Monday, January 19, 2009

Madhuvan's Village - Mangalore

Madhuvan's Village
221 4158

Currently this is the most famous restaurant in Mangalore for quality seafood. They have been rapidly expanding and each time I visit, I see that they have opened a new seating section. The ambiance in the evenings is wonderful and relaxing as it has a semi open air feel.

The rates of seafood are seasonal. But the rates mentioned here will give you an indication.

The food was all excellent and I have yet to find a dish that I do not like at this place.

For starters we had Chicken 65(85rs), chicken tawa fry (13ors) - highly recommended, squid/baandaas butter garlic (80rs), mussels/pacchile masala fry (70rs), fish tawa fry (1 large slice of surmai/king fish - 130rs)

This all went excellently with our drinks.
60ml bacardi 85rs. Signature Whisky 60ml - 80rs, 30ml-45rs. Smirnoff 30ml - 45rs. Fosters pint 55rs.

Mineral water is 25rs. Soft drinks are 20rs a bottle.

The spicy starters go really well with the drinks, exactly the way most South Indians like it :)

For the main course we ordered an assortment of neer dosas, sannas and appams at 3rs each. As accompaniments we ordered matka fish (130rs) which is boneless fish cooked in old style mud pots. Believe me this adds layers of flavor to the dish and its a complete "naani ki khaane ki yaad aagayi" phenomenon in food.

The traditional Manglorean favorite kori rotti (90rs) includes the rotti as well as a pot of chicken curry. Real value for money if that is what you are looking for.

The kundapuri chicken(90rs) was a spicy semi gravy dish that goes very well with dosas.

Quick tip for Manglorean food. Sannas and shevios taste best with gravies/curries. Dosas and appams go well with both gravies and semi gravy items. There is a more complex algorithm for pairing these rice based dishes with accompaniments that I may go into at a later date.

To soothe our taste buds after the fiery onslaught, we ended with some ice cream(40rs) and caramel custard(40rs).

While the dishes mentioned here may all seem very spicy, it is because we consciously choose the spiciest items on the menu, they have other options too which arent as spicy.

The prices for alcohol include tax, the prices for food and soft drinks have a sales tax that is later added on.

Mini Punjab / Nirman Veg, Pune

On a quick trip to Pune, we stopped at Mini Punjab which was on our way (didn't have the time to get into the city and eat at any of our favorites) and hence randomly selected.

We were pleasantly surprised by the food.

Its a very down to earth restaurant. Clean and hygienic but not very fancy.

The food was quite good though, except for my biryani(95rs) being served cold.

The manager informed us that Mini Punjab has many locations across the city. We ate at the B J Road, Parmar chambers branch which was clubbed with Nirman Veg restaurants. They have a Tandoor and kebab grill outside the restaurant and the kitchen is supposed to be pure veg, so I think my biriyani came from a different location and turned cold before it could be served at our table.

The kebab menu is limited, but we truly enjoyed both the Chicken Sholay kebab(110rs) and the chicken malai kebab(10rs).

The alu(35rs) and methi(38rs) parathas were also excellent. They were served with complimentary dhal and raita.

The veg hakka noodles were typical roadside Indian Chinese noodles, but you could taste the flavors were fresher and cleaner than you would get on the road.

Interesting place to eat when you are on a budget. 4 of us had a filling meal for 460rs.

Prices include tax.
Phone number for this particular branch is 6603 8190.

Bakery @ Flamenco Hotel, Cairo

@ Golden Tulip -Flamenco Hotel
2 El Gezira, El Wosta Street, Zamalek

A German friend of mine, Gertrud recommended this bakery very highly for their German breads and desserts. She felt their authenticity could be credited to the fact that the GM, Mr. Groebel and his bakery chef are both Germans.

The items she recommended to me were the Brezen-stick (stangerl) and rolls and apple pie (not so sweet) and Zopf (like brioche) and the real German dark bread.

Since I was looking for Multigrain bread for my husbands strict diet, I decided to stop here and check it out.

The bakery has a warm welcoming feel to it and is very clean. There are a couple of tables in the bakery, if you would like to sit down and enjoy your treats in-store.

The staff at the counter were very polite and spoke English and knew the names of the items on sale and their basic ingredients. (Given my husbands complicated diet, I have to be very careful about ingredients in prepared foods and its quite difficult doing it in my broken Arabic)
The loaf of multigrain bread was expensive at 24LE (as compared to Monginis loaf of multigrain which retails at 5LE) but it is authentic and tasty.

I also picked up 2 large oatmeal-chocolate chip-walnut cookies for myself. At 4LE each, they were tasty and quite filling.

I have an old soft copy of their menu which I have pasted below, but prices this month are higher than the rates mentioned below. Also some items may have changed. Some items need to be ordered in advance.

