Saturday, December 31, 2011

Newyear's Eve at Kanua

-2011 was going to end soon. I had to make a choice. Time was running out on me.
Yes, the most important decision of the year. Where to have my Newyear's Eve Dinner.
After hours of statistics, analysis, contemplation and confrontation, I decided to pick 'Kanua'-

Kanua is an authentic konkani eat out located in Sarjapur Road, Bangalore.
The place was crowded as it was Newyear's Eve. People were drinking, eating and sitting around but it was totally comfy and quiet. I always liked Kanua for its ambiance, comfort and its awesome food.

I started with Fish. I ordered a Naked Seer Fish Fried and 4 Neer Dosas to accompany it to my impatient mouth.The fish is one of the best dishes you must/should/have to try in Kanua. The texture, the flavorour and the intelligent blend of spices makes the Fish an amazing experience. Neer Dosas just melts in your mouth and is no special as a stand-alone.

 Naked Fried Seer Fish with Tender Neer Dosas

I moved on to a heavier section on the menu. The Prawns Biriyani.
Its so good, I can't put that in words. You will love it. Trust me when I say its the best Prawns Biriyani you will get in Bangalore.

PS: Before eating this one, make sure that you are not allergic to Shrimps of any kind.

I also ordered a Goan Chicken Curry to add some gravy to it.

 Prawns Biriyani with Goan Chicken Curry

Kanua doesnt have an interesting palette of Desserts. They went the authentic Konkani way in that as well and it sort of sucks! 

PS: Don't forget to grab a handful of that ginger candy wrap at the end. They are godsend!

Kanua is a little heavy on the pocket though a must try for all serious foodies!

Average Cost on Meal for Two: INR 2000

6/2, Kaikondrahalli, Near Wipro Headquaters, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Power Snack at Chai Point

This little shack is a must-visit for all tea lovers. Conveniently located and open to the streets, the Chai Point offers a variety of tea along with a limited set of snacks.

I am not much of a Tea lover, but tried the Mango Tea Shake with an Egg Puff.

Both tasted awesome but that wasn't quite enough for me. So I close the deal with an Iced Green Tea on the rocks!

Chai Point has a couple of combo deals, where you can get your favorite flavored tea with any snack you like. The prices are very reasonable. The mango shake + egg puff + iced green tea costs me 57 INR.

Chai Point is for tea lovers and for those who wants to take a quick bite. The seating capacity is very limited and open to the streets. Chai Point is located in Kaikondrahalli, Sarjapur Road and opposite to Pai Electronics.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Traveller's Guide to a Peaceful Journey

1. Find the perfect destination.

Do start early with some good research on finding your perfect destination. Your budget and days to spare are the major things to consider prior decision. Once finalized, do some in-depth research on the place. Places to visit, Places to stay, Places to eat, Mode of transportation, Expenses, Exchange rates, Climate, Safety and Visitor Reviews.

2. Make the reservations.

Book your travel tickets and a visa if needed. You could do this directly but to be hassle-free, its better to assign an agent to do this for you. A tourist visa wouldn't take longer than a week to process but its wiser to provide at least a month. Agents will let you know what all documents you need to file along with your application. You could google the list of documents needed for each country. Once the tickets are confirmed and the visa is under process, you can proceed with making other reservations. It’s always good to reserve every attractions/hotels that you intend to visit on your trip before you're there, if possible. For Inst: If you are planning to visit Universal Studios Singapore, you can book your tickets online, carry a printout and enter straight into the park. It saves a lot of time and makes you tension-free. However it’s a must that you have the reservations for your stay ready with you, before travel. You could use any travel review sites to locate recommended hotels depending on your budget. Most of the hotels need credit card information but that will only be charged once you've checked in.

3. Make an itinerary.

Once you've completed your research and reservations, its time for you to make yourself an itinerary. Itinerary is either a hard or soft copy on the things that you want to do on your trip. An itinerary should include, your traveling tickets, your hotel booking confirmation, a document on day-by-day activities you are planning, attraction reservation slips, In-country MRT/LRT/Bus Route and Stations, A map of the place with locations you want to go, highlighted. If you have a smart phone (which by-the-way everyone has now), you could carry a soft copy of the itinerary as well for easy access. But you need to carry hard copies of all your tickets anyway.

