Friday, 28 February 2014

'A Pinch of Persian' at The Persian Terrace, Sheraton Bangalore

And it ends on March 2, 2014.......................

It is a rarity that something beats the Bangalore weather; especially the way our evenings have been for the last few days. It only goes one notch up when you can dine in with a starry sky right above you. Isn't it?

Now, what if I say, “the levels become hard to match when the food and ambiance have you wishing to just pack your bags and travel to the Mediterranean land; if not teleporting you to the wonderful land right away”?

This is exactly what Puja and I experienced when we dined at Persian Terrace. Persian Terrace is a highly acclaimed restaurant and one the 3 jewels of Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade Gateway; the other two being Bene – their Italian restaurant and Feast – the coffee shop serving global cuisine under one roof. It was a long pending visit and we couldn't resist visiting it last night after being tempted by the food photos of their ongoing festival ‘A Pinch of Persia’. 

Seating @ The Persian Terrace

As a part of this festival, a special menu has been curated by ‘Chef Abdel Wahed’ who is the visiting chef from Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas & Spa. This specially curated menu has a wide range of selection across meal courses which include hot and cold mezze, salads, mains and desserts. The menu has a bit of various Mediterranean cuisines which include Persian, Lebanese, Turkish and more; hence the name ‘A Pinch of Persia’. There is plenty for non-vegetarians to choose from with a fairly decent selection for the vegetarians too. 

With a menu listing food dishes as delicious as it can get, we were soon in a fix on all that we can eat. Chef Abdel was kind enough to help us pick food for each course of our meal. It may come as a surprise to you all, but we had more vegetarian food on our table last night than non-vegetarian and I equally enjoyed relishing the vegetarian as much as I did with the non-vegetarian. Over the course of the next hour or more, we treated our senses and stomach to some hot and cold mezze (small plate servings or starters), salad, mains and dessert. Below is a pictorial review of what we ate (I wish, I was here for lunch only to do justice to the food photographs). 

Hot Mezze: Sambousek Cheese  - A nice crunchy pastry casing with all the delicious goodness of feta cheese, herbs and Arabic spices stuffed inside.

Salad: Olive Salad - Olives stuffed with red capsicum mixed with veggies and feta cheese. topped with a drizzle of olive oil and pomegranate sauce.. WOW!

Cold Mezze: Vine Leaves - Wrapped with a stuffing of rice, onion, tomato, fresh mint and pomegranate sauce
Cold Mezze: Baba Ganoush - Roasted eggplant with yellow and red capsicum, olive oil and pomegranate. Have eaten this before but none anywhere close to this wonderful preperation

Hot Mezze: Sojok Roll - Minced lamb marrided with Arabic spices, spread on Arabic bread, rolled and deep fried..  By looks or thoughts it's hard to imagine how exquisite the flavor of this lamb preparation was. I couldn't help but prolong eating these rolls

Veg Main: Tagine Couscous with mixed veggies - Nice and subtle flavors
Non-Veg Maincourse: Kebab Azmeer - Delicious, tender, melt in mouth Lamb kebabs with pine nuts and mozzarella cheese served with Syrian bread. 'Goodness on a plate!!!'

Dessert: Maamoul Walnuts - Semolina dumplings stuffed with nuts and dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Mild sweetness coming from dusted sugar and a nice flavor of Cinnamon. Nice!

Dessert: Mohalabia - Traditional Egyptian dessert made with milk, pistachio and dry coconut. Custard like consistency, this was delicious. Guess what - this dessert got it's zing from the grated orange zest which was also used in preparation. You get the zest in every spoonful.

At the end of it, Puja and I were happy souls who drove back discussing about making a trip to the Mediterranean land. 

An average meal for two? 2500 ++ - Definitely worth every penny being spent. 

Just 2 days left!!! To reserve your table at The Persian Terrace, call Sheraton Bangalore on - 080 4252 1000 or click

Monday, 24 February 2014

Syrian Christian Festival @ Karavalli, Bangalore

After a fabulous meal at Karavalli during their Aqua Fest in November, I was more than looking forward to revisiting Karavalli. When they announced a new festival - Syrian-Christian Festival which is on till the 28th of Feb, this was it. Being Syrian-Christian festival and not aqua fest, the focus in non-vegetarian was rightly on various meats like chicken, lamb and sea food.To host the event, Karavalli had brought down a specialist chef of Syrian-Christian cuisine.