Baguette long 4.75
Baguette half 2.50
Baguette brown long 10.25
Baguette brown half 5.25
Company Bread 7.50
Corn Bread 20.25
Farmer Bread 20.25
Muesli Bread 20.25
Multigrain Bread 22.00
Toast Bread 7.50
Toast Bread Brown 9.00
Vollkorn Bread 20.25
Zopf 18.00

Bread Rolls
Brioche 1.95
Kaiser Roll 0.60
Laugen Brezel 2.75
Laugen Rolls small 1.25
Laugen Rolls large 2.40
Rolls Multigrain 1.10
Rolls Rye 0.95
Schlumberger Weckerl 0.60
Rolls white 0.60
Stangel 1.10
Petit Pain 0.80

Danish & Croissant
Croissant 3.00
Croissant Cheese 5.00
Croissant Chocolate 4.00
Croissant Almond 5.00
Danish Fruit 4.00
Danish Raisin 4.00
Danish Cheese & Raisin 4.00

Sandwich 1 piece
Tuna 10.00
Chicken 12.00
Gouda Cheese 12.00
Smoked Turkey 14.00
Smoked Salmon 30.00

Cookies 250g 17.50

Whole Cakes
Apple Strudel 24.00
Apple Tarte large 24 cm 45.00
Black Forrest Cake large 24 cm 75.00
Black Forrest Cake large 20 cm 55.00
Charlotte Royal 65.00
Charlotte Strawberry 75.00
Cheese Cake large 24 cm 82.00
Cheese cake baked 82.00
Chocolate Cake large 24 cm 75.00
Chocolate Mousse Cake large 24cm 75.00
Chocolate Mousse Cake small 20cm 55.00
Fruit Cake large 24cm 85.00
Fruit cake small 20cm 65.00
Mille Feuille large 24cm 75.00
Mille Feuille Chocolate large 24cm 82.00
Mille Feuille Strawberry large 24cm 82.00
Sacher Cake large 24cm 85.00
Sacher cake small 20cm 72.00
Strawberry Tarte large 24 cm 75.00
White Forrest cake large 24cm 85.00
Nougat Torte 95.00
Chocolate Cake 40 x 40 cm 160.00
Chocolate Cake 40 x 60 cm 225.00
Fresh Fruit Cake 40 x 40 cm 175.00
Fresh Fruit Cake 40 x 60 cm 245.00

French Pastries
French Pastry 4.50
French Pastry mini 2.50
French Pastry Soirée 2.50

Pound Cakes
English Cake 35.00
English Cake plain 25.00
Marble Cake 25.00
Orange Cake 25.00
Spanish Cake 32.00

Salison 250 g 13.75
Pizza 10 cm 2.50
Quiche large 24 cm 35.00
Quiche Mushroom 24 cm 37.00
Quiche small 10 cm 4.00

General Manager
Golden Tulip Hotel Flamenco
2 El Gezira El Wosta Street / Zamalek
11211 Cairo – Egypt
T:+20-(0)2-273 50 818
F:+20-(0)2-273 50 819
M:+20-(0)10-680 99 38

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hao Ming, Mangalore

Hao Ming Chinese Restaurant
Yenepoya Chambers
221 8693, 426 8087

The Parent restaurant "Hao Hao" has many fond memories for me. It was the place we were taken for the occasional treats by our parents when we did very well in our exams (first 3 ranks) It was the place we went for our 10th std farewell treat.

By the time, I came to college, Hao Ming had a new improved branch - Hao Ming - a short distance away. We did have a lot of college birthday treats at this place.

Now the management of both restaurants is seperate.

My sister being the current resident expert on restaurants in Mangalore, gave us suggestions on what to order.

The food here is Indian Chinese at its best. Reminiscent of Nanking in Hyderabad and Rice Bowl in Bangalore.

I highly recommend the Drums of heaven(70rs) and the Thai Crunchy Chicken- spicy chicken wrapped in a noodle dip & deep fried(75rs) as starters. For more variety you can tag along fried wontons(80rs) or even try the soups. The chicken spicy soup (55) was a strange Indian and chinese combination with curry leaves (which I have never seen used in Chinese food so far) but it tasted good.

Soft drinks are 18rs and mineral water is 20rs a bottle.

For the main course we tried the Chefs special noodles(75rs) which is noodles served with 2 different sauces. The Singapore Mixed Fried Rice (65rs). Mixed American Chopsuey (80rs) and Ginger Fried rice (65rs). To accompany this carb fest, we ordered Hunan Chicken(75rs) which was outstanding and Dragon Chicken(75rs) which was good.

We ended the meal with a large pot of Chinese (Jasmine) tea (40rs) to help digest all that we had overeaten.

