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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Savvy Home Parties with Social's #KiloDeal Menu

 




When it comes to getting food for parties, we are always left to compromise of either the quality of food or the taste. Socials is one of those legendary places that needs no introduction and they want to bridge the gap  when it comes to quality food in bulk, home delivered without compromising on the taste or quality of food.This is a review of their newly launched 'KiloDeal Menu' which promises to do just that.

Whats the 'Kilo Deal' Menu?
This is a menu of some of our favourite Social dishes, and a few new ones which can be ordered 'By The Kilo'. The portion sizes include Aadha(1/2 Kilo), Pauna(3/4 Kilo) and Pura(1 Kilo). They can be ordered online or even picked up from your nearest Social.


What's the Big Deal?
The menu features a wide-range of our favorite Social Dishes like Jalapeno-Cheese Nads, Ghee-Roast Chicken, Luru Prawns, Death Wings, Butter-Chicken Biryani and so on, and super reasonable prices and excellent packaging, The food goes equally well if you want to have a fun-filled dinner party with only the main course, or just appetizers to go along with your drinks,

My Picks from the Menu:
Keema Pao: This versatile dish goes so well in a varity of situations and I love having a lovely-buttered pao with steaming hot keema.

Butter-Chicken Biryani: For people who don't want to get their hands dirty, this boneless version of butter chicken in a biryani format is absolutely mouthwatering. Definitely my favourite in the mains.

Chicken Kebab Magic: These are just so brilliant and a kilo of these babies were gone in a jiffy, and they went beautifully with our beers and cocktails. A must-order appetizer for non-vegetarians.

Jalapeno Cheese Nads: A hot favorite at the dine-in at Socials, this is one dish that I order for sure when my vegetarian friends are around(and sometimes, even when they are not). Cheesy, crunchy and a hit of spice, another excellent dish.

Koramangala Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoHot Tennessee Chicken Wings:Not a big fan of Chicken wings, but this dish blew that notion right out of the park. Tender, juicy wings in a delicious smoky sauce, this was another dish that I quite enjoyed.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Haute: Wine and Tapas Review

While there are a lot of good places in Bangalore that serve Wine, there are few which tailor the food so that it pairs well with wine, without compromising on the taste. Haute is one of those places which seeks to please the casual wine-drinker as well as wine-connoisseurs with an excellent selection of New World and Old-World Wines and some domestic favorites as well. Does the food stand-up to the gorgeous wines they have curated? Let’s find out.

We learnt from Chef Adithya Kidambi,(the Executive Chef here) that the concept they are going for, in terms of food is two-fold. For the lunch menu, the food will be a combination of short eats and one-bowl meals, suited to the more casual diner. Dinner however would be an elaborate affair with a multi-course meal, with wine-pairings for each course. For the preview, we had a five-course meal paired with a Fratelli Chardonnay and a Fratelli Gran Cuvee Brut. More on that later.
Course 1: Teriyaki

Mixed Greens, Cherry Tomatoes, chicken slices (marinated overnight in a traditional soy-sauce based marinade), cucumber and the best part, the crunch of a homemade chikki made of sunflower & flax seeds in jaggery. The salad was delicately balanced with sourness from the cherry tomatoes, the crunch and sweetness from the crumbled home-made chikki, some freshness and additional depth-of-flavor from the mixed greens. A brilliant start to the meal. 

Course 2: Beetroot
My initial thought was, this was one dish that the chefs might have gone overboard. Was I wrong! Gazpacho is all the rage on the Indian food scene these days, and while it might be colloquially called, a ‘cold soup’, it is so much more. The one here at Haute was pretty well done. A slow-roasted beetroot gazpacho, served with a dollop cultured cream on the side. The Gazpacho was a brilliant red color, which can only be described as beetroot red and the earthy flavors of beetroot had been mellowed down considerably. The addition of dried orange segments added a much-needed crunchiness to this soup while imparting its own lovely flavor. The cultured cream when mixed with the soup, completely balanced out of the flavors, and to be honest, this is definitely the best Gazpacho I have had so far.



Course 3: Dumplings
We ordered the Prawn bisque and the Paprika Chicken dumplings. Both of them were very well-made with a beautiful, almost-translucent skin. The filling was ample and while the paprika chicken lacked the strong-punch of paprika, this version would appeal to most palates. However, both of these were served with a brilliant, grainy pepper sauce, which I absolutely loved.  

Course 4: Mains
I ordered the Cream of Chicken & Peas hand-cut Linguine while my spouse ordered their popular Bibimbap. Linguine is a pasta which falls somewhere between a spaghetti and fettuccine in terms of width. The linguine here was hand-cut and served with a creamy, buttery sauce and topped with shaved parmesan cheese, and thinly slices of chicken. I have to say, I loved this preparation immensely.


The bibimbap was served in a smoking hot cast iron bowl and was Korean Style Rice with 2 types of kimchi, assorted veggies, a poached egg and was served with a bowl of lamb slices that could be mixed with the bibimbap or had on its own. This is probably the most colorful Bibimbap I have seen in Bangalore, and was pretty good as well!

