Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Enchantingly Tamil…

If you ever thought Tamil cuisine meant just the same old Salem and Chettinad regulars half the Tamil joints around the city dish out everyday, then you're wrong. And to prove that point Malgudi offered The Tamil Nadu food festival, on till the first of July. The menu is to die for with brilliant vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to choose from, accompanied with a completely traditional dessert section that appeases any palate. The restaurant has been revamped Tamil style and looks like the interior of an artistically decorated Kalayanam Mandapam. Jasmine strings and cloth-lampshades apart, the food is every Tamil food buffs fantasy. I tried out quite a few dishes and relished every morsel that went down my throat. Do try the Elanneer Kozhambu - Tender Coconut and Paneer simmered in a delicious gravy, and the innumerous non-veg delicacies including the Eraal Thokku – Prawns cooked in a gravy of onions and spices, and the Ambur Aattu Paichi Biriyani – a traditional mutton Biriyani. Another special that just cant be missed is the Vaazhapoo Parruppu Usili – Banana flowers and lentils, fried dry. And to end the surprisingly different meal, what is better than the deliciously milky Pal Kolakattai – steamed rice balls in cardamom milk. The festival also focuses on a hardly encountered Virudhanagar cuisine in several dishes such as the Kozhi Kothu Kozhambu – Minced Chicken in a Virudhanagar style gravy. So if you're in for a gastronomical journey through a cuisine hardly encountered in an ambience so well chosen, make sure you catch this food festival.

Meal for Two (3 courses); Rs 500/-

Location: ****

Ambience: *****

Food: *****

Service: *****

Value4Money: *****

Chef's Secret: Vegetarians need to taste Kaikari Perrukkal – a lovely blend of Vegetables in a light gravy of Fenugreek and Fennel greens, while Non-Vegetarians can opt for Chuppal Kari Kozhambu – boneless succulent mutton cooked in an aromatic blend of spices.

… Chef Kumar

Location: Its on the Outer Ring Road, in between Silk Board and Agara Lake.


Director; Zhang Yimou
Starring; Chow-Yun-Fat and Li Gong
Opulence, Gold, and Royalty!

Set during the opulent Later Tang Dynasty's reign in 10th Century China, The Curse of the Golden Flower is the biggest epic - Chinese style - that has ever hit the screens. With extravagant sets and costumes, filmed within the Forbidden City, this richly detailed classic brings back to life the lavish and extremely flamboyant lifestyle that described the Later Tang dynasty in all its glory.

From director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), teamed up with Li Gong (Memoirs of a Geisha/2046) as Empress Phoenix, and Chow-Yun-Fat (Pirates of the Caribbean/Bulletproof Monk) as Emperor Ping, this colourful and well drawn out drama, is pure entertainment all through.

A dysfunctional royal family, an illicit liaison, incestuous relationships and several clandestine attempts to kill and overthrow the Emperor are the plots that make up the story line. Brilliant performances by Li Gong as the Empress and Jay Chou (Prince Jai) make this movie a worth it watch.

The movie leaves you dazzled with its brilliance that cant be ignored in the larger than life cinematography, well detailed choreography and the over powering presence of Gold and The Yellow Chrysanthemums that transport you effortlessly back into that era of Royal Chinese splendour. Make sure you catch this Epic Flick if you're one of those Historical Buffs whose just dying to get more information on Chinese Royalty, but even otherwise, the film promises a well spent entertaining two hours.

This is the Historical Epic at its best.

All the 'Yang' you want.

A huge hit with the college crowd, families and IT professionals working in the area, this charming little Chinese restaurant is situated right at the centre of Koramangala's hub, and offers you much more on the Chinese Platter for a price much more affordable. Well-designed interiors, and music that often suits the mood of the day, add to the charm that has had loyal Koramangalites flocking to this eatery ever since it opened. An ambience is perfectly created with the bamboo furniture, hand painted tables, dim lights, and exquisite artwork and of course the yummy sumptuous food, which only increase the 'Yang' of the whole experience. My personal favourites were the Crispy Vegetables in a Choice of Sauce, and the brilliantly made Chicken Steamed Momos in Garlic Sauce. The menu offers a wide and interesting choice of pan-asian dishes to choose from and cater to both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian enthusiast. The Restaurant does go authentically Chinese with certain dishes, but with others the more preferred and palatable Indo-Chinese style rules firm. A typical meal would consist of a soup and a starter, followed by a noodle or rice accompanied with a gravy. Popsies is therefore a good option for a relaxed meal on any day during the week. Think Chinese, Think Koramangala, Think Affordable, Think Popsies.

Meal for Two (2 course); Rs 250/-

Location; ****
Ambience; ****
Service; ***
Food; *****
Value4money; *****

Chef's Secret; Vegetarians need to try our Veg Szechwan Deep Fried Momo, and Non-Veggies can opt for Crispy Thread Chicken. These are sure hits!

… Chef Gonpo

Location; Opposite Chung Wah, Koramangala 5th Block, behind Raheja Arcade.

Perfect Weekday Lunch!

If you're looking for a normal and affordable weekday meal and you're in the vicinity of JC Road , then this 'Sagar' would be the most tantalising option. Hidden from the bustling traffic on Lalbagh Road, Café Shreera Sagar, nestled in a grove of palms, promises you a refreshing ambience to go with your food.

The Restaurant offers a wide spread menu of typical 'Bengalooru Lunching Items' which include the usual South Indian and North Indian Meal varieties and a wide set of Rotis and Curries to choose from. My personal favourite, which I discovered was also the favourite of the masses, was the delicious Paneer Butter Masala. Blended in delectable gravy with Paneer cubes cooked just right, this was perfection at the very least. A lunch haven to hungry IT Professionals and Office workers from around the area, the restaurant promises a hundred percent vegetarian cuisine, with added on vegetarian avatars of many non-veg treats such as the infamous Mughalai Biriyani. A fresh fruit juice counter also adds to making it the most refreshing weekday lunch experience in this part of town.

A Typical meal Café Shreera Sagar style would begin with a Veg Soup, and a starter of your choice, continuing into a main course of Malaai Koftaas or Stuffed Tomatoes with a Kulcha of your choice, while a heavier meal would call for a typical veg avatar of your favourite Biriyani, washed down with a glass of a fresh fruit juice of your choice.

Meal for Two; Two Course, Rs 200, including a juice.

Location **
Ambience **
Service *
Food ***
Value for Money ****

Chef's Secret: I would recommend our Café Shreera Sagar Special, our own version of the Navratan Kurma, a curry cooked with Mushrooms, Paneer and Vegetables in Ghee, garnished with fresh and dry fruits. It goes perfectly with anything on our menu.

- Shreedhar H K (from Teertahalli)