Wednesday, December 04, 2013

So South, Ahmedabad

So South
12, Ground Floor,
Kalyan Towers,
Opposite Alpha One Mall Exit Gate,

+91 9825323222

I've been wanting to visit So South ever since I met Viveck at the Zomato foodie meetup. However, the heat of the afternoons in the last few months, deterred me from walking the short distance from Alpha Mall (parking lot) to So South which is opposite the exit gate. Now that I'm back in town after ages, and had to pick up groceries from Hypercity and the weather has cooled down, I immediately headed to So South for lunch after parking the car.

To my luck, Viveck was present at the location and since it was an off time (past 2:45pm), it wasn't too crowded either and so we had a nice long chat and I let him do the ordering for me. He recommended the spinach dosai and it was really yum. He said the spinach mixture had paneer as well as Britannia cheese in it and I think that, that was what made it so gloriously cheesy and tasty. I told my brain to accept it as a healthy green leafy dish, so to stop feeling guilty and just enjoy the flavours. :) This spinack mixture was so tasty, that I didn't even need the chutney or sambhar that was served along with the dosai. However, I did taste them and while I loved the coconut chutney, I personally prefer my sambhar much spicier. That said, I think the spice levels would work well for the average Ahmedabadi customer.

This dosai was really filling and I knew I couldn't even attempt to try any more of the 75+ varieties of dosais on the menu. But I had read so much about the dessert (ice cream) dosais on zomato reviews, that I simply couldn't leave without trying one.

So Viveck ordered a pineapple dosai with pineapple ice cream for me. It was a novel concept. The dosai rolled into a cone and a nice scoop of ice cream in the centre. The best part was although I was eating it as an ice cream, there was no problem of drippage from the bottom of the cone. It was different to have a salty taste (from the dosai) when eating the ice cream, but it worked well with pineapple flavour. I wonder if it would be quite as good with chocolate for eg, so I think that's what I'll try the next time I visit.

When I first met Viveck at the Zomato foodie meet, he invited us to try out So South, but when he figured out that some of us were South Indians, he was hesitant about that invitation since what they serve aren't traditional dosas, but I loved the fusion concept and inspite of it being a veggie place, I'll definitely be back for lunch or high tea.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Awadhpuri, Ahmedabad

First Floor, Pushpak Complex,
Opposite Prahlad Nagar Garden,
Anand Nagar Road
079 64503044, 079 31202220

I'd been to Awadhpuri a couple of months ago and service was very very slow and at that time I had mentioned that it was preferable to go for their home delivery option rather than dine-in. We had been ordering delivery from them on & off, so I hadn't realised that they had moved.

Awadhpuri has now moved to a new location - in the same building, but on the 1st floor where Punjab di Galli used to be. They have maintained the same seating and done up the walls with paintings and all. But this is definitely a much better location. It is brighter, more spacious, tables are spaced out more comfortably, seating is more luxurious and hence overall, its been a huge improvement.

We reached around 2:40 and they had a buffet offer. I asked them if it was still open and they willingly obliged. It was a sit down buffet, unlimited portions made fresh each time, but served in your seat - no running up & down to the buffet table and balancing plates). The vegetarian option is about 425Rs and the non-veg option is 500Rs. The selection was so good, that I did not even bother to ask for the a la carte menu.

The buffet started with a soup, which was paya for non veg and tomato dhaniiya for veg. I told them we wanted 3 non-veg buffet, but for 1 person we wanted tomato dhaniya rather than paya soup. although we were the only 3 people in the restaurant at this time, they willingly obliged. The tomato dhaniya shorba was outstanding. Nice and spicy Indian style.

This was followed by unlimited freshly made kebabs served like Barbecue Nation and The Great Kebab Factory, but so much tastier than BBQ Nation and on par with TGKF(Ahmedabad, not Noida). There was mutton Galouti which was mildly spiced, but pounded flat, mutton chops, chicken pasandey, fish mahi abi hayat and Lahori chicken tikkas. My favourites were the galaouti, chops and pasandey. My mum loved the tikkas. We ordered repeats of all these items and they were served with a smile.

By the time we were done with the starters, it was past 3pm and a lot of the serving staff had left, but some of them stayed back to take care of us and never once made us feel like we were wasting their time or that we should hurry up and I think this deserves 5 on 5 for service standards.

At both BBQ Nation and TGKF, the mains are quite weak compared to their kebabs (except TGKF's kaali dhal), but here is where Awadhpuri overtook both these chains in quality and taste. We were served a brilliant mutton curry - Baluchi Ghosht and boneless chicken curry - Begum ki pasandgi and some yellow dhal. A bread basket with warqi paratha, sheermaal & dhaniya naan was also served. The chicken biryani that they served later, was a little average compared to the rest of the superlative food, but easily overlooked.

Desserts brought out a platter of mirchi ka halwa (simla mirch/capsicum), sevaiyyan, gulab jamuns, zafrani kheer and kulfi! Again, each of the desserts was amazing.

The food was so good, that we stuffed ourselves so much. . . None of us ate dinner that day.

I can't recommend this place enough. the veg buffet has equal number of dishes which also sounded interesting. Prices mentioned above are inclusive of tax. The buffet is slightly more expensive over the weekend.

