Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daddy's Deli, Bangalore

Daddy's Deli,
594, 12th Main,
HAL 2nd Stage,
080 41154372 / 76, +91 9844011237

We ate breakfast at the Red Fork, but inspite of an excellent brunch, when I realised that Daddy's Deli was an attached restaurant, I just HAD TO look at that menu too.

There was so much exciting stuff on that menu, since Daddy's Deli serves homestyle Parsi food, some of the items you won't even find on the menus of the best Parsi eateries of Bombay.

The great thing is that they serve half plates too, so you can sample much much more than you normally would be able to. Kolmi na Kavab (Prawn kababs), macchi na cutlet (fish cutlets), pork vindaloo, Khichri sas (fish or prawns cooked in a sweet and sour white sauce sith yellow rice), narial na doodh ma papeta ne sekta ni sing (potatoes and drumsticks cooked in a coconut curry).

When I saw brain cutlets (275/-) on the menu, there was no way I could leave without trying them. Its been ages since I've eaten brain cutlets (they are too fiddly to make at home). So inspite of having paid the bill for a 12noon brunch and an impending 1pm invitation to someones house for lunch, I just had to order the cutlets, and I'm truly glad that I did.

They were sheer perfection, lightly mixed with onions and green chillies, their crispness was a perfect foil to the soft creaminess of the brain.

Its going to be really tough for me to decide between the menus of Daddys Deli and Red Fork, the next time I'm in Bangalore.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

Red Fork - Contemporary Cafe, Bangalore

Red Fork - Contemporary Cafe
594, 12th Main,
HAL 2nd Stage,
080 41154372 / 76, +91 9844011237


We fell in love with The Red Fork almost as soon as we entered and the arrival of food on our table just reinforced that love.

The Red Fork is another of those lovely eateries in Bangalore that has sprouted inside a house, so it lends a lot of character to the layout and the seating space.

The menu is written on blackboards on the walls and keeps changing. But I hope the ham and egger (250/-) remains on their menu for ever, it is so yum. Its a beautifully crisped up burger bun (soft on the inside) stuffed with ham, bacon, rocket leaves and scrambled eggs. All of my favourite things in a single burger, can life get any better than that?

We had headed here for brunch, so we ordered a variety of things to eat from their 9am - 3pm breakfast menu. The chilli scrambled eggs on sourdough (150/-) came so beautifully plated that we were feeling bad to disturb it in any way.

The margarita omelette (180/-) was a great play on the margarita pizza. All the normal toppings, were incorporated into the omelette and serves with hot bread.

The sister was happiest with her chocolate waffles (200/-) and it was the dish that was most dug into at the table.

As each dish came to the table we were torn as to which dish was better than the other. The sister also managed to get herself some scrambled eggs and toast. The little baby frying pans that the scrambled eggs came in was just too cute.

Service is on the slower side and dishes don't come to the table all at the same time, but believe me, the wait is most definitely worth it and it gives you a valid excuse to steal more mouthfuls from the plates that do arrive :)

Their menu keeps changing, so you may not get the items described above when you visit, but given the superior quality of their food, I don't think you can go wrong.

The coffees and teas that we ordered were lovely. They have a display outside with their fresh cakes, cheesecakes and pastries on display. We tried a cheesecake and it was so yummy that I couldn't wait to take a picture before digging in.

The Red Fork is definitely a firm favourite.

Rating : 5 / 5

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Desserted, Bangalore

42, 8th Main Road,
Next To Mount Carmel Management Institute,
Near Cunningham Road,
+91 9611733066

My sis took me to Desserted for a late breakfast because they served waffles. It was only when we went there and took a look at the menu, that we realised that it was vegetarian. (In my book, eggs are vegetarian.)

We did however have a pretty decent breakfast from their All Day Breakfast section. Pancake Stack (120/-) was a set of 4 pancakes served with whipped cream, a berry preserve and maple syrup. The waffles (120/-) were very good too.

Muesli with cold milk and fruit (110/-) was one of the healthiest breakfasts that I have seen being offered in a stand alone Cafe. The mushroom quiche (60/-) wasn't bad either.

They serve a range of hot coffees (30/- - 90/-). My sister quite enjoyed her latte. The cold coffees (80/-, 100/-, 110/-) were also yummy. You also have the option of teas, milkshakes or smoothies as well as a few fresh seasonal fruit juices.

