Wednesday, February 27, 2019

You gotta try it this Rayalaseema Food Festival at The Square, Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road!

Happiness is when you get a meal made of Indian ingredients with no modern cuisine drama. We have plenty of regional cuisines to celebrate our culture, the food which can satisfy our soul and body. I am talking about one such cuisine you must try if you love spices – the Rayalaseema cuisine from Andhra Pradesh which covers four major regions – Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadappa, and Kurnool. I recently tried this amazing cuisine at the ongoing Rayalaseema Food Festival at The Square at Novotel Bengaluru curated by Chef Mani and Chef Pradeep Rao. To start with what I loved most – a tennis ball sized Ragi Sangati (Ragi Ball) with a bowl full of goodness oops.. it was Mamsam Koora (melt-in-mouth Mutton Curry) followed by piping hot Paya soup, Pesara Punugulu (Moong Dal fritters), and Chepa Vepudu (Fish fry). They have kept an array of pickles and chutneys to have with starters and main course out of which my favorites were the Alam (Ginger) Pachadi, Beerakaya (Ridge gourd) Pachadi, Green Chilli pickle and Vankaya (Brinjal) Pachadi.

From the main course counter, I carefully selected all the stuffs which I was craving for all this time. My plate was a jugalbandi of interesting flavors like Karivepaku Annam (Curry leaves flavored rice), Rayalaseema Kodi Biryani, Ulavacharu (Horsegram curry), Gutti Vankaya Koora (Stuffed Brinjal curry), Dosakaya Pappu (Yellow Cucumber Dal), and second round of pickles and chutneys. I simply loved this meal. The food was not too spicy as Novotel mostly have corporate crowd, expat guests and Bengalureans who doesn’t like to eat spicy food. But Chef specifically told me that upon request they will increase the spice level to enjoy the Rayalaseema cuisine to the fullest. After all their tag line says ‘Brave enough to try it’?

The desserts were very simple and homely stuff- Kajjikayalu (a cousin of Gujiya with coconut, semolina, sugar, and nuts filling), Ariselu and Bobbatlu (Obbattu/Holige in Kannada).
The Rayalaseema Food Festival is on till 1st March and it’s available for lunch and dinner. Don’t miss it all you spice lovers…
Wallet Factor - ₹ 1299 + taxes (Lunch)
                         ₹ 1499 + taxes (Dinner)
Novotel Bengaluru Techpark
Opp RMZ Ecospace
Outer Ring Road - Marathahalli
For reservations, contact - +91 9538897- 369/ 371/ 381

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Lunch at Arena Artisanal Brewkitchen, 100 Ft Road, Indiranagar, Bengaluru!

It’s not a weekly or daily affair to dine at an awe-inspiring restaurant and if you get a chance to dine enjoying the ambiance, great food, and beautifully crafted potent cocktails, then consider that you are very lucky. I had this same feeling recently when I dined at Arena Artisanal Brewkitchen at 100 Ft Road, Indiranagar. Spread across three levels, this newly opened Brewkitchen will amuse its patrons with their distinct architectural structure like a pyramid. Each level has a different theme and d├ęcor. Inside the restaurant, you will find many instafriendly spots and make sure your phone has enough memory.


Arena offers amazing weekday special set menu of Dim sums and Sushi (priced ₹999/- + taxes, per person) and with the quality of food they serve, it’s a steal. I love their Shiitake and Chives Dim sum, Lebanese Lamb Meatballs, Mushroom Croquettes, and from the Sushi menu – Tempura Vegetables, Avocado California Rolls and Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna & Avocado Uramaki Rolls. I am sure I will go back for those tantalizing Sushi rolls soon.

I tried three Signature cocktails at Arena along with some lip-smacking food– 

Love me or leave me – A Gin based cocktail with pickled vegetables. Though the cucumber taste was a bit overpowering for my palate, I liked this drink.

The second one was the ‘Gin and Juice’ drink infused with Rosemary.

The third was my favorite – ‘Popcorn’ – A Whiskey cocktail with in-house made caramelized Popcorn.

For the main course, I tried their Khow Suey and felt the flavors could have been better with more toppings. As we were an ‘all girls gang’, we shared a bowl of egg fried rice with Korean style sliced roasted lamb followed by Thai Green Curry (Chicken) with Jasmine rice. Both combos were amazing and everything got polished off in seconds.

While I was cribbing that no space left for desserts, they presented the beautifully plated ‘Paris Brest’ and Belgian Chocolate Fondant with a scoop of ice cream. I have huge respect for Indian Chefs who create French desserts perfectly and 'Paris Brest with Praline mousse' was an example for my statement.

The service was good and staffs were polite and helpful. Overall I enjoyed my experience at Arena and will be a preferred pub in Indiranagar location.

The cheerful gang <3

Arena Artisanal Brewkitchen
#48, Defence Colony
100 FT Road, Indiranagar
Bengaluru -560038
For reservations, contact - +91 9606064301

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