4pm and hungry, when all restaurant kitchens close. Upasana and I needed our dose of carbohydrates for the evening. We were at the old airport road. Not willing to cave and step into a barista or café coffee day the obvious choice at that moment seemed Citrus. We’ve had some really good meals there before. We thought we couldn’t go wrong. I guess we did. It wasn’t much that we had ordered. Just a pizza margherita and some coffee. I was really disappointed with the pizza. Dry and lifeless, there was no zing to it. But it did have a good punch of basil flavor. The tomato sauce did nothing for me and it definitely fell short of nice gooey stringly cheese. Coffee was also average. Full marks for lunch and dinners but not for quick bites in the evening. For just the coffee and pizza we shelled out Rs 1000.
Mushroom Cheese sandwich with Cutting Chai
I’m a coffee person so to speak. But I think Chaipatty has converted me. You’d never know there could be a nice tea-lounge or as they like to say ‘teafe’ on a busy 100ft road. An open place to enjoy your chai with a book in hand or just watching the hustle-bustle outside, hanging out at Chaipatty is like hanging out in your living room (minus the TV) with good service.
I’ve been there twice in the past week. If only I lived closer. They serve the best cutting chai! I could have 3 cups in one sitting. They also serve good eats as well. The chicken maggi is pretty good. And no I don’t think you can get the same thing done in your kitchen.
The mushroom cheese sandwich was alright. Nothing to brag about. The kulfi was good. But what makes you a loyal is the feel-good factor. You’re at home when not. Limited seating area with natural lighting feels wonderful. I’m also very happy that they support causes like stray puppy adoption.
I’m definitely going back. Again
(not so) Boozy chicken
BBQ chicken wings
Potato skins with bacon
God bless Bangalore and its pub culture. AND the good people who started Toit, for keeping the culture alive. Did I mention they also house a micro-brewery? They do. But unfortunately they haven’t gotten their licenses yet, so we have to wait for a bit longer to taste some freshly brewed beer. But we can still talk about the food. It looked pretty cool I must say. Inside out. Lots of wood and lots of space! We were 4 and chose the non-smoking section on the upper floor. Nice round booths with camel toned couches. Pictures of old Bangalore adorning the walls seemed a little familiar (corner house). Our super friendly waiter seemed keen to wait on us. We ordered for cheesy potato skin with bacon, batter fried calamari and chicken wings. Potato skins were good, not out of this world but good. Calamari was very good. Crisp yet keeping the calamari soft inside. But the winner was the chicken wings. No arguments there. Sticky, spicy, sweet and juicy. We were on the cusp of embarrassing ourselves by ordering 3 of them. We did order 3, may be the fourth would’ve been embarrassing. Moving on. We actually couldn’t move on. Or move for that matter. All the starters seemed to fill us up pretty good. That’s precisely why we ordered just 2 main course dishes. One boozy chicken and one pizza margherita. Boozy chicken was good. Creamy but not ‘boozy’ exactly. But I must mention that the chicken was cooked extremely well. The pizza was alright. I’ve had better. But I wouldn’t complain either. Hearty portions of cheese and basil were the saving grace of this margherita. We finished with a tiramisu. Absolutely delightful. It was indeed tiramisu unlike its pitiful versions available elsewhere. So that’s about it. Really fun and delicious pub lunch at a reasonable price. All this for the four of us cost less than Rs 2000. Great place to hang out with friends over some beer and not to forget the chicken wings 😉
There was this one scene in Julie&Julia, where Julie is in conversation with her husband while cooking dinner. She dices tomatoes, a little later she flips a few baguette slices on the griddle turning them golden brown. Next thing you know, the tomatoes are nesting on the baguette and she’s garnishing them with fresh basil. I must have rewound and gone through the scene like 7 times at one go. It looked absolutely beautiful and it definitely helped that her husband loved it. So many months have gone by and now is when that scene would come to life in my kitchen. Technically in Upasana’s kitchen. Did it exactly how I played it in my head. But of course by now you should know we do bend the rules here and there. So we added a little extra for some zing. Cheese! Straight from Paris.