The desserts were very good. They have a large bakery display section, so its best to go in there and pick and choose.

Desserted is one of the houses converted into an eatery, so you can wander about the little maze of seating, cooking, bakery and dining options. Its quite cosy, including the garden outside. The people who own the place are really sweet and they told me that they would soon start to offer non-veg items too.

We did love the food, but I had to head to Imperial after this for chicken kebabs. :) When I travel out of Ahmedabad, I expect to have meat at every meal, I'm so starved for good non vegetarian options in this city! :)

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dairy Den, Ahmedabad

Dairy Den,
Sanidhya Building,
100 Feet Road,
Anand Nagar,
Prahlad Nagar,
+91 9879113974

The Prahladnagar Dairy Den is in the same building as Delizio, but on the outside with open air seating.

Dairy Den has an interesting collection of ice creams, which is perfect for this horridly hot summer. You can ask for your ice cream in either a waffle cone or the standard cups. For me the perfect way to indulge is bring home a whole tub of a couple of flavours and then create a sundae out of them.

My favourite flavours are : choco - layers, choco chip marble, rich chocolate walnut and the French Vanilla (its no surprise that most of my favourites are chocolate based, is it?)

The good thing is that, unlike some other ice cream brands of Ahmedabad (that I will not name here for fear of upsetting some more sensitive and passionate Ahmedabad foodies) the flavours don't taste synthetic and the chocolate used is pretty decent quality.

I've not yet got around to trying their inhouse Premium sundaes, but maybe one of these days for lunch. . . . .

Edited on 15 Jul 14 to add:
Tried the Sundaes this weekend. Husband had an Indian Beauty (110/-) which was French Vanilla with some kesar, honey and almonds which was good.

I wasn't happy with my Soft Serve French Vanilla with Nutella and hazelnuts. The crushed nuts had peanuts mixed in to them and the soft serve ice cream wasn't properly churned, so it was melting very quickly and when it melted, it was separating into watery ice cream and milk solids.

Rating : downgraded from 3.5 to 2.5 / 5

Disclaimer : Since I normally buy their tubs and don't eat on location and the tubs aren't very pretty to photograph, so the picture above is from the Dairy Den, website

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vipul Dudhiya Sweets, Ahmedabad

Vipul Dudhiya Sweets,
Navnidhi Complex,
Near Stadium Circle,
Opposite Vodafone Office
079 26461955, 079 26447246

I first visited Vipul Dudhiya to buy Paneer, as I was told that they made the best Paneer in Ahmedabad. So on my first visit here, I just bought Paneer and mawa (to make gujiyas). The quality of both was excellent, so I have often been back to pick up more of these milk products.

I have also bought their fresh snacks like theplas and handvo and they have always been fresh and tasty.

The other field in which they stand out is their range of matthos (shrikhand). They have a variety of flavours on offer, displayed like at an ice cream or gelato counter. They allow you to taste each flavour before you decide which to buy. The flavour and taste is slightly different from the Maharashtrian shrikhand, but it is extremely yummy.

I've heard that they make excellent basundi, but I have never had the opportunity to taste it (never been available when I visit - its only available in winters)

They always have a huge pot of chaas (buttermilk) being churned. In summer, they also offer fresh aamras, which mango fans tell me is excellent (I don't eat ripe mangoes).

They have a wonderful range of packaged snacks too. My favourite is the malai chakri that is extremely soft yet crispy. Their sev and other items are also quite yummy for munching on.

Rating : 4 / 5

Vipul Dudhiya Sweets
Dev Darshan Complex,
Opposite IOC Petrol Pump,
Bopal Ghuma Road,

+91 9722200000

This is a much more upmarket version of Vipul Dudhiya. Its very neat, clean, fresh and new looking (if that makes any sense) Most of the Vipul Dudhiya items are on offer here including the flavoured mathos (shrikhand), snacks, paneer and other milk items. But I was surprised to also see fresh farsaan - like khandvi, khaman and patra on offer along with a wider variety of sweets.

This is a much easier location to visit from our part of town, so I will be visiting more often and will try the farsaan at that time.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cafe Unplugged Bar & Grill, Ahmedabad

Cafe Unplugged Bar & Grill,
3, Acumen Building,
Opposite Passport Office,
University Area,
Gulbai Tekra
079 30494989, +91 9978909801

We only stopped here for an evening coffee break between shopping and exploring the city. So we were really thirsty, but not hungry at all.

