Chinese, Thai and even Japanese, we all know and have been to restaurants that specialize in these. But how many of us have tried an authentic Korean meal?
Well, I’ll forever be thankful to a friend of mine who introduced me two awesome things that are Korean.
The first is the movie My Sassy Girl…
Sassy literally means Bizarre, is a South Korean romantic comedy film directed by Kwak Jae-yong, in which the lead protagonist’s chance meeting with a drunk girl on the train changes his life. It is based on the true story told in a series of love letters written by Kim Ho-sik, a man who initially posted them on the Internet and later adapted them into a novel. I will definitely recommend anyone who like romantic-comedies to watch it.
…And the other is the restaurant in Bangalore – Soo Ra Sung.
I was fortunate enough to try out this place before I left Bangalore and it will be on my itinerary when I visit Bangalore again. Soo Ra Sung is an authentic Korean restaurant on Wind tunnel Road near the HAL Airport. How do I know it is authentic? Well, for one it is owned and run by a Korean Lady and also, of the 6 tables occupied on the day I had dinner there we were the only non-koreans.
When had made reservations to ensure we get a place, as it does get crowded on weekends. The owner is a warm & friendly lady that makes your ordering easy and experience enjoyable.
One of the highlights is the barbecue meal that is done right at the table. All dishes on the menu are complete meals. They are served with a delicious assortment of small side dishes and condiments. Everything was cooked to perfection.
Korean food stands out from other cuisines mainly because of the banchan (side dishes) that are served during meals in small bowls, and can be anything from vegetables to meat to seafood. These are served with the main dish, and there are no separate courses. So when you eat at a Korean restaurant do not over order.
Koreans have perfected the art of preserving food over thousands of years, so many of the side dishes are pickled, salted, or fermented. Some are spicy and the others sweet & salty. Kimchi, Korea’s famous spicy cabbage, has over a hundred varieties with different vegetables, including some non-spicy types. You may be given a pair of scissors to cut the kimchi. Rice is the backbone of almost every Korean meal, and all the dishes will be served with some sticky rice.
You’ll also be served Soo Jeong Gwa (Sweet Cinnamon Punch). A traditional brown-colored Korean drink, consisting of cinnamon, water, sugar, dried persimmon, and ginger. It was a light and refreshing end to a great meal. Sojo (Korean wine) and beer is also available on request. Manuscrypts has given a great description of what one can expect in Soo Ra Sung.
One thing that caught my eye was the tiny notes on the lift. The restaurant is on the fourth floor, above a guesthouse. One has to enter a tiny lift that has precise instructions on when to open and close the lift.
The roof top location gives a wonderful view of Bangalore, making a trip to Soo Ra Sung well worth the effort.
Here’s to Good Food and Great Friends!!
When I first came to Bangalore I was astounded by the number of Café Coffee Day (CCD) in this city. Since their launch in 1996, they have successfully covered every pin code of Bangalore. CCD for many college kids is their second home, but I for one want more out of a coffee shop then just coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I like CCD especially their spinach & corn sandwiches and tropical iceberg are great, but I want more…
That search brought me to Ants. My first visit to the place reminded me of Café Turtle at Khan Market, Delhi. This café is not the run of the mill …we have 500 branches …and the taste of coffee is exactly the same in each branch… kind of the place. It’s unique.
Well to start with, it is a boutique-café with a purpose. ‘The Ants’ was started under the guidance of the Action Northeast Trust (ANT), a non-profit organization based in Assam. What you find here are treasures made by tribal groups from north-eastern India and coffee in a relaxing environment.
The place is divided into two sections; the terrace café and the shopping area. The ground floor of Ants has apparel, products of black pottery and bamboo furniture. There are kurtis, stoles, scarves and shawls made of cottons and silk. You’ll also find some ethnic jewelry of the Northeast Region. Pots from Manipur, beautiful weave from Nagaland and handicrafts from Assam. Very beautiful and authentic, having spent some time in the NE region, I can vouch for that. I’ll say it is affordable, for the things you’ll find here are extraordinary. The only other place you may buy this is – maybe a state emporium.
Shopping! That always diverts my attention. We were talking about the café. What I like about the place is the ambiance. It is ‘chilled out’, with different levels of seating (although, some may complain since most of it is low seating). The big blackboard gives a long list of specials for the day and there the regulars as well.
The food is good overall. The non-veg sandwiches and the omelets are amazing. Of course, there is coffee and tea and smoothies. There are cakes and pancakes, fresh fruit salads and regular salads. There is also pasta and burgers if you are a bit hungry. Everything is freshly made too. Which is why, you should expect some slow service. But that’s alright- right? The whole idea is to sit back and relax, chat with friends, or read a book. Enjoy!
