Jo bhi ho sarkaar, gastropub means Monkey Bar

Monkey Bar

Monkey Bar, Indiranagar

The first Monkey Bar was trailblazing in a lot of ways- funky cocktails, great ambience and consistently good food. The second Monkey Bar in Bangalore takes it up one notch. Located in a big airy place off Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road, this place blends class and quirk together. The exposed brick walls and gorgeous wood panelling speak of old-world charm and comfort; the quirky posters add some new-age hipster chic. The menu too has also undergone some changes, with some new guys and a few old favorites.

Manga

Mangaa

The preview meal I attended began with a host of cocktails, of which I could sadly taste none. But my lunch companions told me that crowd-favorite Manga (aam panna and vodka) was just as awesome as ever, the Red Riding Wood (vodka and plum juice) gave a good kick. The new cocktails like Copper Monkey, which came in a cute copper pot, were well-received too.
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Impressive variety at Tangerine Sizzlers

Chicken malacca sizzler

Chicken malacca Sizzler

Tangerine’s previous avatar in Indiranagar was a favorite for meetups with friends, the place cosy without being small, the food quite good. So, when I received an invitation to review their new place in Koramangala, I looked forward to a sizzling lunch (pardon the pun) and a nice afternoon.

First off, the new location is amazing. Sunshine permeates the whole restaurant, and the cream-colored wooden furniture add a nice touch to the place. The menu is more extensive than any other sizzler place in the city, and more inventive too. It is less heavy on the shashliks and satellites that dominate menus of most sizzler restaurants, and has more funky sizzlers- the fish moutarde has a marinade of mustard, oregano and olive oil; the chicken malacca puts stir-fry in a sizzler, the beef musketeer has small slices of beef cooked in a peppercorn and wine sauce.
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Buffet: Ji Hazoor

Ji Hazoor

via Burrp

Step into this restaurant, and you feel like you have been transported to some Middle-Eastern palace, complete with chandeliers, beaded decoration and a red theme throughout. It starts feeling a bit tacky after a while, but as first impressions go, it’s pretty impressive.

The restaurant has both buffet and a la carte, but this being a team lunch occasion, we decided to go for the buffet for more value for money. We started off with s light clear chicken soup and an array of salads- egg, caesar, chicken. The Caesar salad had huge chunks of paneer and the chicken salad had way too much tomato sauce. The starters were a better affair- paneer tikka, lemon chicken, fish fingers (or rather thumbs), baked potato, spring rolls and oddly, a fried karela (probably to relieve the guilt of all that hogging). Chaat arrived as dahi vada in a small cup, and a giant masala papad. Service was good, with numerous refills, and among all the starters, the lemon chicken left a long lasting impression, and the paneer was quite good as well.

We were quite stuffed after all the starters, so I tried only a few of the main course items. The vegetarian section had the usual suspects- pulao, aloo gobi, mushroom mutter; murg biriyani, gosht masala and a chicken curry were the non-vegetarian equivalents. The crab masala and the prawn curry were the most memorable parts of the meal- perfectly cooked, succulent meat with a hint of sweetness in the masala, the taste of which remained with me throughout the meal.

Dessert at Ji Hazoor

How I managed to eat dessert after all this food I don’t know (I didn’t eat a solid meal for another 24 hours, that’s how). The gulab jamuns were warm and fluffy, the pastries (chocolate, strawberry and pineapple) not rock hard (they were dry though), the gajar ka halwa passable and the mousse boring. The coolest thing on the dessert table was the three sauces they gave with the vanilla icecream. The bitter chocolate sauce, the sweet strawberry sauce and the tart kiwi sauce produced an explosion of flavors when they came together.

It is always difficult to review a buffet, because restaurants use it as a way to dish out generic dishes, and the large number of items available makes it difficult to remember how each item rated. This buffet has a good selection teetering on too many, and is complete value for the Rs 449+taxes (total= Rs 570; 10% discount if you pay by cash) it costs.

Ji Hazoor
EPIP, Opposite Vydehi Hospital Bus Stand
Whitefield
Bangalore

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Fab Tiramisu at Fava

Tiramisu

Tiramisu and mousse are the most bandied about words in the dessert dictionary. Nowadays, anything with cream and cake in layers, with a hint of coffee, passes for tiramisu. So, when I came across Fava’s Tiramisu (Rs 250), I was soooo happy. Each tier adds to the overall dish- the chocolate dust at the top is very bitter, and cuts the sweetness of the mascarpone and the chocolate cake, with the beautiful drop-like design to the left containing the coffee. And the plating, by god, so beautiful! I almost didn’t want to disturb the plate by eating it. Eat it slowly, savor every bite, and the tiramisu will linger on your tongue long after you have eaten it.

Fava
UB City
Bangalore

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Paperboat Drinks: A Review

Paperboat drinks

This summer is going to be a super-hot one, and not just because of the elections. April is barely here, and the mercury is already touching mid-30s in Bangalore. The only way to beat the heat is lots of fluids- water, fresh fruit juices etc. Most people will make a beeline to their local juicewalla for their fruit juice fix, but for those who are concerned about health and hygiene, there is Paperboat.

When the guys at Paperboat sent me a box of their juices, the first thing that struck me was the packaging. The sturdy reusable cloth bag was encouraging, signalling that the juices won’t be filled with artificial flavors and preservatives like many other juices in the market. ‘No colours, no preservatives, no artificial flavoring. Basically none of that junk’, asserts each bottle.
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