4. Backpacking.

A very important rule to remember: Travel light. I would suggest a single piece hand luggage for each one and that’s all! Only do carry clothing you need for the duration of your stay. If you are anxious do make a list on what to wear each day. Do invest in a quality backpack, preferably one with a laptop compartment. Do take a travel adapter and all the cables you need to charge your devices, but do it wisely. For inst. If your phone supports USB charging and you have your laptop, do not carry the wall adapter of the phone. This will save a lot of space when you wish to travel light. Put all your travel documents in a compartment that is easily accessible.

5. Carrying Cash.

Be ready with your finances at least a week before traveling. Convert 3/4 of your total budget (left-over post reservations) to the required foreign currency. Put the remaining 1/4 on your credit card and carry it along as reserve money. Do carry a few notes in your wallet for emergency needs but make sure that you have the major portion safe inside your hand luggage.

6. Bon Voyage.

As mentioned earlier, if you are carrying just one piece of luggage, you don't need to worry about reaching early at the airport. You can reach the airport two hours prior to your departure and start with your check-in procedures. Now here are some tips to avoid some very common delays at the airport. After getting your boarding pass, grab an immigration form and start filling it. Keep the passport handy for this. And do not forget to carry a Pen! Be cool at the immigration department, they might irritate you, but you will definitely get through that counter in less than 5 minutes. Be ready to answer some very silly questions. What is the purpose of your visit / Where are you working/ Traveling alone? Etc. Answer those , get your passport stamped and proceed to the security check. Now here's one useful advice. Before going to the security check, take out your wallet, your cell phone and your watch and put it in your hand luggage's front compartment. If you are carrying a laptop, take that out and hold it in your hand while waiting in the queue. Now you can just dump your laptop and bag in the belt and walk. Once its over get back your bag and laptop. Pack it back and proceed to the gate of departure. Most of the major international airlines will have a second round of security check, which is a bit more serious. They might ask you to remove your shoes and your belt. It would be embarrassing to hold your documents in one hand and your pants with the other one! So I would suggest wearing a perfect-fit trouser without a belt. Also do prefer shoes that you can easily get out of and vice versa.

7. Flying time.

I am not going to put statistics here, but they say flying is the safest mode of transport out there. Still many people are afraid of flying. I am one among them! But even then I am forced by opportunity to fly at least 7-9 times an year. Trust me, there is no easy way to get out of that fear but these tips will make your journey as smooth as possible. If you are traveling on an international flight, track the flight a couple of days before your flight on the Internet. You will see that the flight is making a safe landing and take-off on time every day. Turbulence (or a bumpy ride) is another common fear most people have. Turbulence is a very common phenomenon and all the flights are made to withstand even higher levels of turbulence. So don't think that your flight is going straight down. For every downdraft, there is an updraft as well. If you are still worried about it, try and get a seat by the middle of the aircraft (the wing area). The effect of turbulence will be less there, though with only a negligible difference. Another easy solution for your anxiety is to go see a doctor, get a prescription, and take an anti-anxiety drug before you fly. It will give you a peaceful sleep on-flight and thus will take care of any on board anxieties. (Restyl .5mg helps for a 4.5 hr flight but will give you a bad hangover the next morning. Be cautious, as the drug is addictive).

If you hate to sleep or you have an even longer flight, take some entertainment with you. Throw in some movies and music to your iPod/iPad whatever and carry it along. Don't forget to fill out your disembarkation form (the attendants will provide one to you) before your land.

8. Arriving.

Most of the international airports will have the smoothest arrival procedures. Though it will be good to have your destination airport map handy. You can grab a bunch of required brochures from the airport ( maps, mrt information, attraction info etc).

Hope this helps someone someday!

Travel Safe; Eat a lot of food; Travel Back Safe!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My (Weird) Food Adventures in Seoul: Part One

The night before my final day in Seoul, I took a walk and the objective was to eat something weird before I leave. A few minutes later I was at a Hawker centre where they had a bunch of multinational cuisine outlets and one name caught my attention.

