Wednesday 25 May 2016

Fat Fanny's Cafe - Bangalore

Had heard a lot about it and was excited to pay my first visit. Had spread equal anxiety among all my friends. We book a cab and just stop when Maps say - ' Your destination is on left'. Left! Where! Anyways, just get down. We roll our eyes literally 360 degrees. All four of us missed it in the first go among all the glow boards of random eateries. Finally one of us points out a small scribble on the first floor right above us reading - Fat Fanny's Cafe. Thud!!!! Is this what I was so excited about.

We decide to take the rickety stairs and enter through a little door into a room with dull blue walls, glass on one side. Old, broken and ancient as it can get. At your first glance you can notice table made out of sewing machines. Sitting made out of huge old wooden trunks with just a piece of cushion on it. A table with a very old table fan and one of those very first telephones at the very entrance. A TV with that black and white kind of screen and a plump tube behind, it times of chic flat screens. Do not know if it was all feeing good or bad, but every corner had an unusual surprise element. Then the portrait on the wall catches your eyes, a collage of the lady - 'Fanny'. No one seems to be in a rush. So the waiter comes leisurely to handover a menu. Trust me, it's such an awesome storybook in the InstaVintage tone. It reads how Mrs.Fanny used to spell her magic into dishes, how people used fall in love with her dishes and the place was dedicated to her culinary brilliance. Even the antique lamp on the wall is a piece of furniture right from Fanny's own sweet home.

I just cannot get enough of the place to come down to food. But yes as the place so was the food. We had ordered very common dishes to be safe on the first visit. But the flavors again did surprise us. We could not help but lick the bowl clean of the yummy sauce of pasta Arrabbiata. It definitely tasted deliciously different from a restaurant pasta. Sandwich was also so simple yet juicily stuffed. The rustic look was stark with an antique knife tearing into it right at its center. Even the french toast with caramelized fruits on top was just out of the world. Watermelon slushy and Ice tea were a perfect punch to beat a lazy summer afternoon. But try to stay away from a pumpkin based drink, a strange blend of pumpkin, chocolate and orange. Mrs. Fanny was very daring when it comes to experiment in her den, her kitchen. She has all rights, but you can safely ignore this one mishap.
The place had no AC as Mrs. Fanny did not have one in her times in Bangalore. Who knew global warming will reach a point when fan will no more be enough in Bengaluru. Still I am raring to go back again, this time for a not so common dish from Mrs. Fanny's times.
Taste buds yell: Pleasant discovery
Pocket shouts: Easy
When I look around: A different era
Waiting time for tummy: Worth a little given the exclusivity awaited

Keep Gorging!
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The Fat Fanny's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday 3 May 2016

56 Bhoga Sweets - Bangalore

This post was long due and is going to be closest to my heart. When it comes to food, no doubt I am a die hard Odia. Like every Odia away from home, cravings do make their way intermittently and life was all about just living with it, till I stumbled onto '56 Bhoga Sweets' in Bangalore.
I really want to dedicate this post to one of the King of Sweets -' Chhenapoda'. Born and brought up in Odisha, no one will believe that this lip-smacking dessert was merely a chance discovery. A confectioner, Sudarshana Sahoo, just happened to add some sugar and seasoning to left over cheese and may be obeying some divine omen, happened to put it in a warm oven. Rest is history. So basically, Cheese is referred to as Chhena and Roasted Cheese as Poda. You would have definitely had roasted Yogurt, but little chances of roasted cheese, that to roasted till the outer crust becomes hard and crisp golden brown. All in all the dessert looks like a cake, and in ideal case the inner layers of Cheese are so soft that they literally melt away. you are suggested to dig a bite so you retain a thick head of outer crust and a long soft tail of soft inner cheese. No matter how hard I try, the flavors need to get a chance to burst in your mouth for you to know, what you have missed till now, if you are not from Odisha.

I think that Odisha specializes in a whole plethora of milk based desserts, Rasogolla not to be skipped among them. Though the battle is still on, over its inception, West Bengal or Odisha, if I am to be unbiased, I feel it has got to be Odisha. Any one who has tasted Bikalananda Kar Rasgolla all the way from Shalepur would agree with me. Another flagship brand is Pahala, which 56 Bhoga claims to replicate. I would say, it's hard to ditch someone who has experienced the original. But if this can be the closest you have access to in Bangalore, I am happy with it. Apart from this, you would also get to see Chhena jhili, Rasmalai (Odia Style) and so many other variants you can associate with if you have had some part of childhood spent in the Temple City. 
The place also serves range of other Odia snacks and meals, typically made with that authentic touch. Cannot brag about each of it, because rest of appreciation was more about my sentiment than an impartial verdict from a food-blogger. 
For me it was Nostalgia, for you it can be discovering whole range of 'Never had before' unique Indian Cheese journey. So Go for it!

Taste buds yell: Heaven never seen before!
Pocket shouts: Really easy
When I look around: Just a plain vanilla self-serve outlet
Waiting time for tummy: What's that!