So next time you need a break from café coffee day, you know where to go.
Roadtrip is fast becoming our favorite restaurant in Bangalore. The comfortable surroundings, the casual setting, the awesome food and the fact that they now serve beer are all great reasons to go there.
The food is always good, in fact on our last trip someone said “I’d like to know what they don’t make well” that says a lot for any place. We have tried most of the things on the limited menu and some on the ‘Today’s special’. Apart for the Bacon Quiche, I don’t remember anything that I haven’t liked. On the Quiche, I’ll give them the benefit of doubt, though – it was probably just a bad day.
A light and tasty starter, where coral pink prawns are sautéed in garlic infused butter, then some fresh coriander is folded in. It is served with a crunch salad in a vinegar dressing. One portion of Tangy Prawn (Rs. 200) is a great starter for about 4 people.
Ham & Cheese Pizza
Rarely have I eaten a cracker-thin-crust Pizza that comes close to the freshness and lightness of ingredients and texture that you’ll get at Roadtrip. The menu has something called the Ham & Cheese Pizza (Rs. 275) with whole-wheat or normal base options. Of course you can ask to customize the toppings to your liking. I like to add the sundried tomatoes & mushrooms to the ham, cheese & basil toppings.
Ravioli is a type of pasta that looks like little packets of seets. It is basically a filling sealed between two layers of thin pasta dough. The Chicken Ravioli (Rs. 250) in white sauce with some sundried tomatoes is divine at road trip. Again the ‘Custom Made’ option is available at no extra cost. This one needs to be eaten to understand how good this really is!
Pasta in Arrabiata sauce with Broccoli
Don’t you think anyone can make good pasta in white-cheesy sauce? I mean if it has cheese and some chicken & herbs, not much can go wrong.
It is the arrabiata sauce that is the real test. Arrabbiata is a Roman sauce of garlic, tomatoes, basil and red chili cooked in olive oil. You know what all’ arrabbiata means? It means “angry style”, named as such due to the heat of the peppers.
Road trip has a great arrabiata recipe, even the veg with just some broccoli tastes smashing. So if you find yourself in Road trip on a day you need to eat only vegetarian, try this one.
The next thing on my list is the Beef Stroganoff.
This is originally a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with sour cream. From its origins in 19th-century Russia, it has become popular in much of Iran, Europe, North America, Australia, South Africa, Lebanon and Brazil, with considerable variation in the actual recipe.
The tender juicy meat was somewhat unexpected at first glance but it was marvelous till the last bite.
These are just a handful of things we have tried and liked. Do try the other Italian and Continental dishes on their menu and let us know your favorites. Road Trip is open from noon till Bangalore closes, seven days a week.
Let’s have a pop quiz. Think of 5 fine dining restaurants in Bangalore.
I can bet at least one (or more) of them are courtesy the BJN group. The BJN group boasts of having about 19 brands & 40 restaurants in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Pune and Mumbai. They also run the boutique hotel, Museum Inn, in Bangalore.
Bangalore may not be the epitome of a ‘foodie’s paradise’ or claim to have their own unique cuisine, but has adapted brilliantly to the multicultural population that resides in it. BJN has done its bid by having restaurants & bars serving a variety of cuisines and incorporating diverse themes. Whatever mood you’re in, chances are there will be a BJN joint to cure your mood swings.
In the mood for some good Chinese ? Aromas of China may be the answer. We had a buffet lunch on a Sunday afternoon and were delighted with the service and the assortment of food.
The décor of the place is very oriental with beautiful Statues of Lord Buddha. For lunch there were dim-sums, freshly made at a counter and served with spicy sauces. In the non-veg section, mouthwatering prawns, fish, lamb and chicken dishes were on the menu. In the veg section there were some dishes but with so much more around, I didn’t ever bother.
Desert was a no brainer, honey crispy wontons and ice-cream. Would you have given a second thought? There was a couple of pastries, soufflé and of course, the chocolate fondue to experiment with (p.s. Have you noticed the chocolate fondue seems to be a trademark of sorts in all BJN buffets ?) At Rs. 400 per head the buffet included a soft drink, soup, a couple of starters, main course & desert, it’s a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.
We chanced upon Aromas of China, as the restaurant next to it Café Masala was full. I’m a bit disappointed because this is almost always the case (mental note: make reservation next time). It has an Indian barbeque buffet and I’ve heard it is much better than the current fav of Bangalore, BBQ Nation.
