Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Rasta Pasta - Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore

It's fun to drive around town at night, and stop for a munch. That's how we landed at the new location of Rasta Pasta at Jayanagar 4th Block. Previously, Rasta Pasta was famously known as Veekes & Thomas. They seem to have rebranded their outlets, and introduced a few more items on the menu. We liked the new location, and that's on the 6th 'C' Main alongside with Tandoori Nights. This street is filled with eateries. Check it out someday.

We have eaten at Rasta Pasta a couple of times. As the name suggests, the restaurant serves Italian food in street-food style! The idea behind starting this restaurant was to serve Italian food at an affordable price, ensuring that the taste is kept intact. Instead of munching on Indian chaats or snacks, we tend to step in to Rasta Pasta for a quick Italian serving. :-)

We ordered tomato-basil soup and french-onion soup. On a cold night, the spicy soups tasted divine. As main course, we ordered macaroni-cheese and arrabbiata. Was good (, and easy on the purse)!



Our rating of Rasta Pasta (w.r.t it's peers):
  • Ambience - Simple decor; indoor seating
  • Restroom - Did not use
  • Service - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Food - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - Italian (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - Yes
  • Alcohol - Not served
  • Value for Money - 4 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - No parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road.
  • Valet Parking - No
Regards,
Asha

Monday, 24 December 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Whole Green Gram Dosa

One of the easiest and delicious dosas is the whole green gram dosa. This is also known as pesarattu.

Usually, at night after cleaning the kitchen, I plan the next day's menu. Some days are tiring, and force me to think about easy and quick recipes. On such a night, I thought of making dosas from green gram. Quickly soaked 2 small cups of whole green gram, 1 small cup of flattened rice (avalakki), 6-7 roasted red chillies, and 4-5 fenugreek seeds in room-temperature water. Closed the vessel with a lid, and said 'Good night' to my kitchen.

In the morning, drained the water from the vessel, and blended the ingredients (along with salt, half an inch fresh ginger, and a few leaves of fresh coriander) in a mixer to form a smooth batter. On a heated dosa pan, poured a spoonful of batter. If the pan is washed, ensure that you rub half an onion or potato on the pan, and then make the dosas. Along the side of the dosa, drizzle oil; allow the dosa to cook, and then turn it the other side. Cook both sides, and serve the dosa with chutney or curd. I made eggplant and curd chutney.


When I prepared this dosa the previous time, I added finely chopped onions and a lot of fresh coriander to the batter. Instead of red chillies, I had used green chillies. I had also added a spoonful of rice flour to the batter (instead of soaked flattened rice).

Sometimes it's fun to experiment! :-)

What's your version of this dosa?

Regards,
Asha

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Ginnu

Ginnu (in Kannada) is a sweet dish made from the milk of a lactating cow. In other native languages, Ginnu is known as Junnu (Telugu), Seem Baal (Tamil), Posa (Konkani), and Kharvas (Marathi). Yesterday, I was lucky to get about a litre of this milk. The cow had delivered an extremely healthy calf, and the cow was milked for the first time that day. This milk is nutritious; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colostrum.

I love Ginnu especially the way my mother prepares it. During childhood, we have eaten Ginnu a lot of times. My mother's acquaintances had farms and cattle, and would gift the lactating cow's milk. Yesterday when I saw my uncle bring this milk, I was mighty thrilled. I got the Ginnu recipe from my mother, and made my version of it.


I roasted one small cup rawa, and also melted sufficient amount of jaggery. In a deep vessel, poured the milk, sprinkled cardamon powder, and stirred the rawa and jaggery in to the milk. You can either heat this mixture, stirring continuously till the mixture starts separating from the vessel, OR you can steam the mixture similar to idlis or momos. I steamed the mixture; got lovely layered Ginnu. After the dish cooled, I blended it in a mixer. Transferred the dish to a bowl for easy storage. Can serve Ginnu chilled, or can dilute it and then serve as a drink. Can use this dish as a spread on breads!


Have you eaten or cooked Ginnu? What's your take on this traditional dish?

Regards,
Asha

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Pepper Cafe - St. John's Road, Bangalore

A cold winter evening. Stores decorated for Christmas, and some stores selling decorative items. People returning home after a hard day's work tend to stop and admire the decorative items. Suddenly, they remember that they have a home to go, and they hurriedly walk away.

On such a cold evening, we needed delicious and hot food. Ram's friend, Preethi, had suggested (a long time ago) that we visit Pepper Cafe on St. John's Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore. We drove straight to the cafe, and walked in; only to realize that the cafe opens for dinner after 7:00 pm!


When we returned, a cute Santa on an air balloon greeted us; was hung from the ceiling. Cook books, jars of pickled tomatoes, and jars of pickled gherkins were arranged on a table. Yes, you can flip through the books, and you can also purchase the pickled vegetables. The pickled tomato jar costs Rs. 50 each; a jar of gherkins cost Rs. 100.