Btw, prices are inclusive of taxes. Service can be slow when the restaurant is crowded (which it usually is) but they do their best. If visiting at night, it is best to make a reservation.

I know the food is good, not just because of nostalgia because we were accompanied by 3 non-Manglorean foodies on this outing who truly enjoyed the food too.

Trishna, Andheri, Mumbai

3 A Crystal Plaza
Opp Infiniti Mall
New Link Road
Andheri (W)
3243 1145 / 3243 3631

I had eaten the signature Butter Pepper Garlic Crab at Trishna in Fort a couple of years ago and still remember fondly, the perfect balance of sweet crab flesh mingled with the saltiness of Amul Butter and the bite of freshly crushed peppercorns. But I much preferred the overall taste of food at Gajalee not to mention the proximity.

On my most recent trip to Bombay I saw that Trishna had opened a branch in Andheri too. We were tired and exhausted from our traveling, but decided to stop in here and savour the food.

The solkadi (40rs) was an apt start to the meal, nicely balanced.

The Manglorean King fish curry (200rs) with 2 large slices of fish, was tart & spicy and went very well with the neerdosa (35rs for 2), appams (35 per piece) and steamed rice (80rs). As we were too tired to clean crabs and eat them, we ordered the squid butter pepper garlic (250rs) which was tasty and served in large quantities.

The vegetarians with us tried the North Indian style food. The alu gobhi (170rs) was spicy and cooked to the right tenderness without being over mushy. This went well with the Tandoori Roti (15) and parathas/kulchas (20rs).

Pineapple Raita was 70rs and the Egg Corn Soup was 50rs.

Add to this a VAT of 12.5%. Its not a very reasonable restaurant, but its worth the price. The food is of very good quality and they get the flavors just right.

Aromas, Kanpur

7/135 Swarup Nagar
253 5190

Tuesday Holiday

Aromas is the most famous burger joint in Kanpur. Unfortunately this isn't saying much! If a burger joint sells Bhel Puri, Chinese soups, Pizza and Pav Bhaji too, that's an indication of things to come. The place has nostalgia value for the older residents and older alumni of the IIT in the city, as it was the only place to get "Western Fast Food" in those days.

Tried their chicken burger for 45/- Nowhere near, even the generic chain burgers. Stand alone burger joints have the potential to be really good as they can tweak the recipes to suit local tastes. My chicken burger had more potatoes and flour than chicken in the patty.

Not a place, I would recommend to anyone. Not for the non-vegetarian burgers at least. Heard a vegetarian mention that their mushroom burger (45) was awesome. I don't think I will venture here another time. But feel free to add comments about own experience here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bora Bora, Cairo

Bora Bora

Located on the Nile, it has a beautiful ambiance and is a wonderful place to relax in the evenings if you visit before 10-11pm, when the party people come in and take over. Until then it is a serene quiet place to unwind, while watching the Nile and the occasional fellucca glide by.

They do serve alcohol. A large Bacardi (60ml) is 65Le. Pint of Sakkara beer is 20.25Le. Their main course mainly comprise of pastas. We preferred to stick to the Egyptian mezze, forgoing the main course. Soft Drinks are 10Le/can.

The food was some of the best Egyptian food we have had in Cairo, second only to Abu El Sid. All the vegetarian dips - tahina, baba ghannoug and Labna are 10Le. The Labna was especially wonderful - a flavour of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, with the consistency of cheesespread.

The vine leaves - again some of the best I have eaten in a restaurant in Egypt were 20Le. They need to be eaten when fresh and hot, else the fat in the stuffing begins to weigh heavily on the palate.

The Alexandian Liver at 42Le, the Alexandrian Sausage at 28Le and the fried calamari at 49Le were excellent. The texture of calamari was just right as was the seasoning. One of the few times we did not even feel the need to squeeze lemon over the dish.

They do serve shisha for 7LE and charge another 4Le for the disposable pipe that they use. They offer lemon flavour which I have not yet encountered elsewhere and it was quite smooth.

Note : it is advisable to reserve a table as this is quite a popular hangout at nights.

Trianon Cafe, Dandy Mall

Trianon Cafe
Dandy Mall
Cairo - Alex Desert Road
(Near Smart Village)
CairoThis one is by far the best of the Trianon's that I have eaten at except perhaps for the original on the Corniche in Alexandria. (See my reviews of the Mohandaseen and Green Plaza, Alexandria branches.)

I highly recommend the steak with pepper sauce at this outlet. They really do it to perfection and the meat is served just the way that you request it.

The cakes and pastries are similar to the other outlets, but they somehow taste better here :) The walls are hand painted which contribute a lot to the ambiance.

The Moroccan tea is also something that I would recommend for cold weather. Its perfect for warming you up.


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