Vaayu is the third of BJN’s restaurant at Eva mall. Vaayu is the sky lounge with a stunning view of the stars or so they say, I’ll have to try this one sometime.
‘Bamboo Shoots’ is another place where authentic Chinese, Thai, Malay, Korean and Singaporean fare comes alive. It has won the H&F S National Award for Excellence in Oriental Cuisine (which they advertise enough) It is situated in BJN’s Museum Inn, along with Angeethi & Tavern at the Inn.
Tavern and Firangi Pani have an ‘English Pub’ feel to them. The large kegs turned into tables, leather upholstered chairs, rich-dark wood furniture and large beer mugs complete the look. It’s a great place to unwind or chill out before catching a move at PVR Forum.
Sahib Sindh Sultan is the restaurant next to Firangi Paani. It’s one of our ‘let’s indulge’ places, not so much for the prices but for the amount of desi ghee they put in the food.
The cuisine served at Samarkhand comes from the North West Frontier region of Pakistan/Afghanistan. So you can expect lot of Tandoori and Mughlai dishes. A bit over priced but I guess when one says fine dining they mean ‘expensive’.
BJN Group’s new offering to add to their already impressive list of North India cuisine is Khansama. Khansama follows the “Royal Indian Theme” located on Concorde Block, UB City, Vittal Mallya Road.
Dilli ki chatt & Bengal ka puchkka, that you wouldn’t have expected from BJN ? But you’ll be surprised at the variety at Bombay House. Not to confuse with- Bombay Post this attempts to recreate the magic and romance of Bollywood of the sixties and seventies. All I can say is its’ thoda hatt key’.
Hypnos is a Mediterranean Lounge, which serves Greek, Lebanese and Spanish Food, and cool cocktails, that is typical of the Mediterranean or so I hear, never actually having been there.
Where I have been a couple of times is Indijoe Resto Bar. Go there for their afternoon buffet – at 350/- it’s not too bad. They serve a mix of Italian, salads, Thai food and Biryani. The desert section has the chocolate fondue obviously.
The other choice is to spend the evening drinking & talking with some beer and good company. The last time we went there we had some Tortia Chips with Cheese Sauce (Rs 150), non-veg combo (Rs 285), Garlic Toast (Rs 95) along with a couple of Pitchers of Draught (Rs 475).
All in all BJN has been able to add a unique dining experience by creating themes of the English pub, Palace on wheels or rustic charms of a dhaba and fine dining oriental flavors or the delights of the northern frontier, while never taking away the taste and quality of the food. Their restaurants are a bit expensive, for sure, but it lives up to its motto is `Khao, Piyo, Jiyo’ !
The only place is one place most old timers will know of. It used to be THE place to go to for juicy steaks, delicious burgers and cheesy pastas. The location has changed but the place is still the same, for better or for worse.
The restaurant apparently got its name long back as it used to be the only place one could get beef ! I’m not sure how true that is though.
The Only Place has moved from its Mota Royal Arcade, Brigade Road address to an outdoor’sy area on Museum Road. Parking is available at the parking lot in Raheja Chambers next door. The restaurant is very popular with expats as well the local crowd and seems to have a lot of regulars frequenting it. Go there if you are a meat lover and when you don’t want to count your calories. It is ideal for a casual dinner with family and friends.
The restaurant is located in a courtyard-ish area covered by an interestingly tiled roof. Red and white checked tablecloths on the wooden table give a festive, picnic look. The tables are well spaced and the corners have wooden benches instead of chairs.
Creamy Pastas, Juicy Steaks, Sloppy Joe Burgers, Sizzlers and Sumptuous Desserts sum up the menu. I don’t remember what I ordered the first time I went there but over the past year I have been there several times and keep going back for more.
On our last visit, Chicken Chowder Soup (Rs 75) is the first thing we ordered. Chowder typically is a rich and creamy soup full of chunks of ingredients that almost make it like a stew. Traditionally made chowder has a base of bacon and is thickened up with crackers that have been broken into the base. The one here is thickened with chunks of potatoes and corn, and is quite tasty, if I may say so 🙂
For the main course, we tried the Vienna steak (Rs 250) which was moist, succulent and delicious – truly a treat for meat lovers. The steaks in this restaurant are served with sides of creamed potatoes, vegetables and garlic bread. You can also customize your plate at an extra cost by adding on pepper or barbeque sauce or jacket potatoes and so on.
Dessert options consisted of apple or peach pie, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate tri-layer cake or trufle pudding. We decided to stick to tradition and ordered the apple pie (Rs 90). It was yummy – warm and delicious with the vanilla ice-cream providing the right amount of coolness !