One more Santa, resembling a snowman, welcomed us to the first floor of the cafe. Oh, remember that, by default, the cafe staff encourage you to occupy the first floor tables. The decor is warm and friendly. That's what one needs on a cold evening!

The cafe serves wine, and has a tiny bar on the first floor. We ordered minestrone soup with basil, spinach and mushroom lasagna served with garlic bread, and pasta in a rich White sauce with broccoli and vegetables; we chose vegetarian dishes.



The soup not only looked beautiful but also was extremely tasty. The spinach dish was gorgeous. The pasta was truly rich with cheese sauce. However, we felt that the portions were a little too much for one person to eat for dinner; perhaps, for lunch, we could easily polish off the plates. The staff was courteous, and served the dishes as quickly as they could.

Apparently, hummus is awesome and the desserts are something to die for. We didn't taste either of them. Well, there is always a next time! :-)

Our rating of Pepper Cafe:
  • Ambience - Warm decor; indoor seating
  • Restroom - Neat
  • Service - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Food - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - Eurasian (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - Within 3 kms radius
  • Alcohol - Only wine
  • Value for Money - 4 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - No parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road.
  • Valet Parking - No

Regards,
Asha

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Casa Picola - Indiranagar - Bangalore


We are a big fan of Casa Picola restaurant chain. The ones that were at Koramangala, Residency road, and Cunningham road were our favorites  All these outlets are closed; sad for its customers. When we loitered around the CHM road, we spotted the Indiranagar outlet, and yes, sweet and romantic memories flooded us. We decided to dine there.

We were glad to find one Casa Picola outlet that was still functioning. Ordered macaroni salad (veg), caribbean veg curry, and grilled sear steak. Click to see the menu. Ram liked the grilled sear steak, while I kept wondering if macaroni salad and caribbean curry really has tomato ketchup in it. Both the dishes tasted weird. Obviously, the dishes had deviated from the original recipe or taste! I truly miss our favorite outlets of Casa Picola and miss the taste of the original recipes.


Well, our rating of Casa Picola on CHM road, Indiranagar, Bangalore is an all time low 2. The whole dining experience was terrible (though the service and staff's courtesy was good).

Regards,
Asha

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Char kway teow with tofu and veggies


Well, it's no secret that I love good food. I love to try different cuisines. And... I love to cook. I had to treat myself to a yummy yet non-spicy and healthy dish; I deserved this little treat.

I understand that Char Kway Teow means stir-fried flat rice noodles, and that's the dish I cooked today at our kitchen. My version has carrots, french beans, bok choy, and garlic, topped with roasted sesame seeds. I used rice vinegar and dark soy sauce to flavor the noodles.

To a hot wok, I added a tablespoon of cooking oil. Added chopped garlic, carrots, and beans. Stirred. Sprinkled sugar, salt, and freshly grounded white pepper. Stirred. Added a dash of rice vinegar and a spoonful of dark soy sauce. Stirred. Just before tossing the boiled flat rice noodles into the wok, added roughly chopped bok choy and neatly chopped tofu. Tossed everything well and let it cook for a minute.

Meanwhile, I made black tea with apricot and peach flavor. Served the noodles with this cup of hot fruit-flavored black tea. Oh, I loved my brunch!


You may also want to see my version of vegan Indian rice noodles.

Regards,
Asha

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Bread and Cabbage Fritters

Rained at Bangalore today also, due to depression at Bay of Bengal. I'm glad because my plants at the terrace garden will be delighted. :-)

At our kitchen, fritters made of white bread and cabbage were served with mayonnaise during tea-time. It's the first time that I tried this combination of ingredients, and the fritters turned out delicious. The sourness of mayonnaise seemed to enhance the flavor of the fritters. I recommend this snack for parties. People of all ages will enjoy the taste.

Yes, you guessed correct; way to man's heart is through his stomach! And Ram loved the fritters. :-)


Regards,
Asha

Monday, 3 December 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Spicy Urad Dal Vada

The weather application (on the smartphone) indicates that Bangalore's temperature is about 25 degree centigrade, and that parts of the city are receiving rain. That's fantastic news and calls for a celebration!

Most Bangaloreans love to eat fried snacks along with their evening cup of tea or coffee. You can see road-side vendors encash this weakness of Bangaloreans. The famous fried snacks are bajjis, bondas, vadas, and so on.

As a true Bangalorean, I trooped into the kitchen to prepare some spicy vadas. The taste was already lingered on Ram's tongue even before I started preparing the snack. I also prepared fresh filter coffee, which Ram loves. I served the hot vadas with hot tomato-chilli sauce and strong coffee. Yes, you are correct - Ram is one happy person! :-)


Enjoy your evening!

Regards,
Asha

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Pepper-Peanut Rice with Raw Banana Fritters

Hello, and season's greetings!

It's a lazy Sunday for us. We managed to clean our garden, do our laundry, watch a movie, and absolutely lazy at home. In the evening, we went for a walk around our neighborhood. Felt refreshed, and ready for Monday!

