Wednesday, November 28, 2018

All about The Smoke Co's new menu and why this restaurant at Koramangala is a personal favorite of mine?

If you love Charcuterie (smoked or cured meat) style preparations, then The Smoke Co. at Koramangala 6th Block is the right place for you to indulge. They have come up with a fabulous new menu on the completion of 1 year and my words won’t do any justice on what I have experienced there recently. The quality of the products they use is just amazing. The Lang BBQ Smoker used at the restaurant is imported from the USA. This plays a major role in creating some brilliant smoked, grilled or barbecued dishes. As smoked flavor is an integral part of this process, even the woods they use for it is carefully chosen at The Smoke Co. We always use the word ‘foodgasm’ and to experience a carnivorous foodgasm one must definitely visit The Smoke Co.

The classy modern ambiance will set the perfect mood for a pleasant dining experience. The lively atmosphere and their open kitchen will help you know what’s happening around. The staffs are very polite and helpful. The Executive Chef Altaf Patel is one of the most humble Chefs I know who can cook up a storm. He is extremely talented when it comes to bringing the extraordinary flavors together. The Smoke Co. is from the same owners of one of the most popular burger joints in namma ooru – Café Thulp.

I love the Charcuterie platter which had salted and cured beef, smoked Mackerel with Char siu glaze, cured and aged jamón (6-9 months old dry-cured ham), mortadella with olives and Soppressata Pork Salami. I can’t tell which one was the best. Everything had so unique flavors and I absolutely loved it.

If you love your share of pork and beef, then must try two of their luscious dishes – the wood-fire finished Char Siu Pork fillet (served with buttered cauliflower puree, pickled baby radish, and char siu glaze) and the dark beer braised Corned beef served with creamed potato, roasted leeks, and sourdough toast. Chef Altaf, I can’t thank you enough for these super delectable dishes I tried.

There are lots of new additions for the vegetarian souls as well. Must try their ‘Cheddar and Zucchini cakes served with tartar and smoked tomato chili sauce’, and ‘Barley, Bean and Corn Salad with Mangalore Jaggery and Lime vinaigrette, arugula, pomegranate, and toasted pumpkin seeds’ for the perfect balance of refreshing flavors.

When I see Geist’s beer menu at any restaurant, I won’t see anything else after that (I know… this sounds like Nivin’s dialogue from Thattathin Marayathu – ‘Ente Saare’ :P). I love their Uncle Dunkel and Kamacitra which had 5.4 % and 6.0% Abv respectively.

Mango Chilli dip

The Smoke platter is surely one of my favorites which comes with sausages in different flavors like ‘Italian fennel and pepper’, Chicken and coriander, Beef chili & Cheese, pork apple and sage, Chicken kielbasa, and served with grilled corn, in-house baked bread, and sauerkraut. If you don’t believe in ‘storing for winter concept’ then the portion size will be good enough for a small group.

We also tried other interesting dishes like -

Schnitzel - Panko crusted butterflied and fried Pork fillet served with brown butter & sage spaetzle and mustard cream sauce.

Smoked Prawns – Brined and smoked Prawns with the shell on, served with mustard and chili cocktail sauce. This was Smoke Co.’s version of Prawn cocktail though I felt Prawns could have been a bit more flavorful and when you taste the entire combo, you will not miss any flavors much.

I am not a Tuna person, but still liked their ‘Tuna poke bowl’ with fresh Maguro Tuna, sticky rice, grilled pineapple, avocado, and mesclun. My friend ordered the tuna bowl and she literally forced me to try it and I am happy that I tasted it.

When it comes to food my third love is chicken after beef and seafood, and The Smoke Co.’s version of ‘Soy Honey Chicken’ was really good.

We had Churros dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with Chocolate & Chipotle dip for desserts and this is easily the best Churros and dip you can get in Bangalore.

Overall I had a great time and I would never get bored of having food at The Smoke Co. The food served here is a treat to all five senses. A meal for two would be 2000/- (approximately). Do visit and let me know the feedback.

The Smoke Co.
#501, 6th Cross Road
Koramangala 6th Block
For more information/ table booking, contact - 080 46218500
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Say Cheese at Cafe Felix, Bengaluru - A special menu for Cheese lovers!


The weather in Bengaluru is perfect for indulging in some hot or cheese filled food. If you’re a Cheese lover like me, then head to Café Felix for their ongoing ‘Say Cheese’ menu. The carefully chosen menu, the variety of cheeses used in every dish and Chef Ritwik’s passion for cooking great food makes this Café a perfect place to dine with your loved ones. From soups to small –plates, flatbreads to Burgers and pasta, and mouth-watering desserts, one can order a wide range of dishes from the crave-worthy cheese menu. The ongoing ‘Say Cheese’ is on till 16th December, 2018 :)

I was invited for a special preview of Say Cheese menu and this wasn’t my first time at Café Felix. I love this vibrant Café which is located at Level 5 at 1MG Mall, right in the heart of the city. As I love the non-vegetarian ingredients in my soup, I ordered a ‘Smoked 3 Cheese and meatball soup’ which was a perfect start to the dinner. Nice and mild smoky flavors from the soup made me polish off even the last drop from the soup bowl. The croutons, caramelized onions and tiny bits of bacon made me crave for more.

I tasted the veg version of soup from my friend’s bowl which had ‘Cauliflower, pine nuts and Cheddar’ served with a delicious herbed cheese toast. I loved the Cheese toast more than the soup.
From the ‘small plates’ menu, we tried this amazing ‘Crispy Potatoes’ topped with cheesy bravas sauce and olive coriander salsa. Oh my gosh… it was simply amazing.

