Monday, February 17, 2020

Cooking with Stars - A Masterclass by Michelin Star Chef Chris Galvin from London at CUR8, Four Seasons Hotel, Bengaluru!

Tasting a spread of Chef's special dishes is always fun and exciting especially if the Chef has already known for his Michelin starred restaurants. I was in the same spot when I recently met Michelin star Chef Chris Galvin at CUR8, Four Seasons Hotel. Chef Galvin believes in farm to table concept and demonstrated four beautiful dishes with the finest ingredients he could source. The dishes he created transported us to the coast of Meditteranean sea.

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Chef Galvin created four magical dishes - 
  • Imam Bayildi (a classic Turkish Aubergine dish)
  • Escabeche of Yellowfin Tuna with Aubergine Puree and Herbs
  • John Dory with Orange glazed Endive, Cauliflower Puree, with a dressing of Curry Oil, Pine nuts and Sultanas
  • Charred Pumpkin, Burrata, Chima de rappe, Hazelnut, Pomegranate, and Sage.

We tasted some of the finest dishes and in every nibble I had, I could feel Chef's passion for cooking. Throughout the masterclass, Chef Galvin interacted with the audience and also shared his cooking memories and other interesting kitchen stories.

This was my first visit to Four Seasons Hotel after hearing so much about this beautiful property from non-foodie friends. I really enjoyed the Masterclass. Thank you team Four Seasons Hotel, Gargi Guha, Shireen and Samprathi for having me over.

Check out Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru's page here

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Kappa Chakka Kandhari marked their entry in namma ooru. Have you visited this famous Kerala restaurant in Koramangala?

Kappa Chakka Kandhari (KCK) roughly translates to Tapioca-Jackfruit-Bird's eye chilli; the three important and nostalgic ingredients from God's Own Country - Kerala. Most of us are familiar with this name -KCK for another reason - a popular restaurant that successfully runs in Chennai and previously done few pop-up events in Bangalore finally marked their entry to Bengaluru's food scene. Located in Koramangala 6th Block, this restaurant is hardly 2 months old and always packed with people who love Kerala cuisine. I love the way they reinvigorated the simple Kerala homestyle (mostly Syrian Christian) cooking and Toddy shop food in the restaurant menu.

One of the co-founders and Culinary Director Mr. Regi Mathew have traveled the length and breadth of Kerala in a span of 3-4 years to find the best and extraordinary dishes clubbed with his childhood favorite food. Hence the result is different from other restaurants; here you won't see the usual Porotta and its accompaniments. If you have grown up in Kerala or atleast had a Keralite neighbor then you will be familiar with the terms like Mappas, Moilee, Pollichathu, Varutharacha, Roast, etc when you see KCK's menu. Toddy style food is mostly known as 'Touchings' (a side dish served with any alcohol - it could be simple chips/pickle to even beef roast/ spicy fish fry. KCK has successfully added some of our favorite touchings like Kozhuva (Anchovy) fry, Idiyirachi (Sun-dried Tenderloin crushed and tossed with shallots and curry leaves), Vazhappoo (Banana blossom) cutlet, Mutton coconut fry, Prawns Kizhi (Prawns in coconut masala (peera), wrapped and steamed in banana leaves). Kannan Kozhi Fry served with Beetroot sauce is a must-try dish; the free-range Chicken is braised and splash fried with crumbs of crushed chillies and other spices. If you are missing a glass of toddy, then go for the Absolute Kandhari/Nannari Sherbath/Morum Vellam (Buttermilk) with the touchings.

Nannari Sherbath

Kozhuva fry

If you visit KCK, don't miss their Ramassery idli served with red rice chutney and Sambhar. This dish is originally from a place called Ramassery near Palakkad. Chef told us a brief history of this dish which was once a favorite and convenient dish for local traders who had to travel and pack their food. The idli steamed in muslin cloth on a netted upside down earthenware reminds the diners that we should focus on our old traditions and techniques for simple, tasty and best food.

Mutton Puttu Biriyani

Another favorite of mine was the Mutton Puttu Biriyani which had burst of flavors and the inhouse made rice powder makes all the difference; the Puttu just melts-in-your mouth. On my second visit to this restaurant, I tried their Prawns Puttu biriyani which had mild and unique flavors. Pidi (Rice dumplings in mild coconut milk) and Kozhi curry was also something unique from the menu and a dish you must try. I almost jumped out of joy when I tried the flavorful 'Varutharacha (roasted coconut masala) Kadachakka (breadfruit) curry and Chatti Meen Curry. This is best enjoyed with our simple white beauty - lacy appams. The guests can see their kitchen while dining, so don't forget to give a smile to the sweet ladies and gents who will be busy cooking.

