Saturday, 25 April 2015

Rocking Breakfast at Hard Rock Cafe

Rarely I go out for breakfast. It should be something really good for me to step out that early in the morning. This time, I heard about 'Rocking breakfast' at Hard Rock Cafe. HRC and breakfast? Yeah this was my reaction too. What got me more excited was when I read, 'Pay what you think it is worth'. This was so nice to relish a hearty breakfast, the Hard Rock way.

Started my morning with some fresh juice, the juice of the day was pineapple. I was clueless on what to try so I had to take help from chef Niranjan for my breakfast table. Started with Justin's Loaded Savory French Toast, thick slices of brioche bread soaked in a savory cream topped with a spiced bean and mushroom mix served with a side of chicken sausage. I had a sample of it and fell in love with it with every bite. I went again to HRC for this again and again.

Next was Sweet French Toast, thick slices of brioche bread smothered with zesty orange cream, laced with cinnamon and topped with a mixed berry compote and maple syrup. The start of my meal was very good and I was impressed.

I then had The HRC Brekkie. Omlet made from 3 free range eggs, chicken sausage, served with sliced toast, grilled tomato, hash brown with some spiced bean. This is one filling breakfast plate. I have started liking spiced beans a lot. Next time I tried eggs in sunny's side up. I opted out of pork and bacon from my meal.

With some sugar rush I couldn't resist trying Chunky Monkey Pancakes, triple layered pancakes drizzled layered caramel sauce , melted butter and maple syrup. Dusted with icing sugar and topped with whipped cream and assorted berry coulis. Yummy indeed. I am going to try waffles in my next visit.

Savory pancakes had bacon due to which I did not have it.

There are so many more options to choose from dosa, poha, uttapam, chola bhatura, sandwich, waffles, smoothies, oats, etc. I ended my meal with a glass of Hot chocolate, just perfect :)

The offer or having a hearty breakfast and paying what you think is worth it stands between 15th April to 14th May, 8.30 AM - 11.30 AM. I am enjoying this so much that I have already visited HRC many times to try out the various dishes from the menu. Looks like HRC has come up with a breakfast menu which I would like in my day to day life, so what more do I need. I have many favorites from this menu :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

New Pizza's at California Pizza Kitchen

I visit California Pizza Kitchen again, you can read about my last visit here. This time, CPK, as it is fondly called has introduced 6 new pizza's which are 9 inch pizza which one can enjoy at Rs.249 plus taxes from Monday to Friday. Head to CPK before this limited offer.

Let me write down some of the pizza's which I tried along with their starters and my favorite desserts. I had some of my usual quenchers during my visit.

I have to mention this, Lettuce wraps with shrimps, is a must try for me. It had wok seared shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots and green onions tossed in soy ginger sauce along with shrimps. It is served with spicy ginger sauce and iceberg lettuce cups. A little sweater to taste but taste best with the lettuce.

Spicy chicken supreme was next and was recommended by the chef too. It had panko coated boneless chicken strips fried and tossed in their special tangy wing sauce, served with crispy tortilla salad and herd ranch sauce. It was a hit on my table which the order being repeated. Surely the best selling dish at CPK.

Chipotle grilled chicken was the last starter served. It had a smoky chipotle peppers marinated chicken strips, grilled and served with house salad and herb ranch dressing. It was juicy and liked by all. I preferred the other two starters over this.

Then came the pizza's. I mostly tried the non veg pizza's along with my favorite Kasundi pizza which I had earlier during my earlier visit.

Tijuana chicken pizza was first to be served on the table, it had an albuquerque sauce on a regular crust with mozzarella, grilled onions grilled chicken & sliced jalapenos in the style of tijuana. Garnished with cilantro. Regular crust aren't my favorite but it is filling, jalapenos gave a tangy taste to the otherwise bland pizza.

Apollo pizza was next which had garlic marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers, sliced mushrooms, grilled onions and marinated chicken. Good combination on thin crust pizza caught my attention and tasted good too. I preferred this over the previous one.

Spicy cilantro pizza was served. It had chicken with onion tomatoes and capsicum marinated in fresh coriander pesto and baked atop a thin crispy crust with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The taste of the pizza's served got better with every pizza coming on the table and this was my favorite of the night. The coriander pesto did the trick. I hope this retains in the menu as I would enjoy this pizza upon my every visit.

I indulged in a little bit of Kasundi paneer pizza which is/was/will always be my favorite. It has makhani sauce, kasundi flavoured paneer, roasted peppers, tomatoes and onions. This pizza is little tweaked to the original pizza served earlier but this variety is also excellent and my favorite veg pizza at CPK. I'm glad that they retained this from the International Pizza and Beer festival menu.

Time for desserts and yes, this time I tried something more than the usual tiramisu.

Red velvet cake, is layer of moist cake with creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting and white chocolate curls. I have had better versions of this cake so this did not stand out for me but was tasty for sure.

