Friday, July 27, 2012

Biriyani Wars- Bawarchi VS Paradise - Hyderabad !

What comes to your mind first , when I say Hyderabad ? Is it the mughal splendor associated with Nizams from long ago , the soulful qawwaalis , the endless trinket shopping in Choodi bazaar or  flavorsome Hyderabadi biriyani . Im sure for most people esp guys ;) it must be the biriyanis this place is famous for.
Last month , we got a chance to visit this beautiful place with family . Almost every person I talked to would mention ' Please dont forget to try the biriyani from Paradise hotel / Bawarchi! ' . So obviously we decided to try both.
First evening we reached , we immediately headed out to locate our first target - Bawarchi  and bought parcels back to the hotel.
Note- they have no other branches
We started off with chicken tikka . Must mention, its packed pretty well, well insulated and the heat is retained for atleast a couple of hours.

Chicken Tikka
The tikka was juicy and succulent , spicy as well. The usual accompaniments of onion rings ,lime wedges and mint chutney just added to the flavours.
Of course the main item was the Mutton biriyani . We had our first taste and reliased why this place was so so popular.
Mutton biriyani - Bawarchi
It was absolutely delicious - The rice long grained and fragrant with the aroma of subtle spices. The meat was so tender ,it was just melting in our mouths . It had the accompaniments of raita and mirchi ka salan, but I preferred it just as it is with nothing to mask that goodness.
We finished our meal with another local delicacy - Qubaani ka meetha - which is a concentrated sweet made of apricots.
Qubaani ka meetha
Now this is a tad tooo sweet for my taste, but S loved it - and Baby A couldn't get enough of it .Needless to say it was a very hearty meal.
Next day, our plan was to hit Paradise Hotel and try the biriyani there for lunch - but after roaming in the burning heat in choodi bazaar, we just decided to take a parcel n head back to the comfortable ac interiors of our hotel :) . We managed to lose our way and it was getting late ,so we settled for takeaway from another place - called Golden Bawarchi. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a branch of the original Bawarchi , if you had noticed before in the plastic bag , they have mentioned they dint have any other branches.
Chicken biriyani - Golden Bawarchi
 But this biriyani ( chicken this time) was to die for - absolutely amazing - in fact, i still drool thinking about that biriyani.And check out the size of that chicken - it was a whole one! Talk about quantity.
Finally at night , we managed to find the Paradise hotel .

We started the meal with some Nan , malai chicken tikka kababs and mutton seekhs.Yum yummy ! All the kababs marinated very well and juicy .
Mutton seekh, Malai chicken tikka and nan

The mutton biriyani here is delicious as well - but more on the spicy side , the rice is just so perfectly coated with the masalas.
Mutton biriyani - Paradise Hotel
 By now we were pretty much bursting at the seams, but just couldnt stop eating .

Overall, Hyderabad is a city meant for foodies, each and everything I've tasted here was awesome,and the quantity is just unbelievable -3 people can easily share one plate of biriyani .Also price wise - its much cheaper than Bangalore, so totally easy on the pocket .
If you ask me, my favorite biriyani was the one i had from Golden Bawarchi :) , mainly cos it was the right kind of spicy for me , but take my word , each of the biriyanis were just unique in flavor and totally worth trying .

Leaving you with some shots of the beautiful city .


Bustling choodi bazaar

Freshly made Nan sold in choodi bazaar - tastes like pita bread/khubuz
Chaarminar at night - isnt it lovely?

Hussain sagar lake
Qutub Shahi tombs

Golconda fort

Yum-O-Meter - definitely 5/5

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Manchester United Restaurant

This place has been on my list to visit when my football crazy brother comes to town. He is a big fan of the Man-U team so he was pretty excited bout checking it out as well. its bang opposite forum mall in Koramanagala so nearly impossible to miss with its bright red neon sign  .
 The interiors are pretty cool - blue red lights and Man-U team memorabilia and pictures around.
 On one corner there's a big Tv screen with one of the matches playing .

 And on the other corner a live DJ with some nice mixes .

 The bar with the high chairs are to a side and  some comfy lounging couches as well.

Pretty impressive stuff! You can even buy their jerseys and other sports gear directly from there.
The menu is a mix - more of continental with some Indian ,Chinese added to it. The menus are literally a handful as you can see below :)
The food menu

The drinks menu - some of the cocktail have pictorial representation of the quantity of mixes in them- helpful
 We were just in to check out the place, so we just went for a drink each and a starter.
S and bro had the special Ice tea - a mix of vodka along with ice tea and lemon - pretty good , especially if your not in the mood for heavy liquor.
Special Iced Tea
 I had a drink called Glory Glory! It was a mix of vodka, lemon juice, and cranberry juice .
Glory ! Glory!
It was really refreshing - perfect drink for ladies - cos its got a hint of alcohol but not too overwhelming as well.
We ordered a side of beer battered fish fingers and chips .
Beer Battered fish fingers, tartar sauce and fries

The fish fingers were perfect - crispy outer coating and melt in the mouth inside.We loved it - and it was way good quantity for 3 people .The fries were yummy as well . I would have loved to try more stuff but we thought we ll come back with a bigger appetite to do complete justice to the food. It is on the expensive side - so go when there s a really exciting match to watch and with some good company .