Because laziness stuck to me, I cooked a simple yet delicious dish. This one is pepper and freshly peeled peanut rice, and raw banana fritters served with tomato ketchup. The rice is easy on the stomach especially when one is unwell or on a diet. For recipe, please email me.


Have a beautiful week ahead!

Regards,
Asha

Friday, 23 November 2012

Jolada Rotti - Pai Refreshments - Bangalore

Jolada Rotti Oota translates to lunch with its main item as roti made of jowar. We love this cuisine! 

When we were around Majestic area, we visited Pai Refreshments for a jowar roti lunch. Pai Refreshments has been serving the jowar roti lunch for decades now. The hotel also has South Indian snacks, Chinese dishes, Indian sweets and savories, and a variety of juices. Check the menu.

The jowar roti lunch provides unlimited rotis and rice, and is always served on a plantain leaf. A normal thali has three types of curries, one salad, raw onions and fresh fenugreek leaves, Red chilli chutney, papad, jowar rotis, rice, sambar, curds, buttermilk, and a North Karnataka savory. The curries are as follows: brinjal curry, greens and dal curry, and sprouts curry. The brinjal curry is most famous. The special thali also provides chilli bhajji, soup, and dessert. We enjoyed the normal thali, and I loved the buttermilk.

But nothing beats the jowar roti and brinjal curry that my dearest mom prepares. :-)



Our rating of Pai Refreshments:

  • Ambience - Modest indoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't use
  • Service - 3 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Food - 3 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - North Karnataka cuisine, Chinese (vegetarian only)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - 3 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - Limited parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road, if you are lucky.
  • Valet Parking - No
Regards,
Asha

Monday, 19 November 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Kadale Kaalu Curry, Rice, and Fryums

Hello, friends! I have a list of eatouts that we visited, but haven't had the time to update this blog. Just wait for this weekend to see review of an exclusive restaurant. :-)

What's happening at the Peg N Pig kitchen? Hmm... Lots of native dishes and (edible) experiments at kitchen! Today, I cooked kadale kaalu (Black chickpea) curry, and served it with idlis for breakfast. For lunch, packed the curry with idlis. For dinner, ate plain rice with the curry, along with fryums and urad dal vada (homemade). Enjoyed the curry; absolutely!


I soaked the chickpea overnight, and cooked it till the peas became soft (but retained their shape). In a mixer, blended boiled tomatoes, garlic flakes, fresh ginger slices, roughly chopped onion, handful of curry leaves, sambar powder (homemade), small piece of cinnamon and 1-2 cloves, 1 green cardamon, salt, and freshly grated coconut. Soak tamarind in hot water; size of a small ball or less. (Hope that I covered all the ingredients!)

In a pan, heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil. Added a pinch of hing, one teaspoon of mustard, and a few curry leaves. Stirred, and then poured the mix into the pan and add tamarind juice. After a boil, added the cooked chickpeas, and let the whole curry slowly boil for a while. When the aroma spread inside the entire house and sneaks outside, you know that the curry is complete. If you have fresh coriander leaves, oh, just chop them fine and garnish the curry with it.

What's your version of this curry?

Regards,
Asha

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Green Theory - Convent Road, Bangalore


When you drive down the Convent road, look out for Green Theory on you right-hand side. The greenery will attract you. You'll be surprised to find a vegetarian continental restaurant around Residency road. What will knock you out of your boots is that the restaurant also serves Jain variation of the vegetarian food!

One fine evening, Ram and I decided to dine at Green Theory. We prefered outdoor seating, to enjoy the garden and the water features. Not all tables have patio umbrellas; watch out for the weather forecast before deciding to occupy table outdoors. The indoor seating oozes warmth especially due to the wooden flooring. Hey, a foosball table greets you as you walk inside the building. There is also a store that sells organic food products.

We ordered Lemon Soda Fizz, which was refreshing. We had Herb Soup with Grilled Vegetables soup,Vegetable Stroganoff with Rice and Thai (Red) Curry with Mixed Green Leaves and Beans for main course. Topped it all with Caramel Custard for dessert. Were we a happy couple! Of course, we were.


The food was served hot. The presentation was lovely. The flavors were memorable. The portions were delightful. The stewards were friendly. The service was professional. That caramel custard melted in our mouths; beautiful!

Green Theory also hosts a variety of events. Check out their Facebook page for more details.

Our rating of Green Theory:

  • Ambience - Simple indoor and outdoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't use
  • Service - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Food - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - Continental, Italian (vegetarian only)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - Within 1km
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - 4 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - No parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road, if you are lucky.
  • Valet Parking - Nope

Try Green Theory, and let us know your experience.

Regards,
Asha

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Vegetable Wrap

Good morning, Sunday!

It has been raining this whole week, but Bangalore's festival season doesn't seem to be affected by the rains. People shopped in the rain. They went to musical concerts that are organized during Dasara festival. They visited temples. They also invited relatives, friends, and neighbors to their houses to see the arrangement of dolls. That's the spirit of the festival!