Course 5: Chocolate 
A beautiful tart with layers of single-origin dark chocolate. True chocolate connoisseurs will appreciate the beauty of the nuttiness of the dark chocolate and when had with the superbly creamy Dulce de Leche that it was served with, it was just heavenly. Not overly sweet nor too bitter, this was another masterpiece. A beautiful finale to a delightful symphony of flavors and textures.

Haute: Wine and Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoVerdict: Haute is one of those rare places where the execution of a beautiful concept has been done flawlessly. Excellent Wine-Selection, Brilliant food and an Ultra-Chic ambience are the reasons you should visit this place as soon as possible!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Monkey Bar - 'Next Stop Kolkata' Street Food Festival


Monkey Bar Decor Yellow Taxi
Street Food is an excellent way to gauge local flavors and preferences, primarily because the abundance of some and paucity of other ingredients leads vendors to experiment and come up with dishes that most locals will like. Kolkata is a place where food has had significant influences from Mughal and British cuisines, having been at the center of many a revolution. A street food festival celebrating Kolkata Street Food at an upscale pub in Bangalore seemed an unlikely place to get a taste of such a rich cultural diversity, and I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful rendition of some classics at the ‘Next Stop Kolkata’ street food festival at Monkey Bar.

Located in the hotbed of the Namma Ooru dining and pub scene, Monkey Bar at Indira Nagar is not hard to find. The entrance is flanked by a Yellow Ambassador Taxi Cutout, a throwback to a time when Uber and Ola were not even in existence, and travelling in these ‘Peela’ Calcutta Taxis was almost considered a luxury for the masses. As we settle down at our seat on the first floor of this neat space, early on a Saturday afternoon, tiny touches such as labelling of sections of the pub to various food stops of Kolkata, as the smell of freshly fried hing-er kochuri and ghooghni comes wafting from a nearby table, a wee bit of nostalgia does creep in.

Cocktails:
They have a few cocktails crafted specially for this festival and here are the ones we really liked.

Thanda Cha, Puchka Paani Capriojka, Peara PyaaraPuchka Paani Capriojka: Vodka, ‘Gondhoraj lebu’(a particularly flavourful lemon variant found in abundance in West Bengal), mint leaves and a delicious, tangy, slightly spicy & sweet, puchka paani make up this super-refreshing cocktail. Superbly balanced and fairly potent, this is my favorite from the lot.

Thaanda Cha: Revolutions, political or otherwise have been known to have been incepted over a cup of lal cha(red tea or tea without milk) in a Calcutta. This cocktail is a tribute to local tea shops in Kolkata. Darjeeling Tea, vodka and a few spices like cinnamon & star anise make up this lovely cocktail. People who have had cha in Kolkata will especially appreciate this cocktail.

Moong Dal Pakodi Chaat
Food:
This menu has been crafted very well, and while not all Kolkata street food is fit pub fare, they have adapted it brilliantly. Here are my picks from the menu: 

Pork MomosVardaan Market Moong Dal Pakodi Chaat: This dish is reminiscent of the chaat that is served on the streets of Kolkata as ‘North Indian’ chaat. Crisp, deep-fried Moong Dal wadis, topped with a sweet-spicy mint and tamarind chutney, yogurt and fried curry leaves. This dish will be loved equally by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike! I am told that they so designed this dish that it stays crispy for a longer duration, so that you can have it as a bar-snack, and I believe them!

Elgin Road Pork Momos: Momos as a street food in Kolkata have been around way before ‘dimsums’ became a fad, and piping hot steamed momos can be found at most street corners here. The version here is served in a tangy, spicy smoked tomato chutney. The well-stuffed dumplings were particularly well made and dipping them in that tangy chutney made them extra succulent!

Crumb FriedFish RollBeadon Street Fish Roll: You know that it is truly Bengali food, when the bhetki(Sea Bass) is used in a fish roll. No, this is not a roti/parantha encased roll, but these are crumb-fried ones, a smoked bhetki fillet stuffed with a curried-prawn mix. Crispy on the outside, juicy and oozing with flavors on the inside, this is probably the best bar snack to have with any cocktail or even chilled beer. I also liked the lovely kasundi spiked salad that was served on the side of this dish.

Girish Park-er Shoitan Deem: Devilled Egg, Kolkata style. Boiled eggs are cut in half, encased in a shammi kebab mince mixture and deep fried. This is as good as a scotch egg can ever be!

Hing Kachuri
For my vegetarian friends, the Hing-er Kachuri and Vivekananda Park Ghoogni are highly recommended as well. Their Lake Market Kabiraji is also excellent, and I have not had that crispy a kabiraji ever, and believe it or not, it wasn’t too oily!

We ended our meal with this beautiful Old Monk & Nutella Cake, which is a part of their regular menu.

Verdict: Monkey Bar has always been on my list of pubs which serve really good food, the ‘Next Stop Kolkata’ festival is a must visit for people who want to experience the goodness of Kolkata’s street food. While most of the dishes are adapted versions of classics, I love the fact that they have managed to retain the innate beauty of flavours of the originals. Highly Recommended!
Monkey Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
P.S. : The ‘Next Stop Kolkata’ Street Food Festival is on till the 21st Of October in all branches of the Monkey Bar across India.