Festa Della Pasta @ Prego, Taj Coromandel, Nungumbakkam 10th to 19th July

is the only word that comes to my mind the minute I think of Pasta. There are
days when all I want is a small bowl of pasta, with a drizzle of olive oil , few slices of tomato and burnt garlic..  So, when I came to know of the
Festa Della Pasta at Prego in Taj Coromandel, I was quite excited. 
And the
entire menu has been designed by Chef Luca, who is all of 27 yrs of age. Damn,
how did he become so talented and awesome?! The evening unfolded like a
beautiful movie, scene by scene, with plates of soup and food flowing onto the
table seamlessly and murmuring sweet nothings into our taste

The evening
kicked off with a quick demo on past making by Chef. He told us green
pasta was made with Parsley, red with carrots, black with Squid ink
and Brown with cocoa powder. Equal portion of semolina was added to the dough
and it was then rolled out. The entire process was such a treat to watch, the
pasta sheet was thin and near transparent… 

The dinner
started off with the Amuse Bouche – a spicy watermelon mocktail
[watermelon juice with finely sliced green chillies] which was
just what we needed to cleanse the palate and gear up for what came next. 
A plate
with Potato beignets, goat cream cheese, tomato coulis and
caramelized cherry tomato with a sprinkle of micro herbs is what came in. Each
spoonful was a treat to our taste buds, packed with flavours and delicately
done up. Just as we were getting used to this ride, along came the Truffle
scented provolone and leek soup
with Ortolana and Feta Cheese.  This
was probably the 3rd time I was having Truffle and it is a flavour I love.
 This soup was just smooth,creamy and divine! 
While the
Truffle flavour lingered on our tongues, a thin crust pizza with
cherry tomato, zucchini and mushrooms came waltzing in. It was fresh, and with
a sprinkle of red chilli flakes &  parmesan cheese, it tasted even
better. But am not really a pizza person, so stopped with one slice. I knew
there were some exciting dishes in store. 
I watched
in glee as a the Tomato flavoured Tagliolini pasta tossed with fresh Basil
arrived. It was beautiful, the delicate flavours of basil was
visible in the sauce and the roasted pine nuts were amazing. The non veg gang
had the Beef Bolognaise Lasagna & going by their reactions, it
was a dish that blew them away. 
Another veg
pasta we got to taste was the Cencioni with sweet Pepper sauce
[having watched the Chef make this pasta, it was a fun experience]. It was
served alongside purple crisp chips, which added a third element with the new
texture.  Oh, and we weren’t done yet. I also got a portion of
the Zuchini and Tomato timbale with balsamic reduction which was
build like a tower with layers of different vegetables and cheese as well.
 But the star of the evening was the Ravioli with different
kinds of Cheese
served alongside some saffron sauce
. The flavours were
like being in a Circus, you don’t know what to expect but are pleasantly
surprised by the burst of flavours in your mouth. A party!! 
And to
bring the evening to an end, came the two desserts – Bitter Chocolate flavoured Lasagna
[made with cocoa powder] with Ice Cream and Chef Luca’s deconstructed Tiramisu[lady finger biscuits replaced with a thin slice of cake].. I loved the
Tiramisu, which I dug into 1st. Maybe that is why I couldn’t taste
the flavours in the lasagna, but did like the crunchy bits that were tucked
between the sheets.  
memorable evening is what it turned out to be. And the entire meal would
set you back by around Rs2000-2500.  Do hop on the ride and share your
experience, but do it before 19th July… 
The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also
remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon
Appétit 🙂

Cafe Noir, Bangalore

What do we do .. what do we do… Shall we head out to Orion Mall?, it is a bit far, but a nice one at that.. is how the morning dawned… Told friend not to drive and we hailed a cab to the Mall. I know of the traffic chaos & parking woes that one faces in Bangalore and that is why I suggested this option. Glad I did.. Friend would have been pissed off by the time we reached, for it took us a good hour and a half to reach the place. 

It is a huge mall, but like everything else in Bangalore opens late… When we walked in at 11am, most shops were just dusting their window displays and getting ready to open full fledged. I noticed Landmark, but they hadn’t opened yet.. So we decided to wander about, check out if there were any movies available… As we walked around the place, friend mentioned there was a cafe here which was very good and we could do lunch there. I said “Ok”. We spent a good half hour in Landmark, explored the so called Caravan- flea market on the top floor[which was quite sad] .. No other store really stands out in my mind. Am not a mall person, and I go there only for the book stores and movie theaters. 

Clocked ticked away, and it was 1pm. We made a beeline towards Cafe Noir [ 3rd floor if am right]. The place was fairly empty, we took a seat in the table at the far end. The one next to ours was occupied by a group that looked like they were celebrating a kid’s birthday. 