Chatti meen curry

Pidiyum Kozhi Curryum (Rice dumplings in flavoured coconut milk served with Chicken curry)

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, try their Signature desserts like 'Kandhari Ice cream' or 'Cloud pudding' (best tender coconut pudding I ever had). They even have 'Kol ice' - ice lollies (which takes you back to a different era for sure) and also popular puddings like Paalada and Parippu payasam.
My favourite 'Cloud pudding'

Kol ice

Payasams and Kandhari Ice cream <3

With the influence of Portuguese, Arabs, Chinese, Ceylon (Sri Lankan), Jews traders, and other communities within the state, Kerala cuisine has evolved a lot and it one of the most popular cuisines worldwide. Being a Malayali I could proudly say that, this cuisine can satisfy any palate with its simplicity and uniqueness.

With Chef Regi Mathew

Overall I enjoyed my experience at KCK and waiting to go there again for another belting session (food nirvana). The staffs at KCK are very polite, and helpful. If you don't book in advance, then you may end up waiting for a long time to get a table, especially on weekends. Do visit this restaurant and let me know your experience at KCK. A meal for two would be INR 1500/- (approximately)
Kappa Chakka Kandhari
#438, 18th Main Road
Near Devi Hospital
Koramangala 6th Block
Bengaluru - 560095
For reservations, contact - 063646 71010

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

'Aromas of Thailand', a Masterclass by Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Commerce H.E.Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit at Foodhall, 1MG

When you get a chance to try an authentic fair of Thai food in Bangalore, it's like a dream come true. A few days ago, I was lucky to participate in the 'Aromas of Thailand', an event organized by Foodhall, 1MG and the main highlight of this event was the Chief Guest who came all the way from Thailand to show us what is Thai cuisine all about. The Chief guest was none other than the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce H.E. Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit.

The extremely humble and sweet person - respected DPM demonstrated three classic Thai dishes - Tom Yum Goong, Massaman Curry, and Pad Thai. I can't tell which one was the best out of three, as each dish transported us to Thailand. The best thing about Foodhall is that they've fresh and topnotch ingredients for Thai cooking, so if you want to cook these dishes at home it's hustle-free.

I had a great time at the event, learned three classic Thai recipes, met the entire team of DPM and they were as sweet as Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit. Thailand is in my bucket list and I hope to visit this beautiful country to explore their cuisine and culture. Till then Bye and  Khàawp Khun Khâ (Thank you) for a great event and also having me over team Foodhall, Saina Jayapal, and Thaitrademumbai.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Greek dishes at its best at the newly opened House of Troy in Koramangala!

'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food' - Hippocrates

Greek food is as good as its ancient culture and beautiful mythological gods. Even a simple bowl of salad creates a treat for your senses. I am happy to discover a new restaurant in town - House of Troy at Koramangala which is situated diagonally opposite to Forum Mall. They have an amazing range of popular Greek dishes,  most of the names can be a tongue twister.

House of Troy's menu has got a selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The modern and contemporary decor adds a special charm to this place. The hues of blue will soothe your mind while you enjoy a colorful bowl of Greek dish.

We started the lunch with beautifully plated Orange & Fennel Salad along with a classic  Greek Salad. Usually, when salads are served in restaurants I will avoid eating it saying 'nahi chahiye ghaas bhoos' (don't want so much greens).  But here I really liked the refreshingly fresh ingredients they used in the salads and I didn't waste anything in the bowl.

Artichokes, Bell Pepper with Goat Cheese & Walnuts is a must-try dish from their menu.

Melitzanes Papoutsakia (Stuffed eggplant served with garlic dip) is one classic Greek dish that can please any palate.

Kotopita Hot Pockets (Greek-style Chicken phyllo pockets served with herbed feta cream dip). They even have the traditional Spinach -Feta version of this.

The whole Mediterranean belt is rich in seafood and Greek food is incomplete without seafood. Keeping this in mind we tried their Prawns Saganaki (a dish made of prawns, tomatoes, and feta) which was so delicious.

Kefthedakia (Lamb meatballs tossed in pepper coulis) - The succulent Lamb meatballs are an integral part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. The one which we tried at the House of Troy was bit dry. Chef took our feedback positively.

Grilled Salmon with Spinach in creamy Feta sauce - A must-try dish if you love to enjoy Salmon in its best form.

Tiger Prawns with Couscous and Vegetables tossed in Tomato sauce - One of my favorite dishes from the menu and would love to go back for this dish along with few other favorites.

Currently, they are having a very limited menu for desserts. Baklava with Pistachio Icecream was brilliantly done, while we urged for a crunchy or saucy topping for the classic Loukoumades (bite-sized Greek sweet balls with Honey) to please our Indian palate.

They have interesting cocktails and 'my drink of the day' was 'Ouzotini' - a concoction of Gin, Ouzo, Elderflower syrup, cumin syrup, and herbs.

Overall I had a wonderful time at this new restaurant and would to visit again shortly.  A meal for two would be INR 1500/-.
House of Troy
Ground floor, SJR Primus
Near Forum Mall Signal
Koramangala 7th Block
For reservations, contact - 080 4907 0111
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