to impress your girl then take her to Baluchi for this dessert. Heavenly will be an understatement. All the desserts are made at the restaurant.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the Baisakhi Special meal at The Lalit Ashok. Good things won’t stay for long, so go grab your meal before the fest gets over. I couldn’t thank enough Chef Wahid for creating this amazing meal for me, so I took his interview and guys… stay tuned for more details on my blog soon. The recipes are created using fresh local produce from their gardens and the menu is on ‘a la carte’.
Baluchi -The Lalit Ashok
Kumara Krupa High Grounds,
For reservations, contact - 080 30527777

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