It started with the usual jaggery to cleanse our palate and followed by some hot rasam to sip on. Once done with it, we sampled a variety of starters like - Nandan Konju Ularthu which was tiger prawns dish, Kera Pepper Fry - a tuna fry, Kozhi Roast needs no introduction and Attirachy Varattiyathu - a lamb dish. Of all of these starters, I personally liked the lamb, chicken and prawns dish. 
Tiger Prawns

Kozhi Roast

Lamb starter

The vegetarians on the table had 'Oggaraneda Aritha Pundi' which were more like round mini idlis tossed in mustard seeds, cumin and coconut, a mushroom dish - which I din't try and a really nice 'Vazhapoo cutlet' which is nothing but banana and sweet potato cutlets.
Vazhapoo Cutlet

Oggaraneda Aritha Pundi

In the mains, it was 'Meen Moilee'; a fish preparation in coconut milk with spices', Koorka Chemmen Peralan'; a prawn curry based of again coconut milk, Chicken Varatharachathu and 2 more vegetarian mains. My pick of the best among these will definitely go to the prawn curry and chicken varatharachathu. All of this was best enjoyed in the company of 'Puttu', 'kallappam' and appam.
The mains - curries


Desserts were mild on sweetness and 3 of the 4 were a steamed preparation. This definitely was not the most interesting course of our meal. If asked to recommend a dessert from the four which were a part of the festive menu, I sadly wouldn't be able to recommend any to you.

But if you ask me, for a dessert from their regular menu, I will without a second thought say, "Banana Caramel Ice Cream". Yes, this was something I wouldn't miss having in any of my visit to Karavalli.

In all, the experience was not an overwhelming one but if you wish to visit and try the Syrian-Christian food here is a summary of my pick from their festive menu - 
Kozhi Roast - A chicken dish (Starter)
Attirachy Varattiyathu - A lamb dish (Starter)
Koorka Chemmen Peralan - Prawn curry with appam and puttu

Address: Ground Floor, Gateway, Hotel No. 66, Residency Road, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 80 6660 4545

Monday, 17 February 2014

Punjabi By Nature, Bangalore

Of late, it's been a lot of food belonging to the north-west part of our country or the north-west frontier itself. This spree continues with me now sharing with you my experience of dining at Punjabi by Nature in Koramangala. It had been on my list of restaurants to visit for a very long time and finally made a visit to this restaurant 2 weekends back to back. I'm sure the back to back visits speak about my experience but read on to know more.

It is a mouth-watering listing of delicacies from the state of Punjab. There is a lot to choose from for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians. You will find the classics listed right from the start and all the way through to the end. The vegetarian and non-vegetrian food is well classified. I'm sure both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians will drool.

Punjabi By Nature is not just about food but also has an interesting Beer Garden; as it is called. Here, they brew their own beer and if you like brewed beer, you will find some interesting options.

What we ate:
Having made two visits back to back, I have been able to try both the non-vegetarian and vegetarian preparations. In vegetarian it was 'Tandoori Paneer Tikka' for starters which was 4 humongous chunks of paneer or cottage cheese. It was well marinated and well seasoned, the paneer was soft and fresh. The accompaniment with it was the lovely, creamy and rich mint chutney.

Moving on to the mains, we called for 'Amritsari Tawa Chicken' and 'Daal Punjabi By Nature' aka 'Daal Makhni'. All of this was eaten in the company of 'Laccha Paratha', 'Mutton Keema Naan' and 'Aloo Kulcha'. The breads here are quite large so please be cautious when calling for these. If you have a reasonably good appetite and prefer not to have left over food, the apt order might be 2 breads being called for 3 diners. 

