Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Wish-Dish: Pani Puri at Elco Market, Mumbai

Pani Puri is served in every city of India at almost every street corner if I may be allowed to exaggerate. Such is the popularity and reach of this Indian snack. While this dish has a huge fan following across the globe, there is surely some connection between Pani puri and women. I fail to understand the popularity of this dish among women who seem to be more than happy to make a meal out of it at every chance they can. Frankly, once I'm at it, I can't stop eating either.

So when I was in Mumbai recently, I visited this super famous place - It's been around now for decades and isknown as Elco Restaurant is located in Elco Market, Hill Road, Bandra since probably forever. It started off as a cart and is now a full fledged vegetarian restaurant. 

Ask anyone for must visit places in Mumbai and usually the first to get listed is 'Elco Pani Puri'. It seems like in Mumbai, 'Pani Puri' and 'Elco' are synonyms.

So when I was here, I tried the much famed Pani puri and have since been in total awe of it. The restaurant pays high importance not only to the taste and the ingredients but also pays high emphasis to hygiene. 

The puris were really light, thin and crispy.  The filling included potatoes and lentils. Preferences vary and for my way of eating always includes a mix of both the spicy and sweet water (pani) for that perfect blend of tang and sweetness.

In all, a delight to eat.. And easily the best I've ever tasted. 

Price - Rs. 60 per plate
Address - 2/A, Elco Market, 46 Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wish-Dish: Andhra-Style Chilli Chicken, Nagarjuna, Bangalore

What is it that takes you to a restaurant again and again? There can be various reasons for you to make a visit to a specific restaurant. For instance it can be any single or combination of parameters of the below list -

1. The cuisine,
2. The food, 
3. The ambiance,
4. Quality of ingredients, 
5. Service standards, 
6. Value for money etc

Sometimes, it can just be a single dish served at a restaurant which can have you coming back for more every single time. Do you agree?

So here's to a new series of posts titled 'Wish-Dish' where I will share with you dishes which I think in all possibility will have you going back to a restaurant for it.

Let's begin this with something I have on my mind since morning -

Andhra Style Chilli Chicken at Nagarjuna, Bangalore
Andhra as a state may have had turbulent times, economic, social and political uncertainties but this one iconic dish 'Andhra-Style Chilli Chicken' has been consistent in bringing smiles and sighs of content to patrons all through these times.

In Bangalore, one of the oldest and the much famed (for very valid reasons) restaurant Nagarjuna has been dishing out fabulous Andhra- Style food with chilli chicken in particular. 

For all those who have not tried this before, it's fiery, it's spicy, it's hot but if you can take heat it's delicious, it's addictive and it can have you hooked forever. Folks who have eaten it, what do you have to say? 

Best eaten with - by itself, with chicken or mutton biryani, Andhra-style meals and my personal favourite 'with curd-rice'

Price - ₹ 190 ++

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bangalore gets a new life... 'NIGHTLIFE'

It's been a topic in news for a really long time now. There have always been articles of hope, speculation, possibilities / impossibilities, issues related to this topic which has been on a wish list of a lot of us Bangaloreans. 

And finally, the much awaited news arrived a few days ago stating, "Nightlife in Bangalore extended to 1AM". Technically, the restaurants and food joints are allowed to stay open till 1 AM every day of the week but pubs and lounge bars can do so just 2 days of the week - Friday and Saturday. Hearing all the news and reading it for all these days did make me joyous but what was now left was to experience the happening.  

Yesterday was the first weekend and after all these years it was hard to believe and digest the fact that Bangalore actually has an extended nightlife. At least this didn't strike us until we headed out for a quick dinner at 10 PM. Our idea of quick dinner was to grab some rolls and it was there that it came to our realisation that this lovely city was on till 1 AM.

So post our dinner, we drove to this nearby gastropub, parked our car to the roadside and walked up towards this lovely pub. During this walk, we still couldn't put our thoughts together and wondered if the pub was actually open. A minute later, at close to 11:30 PM we were welcomed with a smile and the door opened wide. At 11:30 PM!!! 

We stepped in with joy and what a ball it was. True to its name 'Monkey Bar' we witnessed people really having a great time; sipping on the beers, cocktails and other beverages. To keep the momentum alive, there was pulsating music playing to which party-goers danced and swayed along. If this was not all, there was also foosball and pool table to elevate the experience. 

Getting seating was unimaginable so we settled ourselves to a table nearby the foosball and called for a couple of drinks. Puja called for 'Manga' - a Mobar special cocktail and I settled in for a couple of pints of beer.

Our drinks arrived much faster than we anticipated considering the place was fully packed; and this does deserve a thumbs up. We were enjoying our drinks, the music being spun out by the DJ and watching others play at the foosball and pool table. All of this at 12 AM and I was pretty excited to make a post on My Facebook Page.. 

'12 AM and it's still not late for a couple of drinks, a game of pool or fooseball, great food and music.. It's PARTY TIME Bangalore..

Monkey See.. Monkey do... Monkey drink the good times Brew'

Here are some pictures I have to share:
Wall Frame at Monkey Bar


How about a game of Pool?

Manga - Mobar Special Cocktail
On our way back home, it was good to see party-goers flocking out of pubs and lounge bars at 1AM. The city has come alive - Cheers to the new life.... 'NightLife' of Bangalore!