We have also ordered home delivery from them. However, this menu too has changed. They offer a platter of assorted kebabs for about 800/-. It comes in a square earthen dish. Initially I was quite surprised at how heavy the parcel was, it felt like a kilo and a half of kebabs. Since the dish was lined with foil, the earthen dish is now an unusual holder in my garden. Compared to their regular bufffet, obviously the home delivery kebabs are expensive, but almost as tasty.

Rating : 5 / 5

Monday, December 02, 2013

Attill, Ahmedabad

I was really keen to visit Attill when it opened in AlphaOne because the Attill in Mangalore (later learnt, this is not part of the same chain) is awesome and Attill in Bombay (part of this Shetty Sons chain) has received great reviews from my friends.

The good part is that Attill serves varieties of fish that aren't normally seen on menus in Ahmedabad - bangdas (mackerels), pomfrets, bombil (bombay duck) and seer fish (which is found on other menus too)

However, the day we visited, they said that bombay duck wasn't available, so we settled for fish cutlets.

The restaurant has 30+ covers, but they took over 20 minutes to get our fish cutlets and 30 minutes from time of order to get our seer fish fry. Given that all the other eateries at Alpha Mall pride themselves on quick service, this delay was even more glaring than normal.

The cutlets were ok, but you couldn't really taste the fish above the crispy onions. It was served with thousand island ready made dressing, that had formed a light crust on the top of the bowl, from exposure to air. The sear fish wasn't bad and my husband said that the prawns (hari mirch tikka) were good. The quality of fish was good, but the time taken for service was terrible. Having just returned from a 2 week trip to Mangalore, the taste left a lot to be desired, perhaps I will enjoy the food more when I am truly craving Manglorean food and been starved of it for awhile.

The egg biryani was very good. Lots of chunks of masala in typical Bambaiyya style. The mutton in xacuti was excellent, but the gravy itself was salty and flat. The rich complex flavours were nowhere to be tasted.

The rotis were really soft and the laccha paratha was one of the best I have eaten in a really long time. So perhaps this is an ok place to go if you want kebabs and rotis, but I would rather go to kebab factory at the Radisson or Awadhpuri for that.

There weren't any types of poli/dosas - neer dosa, appams, sannas, idiyappams etc on the menu which is sad as these are the best accompaniments for Manglorean and coastal dishes.

Attill calls itself  a Fine Dining restaurant, but we were served food in plastic (not even melamine) plates.

Service is extremely slow and the staff don't seem to have become comfortable with the menu yet.

If you have never tasted Coastal cuisine before, then don't let this be your first place to try it, as it does not do justice to the myriad complex flavours of food from the West Coast. If you are craving Konkani food and just need a fix, then you can try this place. But its an expensive place too.

3 rotis, fish cutlets (4 tiny ones), 1 slice of sear fish fried, 1 mutton xacuti, 1 egg biryani, 2 tandoori rotis, 1 laccha paratha costed around 1800/-

I think I'm better off cooking this cuisine at home and requesting parcels from people who visit us from the Coastal regions.

Rating : 3 / 5

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Ame Gujarati, Ahmedabad

Ame Gujarati
169, Sindhu Bhavan Road,
Off S G Highway,
079 29096821

I visited Ame Gujarati with my mum some time ago - courtesy the 2 thalis I had won on Zomato's - Write for a bite contest. I wasn't expecting much, so Ame Gujarati ended up exceeding my expectations.

They have 3 types of thalis with different type of serving plates, different number of items and different price points - Vepari - 270 / Sheth - 380 / Nagar Sheth - 551. Our voucher entitled us to 2 Sheth thalis. As far as I could tell the Nagar sheth thali has an extra farsaan and a special sweet. Is that and eating out of a silver plate, worth an additional 170Rs?  You need to decide when you enter. However the items on the menu differ daily and seasonally.

Unlike most Gujarati Thali restaurants which seat customers in a large or small hall, Ame Gujarati has multiple glass houses, which seat about 20-30 people in each. You can either use the entire glass house or have a table that seats 6 or more.

The thali items offered were pretty standard. A thali of chutneys and pickles and chundo was first kept on the table, then came papads, salad and punjabi samosas. In the thali itself, we were served 2 types of sweets - mohan thal and fruit matho (fruits in shrikand), cheese samosas and khandvi, 4 veg side dishes, dhal, kadhi. rotli, puri, rice, juice and buttermilk. There was a choice of kesar pista or fruit bonanza ice cream at the end (it tasted like it was from havmor).

What did I like? - the ambience is nice. If you have a larger group that wants to relax, its a good option. They don't make you hurry up like they do at Gordhan Thal. But its still not as good as Agashiye for me.

The food was average. Nothing stood out and made me say "wow" or inspire me to take another helping - like Gordhan thals chaat basket or Agashiyes basundi.

The service is also somewhere in the middle. Its not bad, nor is it overly subservient, it was polite, but it was a little haphazard. We got our sweets with the papad, but then it took over 8-10 minutes for the rotlis and sabjis to arrive. I opted for the rotlis without ghee and they were dry and slightly hard. (I haven't faced this problem with non ghee rotlis at Agashiye, Sarbhara or Gordhan Thal - they are always soft, whether they pour ghee on top of your rotli or not.

The food wasn't very hot when served. My guess is that the distance they have to travel from the kitchen to the cabana is causing a part of the problem.

Its a nice place to have a thali near SG road if you don't want to wait for a table at Gordhan Thal, which is why I've rated it 3.5, but sadly for me, nothing stood out so exceptionally, that made me think - "Yes, I want to come back again soon"

Rating : 3.5 / 5


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