Location -1, Kira Layout, Hosur Main Road, Opposite Forum Mall,Koramangala, Bangalore 
Price ( For 3) - 1400 ( Just drinks and starter) 
Yum-O-Meter -  3.5/5

Monday, July 9, 2012

China Pearl

Our go-to for all Chinese has always been Chung wah .We loved the food there, coupled with the low prices , but the last few times I've starting to feel 'Are they losing their touch?'.  Also now its been more than 6 years and we desperately needed to try some new chinese place.Couple of my my friends have been raving about china pearl - one of them who has relocated from Bangalore to Kerala, makes people get parcels from here for her to tuck into at home, and it has been an on going battle between 2 sets of foodie friends- one side believes Chung wah is better and the other side goes for china pearl. So the next time we craved for chinese ,we headed to china pearl instead to see what the fuss was about .

First thing that strikes you when you enter is the interior. Very cliche chinese feng shui stuff all around - complete with the chinese fans and paintings. But it was very pretty and of course we all do love cliches ;) . It was pretty full which is a good indication of the quality of the food.
Menu is very extensive and we had a really hard time choosing.
We started our meal with dragon spring rolls and chicken tom yum soup .
Chicken dragon rolls
The dragon spring roll was crunchy and served with a spicy dip . I preferred their standard chilli dip on the table to the one served with the rolls.
Soya sauce, chilli , vinegar-green chilli seasonings

 The tom-yum soup was clear and spicy with loads of veggies, chicken and ginger - perfect for clearing a blocked nose :D
Chicken Tom Yum soup

Along with the starters we were also served a cold cucumber salad and saucy cabbage salad .Very fresh.

For mains , we tried the chicken autumn rice with szechuan style - it was fried rice loaded with chicken and veggies in a szechuan sauce.
Chicken Autumn Rice

One bite and we enjoyed a mouthful of flavor -spicy, tangy and just yummy .
We also tried the mixed szechuan chowmein which was good too.
Mixed chowmein

Along with it we ordered chicken green dragon - spicy shredded chicken in green dragon sauce.
Chicken Green Dragon

The description sounded interested so we decided to try it , and I'm so glad we did cos it was so amazing - the base of the dragon gravy was spinach ,and the flavor was simply out of this world - spicy but in a nice way.Its a must try .
There were quite a few options for dessert but we were bursting to the seams now so dint order any. The quantity is pretty good- there were 3 of us and we had a tough time finishing our plates .
I want to especially mention the loo which was very spic ,span and clean, very difficult to see that these days !
As for the debate between who wins - Chung wah or china pearl - it still continues - cos I do have a soft spot for Chung wah ( especially the one on Residency road - just the thought of their double cooked pork makes me drool) and I would like to try china pearl a couple more times before deciding ;)

Location- 5th Cross, 6th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore
Price ( for 3) - Rs 1200
Yum-O-Meter- 4/5

Monday, July 2, 2012


It was a special occasion - our 5th anniversary - and the occasion of course called for a celebration . For us any celebration is equal to amazing food . So off we headed to Turquoise .
Interior is pretty swanky - my favorite was the big turquoise chandelier at a corner - and we got to sit right next to it .

Our table had a (turquoise again) glass candle holder and the setup was pretty romantic .
Great place to bring your dates *wink * !
The menu is pretty extensive and we were spoilt for choice - almost everything sounded tempting and we really had a hard time deciding what to try. 
For starters, we ordered Chicken Vol Au Vents and chicken Caesar salad.

Chicken Vol Au Vent
 Chicken vol au vents are little pastry cases stuffed with minced chicken , mushrooms and herbs in a creamy sauce. The pastry was light and crunchy and the filling was simply delicious.

Chicken Caesar Salad
 The Caesar salad had lots of lettuce with grilled chicken and bacon in a mayonnaise dressing. The presentation was lovely .
For mains , I had the Risotto with smoked ham and sage.

Risotto with sage and smoked ham , look behind to see actual portion of lamb dish
 It was creamy but surprisingly not as heavy as i thought it would be .
S had grilled lamb chops with crushed rosemary and garlic, herbed potato wedges and ratatouille.

Grilled lamb , wedges and ratatouille - after most of it was demolished by us
 The lamb was really tender and the flavors were subtle but amazing.The wedges were baked perfectly and the ratatouille was a good side of grilled vegetables.
Of course we couldn't leave without having dessert and we ordered the turquoise trio - mini versions of 3 of their best desserts - the chocolate fudge pate with passion fruit cream,vanilla creme brulee and mille feuille - seasonal fruits with vanilla creme on top of a meringue.

(From left to right) Chocolate Fudge Pate , Vanilla Creme brulee and mille feuille
 I'm not a huge fruit lover but the mille feuille with the crunchy base, cream and fruits was just divine. The best of the 3 was the chocolate fudge pate - it is dark , intense and seriously chocolatey .
The service was good , and the place is not too crowded so you can enjoy a nice meal with conversation.
I read a couple of negative review online which complained that they dint serve Indian food and the food was bland - well really - I think you should know what kind of cuisine is served  before complaining bout any place , it really doesn't make any sense to go to a continental setup and order curd rice. We really enjoyed ourselves and the meal was memorable.They do Sunday brunch as well- so maybe one day we will try that .

Location - 2nd Floor, 9, Above Mom & Me, 1st A Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 
Price ( for 2 ) - Around 2000 ( Not including drinks) 
Yum-O-Meter - 4.5/5