(Still dont get why the frogs are so happy)

Well weird enough, but not too weird that I'll be left out at dinner parties back home!

I went through the menu and my wallet. Frog with spring onions sounded ok. But the chef said its gonna take atleast 15 minutes, so while waiting I got myself a box of seafood dumplings, which was exquisite!

A perfect well-cooked blend of flour with a mixture of squid, prawns, fish and oyster. They gave me 3 in a box with a chilli paste to spice it up a notch.

And finally, it arrived. A smoking pot full of Frogs and Spring onions.

One bite and I was gracious to my perfect appetite. The pieces were soaked in a hot and thick sauce gravy. The flesh were well cooked and its taste reminded me of chicken wings. I left the Spring Onions just the way it came.

Final Verdict : It was delicious by default and the thought of this being forbidden, juiced up the taste a bit!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paneer Butter Masala


Paneer - 200 gm
Onion - 2 medium-size (thinly sliced)
Tomato -1 medium-size
Ginger - Small size
Garlic - 2-3
Chili Powder (Kashmiri) - 1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cashew nut - 10-15
Cream - 2-3 tbspn
Green Chilli - 2
Kasoori Methi
Coriander leaf

How to:

1. Shallow-fry the Paneer with a little butter

2. Make the cashew nut into a paste and keep it aside

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onion. Fry till it turns golden brown. Add into it finely chopped Ginger-Garlic pieces. Then add Kashmir Chilli Powder, Coriandar Powder, Turmeric Powder and Garam masala to it and cook well. Add Salt as needed. Add Tomatoes and Stir Well. Once it becomes cool, grind it well in a mixer along with Kasuri Methi leaves and keep it aside

4. Put needed butter in a pan. Add the above prepared content onto it, then paneer, cashew paste and finally the cream. Mix well in low flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves and Butter. Can put two finely chopped chilies on top.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coconut Groove: Salt n Pepper

Whenever I start thinking of doing a budget plan, a new hoarding will appear right across my door of some new restaurant chain. The latest addition was Coconut Groove, the mid-range eatery serving keralite cuisines.

On my first visit to the place, I ordered Appams with Meen Mappas, Idiyappam with Chicken Stew and Panni Varuthathu.



Fish (Meen) Mappas

Chicken Stew

Appam went well with the Meen Mappas (a light red fish curry). It also made an excellent combo with the Chicken Stew. Idiyappam, was disappointing even with the pinch of pepper corns added to them. Panni Varuthathu (Pork Dry Fried with Onions) is a must-try for all the Pork Lovers. Though a little spicy, it tasted awesome.

Coconut Groove provides a wide range of traditional keralite delicacies. I will also recommend the Motta Porotta (Egg Porottas) and Prawns Biriyani.

A decent variety meal for two will cost your around 700 INR.

Address: Coconut Groove, Next to South Indian Bank, Opp Ittina Souparnika, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pasta with Onions and Sausages

Last night was Pasta Night. I had a pack of Fusilli pasta and arrabbiata sauce. I've kept it really simple for the fact that I don't want to spend more time in the kitchen!


Oil as needed
One Pack of Fusilli (Cork Screw Shaped Pasta)
Arrabbiata Sauce
Two Chicken Sausages
One Onion
Tomato Puree
Red and Green Capsicum
Basil Leaves
Salt as needed

PS: You can do it either with the Sausage cut to dices or with the wrap removed.

How to:

0. Cook the Fusilli as per Pack Instruction and Keep aside.
0. Boil the Sausages and Keep aside.
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add nicely cut onions and stir fry till golden brown
3. Add in the dice cut capsicum
4. Pour in the tomato puree
5. Add the cooked pasta to the pan
6. Add dice cut / sausage content to the pan
7. Add in Arabbiata Sauce
8. Salt if needed
9. Mix well
10. Add in basil leaves
11. Simmer and Serve Hot

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Down the memory lane: Chilli Stuff at Mamma