We ordered a cucumber mint cooler (100/- which was lovely - very refreshing, very soothing), a green tea (40/- no rocket science required - just boil water and serve with a tea bag on the side) and a cappucino (70/- which had too little milk for our liking, but the staff very helpfully and sweetly added more milk to the coffee when we requested them.

Given that we had just these items, why have I rated Unplugged so high?

Well, I just fell in love with the place. Lovely ambiance, perfect for chilling out and completely non-pretentious. The fact that they were playing good English music (which I haven't heard in any other restaurant in Ahmedabad) immediately endeared the place to me. They have a brilliant juke box, where you can choose your own selection. And the staff was extremely sweet, polite, obliging and pleasant. I'm definitely going back here for a meal. But I had to rate and review them after today's experience.

Rating : 4 / 5

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dasaprakash, Ahmedabad

Maruti Crystal
Opp Rajpath Club
Ph: 2687 3333

I loved Dasaprakash, their food is much much more authentic than Sankalp. Sadly it has recently closed down. Hopefully its just temporary.

The chutneys are amazing, as is the sambhar. Whether you order idlis, vadas, dosas or meals, the food is finger licking good. The Mysore Masala Dosa (130/-) is authentic with the lovely red chutney inside. The Ghee Roast Masala (145/-) is absolutely sinfully doused in ghee. They offer something called a Masala Guliyappa (105/-) The closest equivalent I could think of is a goli bajje stuffed with potatoes. Interesting, but not enough of any strong taste - a stronger dose of masala would help.

We often order the South Indian appalam (40/-) A  side. Fruit juices are in the 75/- - 80/- range. I wouldn't advise them. Because while the juice itself is good, I think they reuse their knives without washing them properly, because on 2 occasions, I found my watermelon juice laced with a flavour of onions.

The only non-authentic part about Dasaprakash here in Ahmedabad is that everything is served with extra ghee or butter including the idlis *85/-). I once asked for a plain idli for dinner because I wanted to have something light and easily digestible. It came soaking in butter! The taste was obviously very good (butter makes everything better), but it definitely wasn't a light dinner.

Whatever you eat here, you should end with a South Indian filter coffee.

Rating : 4 / 5

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cafe Where We Meet, Ahmedabad

Cafe Where We Meet,
Opposite Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute,
Drive In Road,
079 400522330

Cafe Where We Meet (WWM) is situated opposite MGLI and next to Joules on Drive In Road. Its a tiny 2 table affair under a tree (seating space) and an indoor room which serves as a kitchen.

The weather was good today, with yesterdays rains, so it was pleasant to sit out, but I don't think this would be the case, during the rest of summer. A high wall blocks the view of anyone on the road from looking inside, so its semi private in a way.

Stopped here for a quick coffee break with friends whom I hadn't met in awhile and one of them specifically had chosen this place because she wanted to eat good quality waffles. Sadly the waffles (125/-) quality here too was bad (she had a bad experience at AlphaOne Chocolate Room yesterday). They were too hard, the batter wasn't aerated enough and the bitter taste of soda bicarb was too much to bear.

The Iced tea with mint & lemon (55/-) and the seasonal special fresh guava mocktail (80/-) were good. The cold coffee (65/-) was nice, but not strong enough for me.

The hummus platter (100/-) was 2 flavours of hummus served with some toasted pita chips. The hummus was good. I personally prefer softer breads with my dips. The pita chips weren't bad - they were average.

Rating : 3 / 5

Bikanervala, Ahmedabad

4 & 5, Ground Floor,
Camps Corner 2,
Opposite Auda Garden,
Prahlad Nagar,
079 30427576, +91 9974023544

Bikanervala is a great place to grab a snack in the Prahladnagar Area. Food is similar to other Bikanervala's across India and the Middle East. The taste is standardised at all outlets.

They serve decent Pani puri (40/- for 6 pieces), but it feels too hygienic and clinical compared to the Gwalia pani puri (given the plastic pouch that the puris come in, etc)

The rest of their chaat - papri chaat (70/-), laccha tokri (75/-), raj kachori (75/-), aloo tikki (70/-), ragda pattice (80/-) and chole bhatura (110/-) are very good.