It's a lazy Sunday for us at our home. Because of the rain and cloudy weather, lost track of time; woke up late (not to mention the cough that has caught me). Well, does stomach ever forget the feeding time? Never. Stomachs got hungry, and I had to quickly prepare some delicious and healthy dish.

I made vegetable wraps.


I chopped french beans, carrots, and potatoes, and cooked them with a little salt (, ensuring they doesn't lose their shape). Then chopped onions and tomatoes (with seeds). Heated cooking oil (1 tbsp) in a pan, and added cumin seeds and mustard seeds. After the seeds crackled, added onion; fried them. To the pan, added tomatoes, and cooked till tomatoes became soft. Sprinkled a little sugar, salt to taste, a teaspoon or more Red chilli powder, and a teaspoon garam masala, and stirred well. After a boil, added the cooked vegetables, and mixed well. Removed from stove after 5-6 minutes.

While the vegetable filling cooked, made dough with whole wheat flour. Mix in a bowl about two cups of whole wheat flour, a pinch of salt, and two tablespoons of cooking oil. Then added sufficient water to the bowl and make a soft dough. Make small balls from the dough and roll the dough flat. Cook the chapathis on a heated pan, ensuring that the chapathis stay flat. Take a chapathi, put the stuffing at the center, and wrap. Serve the wrap as is or with chutneys or ketchup or curds.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Regards,
Asha

Monday, 15 October 2012

Laddoos - Jeevan Bhima Nagar, Bangalore

A downcast sky. Signs of rain. Chaotic traffic. Growling stomach. What do we do?

Well, we drove to a part of town that we hadn't explored for a while now. We were shocked to see those lovely LIC row houses knocked down, giving way to high-raised buildings; we were walking down the Jeevan Bhima Nagar's main road. This road sports a variety of restaurants that serve different cuisines -  Punjabi, Rajasthani, Chinese, Keral, and other cuisines. We also spotted bakeries, chaat joints, and wine shops. Beautiful was the alignment - eatery, wine shop, medical stores, eatery, insurance company, furniture shop, and others. All the stomach's needs seem to be lined up for a pick, on this street. :-)


We saw the Mast Kalandar board, and walked in; climbed the stairs that led to first floor of the building, only to see the sign - Opens at 7:00pm. Ouch. Our growling stomachs refused to wait, and our legs automatically walked down the stairs and entered Laddoos - a chaat joint. On scanning the menu, we saw dishes that caught our fancy, and we ordered one thali, one plate poori chole, and two glasses of sweet lassi. We waited a while for the dishes, but, hey, anything for hot food on a cold evening. The indoor seating looks neat; however, the seating will get cramped if the place gets crowded.


The phuklas and curries were warm and tasty; the rice was cold. The poori chole was gorgeous. Ram ordered for one plate dahi balla and a plate of jamoon. Dahi balla was heavenly, and so was the jamoon. Oh, remember, that this place also serves hot gulab jamoon. As we sat, gobbling our food, we saw a lot of people walk in and take parcels of food. The eatery sells Indian snacks and savories. Next time, we want to try the dhoklas.

Our rating of Laddoos:
  • Ambience - Simple indoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't use
  • Service - Self-service
  • Food - 4 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - North Indian (veg)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - 4 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - No parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road, if allowed and if you are lucky.
  • Valet Parking - Nope
Have you observed that lovely smile that lights the face of fully-fed people? :-)

Regards,
Asha

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Queen's Restaurant – Church Street, Bangalore


The Church Street at Bangalore hosts restaurants, eateries, and pubs that serve different cuisines. The Queen's restaurant is a well-known landmark on this street, and serves tasty North Indian cuisine (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian). Wait... It's easy to miss this place, if you are new to the area.

We have visited the restaurant a couple of times, separately with friends. Was a lovely place to dine with friends especially after loafing around the area (and on Brigade road)! The restaurant is small and rustic; been that way for more than a decade. The indoor seating is limited, and the lights are truly dim. Don't worry… Your eyes will adapt to the lighting. 

Remembering the good old days, recently, we decided to dine at the Queen's. At evening, the restaurant gets ready for service by 7:00pm. When we peeped inside the restaurant, nothing seemed to have changed, and restaurant was empty. The stewards were engrossed in watching the cricket match. We, Indians, love cricket; don't we? We hoped that the quality of food was intact or was better than previous visits.

We ordered phulkas, kadai paneer, boondi raita, and vegetable pulao, and a bottle of mineral water. The steward placed two steel plates, two copper mugs for water, a bowl of onions (in vinegar), and pickles in wooden container, on the table. Nostalgic! While we waited for our order to be served, the onions looked so tempting that we could have eaten them all (as a sacrifice to hungry and growling stomach).