Back in the mid-90s, Dining out was a once-in-a-while family tradition for us. Me and my brother will be really excited when Dad stops our mighty old ambassador by the well lit parking lot of any of our regular diner. I still remember those tastes. It was exquisite, Out of the world and nowhere comparable to what we are getting now in the name of indian chinese! Our dinner date menus were pretty much preset and regular. Sweet Corn Chicken Soups, Vegetable Fried Rice, Nans and Chilli Chicken. Well cooked chicken pieces in a light and red viscous gravy along with green chillies and capsicum. The taste is unexplainable. It satisfied every single bud in my tongue. As time passed and with more and more hotels and fast food counters, the above said taste was somehow lost. The chicken pieces became a last minute add-on to the thick buttery spicy gravy and Chilli Chicken started tasting like any other Chicken in the menu. Traditions became memories.

Last month, I was traveling in and across Cochin on an assignment when my senses unexpectedly flew back down the memory lane. We stopped at Hotel Mamma in Tripunithura for our lunch, Well we got the exact same Chilli chicken I was talking about earlier (Note for dummies: not the exact same stuff, that wouldn't be edible after all these years!).

We (me & my brother) ordered a Portion of Chilli Chicken,Chilli Beef, Chilli Pork , Butter Nans and a plate of Mixed Fried Rice.

Fried Rice with Chilli Chicken.

Naans with Chilli Beef.

Naans with Chilli Pork.

All of these were awesome and not that expensive. We spend the next 1 hr there eating, drinking and refreshing our memories!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Discovering the Hainanese

Our visit to Singapore Universal Studios was a Semi-Disaster due to the unexpected bad weather. We hardly went on outside rides but made sure that we are in the Jurassic Rapids, the best ride in the park. We had to wait in the queue for about an hour (which is usually considered fast moving there) and had an exciting Jurassic Water Adventure.

I was quite hungry after all the waiting, animatronic dinosaurs and water splashes. So we decided to have lunch at the Discover Food Court.

The place, though heavily crowded (most of them were there to escape the rain), reminded me of the Visitor Center in Jurassic Park.

There was a huge queue to the food counter. We could see only two items on the display board from there and hence decided to go with it . The Hainanese Chicken Rice Set and the Roasted Chicken Rice Set.

The Hainanese chicken rice set had Sliced up Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Rice and Onion Sprouts.

"The chicken is prepared in traditional Hainanese methods which involve the boiling of the entire chicken in a pork and chicken bone stock, reusing the broth over and over and only topping it up with water when needed, in accordance with the Chinese preferences for creating master stocks. This stock is not used for rice preparation, which instead involves chicken stock created specifically for that purpose, producing an oily, flavourful rice sometimes known as "oily rice" with Southeast Asian pandan leaves added sometimes. Some cooks may add coconut milk to the rice, reminiscent of the Malay dish nasi lemak." - Wiki

The Roasted Chicken Rice set had a No-Frills Roasted Chicken , Flavored Cabbage Slices,Rice and Onion Sprouts.

Being inside the park, the food was comparatively expensive at 10.50 S$ each.

Don't ,by any chance ,miss out on the Hainanese Chicken Rice set, if you are anywhere near Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand. It is definitely worth a try.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Inside the Jewel Box

This place was on my wish list for a long time but never got a chance to go there till the other day. Was on my way back to bangalore when we made our last pitstop at the Koshy's for a Meal.

Had to wait outside for a while as the Jewel Box a.k.a the posh lounge of Koshy's wasn't open. The Paradise Cafe a.k.a the regular Koshy's cafe was crowded even at that odd time. We soon moved in to the Jewel Box.Well lit, warm and Cozy , the Jewel Box stood up to its name.

Inside Koshy's Jewel Box.

I ordered a Sangiovese Wine to start with.

Sangiovese Red Wine (INR 110).

For the Meal , we ordered the Famous Pineapple Steak with Spring Onions and Grilled Pork.

Pineapple Steak with Spring Onions. (INR 275)

Grilled Pork. (INR 275)

Both tasted awesome. The Steak was well cooked, soft and juicy and was served with a slice of Pineapple,which went well with a fork of steak. Pork was delicious but the occasional bone encounters were tough to handle.

As usual I needed to have a dessert to consider the meal complete. I chose the Caramel Custard.