The 'Aloo Kulcha' was nicely buttered, filled well, really soft and served fresh from the tandoor. It was delight eating this with 'Daal Makhni' which was equally rich in flavour, texture and composition. I'm a hardcore non-vegetarian but I can make a full meal of this combination. Again, this combination only gets better with some mint chutney and slivers of onion drizzled with chaat masala. I'd soon be in food coma.
Aloo Kulcha

Daal Punjabi By Nature

The 'Mutton Keema Naan' needs a special mention for its flavour and generous filling. If you love mutton keema, this has gotta be on your table. Its stands well by itself and needs no accompaniment if you wish to enjoy the flavor of the keema. The laccha paratha was nice and flaky. The image below I hope does justice and requires me to write no more.
Laccha Paratha

Mutton Keema Naan

'Amritsari Tawa Chicken' was delicious too. The chicken was tender and succulent. The gravy had a nice thick consistency and was best enjoyed with assorted Indian breads. This didn't end our meal; there was more to come and it had to be 'Lamb Yakhini Dum Biryani'. I know, you must be thinking I'm a sucker for biryani; I must tell you that, "Yes, I am." The biryani was aromatic made with tender lamb cooked on dum with basmati rice. The flavor was addictive. I wouldn't say it was one of the best biryanis I have had but it did make for an enjoyable and satisfying finish (No picture though).

For desserts, we had none but for me there is no better way to end a meal that with lamb biryani and that is how I did.

It was a great dining experience right from service to ambiance to the food. Punjabi by Nature is spread on a large floor area with some interesting seating options in it open roof, under roof and waterfall section of the restaurant. Whats even more interesting is you can choose to be seated by the bar. 

I'm in all awe of the food at Punjabi By Nature. I know this is the place I am heading to always for a North Indian meal. An average meal for 2 here will cost around Rs. 1300 ++ and this does not include any beverages. Of course it's expensive but you pay for the amazing food, good service and the wonderful ambiance.

Quick Tips:
Looking for wonderful punjabi meal? Head here. Do not miss to try their Mutton Keema Naan, Aloo Kulcha and Daal Makhni. 

Address: Near Forum Mall, Krishna Industrial Layout, Kormangala, Bangalore
Landmark: Between Forum Mall and Christ College
Phone Number: +91 80 4913 8800

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Featured in Media: An interview with Wooplr - A fashion and food discovery website

For the past week, 'Wooplr - a fashion and food discovery website' featured my interview on their website - Here is a snippet of what was published on their website - 

Nitin Kandhari is an avid food lover, passionate about trying out different restaurants and cuisines. He loves to travel and explore places; not really as an adventurer, but more as a nature admirer, party animal, culture explorer and primarily as a gourmet explorer. Someday, he wishes to travel the world to savour the culinary delights and share his experiences. Though he currently does not cover travel experiences, he believes; the very passion for food and travel complemented with a discerning palate and the joy of recommending good food and restaurants resulted in his blog Review Of Restaurants.

A Product Manager by profession, Nitin also loves to photograph food, mix cocktails and boasts a fantastic liquor collection for his home bar. He says, “While the duration of commute to and from work is long; it’s fine, for it gives an opportunity to explore and grab a quick bite at small neighborhood food joints and review them later.” When not working and commuting he is sleeping, watching a travel channel or a movie and spending time with family.

Words from the man himself…
Wooplr: What are the craziest things you have ever eaten?
Nitin: A friend got me to eat curd rice and Pepsi.. Please don’t ask me how it tasted.

Wooplr: If you could splurge on one thing, what would it be?
Nitin: Food in general but that one thing I want to splurge on is the ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’ experience at The Ritz Hotel London – It’s an elaborate affair at the iconic ‘Palm Court’

Wooplr: If we took a peek in to your refrigerator, what would we find?
Nitin: Habanero Parmesan cheese slices.
Apart from that, “Frankly.. Nothing really interesting.”
I love to eat out and I do that at every given chance so really don’t feel the need to stock up interesting stuff.

Wooplr: Tell us about your favourite dishes and where you have had them.
Nitin: 1. Lamb Biryani. Nothing comes even close to it. The best I have eaten is at Dum Pukth Jolly Nabobs, ITC Windsor Bangalore.
2. Fish N’ Chips with mushy peas at London Heathrow Airport

Read the complete interview at -