The decor is a bit dates, the service is slow, but if it’s only the food that you crave, The Only Place is pretty good.
No hard drinks are served, but it’s an absolute delight for foodies. Go a bit early or you might have to wait for your table. Experience a slice of old Bangalore at The Only Place.
Road Trip is a 50+ seater restaurant located in Bangalore’s upmarket Indiranagar area. Road Trip is a first of its kind concept restaurant that features motorcycles as a theme
The place opened in 2003 and has seen a lot of changes in the past 5 years. I believe it was also closed for some time during this period.
RoadTrip is a restaurant in Indiranagar which serves continental/Italian cuisine. To reach the place, if you’re coming from the (Old) Airport flyover, take the first left and then the first right.
Their website describes them as
“Road Trip is a 50+ seater restaurant located in Bangalore’s upmarket Indiranagar area. Road Trip is a first of its kind concept restaurant that features motorcycles as a theme.”
The place opened in 2003 and has seen a lot of changes in the past 5 years. I believe it was also closed for some time during this period. The current incarnation is not as cool as the pics on the website will lead you to believe, but I’ve been assured that the food is still the same. They still have those motorcycle headlamp fixtures and two motorcycles standing in the dining area but the rest of the stuff is gone.
Unlike most places serving Italian/Continental cuisine in Bangalore, the food here actually tastes of the real thing and the Chef is willing to listen and make changes to the dish according to the guest’s preferences.
The menu is pretty basic. Its a simple one page menu with a couple of starters (veg and non-veg), couple of main course dishes and some drinks (Iced tea – Rs 40 , cold drinks – Rs 40, fresh lime – Rs. 40 etc.). They also serve Alcohol but all I’ve had at this place is beer (The price of which I don’t remember 🙂 ) so I won’t comment on anything else.
The last time I was there with some friends, we ordered a plate of Lamb chops (Rs. 240), a Pizza (Rs. 190), and a Penne Based pasta.
The Lamb chops, frankly, were nothing to write home about and the dish was quite bland. The meat was still nice and succulent, but it could have done with a little more spice. The chops came with some vegetables and Mashed Potatoes.
The pizza was definitely the best I’ve had in some time. They beat Little Italy (100 ft road) hands down. The toppings were ham, chicken and sun dried tomatoes. This is a thin crust pizza and, of course, highly recommended.
The pastas that we ordered were Penne based and we asked the chef to put in some extra cheese and sun dried tomatoes in it. Excellent 🙂
I’m definitely going back to this place … again.
Update 1: Was recently at Roadtrip again and tried the “Grilled fillet of fish with Lemon and Mustard sauce” and it was absolutely awesome. Rs 240 well spent. The dish is not on the menu and you can find it on the specials menu.
Reminder to Self: Check out the specials menu at Roadtrip before ordering anything 🙂
Copper Chimney at the Central Mall (MG Road) is an upmarket restaurant which serves Mughlai and North Indian cuisine.
My wife and I were at Central today and decided to check out the place … once more. I’ve been there a couple of times earlier and unlike most North Indian restaurants in Bangalore, I actually like the food at this one.
The ambiance is quite nice … classy, uncluttered and soothing. The only problem I had with the decor were the television sets. No, they’re not loud, but they just intrude in the place and stand out. A place like copper chimney would do well with nice, soft music in the background which actually facilitates conversation unlike the television sets which are only distracting, to say the least.
On to the food – The have a kabab festival going on right now. Rs 500 will get you unlimited kababs (they have a variety of 5 vegetarian and non-vegetarian kababs), veg or non-veg gravy, nans or rotis and dessert. All unlimited. Which for a place like Copper chimney is quite good value for money and I’d recommend going for the buffet if you’re in a group (and you’re really hungry 🙂 )
We, unfortunately, weren’t in the mood for the buffet and ordered ‘La carte. Our order was a plate of Chicken Chelo Kababs (Rs. 290) (Chicken kababs served with buttered rice), a plate of Rarra Chicken (Rs. 250) (Chicken cooked with a spicy tomato based gravy) and nans (Rs. 40 each).
I’m a big fan of Chelo kababs btw, but the ones that we got here were unlike the chelos I’ve eaten anywhere else. This definitely wasn’t the kababs I’m used to. What we got was basically a rice risotto like dish with chicken kababs mixed with the rice. The rice was basically cooked in butter and was gooey and sticky. The kababs were excellent though and that was the only nice thing about the dish.