I noticed they served alcohol as well. It is a new thing for me to see booze alongside food –  esp since we do not see it in Chennai.. 🙂 We skipped booze and went ahead and ordered up starters and mains. For starters we went with Stuffed mushroom which was sinfully yumm & a portion of bread with hummus… We also ordered a plate of fried which friend’s son insisted was his.. we packed it home. 

As for the  mains, we had pasta- i had penne and friend ordered Fettuccine.. We opted for the Mexican pasta which came with Artichoke, olives and sun dried tomatoes. The food was the perfect portion size and flavours were amazing. I loved the balance of spices..  Friend did find it tad spicy. 

For the little one, we ordered a pizza with onion, olives and capsicum [along with coloured bell peppers] as toppings, which he polished. 

Onto desserts, friend said lets go take a look. And that is when it struck me there was an entire dessert counter near the entrance and each of the dishes in there was such a visual treat. From that lot, I picked the Strawberry tart while friend opted for a multi layer chocolate based . Her son on the other hand had other plans, he wanted the peanut butter dessert. Since we had ordered two, we decided to pack his dessert which he polished off later at home. My dessert was fresh, creamy and out of the world- fresh strawberries, creamy custard and beautifully baked pie crust. I was in heaven.  

The bill came to about Rs1100 per pax.. Well worth the money I would say~!! These guys have an outlet across the city, including one in the International Airport & UB City. 

Food Court, Orion Mall, Brigade Gateway, Dr. Rajkumar Road, Near Yeshwantpur, Malleshwaram, Bangalore

I & Monkey, Bangalore

I was in Bangalore for the weekend, chilling out with a friend who has recently moved there.. Hadn’t told a lot of people I was there [becomes tough to meet and I am exhausted by the end of the trip]. I called another friend to check where she was and if we could meet. So, that Sunday we decided to meet for lunch. The topic of where then came up, and after a bit of debate we settled for I & Money on 12th main road, Indira Nagar.  I knew I had seen the place but couldn’t place it and it was only when we drove down the road did I realise I had walked past it during the earlier trip.. 

The walls were white, light fittings were black and quite clean decor. The walls near the bar had a whole lot of jazz players sculptures and the walls had photographs of famous jazz musicians. But the music played in the restaurant was random english pop… We chose to sit in a table outside and started glancing through the menu card while waiting for the friend to arrive. They don’t have an extensive menu, but do offer a range of food & drinks [ alcohol included]. I ordered a Fresh lime soda salt along with which we ordered 2 veg starters – one was potato pancakes of sorts and the other was stuffed mushrooms. Friend arrived, and she proceeded to order  non veg starter and we started yapping, while waiting for food.

The Potato pancake was delicious and so was the stuffed mushroom. The sauce that came with friend’s prawns were yumm- spicy but one of those that makes us want more.. 🙂 

Two other tables were occupied, one with child that was happily jumping about and the other with a couple who were fairly quiet. We then got down to ordering mains. I opted for a dish that had herbed rice and mushroom side- both go which was good and the portion was quite huge. Friend ordered pasta and the other one went for prawns again… 

The food was good, but portion size as I mentioned was quite large. We were full and decided to skip dessert, asking for the check. 

The bill worked out to Rs1400 per pax… Not really my kind of place, but was a good experience nonetheless… 

I & Monkey

968, 12th Main, HAL, Indira Nagar 2nd Stage, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038
Phone:080 4092 3656

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

DineIn chennai

On those rare days that Gramma says “Shall we order in dinner?” I get excited and start looking for options. She loves Continental food, and good North Indian dishes.. On the other hand does not like Idli dosa ordered in…  And I love the fact that once she decides it is going to be food from outside she is flexible on the whole no onion no garlic rule and is alright with dishes that have them .. But i do try to order Jain dishes for her.. [she can eat them in peace] 
Eden is a favorite, but they don’t deliver- So the 1st time I ordered and picked it up on the way home. But then the 2nd time I decided to use Dinein service and it was such a breeze. These guys have been around for a while, but I haven’t used them much.  Earlier when I was in T Nagar all restaurants delivered directly, so did not have to look for an alternative service. But now in Chetpet, it is a different game altogether.  
They also have a mobile app, intact give a discount of Rs100 when you order via the app [the 1st time].. What a cool way to encourage people to download the app, right? 
Ok,coming back to their site, they have a wide range of restaurants and can get you just about anything you are dreaming of.  Indian, Chinese, Thai, Continental, etc etc etc…. And the entire process is quite simple and easy.. You can also choose to pay online or ask for COD… 

Last evening we ordered dinner from Cream Centre and the food arrived hot and yumm.. Only Naan was chewy but I guess that is bound to happen on home delivery.. The few minutes the naan sits in the delivery bag it gets difficult to tear apart and enjoy… 
Next time you are looking for food options that are beyond your zone, just check out Dinein and have a fun time!