Tiramisu, is the layer of rich Italian mascarpone cheese and espresso soaked lady fingers with a touch of kahlua topped with house-made sabayon and sprinkled with freshly grated dark chocolate. I just love this and enjoy it at almost all restaurants so here too I did like it.

White chocolate strawberry cheesecake, is one of the signature desserts, it is a mile high New York style cheesecake with an Oreo crust and swirls of sweet strawberry and white chocolate served with fresh whipped cream. Try this when you crave for something apart from chocolate or coffee. It does not have much of strawberry so do not hesitate.

Sticky toffee pudding, is topped with a rich and buttery caramel sauce, this toffee flavoured British style "pudding" garnished with pecan nuts just made a way to my taste buds instantly. I think my taste buds were waiting for a different taste which was provided from this pudding. I have visited CPK again just to try this dessert.

Chocolate banana cake, is a two flavours that were destined to be together. Rich and moist chocolate cake layered with banana cream and topped with a decadent chocolate ganache. A squiggle of banana creme sauce completes the dish. If you have a taste for banana then try this but do remember that this is a filling dessert. I enjoy banana and chocolate combo but this dessert fills my appetite when I have less pizza's.

From this visit, my favorite's are - Lettuce wraps with shrimps, Spicy chicken supreme, Spicy cilantro pizza, Kasundi paneer pizza and Sticky toffee pudding and Chocolate banana cake. What are your favorites?

Monday, 20 April 2015

India Kids Fashion Show in Bengaluru

One of the most awaited fashion shows of our country, the INDIA KIDS FASHION SHOW, a prestigious and exclusive fashion event only for Kids that will be held in Bengaluru for the very first time, in partnership with Divas & Dudes, Bangalore's first Kids Exclusive Salon, Spa and Party Lounge, on 26th April 2015 at the Ritz Carlton Bangalore.

The Kids’ wear market is amongst the largest growing segments in the apparel industry worldwide and IKFS offers an interface not only for aspiring kids’ models but also brings together national & international designers, showcasing the latest global trends in Kids Fashion Industry.

After successful shows in Delhi and Mumbai, the distinctive and pioneering event, IKFS will be held in Bangalore for the very first time and will showcase the best of national and international brands including

- Enchanted Velvet (Grand Finale)

- Paul Smith Junior (International)

- Lila & Lala by Swedish designer Ms.Alexandra Gritz

- Milou, the Swiss brand for Kids Fashion

- Bumble Bee by Ms. Rachana Reddy

- Premium desginer 'Faye'

At a Fashionista launch event held last evening, the city's creme de le was given a sneak peak into the glamorous event and saw the launch of the Little Divas & Dudes contest, a first of its kind pageant, where 30 kids will be selected for a personality development workshop and will not only walk the ramp for the INDIA KIDS FASHION SHOW’S grand opening designer but two of them will be the Little Diva & Little Dude contest winner.

Parents can get their kids to enroll and be a part of the Divas and Dudes contest by simple calling the number 080 25252005 and fulfilling the registration process and give them the perfect platform to build their confidence.

So raising a toast to be stylish but this time for the kiddies :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Baisakhi menu at Spice Terrace, JW Marriott Bangalore

I love JW Marriott hotel a lot and this is very evident in all my post. This time, I was invited to be a part of the Baisakhi celebrations with Chef Jolly. 

Baisakhi calls for pomp, festivity and rich gourmet indulgence, marking the beginning of the New Year and the harvest season. A celebration of colour, dance, music and food, this Baisakhi, JW Marriott Bengaluru invites you to experience the flavours of this vibrant Indian state at the Indian speciality restaurant Spice Terrace. Set against the backdrop of a traditional street in Amritsar, the celebration is a showcase of authentic cuisine and live entertainment in an elaborate spread from April 10th to 19th.

I was extremely happy to have my first Baisakhi dinner at JW Marriott, the dinner was accompanied by an interaction with Celebrity Chef Jolly. The Chef gave us a brief talk about the celebrations and food that was served to us. He is an amazing learner, he makes the attempt to go to place to learn the history of the food and he prepares the same with modern cooking techniques. He is magician in the kitchen and foodie outside the kitchen. Being from Amritsar and from his recent trip, he made sure that the food which was part of the menu was made as authentic as possible. I learnt a lot about Punjabi food and also about Amritsar. I am sure Chef Jolly will be glad to suggest me some amazing food joints for my next visit.

Rain played a spoil sport due to which the food was arranged for us at JW Kitchen. Photo's may not be great as I preferred eating over taking photos from one hand :)

Shikanjvi was served, this was a really refreshing drink made from rooh afza that complimented majority of the dishes that was served to us. Have it either chilled or with crushed ice as it taste the best then. This is surely going to be my summer cooler at home.

For starters, Amritsari Machchi (Fillets of Singhara fish), No Punjabi occasion is complete with out this fish dish. Fillets of Singhara dipped in an ajwain spiced chickpea flour batter and deep fried in mustard oil. It originated from “Hari ke Pattan” a small town by the banks of Sutlej river, a favourite spot for the migratory birds too. An instant hit at the table.