Keep Gorging
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56 Bhoga Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday 13 March 2016

The Hole in the wall Cafe - Bangalore

It's a cafe carved out of a normal house amidst the bustle of the city. They serve breakfast menu round the clock. I have been here always for a brunch on a weekend. I will quickly wrap up the bad about this place. You got to brace yourselves up for a long long waiting time. I really wonder, I have never given up and have always pulled it off. Place is small and crowded. You are fortunate if you manage a table upstairs. Some air to breath, if you remember at all to, once food is on table.
Now let's check out the menu. I really appreciate the way menus is designed, a lot of effort has gone in connoting each name and then curating a very simple apt explanation. The Chicken Hole 9 Yard Hash makes the perfect start and goes great with fresh guava juice served here. It's really wholesome with almost all variants of chicken - salami, sausage, ham tossed with jalapenos, hash browns, capsicum, mushrooms. Topped with Fried eggs. Yeah highly recommended. Next in line is definitely The Chicken Steak Burger, with crumbs of tender chicken, just fried right and dipped in BBQ and then layered with coleslaw. I hate fried chicken otherwise, but this steak version is something even KFC should explore. They serve Naked burger also with fries. Some vegetarian sandwiches also could make to my list, specially the simple Spinach and corn. Omlette was also good, but would have liked it more, if the toppings would have got a chance to blend with the egg, rather than being served as a separate layer. There are many platters' where they serve cutlets with baked beans. I am personally not a fan of baked beans, so you rather take your own plunge.
Coming to drinks, would not give even a 3 on 5 to the coffee and tea. But actually I don't complain about it much because of the variety of fresh seasonal fruit juice served here. I just chose from a guava, watermelon, grape, mango and never get enough.
After all of this, if you manage only 1 dessert, has to be plain waffle with caramelized banana. If you see scope for 1 more then it has to be chocolate waffle with extra dips of Nutella. An honest confession, I have never been able to ditch waffles to make it to pan cakes. Next time may be :D
This place never needed a review, but today's brunch was dying to get penned down!

Taste buds yell: More!
Pocket shouts: I can take that!
When I look around: Homely
Waiting time for tummy: Almost tears in my eyes!

Keep gorging!
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The Hole in the Wall Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Conçu - Hyderabad

Conçu (consu it reads) is the best stand alone patisserie in Hyderabad, hands down. It is a concept café living every bit to it’s name. Be it the serene white bunglow, it is nested in, the minimalist décor with confectionaries’ sketches hanging amidst the floral summer’s theme or even the simple wooden plating they stick to, to hand you over the piece of art they have crafted intricately to take you into a trance called concu, they have just nailed it perfect.
To know that the man behind this bakery has already baked for Queen of London just affirms the genesis of such fine baking. If you pick their mango tart, even the small mango scoops of mango have been taken out with an eye of perfection. The cupcakes are densely creamy top and fluffy bottom, both chocolate and red velvet will top my recommendations. Macarons simply melt in the mouth, the best I have had till date. Millefeuille will surprise you with the way layers of jam and cream play absolutely in tandem with each other, no matter from which corner you dig in the bite. Chocolate sandwich wrapping layers of mousse with drenched brownie layers is again a simple but yummy treat. Tiramisu happens to be favorite among my pals and no doubt it looks the authentic tiramisu, but I am little uncomfortable as soon as I hit the spongy layer beneath the cream. To keep the layer from feeling dry something goes in which I does not taste only of coffee, which I feel, should. Cheesecake is also little more on the sweeter side. I will close the review with Choc-opera. If you are someone who likes dessert, not the very sweet ones like me, then this will be the best pick. Chocolate with walnuts laid out under crunchy wafers and beautifully topped with a cute little macaron will simply burst in your mouth no less than a live Opera if you understand the emotions of flavors.
They serve a range of smoothies and drinks as well just for company. For a leisurely chatter on a weekend, this is the place to be at. The place is very casual with Self-service. Chose a dessert, take it on a wooden tray, then you are on your own, find a place, if not inside the airy portico outside is all yours!

Taste buds yell: More!
Pocket shouts: Ouch
When I look around: Parisian
Waiting time for tummy: Who Cares!
Conçu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Simply South! - Hyderabad

I am little late with this piece of review. Name may come as a simple joint serving South Indian food. Distinguishing fact is it being a Chef run one. And yes, it is pretty evident from the decor, the intricacies in the menu and of course the food, once it is served.
As you enter, it is a dim lit set-up, with beautiful pictures of chef and dishes all around. Part of the brick wall embellished with chef's message all go in setting the expectations right. When you flip through the menu, it amazes you a lot, as every alternate page is spared to explain you what is differentiating about the cuisine of every state which together comprise South India. Reading some makes you glad as you happen to already know them, while some excite you as you want to discover those facts yourself in your own food journey.

When it came to ordering food, awesome, idiapams, apams served with all authenticity intact in brass cutlery tempt you enough. But to have most of it in a royal way, all in your plate I went for Andhra meal. In no time, the entire table was filled. Huge plate with bowls of all regular Andhra vehetarian dishes, ensemble of 3-4 powders, 3-4 pickles and lat but not the least, rasam and sambhar severd in separate buckets. Since you start with Puri, rice will make its way only in the later part of the meal. Everything seems known. But you have to have it all by yourself to believe how each item tasted exactly how it ought to. And that can definitely come, if a Chef's eye is on each execution.

Having said this, the place has a lot more, if you wish to explore South India sitting at one place. I am going to visit soon again.

Taste buds yell: Perfect!
Pocket shouts: Slightly High
When I look around: Classy
Waiting time for tummy: Decent

Keep Gorging!
- Foodie Panda


Simply South Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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