After a long half an hour wait, the food was served. The kadai paneer was tasty. The boondi raita was refreshing. However, the phulkas were cold and hard. That's not the only disappointing factor. The vegetable pulao resembled fried rice, and wasn't seasoned at all; absolutely no salt, no spice. Definitely, the quality of food had deteriorated or, perhaps, the chefs were extremely exhausted after the lunch service that they decided to take the dinner service easy or the cricket match was a big distraction for them. I let the steward know about the lack of seasoning so that the next dish coming out of the kitchen may be better.

Our rating of Queen's:

  • Ambience - Limited indoor seating; rustic and simple
  • Restroom - Doesn't have one. Use the restroom common to the entire building, on second floor.
  • Service - Courteous
  • Food - 2.5 rating (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Cuisine - North Indian (veg and non-veg)
  • Smoking - Not allowed
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - 2 (5 = best, 1 = worse)
  • Parking - No parking inside the premises. Unlimited parking on the road, if allowed and if you are lucky.
  • Valet Parking - No way

Let us know your experience.

Regards,
Asha

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bombay Dreams - Brigade Road, Bangalore

We decided to end the weekend with a walk. Our initial destination was a bookshop. After satisfying our hunger for knowledge, we were hungry for food. We walked down Church Street and Brigade road. These roads have a lot of eateries. One that caught eye today was Bombay Dreams at the St. Patricks Complex, Brigade Road, Bangalore.

We saw people sitting and relishing the food. At the first glance, we assumed that the restaurant served only north indian cuisine. But the menu listed a lot of south indian dishes as well, along with a variety of ice creams, faloodas, and milkshakes. Ah ha... We were tempted to try some of the dishes. Ordered Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav. Both tasted yummy; would have been nice if the Pav was hot. The bhaji had a good balance of spices. The vada was nice and crisp. The red and green chutneys used in the vadapav were spicy. A cup of hot masala chai (tea with milk and spices) was a perfect way to end the evening.



Note: That's the Gola making machine.


It was fun to watch so many people order and eat one dish after another. Probably, next time around, I will order the world famous Gola. Well, yes, we Indians love our food especially the street food!

Our rating of Bombay Dreams:
  • Ambience - Outdoor seating (; limited indoor seating)
  • Restroom - Doesn't have one
  • Service - Courteous and Quick
  • Food - 3 rating (for the dishes we ordered)
  • Cuisine - Vegetarian Indian snacks, chaats, and thirst-quenchers
  • Smoking - Not allowed inside the restaurant; no restriction at the outdoor seating area
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - Definitely!
  • Parking - Unlimited parking outside the premises (if you lucky to find one!)
  • Valet Parking - No way
If you are around the Brigade road area, try this eatery, and let us know which dish you liked.

Regards,
Asha

Friday, 5 October 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Rice Noodles with Babycorn, Capsicum, and Carrot

My (Pig's) mother has been with us for a few days, and has been preparing delicious food for us. Today, as a token of thanks to her, I prepared a healthy and non-spicy breakfast. I made rice noodles with babycorn, capsicum, and carrot. It's a simple dish; tastes yum.



Chopped the vegetables into rectangle pieces (all of same size). For seasoning, heated 2-3 tbls of cooking oil, added mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and urad dal and chana dal, and fried for a while. Then added finely chopped fresh ginger, a small onion, and 4-5 Green chillies. After the onions turned pink, added vegetables and a pinch of salt, and fried it until they were cooked. Add juice of half lemon or one whole lemon, as per your taste.

In a pan full of boiling water, added rice noodles, and let them cook for a while. Drained off the water and washed the noodles with cold running water, and then put the noodles into the pan of vegetables and mixed well. Sprinkled a little water, and closed the lid for the ingredients to cook. Garnished with chopped coriander leaves.This time around, served it with fresh cucumber and strawberry black tea. Can serve the dish with green chutney or tomato ketchup.

Happy and a healthy weekend to you!

Regards,
Asha

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The French Loaf - Richards Town

Hello there! Wishing you a happy Gowri-Ganesha festival.

Bangalore is buzzing with activity; vendors have displayed their best produce - vegetables, fruits, and flowers, people are shopping for the festival, and the Ganesha idols are on their way to the homes of the devotees. We saw several boys singing and dancing, while taking home the idols of their favorite God. I love such festivals - helps connect with our culture, our neighbors, and our soul.

Today's drive lead us to The French Loaf at Richards Town, Bangalore. The store is an old colonial bungalow that is customized. The premises flaunts lovely trees - mango, neem, christmas tree, and others. The outdoor seating is under these trees, and protected by garden umbrellas. The store sells vegetarian and non-vegetarian savouries, along with pastries, breads, and custom made cakes. They also prepare a variety of pastas (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian).


We opted to sit outdoors even though indoor seating is available. Surprising, the store was full. With a sigh, we sat and watched the world spin past us. Was similar to watching a motion picture! Well, only that there were several stories of life, several actors, and several audience. Though the place gets crowded, we got our privacy. The mosquitoes had arranged for an orchestra - a blooding-sucking one. Life is beautiful, isn't it?