Methi tey Saron da Tandoori Jheenga (Tandoor grilled prawns), is tandoor grilled, plump Arabian Sea prawns refreshingly marinated in a citric blend of lemon juice, sun dried fenugreek (methi) leaves & mustard paste. I have never had this version of prawns so I liked the tandoori version.

Chaampan tey Botiyan, is tandoor roasted lamb chops & boneless cubes, marinated with garlic juice, ginger, green papaya, yogurt, red chilly paste and robust spices. How can lamb chops ever go wrong at JW Mariott. It has always been my favorite here.

Til, Pudina Malai Paneer Tikka, is sesame crusted cottage cheese kebabs, marinated in stone ground- mint, green chillies and green mango relish, tandoor roasted. Not a big fan of paneer but the ingredients were blended so well with paneer that I did not kind another serving of it.

Rajmah Naeyojae tey Khoye di Seekh, is charcoal grilled skewer of red kidney beans, pine nuts and “khoya” milk cake, spiced with freshly pounded peppercorns, black cardamom seeds, cumin seeds & ginger. Served with tangy tomato chutney. Punjabi veg food could be this tasty? It was eye opener and my fav veg starter.

Choliyan, Makkai tey Kalonji di Seekh, is charcoal grilled skewers of harvest’s green gram, young corn kernel and nigella seeds. This melted in the mouth and you better eat this with your hand asit breaks easily.

For main course, I was eagerly waiting to try Bharme Amritsari Kulche, which is stuffed refined flour dough bread with a choice of spiced potatoes, cottage cheese, onion masala and lamb mince. Could I ever get this in Bangalore? Please let me know as I love it.

All of you know that I love non veg food more but this was one surprise for me. Bhartha Amritsari, is charcoal-smoked eggplant mash & green peas, tempered with garlic, green chillies and ginger finished with a dash of lime, my favourite pick of selections at “Kesar da dhabha”. I have always cried to eat brinjal at home so I had no hopes when this came on to my plate but I was pleasantly surprised and from now, I will surely try this at every place I visit.

Khaas Murgh, is chicken cubes “khadai roasted”, Indian wok roasted with aromatic spices and herbal marinade of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon quills, mint leaves, yogurt and sunflower seeds, finally enhanced with saffron. Full of flavors, one can enjoy this at any time.

For all who thought that only Dal Makhni was Punjabi then Maah Choliyan di Daal Makhan de naal will surprise you, It has lentil delicacy of whole Urad, Channa daal, red kidney beans, tomato & garlic, simmered overnight on the tandoor, enriched with cream and served with a dollop of home churned butter. i have had this earlier so I enjoyed it while the rest on the table loved it.

Gurde Kapurey naal Keema Kaleji, is the ever popular road side lamb dish of Punjab, griddle roasted lamb mince with kidney, liver and sweetbread, cooked with robust spices, ginger, garlic and mild chillies. I am not fond of kidney or liver so I did not like this as the kheema also had a taste of liver in it. But my friends liked it.

Kharodeyan da Ras, is shanks of baby lamb, braised patiently in the trotters extract for hours together, subtly infused with aromatic spices and coriander herb. “Paaley” specialises in this unique preparation and here we bring it to you, Amritsar’s finest. This was served and I had no idea what came on my plate. With the first taste I got to know that it was none other than 'Paaya' which my mom loves and I avoid it. So basically I chose not to eat this too. But when i visited with my Mom next, she enjoyed kheema and paaya the most while I had chicken and brinjal the most.

I never had Missi Roti, which is tandoor cooked chick pea flour bread spiced with green chillies, ginger, and onion, soured with sun dried pomegranate seeds. I was told to have it with jaggery and for me this was something new. Decent, I liked it.

I was waiting to try this and also write about it. Aawley, Katheal tey Aambiyan da Achaar, is Indian gooseberries, young jack fruit & green mango pre-tempered in mustard oil with nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, whole red chillies and then cooked in vinegar. Chef Jolly, could I get some of this parcel for home please?

For desserts, I wanted to try pinni but nevertheless, we were offered Gulab Jamun, one big jamoon, extremely soft, sweet and filled with khoya. Heavenly for sure.

Badaam da Halwa, is traditional sweet of almonds and jagery. i love desserts so I liked this too.

Katra Aluwaliyan de Jalebiyan, is a traditional sweet dish made from leavened refined flour batter, first fried in the shape of bangles and later steeped in a saffron flavoured sweet honey syrup, served hot. Hot crispy jalebi was made which was served with rabri, a second serving was surely to ask for.

With this menu tasting, I got to know more about Punjab, Amritsar and their food by Chef Jolly. For me, punjabi food will never restrict to sarson da saag or lassi. There is surely more to it. 

Chef Jolly, hoping that my favorites remain on the menu after the festival, also can we have such festivals often? I loved dining here and so did my Mom when she visited.