5 slices of baguette (you can use any other kind of bread slices)
2 chopped tomatoes
½ yellow capsicum finely chopped (green or red would also do just fine)
1 basil leaf for each slice
A pinch of fresh thyme for each slice (substitute with dried Italian seasoning)
Grated cheese to top the bruschetta (we used gouda)
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil for toasting baguette
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Sauté the finely chopped yellow capsicum and keep aside. Toast baguette in olive oil on both sides. Rub garlic on each slice to infuse the flavor into the baguette. Top it with the chopped tomatoes, approximately 1 tbsp for each slice and the capsicum. Sprinkle a pinch of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Now add basil finely chopped or the whole leaf. Top this off with cheese and serve.
It works really well as an appetizer for a dinner party. Yes, you can show off. I would 😉
Simple. Straight forward. You can play around with the ingredients and make it your way. I just had some cheese and eggs sitting in my fridge and Upasana and I were trying very hard to battle midnight cravings for eggs. I did not want either of us to sweat over a stove that late. Well, we did a little bit eventually. Anyways, the result was good. Tummy happy, us happy and all in the world was good again. Ok I have gotten carried away, but we do really love eggs.
A pinch of fresh/dried thyme
2 tbsp cheese (processed/cheddar/just any kind)
¼ cup cooked veggies (carrot, capsicum, beans) finely chopped and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tsp butter
Line the cooked veggies on the bottom of your ramekin or baking dish. Add the 1 tbsp of the cheese. Break 2 eggs into it carefully. Season with salt and pepper. Top it with the remaining cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven (200C) for about 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
At this point it’s pretty much you and your bowl of comfort. Dig in and don’t leave the dirty bowl beside your bed!
My dad had picked up the menu couple of weeks ago and stuck it on the refrigerator. When I asked dad, he mentioned that it is a hop skip and a jump away. Browsing through the prices, my jaw dropped to have seen a crostini priced at Rs. 69! Either they are here to stay or each piece is priced at that. After a pleasant walk, we entered Veeks and Thomas. The dining area was neat and they had some brilliant Jazz and Blues playing. Well, our mood was set. They have a good selection of dishes in the appetizers and main course. For soup we tried one of each; the french onion and the tomato basil soup. They are priced at Rs. 30 each. I preferred the french onion to the basil but P and Ed loved the latter. Amongst the appetizers, I we recommend the bruschettas, stuffed tomatoes and crostinis. They taste brilliant as a vegetarian dish too with the sundried tomato toppings. For the main course, I went safe with the Chicken Lasagne while P ordered a Portuguese Chicken and Ed went with a Chicken Stroganoff and leaving us quite impressed and satisfied. They serve your dishes in beetle nut husk plates (bio degradable) and water from a tall jar with mint leaves in it, giving it the perfect tinge for summers. For desserts we tried the caramel custard but were a little disappointed with its grainy texture. But make sure you grab a bite of the brownie. It was a perfect brownie but whatever that gooey little piece was, it perfectly melts in your mouth. In all, yes we do recommend this place for a good lazy lunch with friends where the numbers of appetizers keep increasing with the prolonged hours of chatting. It certainly is not heavy on the pocket for a guilt free leisure meal.
After a successful run with the Lemon bars, I wanted to try my hands on yet another kind of bar/squares. That’s when I discovered Nanaimo bars. They are basically 3 layers of goodness beginning with a layer of cocoa, egg, butter, coconut, digestive biscuit crumbs and nuts, followed by a buttery custard filling and topped with melted chocolate. Originally from Canada, these little treats will give you quite the sugar rush. This is sure to satisfy the sweetest of the sweet tooth. Personally, I’d go easy on the sugar next time around.