What did we order? Hmm... Guess! :-)


Our rating of The French Loaf:


  • Ambience - Indoor and outdoor seating (; outdoor can be a bit more cleaner)
  • Restroom - Clean
  • Service - Courteous and Friendly (; can use more staff)
  • Food - 3 rating (Cakes are yum! Pasta needed a little more cheese and seasoning.)
  • Cuisine - European
  • Smoking Allowed - Allowed at the outdoor seating
  • Home Delivery - Yes
  • Alcohol - No
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - Limited parking space available at the premises; unlimited outside!
  • Valet Parking - Not available


Tell us how you liked the place.

Regards,
Asha 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Spiga - St. Marks Road, Bangalore


Long long time ago, there was an old house that was converted in to a lovely restaurant. I've heard that the place was cozy and served good portions of absolutely delicious food. It was easy to miss this place when one drove down the road. But that's just an excuse because several people found the restaurant and have fallen in love with the place.

Well, that's past.

At present, the restaurant is called Spiga, and is located at the fourth floor of Halcyon Complex on St. Marks Road. One fine evening, Ram and I decided to dine at Spiga. As we entered the restaurant, the dim lighting and soft colors reflecting on the White walls attracted us. Yes, the place was perfect for a romantic dinner. (If you see school children - young adults - who change from school uniforms to classy dresses and dine with friends, just don't bother to wonder about their source of moolah to spend at a fancy restaurant. Seriously, how do they get such money?)

The restaurant flaunts a semi-open seating design, allowing fresh air to flow in and out of the building. Observe the mirrors that are added enhance the interiors. The view of UB City is amazing. If you climb up the iron stairs, you can enjoy a smoke and also view the pretty surroundings.


We were happy with the ambience, and settled down for a good dinner. While Ram (the Peg) ordered a drink, I ordered a bowl of tomato-basil-pepper soup. Ram had Citrus fish for main course; I had Italian salad. We found all the dishes served to perfection, and delicious. Check out the other interesting dishes on the menu!


Our rating of Spiga:
  • Ambience - Semi-Outdoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Friendly
  • Food - Delicious (; portions aren't as hearty as the older version of Spiga)
  • Cuisine - European
  • Smoking Allowed - Allowed at the Smoking area
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Served
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - Limited parking spaces available at premises
  • Valet Parking - Available

Drop in a line, if you had a romantic dinner at Spiga.

Regards,
Asha

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Red Fork - Indiranagar, Bangalore

At Bangalore, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) services came to a halt today. The BMTC employees are on an indefinite strike. Well, a lot of people are suffering because of this strike. And I sincerely hope that the employees call off this strike at the earliest.

Are you trying to relate the strike to Red Fork? Ah ha... They don't have anything in common, and are totally unrelated. Red Fork is a cafe at Indiranagar, Bangalore; situated at the premises of Daddy's Deli restaurant, which we are yet to visit.

A good friend recommended the Red Fork cafe, and friend and I met there. The cafe is a cute little place with Yellow colored chairs, beautiful plants gracing the plant holders, and a black board that flaunts their menu. You'll like the cafe instantly. But the vegetarians may be disappointed with the items on the menu - most of the items are non-vegetarian. Perhaps, two or three dishes listed were vegetarian. And note that a few dishes are available only from 9:00 am to 3:00pm. Check out their menu.

Note: Cafe is closed on Mondays.


We probed the staff if they served pancakes, waffles, and sandwiches during the evening and yes, they did. We ordered pancake and waffles. The portions were huge. Both the dishes were delicious. The scoop of ice cream on the waffles was awesome; in-house ice cream! However, the pancakes needed a little more maple syrup. The sweetness was hitting our heads, and we ordered Mocha coffee. The dark and strong Mocha chased the hangover away; far, far away.

What's lovely is the company of a friend and the good journeys together; recollecting all the people on such journeys, trying to let go of unpleasant memories and embracing the present, and enthusiastically looking forward for many more awesome moments in the future. We spent more than 3 hours at the cafe, without realizing how fast the clock ticks.


Our rating of the Red Fork cafe:
  • Ambience - Outdoor and indoor seating
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient 
  • Food - Delicious (; would be nice to see a few savory dishes)
  • Cuisine - They call themselves the Contemporary Cafe; you can guess the cuisine!
  • Smoking Allowed - Strictly No!
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Only wine served
  • Value for Money - Expensive
  • Parking - A board mentions that the parking is available on the opposite side of the road! 
  • Valet Parking - No
Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha

Monday, 10 September 2012

Kudla - Richmond Town, Bangalore

Ram, the Peg, had a craving for seafood, and suggested that we visit Kudla. He has tasted food at Kudla a couple of times, and definitely recommends the place. Well, what better way to treat ourselves on a Sunday?

Kudla is on the Raja Ram Mohan Roy road, and caters coastal cuisine. The ambience is decent - wooden ceilings and artifacts from coastal regions, and lamp at the entrance - ooze a warm feeling. The crabs (alive), which you can select, at the entrance talk about the freshness of the food. The menu has an interesting spread of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. When in doubt about a dish, the staff is more than happy to help.