Caramel Custard. (INR 90)

A nice place to hang out with some great food. The well behaved Keralite staff were so helpful in Menu Decisions. Definitely a Must-visit.


No. 39, St Marks Rd, Bengaluru

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Continental Taste of Benitos, Bangalore

I would call myself heart(tongue)less, if I wait any longer to write about this place. My (almost) everyday hangout , Benitos. A decent continental restaurant located in Sarjapur Road, Bangalore.

As I said, I am a frequent visitor and a huge fan of the place. The truth is that I cant live without a juicy steak at least once a week. And when it comes to it, where else to look than right across my street.

I wouldn't say the menu of Benitos has much variety to offer, but what they have there is worthy for an entry to your system. I would always start my course with either a salad or a soup. Then I would go for a house special and will close the deal with a dessert.

I am suggesting a (my favorite) menu that you could try once you are there.

Chicken Salad with potatoes/ pasta / sweet corn.

House Special 1: Mixed Grill Steak / Sizzler ( For All-Meat Lovers).

House Special 2: Chicken Parmegean (For Chicken Lovers).

House Special 3: Thai Curry Rice ( For Seafood Lovers).

Dessert : Tender Coconut Souffle.

Well, this is not the end of it. The list goes on and it goes on good. Other items worth mentioning are the Lasagna, Chocolate Crepes, Chicken & Leek Soup and the Fish Sizzler. Don't miss out on the Tender Coconut Souffle though, its without a question one of the best desserts I've had in Bangalore.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice in Singapore

For the first 2 nights of my Singapore visit ,I had to stay at the CityHub hotel in Jalan Besar. The Dinner at hotel was so bad that I had to go out and eat once again at 11 PM.

Right across the street was the famous Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice shop. I saw people standing there patiently waiting for their turn to taste the delicious scissor chopped meal at midnight.

Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice Shop.

On my way to the top of the queue I saw pretty interesting stuff set out in the shelves.

Fried Larvae


When I arrived at the Cut Centre, the man with the scissors asked me " yo whataa dhu you needth"? ( I am no Russell Peters and I don't do very good impressions.)

Honeslty i didn't knew the names of most of the items laid down before me. Some where black, some green and some where brown. I just went with my instincts and pointed everything in an order which seemed appropriate to me. He took everything and made small cuts out of it with his scissors and put those in a bowl of rice. Threw in some gravy and gave me the plate.

Scissor Cut Rice Plate.

The plate with everything chopped on it was 3 S$. It had beef, pork, fish, chicken, squid and almost everything that I've ever eaten, all together. But the combo was pretty good. Fish cakes were well cooked. The red and white meat were neat and juicy.

But the quantity wasn't that great. I was still hungry and wanted to try a few more items in the shelf.

The Shark Egg.

The Ultimate Combo. Drumstick, Grilled Shark and Meat Sausage with Chilly Paste.

In my 5 day-long Singapore trip, I've had 5 Plates of Scissor Cut Rice. I think that pretty much sums it up!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Surprised by Attuvanchi : Alappuzha

We were a bit confused when we saw the board "kallu" (Toddy) showing up prominently over the hotel's actual title 'Attuvanchi', But hunger won over confusion the very next second. We were on our way home from Alappuzha and almost near changanassery when we decided to stop at any place which offered some food.

We got in and thought of doing it the right way and hence appeared a pot of fresh toddy on our table.

The toddy was so fresh and sweet.It was definitely tingly but not sour.

We ordered one plate of Kappa ( Mashed & Cooked Tapioca), A Set of Appams, One Kada (Quail) Deep Fried and Crabs. We had to wait for a while to get these ready but meanwhile we were offered a Duck Curry we could use as an appetizer.

The Duck curry went well with Appams. Spicy with lots of bones.

Kappa well cooked and spicy. Hot delicious.

Kada fry was alright. Eatable to the last bone, it resembled chicken in taste.

We got 3 adult crabs and an over sized adult crab in one plate. Tasted amazing even though you had to struggle through the shell.

And finally the battle was over.

To our surprise the bill for all the above said menu, was under 300 INR, which was a huge relief as we only had 500 on us and these places wont accept any cards!