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups digestive biscuit crumbs
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup butter
4 tb sp milk/cream
2 tb sp custard powder (vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar (original recipe calls for 2)
2/3 cup cooking chocolate
1 tb sp butter
Bring together cocoa, butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Add beaten egg very slowly and carefully not letting it scramble. Cook for a few minutes till the mixture is thick. Take it off heat. Add the biscuit crumbs, coconut and nuts. Mix well and press into the bottom of prepared pan (8 inch). Refrigerate for an hour or until set well.
Whisk butter (with a fork) well, till fluffy. Add the custard powder and vanilla. Add milk/cream. Add the sugar and mix well. Spread it on the prepared bottom layer. If it is too thick to spread, add more milk. Let it set for another hour or so.
Using a double boiler melt butter and chocolate and pour over the set mixture. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour more.
Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting them into squares. Use a very sharp knife to avoid the chocolate layer cracking.
Nanaimo bars ready to be served.
Damn! They’re good.
Soup served cold…always interested me. A simple light soup with a zing of a herb and a soft creamy taste to add a rich comfort food taste. Thats all I wanted. Palla suggested a potato leek soup, hence when we were at Gourmet, picked up two sticks of leeks along with some kale, fennel and thyme too (oki unnecessary information). So here is how :
Two big bada boom sized potatoes, boiled with salt and then mashed with a spoon.
Two sticks of leek, finely chopped
6 pods of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbl spoons of fresh cream
salt and pepper to taste
I guess the ingredients themselves speak for the dish as to how easy it is going to be to cook it. To a hot pan, add a little Olive oil and let the pan heat up. Now throw in the garlic pieces and saute them for about a minute, add the leeks to it and let them turn light green in color. Make sure that none of these ingredients turn golden brown. Now are the mash potatoes and after a good stir and a little of water and mix all the 3 ingredients well. Lid it for about 5 mins.
Now I chose to whisk it once with an electric blender and form an even…err…soup. Add the dash of cream with salt and Pepper.
Well, there were left over Basil leaves from the margherita pizza so decided come up with something quick and different. As for me, coming up with new dishes is more like a challenge we put on ourselves 🙂 and my inspiration is to cook such stuff would be to be able to put something on the table with the least bit of ingredients involving the least cooking time! So here it is :
250 gms of Boneless chicken
4 tbl spoons of olive oil
2 tbl spoons of regular italian seasonings
One Basil leaf for each piece of chicken
4 tbl spoons of honey
Marinate the meat with the Itaian Seasonings and 2 tbl spoons of oilive oil with a pinch of salt. Keep aside for 20 mins.
Now to a hot pan add 2 tbl spoons of olive oil and grill the chicken on the pan till they turn into that golden brown that we love. Now stick a basil leaf on every chicken piece and delicately glaze it with honey with the help of a cooking brush. Let it cook for 1-2 mins. Season with salt and pepper….and…well enjoy them with some mustard sauce.
This was a learning during my visit to Assam a year ago. It is primarily a dish cooked in the Garo Hills in the North Eastern part of our country. My aunt follows the instructions to the tee to cook this dish. But believe you me, I couldn’t possibly get myself to cook it the same way. You will know why…keep reading on.
250 gms chicken
200 gms of Green Chilli
2 large pinch of cooking soda with salt to taste
Grind the entire bunch of green chillies to get a smooth paste, add the chicken and then keep aside for about 20 mins. (Well the deal is that you are supposed use the same quantity of green chilli as that of Chicken! so yea..I couldn’t follow the instructions to the tee). Now in a hot wok, throw in the green chilli paste with the boneless chicken. Do not add any water or oil, hence you got to make sure that you are going to lid the preparation and wait around for the pieces to have been cooked evenly. Now add the large pinch of cooking soda into the wok and let it cook for a min or two.
Yes, you are done…I mean…cooking…serve it with plain boiled white rice 🙂