Their Deluxe thali meals (220/-) are very large and filling and great to order for home delivery too. You get a paneer subzi, dal makhni, fresh vegetable, pulao, 1 naan, 1 paratha, raita, papad, salad, pickle and a sweet. They come all packed up in a compartmentalised plate (so you don't have to unwrap and open a ton of boxes.)

Their South Indian stuff isn't bad, but for sweets, I personally prefer Gwalia.

Rating : 4 / 5

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad

New Lucky Restaurant,
Opposite City College,
Lal Darwaja
079 25505033

Lucky Restaurant has 2 USP's. The first is the M F Hussain original that hangs in the restaurant and the second is the graves and trees around which this tea shop has come up which are now a part of the Cafe.

The Hussain original was a gift from the painter himself who supposedly loved their chai so much, that legend goes that as soon as he touched down in Ahmedabad, he would head straight to this kitli - Chai shop for a cup of tea.

Lucky was originally just a kitli / laari guy who had set up his space for tea and bun maska in the middle of the graveyard opposite Siddi Sayyid Jaali. He has now built multiple restaurants in this area and the owner credits the spirits of the graves for helping him achieve his success.

There have been exaggerations in the press that customers sit on gravestones to drink their tea, this isn't true. Each grave is cordoned off with a bit of fencing, covered in a Holy cloth and the staff offer flowers, prayers and burn incence to honor the people whose graves are a part of the restaurant. There is however a tree which grows through the restaurant, space has been cut out of the roof, to let it grow unimpeded.

The tea is average (according to my tea drinking family), nothing very great and to see it slopping down the sides of the cup and into the saucer before it is even served (while its a common sight in Gujarat) is disgusting. I'm told by long timers that the quality of tea has steadily deteriorated over the years.

However, the reason I keep returning here is because for me, Lucky Tea serves the BEST MASKA BUN in the city. It has to be eaten on the spot, or in a couple of hours. If you let it stand overnight, the butter just dissolves into the bread in the Ahmedabad Heat and if you refrigerate it, the bun loses its airiness. Its beautifully churned fresh white butter slathered onto an airily soft bun.

The best time to pick up this bun, is before heading out for a walk in the old city area, then you don't have to feel guilty about the amount of butter consumed.

They offer 3-4 varieties of homemade jam too - mixed fruit / pineapple etc. But I've never liked jam, so I prefer just the plain bun maska. I did try the bun maska with mixed fruit jam once, but it was way too sweet for me. Maska bun with jam is 22/- and without the jam is 25/-. They have lovely packaging of the bun maska for takeaways. Its enclosed in a hermetically sealed plastic pouch.

Rating : 3 / 5                                                                            Bun Maska: 5 / 5

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Asia Kitchen, Ahmedabad

Asia Kitchen - Holiday Inn Express,
Old Vadaj Circle,
Ashram Road,

We had heard a lot of good stuff about Asia Kitchen and wanted to try it out, rather than the regular Oriental place at St Laurn. The Asia Kitchen also functions as a Coffee shop for the Holiday Inn, so its open from 10.30am to 11pm.

When we walked into the restaurant, we fell in love with the gorgeous mural which occupies a wall and a half. Surprisingly the place was quite empty, which made us wonder how good the food actually was, however once we were done with our food we realised that the lack of crowd was not a reflection on their food quality or taste.

The menu has an Indian section and an Oriental section. They also have a small pasta section. We chose to order from the Oriental section on the day that we visited.

The chicken salt and pepper (345/-) was good, as was the fish starter (375/-) that we ordered. Husband had a hot and sour chicken soup (185/-)and loved it too. I had the Mongolian chicken (385/-) and he ordered the exotic vegetables in hot garlic sauce (315/-) for our main course.

The food was really good. The only reason we haven't gone back yet is that it is at the other end of town from where we stay. But if we are ever in that area, this will be our first choice. Its an ideal place to stop for a full meal, before or after a performance at Natarani.

Rating : 4 / 5

Friday, April 18, 2014

Imbiss, Mumbai

14, Ben O Lil Haven,
Waroda Road,
Off Hill Road,
Bandra West
022 26414985, +91 8454946413

Although I was just visiting Bombay for 2 days, I knew I had to visit Imbiss as all my pork loving friends had been raving about it. Temporarily based in Ahmedabad where I have yet to find a restaurant with pork on its menu (other than the Japanese Tamura), I just couldn't miss this opportunity.