We ordered prawn tawa fry, anjal fish curry, sanas, malabar paratha, vegetable stew, and ghee rice. Ram loved the seafood, and I liked the stew. The ghee rice, however, needed a little more seasoning - salt and pepper. The sanas and paratha were soft and flaky. Overall delicious food!


Note that lunch thalis are available on during the weekdays. Ensure that you reach the restaurant prior to the rush hour, for a good service.

Our rating of Kudla:
  • Ambience - Good and earthy, and air-conditioned
  • Restroom - Didn't visit
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient (The staff will answer your queries about dishes, and also suggest dishes as per your liking.)
  • Food - Delicious
  • Cuisine -  Indian coastal cuisine (Mangalorean style)
  • Smoking Allowed - No
  • Home Delivery - Within 3.0 kms
  • Alcohol - Served
  • Value for Money - Yes
  • Parking - Available within the premises and outside. However, if other hotels are hosting a party, will be hard to find a parking spot inside the premises. 
  • Valet Parking - Yes 
Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Peg & Pig's Kitchen - Masala Akki Roti and Majjigehuli


What's cooking at the Peg & Pig's kitchen? Masala Akki Rotti and Majjigehuli!

Akki Rotti is a dish common to most Kannadiga households. I absolutely love this dish especially when mom makes it. I can kiss her hands for making delicious Akki Rottis. 

Today, I used cooked rice that remained from last night, rice flour, green chillies, finely chopped onions and fresh fenugreek leaves, cumin seeds, and salt. I ground the cooked rice along with green chillies. To this, I mixed rice flour, onions, fenugreek leaves, and salt. Mixed everything well. Made small balls of the dough, patted it on the tava, and roasted it well. The rottis are soft and tasty. In case you like it crispy, roast it on low flame for a longer time.


Along with Akki Rotti, I also made Majjigehuli. This is a curry that is again common to Kannadiga households, and yes, I love it. I bought ash gourd last evening, and cut it into long and thin pieces. I cooked them with a pinch of turmeric and salt. For the masala, I grounded coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fresh ginger and coriander leaves, channa dal, green chillies, a small piece of tamarind, and a pinch of salt. I mixed the masala paste in to the cooked vegetable. When the curry boiled, I switched off the heat, and let the curry cool for a while. To the cooled curry, I added buttermilk. That's all!


Enjoy your Hump Day, Wednesday!

Regards,
Asha

The Ants Cafe - Indiranagar, Bangalore

Indiranagar, Bangalore, is a heaven for restaurants and cafes. Our friend introduced us to The Ants Cafe. We loved it at our first visit, and have been revisiting the cafe every since. The cafe is situated behind the New Horizon school, which is easy to locate. 

The cafe is open from 9:00 am to 8.30 pm. This is one of the cafes that offers - Me Time - time for oneself to connect with oneself. Offers continental cuisine; no alcohol and strictly no smoking. The interiors of the cafe flaunt bamboo and wooden furniture. Windows have no doors or bars. During the evening, especially on a raining evening, the mosquitoes tend to feast on your blood. That happens until the staff lights a mosquito coil! 


The cafe announces dishes of the day, and places the announcement at the entrance. Makes the chose easier to the visitors. The cafe, let me tell you, is on the first floor of the building. The entrance is from inside the ground floor, which hosts the NGO selling products from Nagaland. I love the black pottery collection. Yes, the products and the cafe are expensive; but the quality is remarkable. Before you purchase any items, check the manufacture date and also check for any damages. Ask them about the exchange policy of goods.

The dishes are priced a little high. I wouldn't mind paying because the portions served are good, and the food is delicious. We have tried several dishes - vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Loved them! (I try vegetarian dishes; Ram tries non-vegetarian dishes.) We have spent hours together at the cafe (, either both of us or with friends,) talking about various things under the Sun. Recently, when we went, the cafe's special was Double Decker Burger. Ram had the chicken and egg burger; I had an omelet. Later, we had fragrant tea (black).


To get an idea about their menu, see http://www.zomato.com/bangalore/restaurants/east/indiranagar/the-ants-cafe-51674/menu. Note: The rates mentioned on the Zomato website are extremely out-dated!

Our review of The Ants Cafe: 
  • Ambience - Neat and Cosy
  • Restroom - Clean 
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient
  • Food - Awesome (but expensive)
  • Cuisine - Continental
  • Smoking Allowed - Strictly No!
  • Books Available - Yes; small collection of books to browse
  • Value for Money - Absolutely! (expect the black teas)
  • Home Delivery - No
  • Alcohol - Not served
  • Parking - Not within the premises, but ample available in the surrounding area. 
  • Valet Parking - Not available (at least when we have visited)
You must check out this cafe! Drop a line here, and let us know your dining experience.

Regards,
Asha

Friday, 31 August 2012

Jigarthanda Drink @ Murugan Idli Shop - Madurai

It was my first visit to Madurai, the city of temples, and a fantastic discovery - 'Jil Jil Jigarthanda.' Sounded musical!