The oozing beauty - ‘Smoked Cheese croquette benedict’, and ‘Crab cakes with tartar, warm potato, and French beans salad’ were superbly done. I really love the way they use various microgreens in every dish. Though the dishes looked so drool-worthy, the small topping of microgreens enhanced the beauty of plating.

The ‘Crispy Carbonara flatbread with sage crisps, onion rings, and bacon’ was really really good. Chef has used the best ingredients and it surely made our dinner so special. I loved the ‘Quattro formaggi’ which had four types of cheeses – Italian Mozzarella, Gruyére, American cream cheese, and English Cheddar.

From the Entrée menu we tried the ‘3 Cheese Risotto with toasted sunflower seeds’ and ‘Mixed meat Risotto with Chorizo, bacon, sausage, slow-cooked pork, caramelized onions, confit garlic, and green peas’ received a mix opinion from our table. I couldn’t get most of the individual flavors from the mixed meat Risotto as the main ingredient was Barley instead of Arborio rice. The veg risotto tasted good and non-veg version was a tad too dry for my liking.

The very first bite of this ‘Homemade Tortellini pasta with cheesy chicken Gruyére’ and the ‘Caramelized onion and cheese burst Fagottini Pasta with parmesan foam’ surely made us sound like Nigella Lawson or Maeve O’Meara. These two pasta dishes were so brilliantly done. I really liked the parmesan crisps and foam from the Fagottini pasta. With the blend of colors and flavors, Chef Ritwik created an art in the plate.

The perfect Belly Nirvana is achieved when you find the perfect dessert. For us it was the classic Italian dessert, ‘Tiramisu’ (which was light as air), ‘Blueberry Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting’ and ‘Trio of Cheese Wafers’. The cream cheese was one of the main and common ingredients in all three desserts.

During the course of meal, I just had a hot cup of jasmine tea, as the cheese filled meal was quite heavy. To our surprise, Chef gave us samplers of Cheese tea which is available in four flavors – Earl Grey with Candied Ginger, Jasmine, Chamomile, and Green apple – Cinnamon. I love the Earl Grey with candied ginger cheese tea.

I absolutely loved this cheese special menu and would surely go back for some of my favorite dishes. When it comes to Cheese, Chef definitely knows what, when, where and how to club those imported gourmet ingredients with local produce. Café Felix will have ‘Say Cheese’ menu till Dec 16th, 2018 and meal for two would be ₹1500/- (approximately).

Cafe Felix
Level 5, 1MG Mall
Trinity Circle, MG Road
For reservations, contact - 080 22086644

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Brunch by the Blue - Sunday brunch at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park followed by Christmas Cake mixing!

Aloft Hotel at Cessna Business Park, Bengaluru is one of the Marriott Hotels in Bengaluru which I wanted to visit since very long time. Santa came early this year and my wish was granted. I was here last weekend for a lavish Sunday Brunch at poolside followed by a Christmas cake mixing ceremony. I always enjoy my visit to any of the Marriott properties. The staffs at Marriott hotels are very professional and best when it comes to unparalleled hospitality. At Aloft also the story is no different. The Execute Chef - Aniket Das and his team made a fabulous ‘Brunch by the Blue’ spread which left us with no words.

As I was a bit late for the brunch, before taking the plate I grabbed a glass of Chandon Sparkling Wine. The Diwali edition Wine bottle designed by Designer Manish Malhotra will surely catch your attention, if not any other bottle at the Bar counter. A sunny afternoon at the beautiful poolside with live music and sparkling wine in my hand made me hungry enough to check out the live food counters. There were separate sections for salads, Cheese and bread, Italian, Chinese, Grill stations (for Veg, non – veg and seafood), Main course and desserts.

I tried a small plate of mixed salads, Chicken roulade, spicy grilled chicken & prawns, and a portion of chicken and mushroom pizza. For the main course, I tried Chicken Biryani, Kadhi Pakoda, and Dal. By then I heard a lot about the main course especially for the Meen Kulambu and Nalli Nihaari. Sadly I couldn’t try those as we getting late for the cake mixing ceremony.

Small plate of heaven <3

Debolina's Birthday cake :)

If not for any other dishes, just go for this brunch only for their desserts. It was pure art in different forms, colors, flavors, and shapes. We always go gaga over International Chefs who createbeautiful pastries. We should learn to appreciate our local Chefs first. They are so talented and can match the International standards for sure. Everything was so heavenly especially the Macarons, Orange Delice and Mango Entremet – French desserts at its best. Overall I enjoyed a great brunch in recent times. They also had Indian desserts like Rasgulla, barfi, and lot more.

Soon after the brunch, we head to the cake mixing area where there was an enormous quantity of dry fruits and nuts were arranged beautifully on the long table. The beakers filled with liquors were just waiting for us. It was a fun-filled evening and the group went crazy by going live, clicking pics and also most importantly soaking all the stuff together for a perfect Christmas Cake. There was a small tub of non-alcoholic fruit mix for kids to enjoy the fun of cake mixing. That was so cool.
Check out my FB live video - here

With my fav Stylish by Nature and Foodie By Nature (Shalini and Rohith)

I had a fun afternoon with friends and all thanks to team Aloft and Encomium for this. Out of all the cake mixing I attended, this was indeed a special one.
Sunday Brunch (12.30 - 4 PM) price details -
₹1199 + taxes (Unlimited mocktails)
1499 + taxes (Chandon, IMFL & beer)
₹599 + taxes (Kids brunch) 
Nook at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park
Outer Ring Road
For more information, contact - 080 45101033

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