Imbiss is on a side road parallel to Hill Road in Bandra. If you aren't familiar with the area, use google maps or waze+four square to locate the place. Its also a tiny road and parking is difficult. So park on Hill road and use one of the tiny shortcuts to cut across.

The location is tiny and when we called up to book a table, we were told that they didn't take reservations. When we arrived there on Saturday afternoon, there was a long waiting line, but that couldn't deter this porkaholic on a mission.

And the food more than made up for all these inconveniences.

Their menu is extremely limited. They have a Hungarian Goulash soup (120/-), 3 sandwiches (120/- & 155/-), a burger (120/-), 2 types of hot dogs - chicken or pork (120/-), 4 types of sausages (120/-, 180/-) including a duck sausage and about 18 different main courses  ranging from schnitzels to roasts, steaks and chops. As a side order, you can choose to have fried duck egg (30/-), pickled quail eggs (50/-) bhut jholakia pickle (50/-), spice beef jerky (75/-) or garlic bread (75/-)

But everything that we tried from the menu was outstanding. The baby back spare ribs (385/-)  were the absolute star of the afternoon. While they say that it is a portion for 2, for me it was just the right size for one and I refuse to share!

The other dishes were not filling enough, but they were tasty. So you have the option of trying at least 2 dishes each from the menu.

A friends kid was with us and she was quite happy with her chicken hot dog (120/-) The smoked pork chop (180/-) barely managed to make a dent in my appetite. The Mexican chorizo rice (150/-) was interesting, but I prefer the Goan Sausage Pulao for complexity of flavours. Hubby loved his signature sausage platter (180/-) and a non-pork eating friend who was a little dissapointed in the lack of options for her on the menu, ended up being pretty happy with her Chicken escalopes (180/-)

Having lived in the North East for awhile, we weren't impressed with the world's spiciest chilly pickle (50/-), but I've heard its quite a popular item.

Given that we were only 2 pork eaters in the group, I couldn't sample as much of the menu as I would have liked to, so I'm definitely headed back the next time, I am in town. But I'll most probably try the Colaba outlet, as I hear that they have a bigger spread there.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oven Magick, Ahmedabad

Oven Magick,
G 1, Krishna Tower,
Anand Nagar Road,
+91 9228006291

Oven Magick is a simple, straight forward, small bakery outlet on Anandnagar Road. They have a range of breads, biscuits, cakes, pastries (40-60/-) and snacks.

Tried some brown bread (they were out of multigrain) which was soft and tasty.

The white Forest cake was very good and among the chocolate cakes, they recommended the Chocolate truffle, which was excellent.

They have pies and puffs too. Flavoured lavash chips and straws. There's a huge variety that you can choose from. Their variety of whole wheat and multi grain products too are quite impressive.

Sadly the pies did not taste half as good as they looked. The brownie however was excellent. I think that if you visit Oven Magick, you should stick to their Cakes and breads and not bother with the pies at all.

Taste-wise, the snacks and pastries were good, but service was very disinterested.I was the only customer in the store with one cashier, one person behind the counter and one person sitting at a table near the door (its like a single table eatery / bakery). The cashier seemed engrossed in his computer and the guy behind the counter wasn't very confident with what he was doing.

Rating : 3.5 / 5

The Birdsong Organic Cafe, Mumbai

The Birdsong Organic Cafe,
Waroda Road, (behind Hill Road)
Behind American Express Bakery,
Near Jude Bakery,
Bandra West,
022 33487845

Birdsong is a really cool Organic Cafe set in an old Bandra house with gorgeous French Windows and a lovely unfinished look on the inside, with brick walls and large blackboards for the menu. There's a nifty mezzanine accessed by a ladder that kids really seem to love.

We ordered a whole variety of home made organic cakes and each one was to die for. The carrot cake was my favourite as were the chocolate brownies. Husband preferred the orange cake. He actually broke his no sugar rule after 4 months, just so he could have these cakes.

Can't wait to visit Bombay again so I can try stuff from the main menu (by the time I reached here, we only had space for dessert). Jenny & Javed, hope you are ready for us :)

Rating 4.5 / 5


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