On the West Masi street, there is the famous Murugan IdliShop. We met our friend (Sethu) and his family for dinner. After dinner, when we walked out of the shop, Sethu wanted us to try Jigarthanda – a drink that means ‘Cool Heart.’ We stood on the payment, and drank the interest looking drink. Tasted divine!

What's the drink made of, you ask? Jigarthanda is made of milk, China grass, sarsaparilla syrup, ice cream, and sabudana. The combination helps beat the heat especially during scorching summers. Watch the video – The Making of "Madurai Jigarthanda” – on Youtube.com.


Funny part was that when we visited the shop the next day, the quality of the drink had decreased. The thick and creamy Jigarthanda became watery and foamy, and of course, the size of the glass had shrunk. Why, oh, why? Well, I gave the steward one look to question about the deteriorated quality of the drink. Sigh... My look was obviously avoided.

Ah, several people were shopping at stores that had announced discount sales (the December holiday season sale), and those people had flocked the Idli shop. Was difficult to even place an order for the drink! When we managed to get the drink, we had to be careful not to spill it on ourselves. Flimsy cups and crazy crowd!


This is our rating for the Jigarthanda drink @ Murugan Idli Shop, Madurai:
  • Taste - Divine 
  • Quality - Thick and Creamy (during non-peak season!)
  • Quantity - Can be a little more!
  • Served in - Flimsy Plastic Cups
  • Entertaining Factor - Fun to watch them make the drink
  • Value of Money - Of course!

You can find our Madurai travelogues at:

Regards,
Asha

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Imli - Indiranagar, Bangalore

After visiting the temple, we decided to explore eateries in and around Indiranagar, Bangalore. Our first choice was Kund; will write about it later. As we walked down that road, at the corner, stood Imli; colored in earthen colors - Brown and Mustard. Well, that's new, we thought, and wanted to try the cuisine.


As we entered, we were greeted by the wall-unit showcasing artifacts, painting on the wall, and neatly placed pickle jars, and an umbrella. Another wall-unit had a few coffee table books. One interesting book was Mumbai's Footpaths. The kitchen looked spic and span. Wow... Everything was falling in place for a lovely evening.




A broad stairway leads us to the root-top dining area. The neat tiled ceiling and wooden furniture radiated warmth. The whole place was clean and inviting. The ceiling was covered with wooden beams and pretty lamps. Lovely ambience; couldn't wait to be seated! We took a table facing the road. Was nice to watch the vehicles and people pass by.




The menu had interesting dishes. We were early for dinner, and therefore, ordered Besan Ka Cheela Stuffed, which was accompanied with Green chutney. I also ordered Ghar Jaisi Chai (Masala); strong and refreshing tea. And then... the conversation started. After all I was with the pretty enterprising guy!



You know... it's not easy to keep track of time when you are in the company of good food and a great guy. We couldn't just end the evening, could we? Ordered dinner - one Phulka aur Chawal Combo. The vegetables for the day was Paneer and Methi curry, and Mixed Vegetable semi-dry dish. Of course, Rajma curry was served for the rice. The dessert was a small quantity of Aata Ka Halwa (Wheat Halwa). We ordered a few extra phulkas; the portions of accompaniments were sufficient for both of us. The phulkas were hot and soft; went down easily. I absolutely loved the mixed pickle.

 
This is how we rate Imli:
  • Ambience - Neat, Clean, and Earthy 
  • Restroom - Neat and Clean
  • Service - Courteous and Efficient
  • Food - Awesome 
  • Cuisine - North Indian, Vegetarian
  • Smoking Allowed - Yes (somehow, I prefer if they had a separate smoking area.)
  • Value for Money - Absolutely! (At least the dishes we ordered.)
  • Home Delivery - Yes (but check the radius/area in which they delivery.)
  • Alcohol-Not served
  • Parking- Not within the premises, but ample available in the surrounding area. 
  • Valet Parking- Not available


Drop a line, if you visit Imli, and let us know your experience.

Regards,
Asha, The Pig

Peg & Pig... Eh?

I know... It isn't self-explanatory, and it isn't what you think. The Peg & Pig, I mean. :-)

What's it, you ask? Ah ha... One big world. A pretty enterprising guy, Peg, and a pretty Indian girl, Pig, and their quest for good food and drink. That's what the Peg & Pig blog site is about.

As you already know, we love to travel and observe different cultures, cuisines, and places. We have lost count of the restaurants visited, and dishes that we have tasted. Some eat-outs have converted us in to their loyal fans or have attracted us more than once; others have ensured that our first visit is the last.

Well, one evening, we asked ourselves - "Why not share our experiences with our friends?" And that's when the Peg & Pig was born. Hopefully, our reviews will help you discover some gastronomical delights.

Psst... No; we don't get paid to review any restaurants! 

Regards,
Asha, The Pig

Our other blog sites: Rake and Spade Terrace (Container) Garden and Let's Go On a Holiday