The Rarra chicken was decent enough although it could have been a little spicier (and could do with a little less tomato ).
They serve alcohol and have a decent range of cocktails and wines also. I had a pint of budweiser (Rs. 145), btw.
I’d recommend this place and would definitely be visiting again myself.
The restaurant seems a little confused as to how it wants to position itself.
It has an ethnic Rajasthani ambience, Jagjit Singh ghazals as background score (yeah yeah, I know its not a movie) & Rasam as part of their Thali !! But if the food is good, who’s complaining ?
The restaurant spans 3 floors, the second floor is a bit too dark for my liking but the seating and service is decent.
I have had lunch at Raaga once or twice ( cause its close from office) and took the thali both times. The vegetarian thali (Rs 75) & the non vegetarian thali (Rs 95) are both quiet good with unlimited portions of everything except the non-veg dish of the day, curd & sweet.
Although I haven’t tried anything else, the menu does look extensive with Indian, Mughlai, Chinese and Tandoori dishes on offer.
Like most places in Bangalore, parking is a problem & the Metro (which is coming up on CMH road), just adds to the misery.
Soul cafe is a swanky looking, hookah-serving, cafe on MG road. On any given day, one can see hordes of young ones sitting in the crowded open air seating area of the place, taking drags from a hookah like no tomorrow (and of course with each drag, posing for the mandatory mug shot taken using a shitty low res cell-phone camera).
My wife and I have been thinking about paying the place a visit since the last few months and when we were at MG road this afternoon, we finally decided to have lunch at the place.
Well, the big banner announcing a buffet for Rs. 222 /- did play it’s part in luring us. I’m not a hookah lover, nor am I a lover of Bangalore’s polluted air and so we decided to sit inside in air conditioned comfort.
Except for one thing. The air conditioning system was switched off to save electricity probably and it was actually quite suffocating inside. When will the restaurants in Bangalore understand that switching off the air conditioning only makes the closed room even worse to be in ? And this is not the first time I’ve seen a restaurant in Bangalore do this. On second thoughts, we should have sat outside.
We were offered a choice of place to sit, not because they were being nice to us, but because the place was empty. Except for one family. That should’ve given me some hint.
We took our places and were handed over the menu. Within a minute a captain was upon us asking us to order. I’d seen some kids drinking beer outside but there was no alcohol on the menu, so I asked the captain if they serve beer and he said yes. And added in a low voice, would you also like vodka, rum or anything else ? I asked for the wine menu and was told they don’t have one.
I asked which Beer do they serve and he took a while to remember the name. “Curlsssberg – A german beer” is what he had to say. I said bring it on. My wife ordered an Orange Iced tea.
The drinks were at our table in some time and the captain was again on our head asking for our main course order. He suggested that we go with the Prawn Sizzler, another dish that wasn’t on the menu. And I said “OK, we’ll take one of that”. The captain promptly notes down “Two Prawn sizzlers. Anything else Sir ?”. I said:
“I want only one of that. Get me a plate of garlic bread also”.
“With cheese ?”
“May I suggest the sea food sizzler ?”
“No. I only want one sizzler. Thank you. (Getting irritated) If I want to order something else. I’ll look at the menu and order later”.
“Thank you Sir.”
“No. Thank YOU (for leaving us alone)”.
Now, I’m not usually rude to waiters. After all they’re only doing their job. But, I go to restaurants for the food. And while I appreciate choice, I’ve learnt enough to trust restaurants in Bangalore and so I like to read about what I’m eating.
Anyway, both the wife and I waited with some anxiety for the food to be served. The captain came to us … yet again and asked me who would be eating the sizzler .. to which I replied, we’ll share … The guy didn’t know what to say. He looked at me and said:
“But there are only three prawns in the dish, Sir ?”
“I think you should order something else.”
“Get me the sizzler and if we’ll decide if we want more.”
By this time, I was thoroughly irritated with the waiter.
Long story short, food came, we ate, nothing to write home about and and we asked for the cheque.
The sizzler turned out to be the most expensive item on the bill. Atleast double the price that I was expecting it to be. Now, I don’t know if that really was the price because … well, the dish wasn’t on the menu anyway.
So, I paid the bill, killed a small cockroach which I saw walking on my table and walked away. Needless to say, the guys didn’t get any tip from me.
I ate a chicken roll from a nearby stall since I was still hungry after the disgusting meal.
Point is, I’ll never be visiting the place again. And I’d suggest that you guys also don’t. The place just isn’t worth it. The food is mediocre at best, overpriced, service shabby and cleanliness non-existent. Have I already said the food is mediocre at best ?