Khan ka Khaana : Eating out at Khan Market

So you are in Khan Market, on a bright sunny day or late in the evening and wondering – where do you go? 

This market has consistently ranked as one of the costliest high end streets. In fact in 2010, it was rated as the world’s 21st most expensive retail high street by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. It’s the newest hangout market, a place to be seen. With limitless options, Khan Market does not disappoint. Just be prepared to spend the moollah.

 A new restaurant opens and closes every month here and it surely is the survival of the fittest, so the old favorites like Chonas or Big Chill are forever favourites, but these days the choices have truly increased! Let me list out some options-

The Fine Dining Experience: Even casual dining restaurants tend to be fine dining in this market, if you know what I mean!!

Big Chill – Continental, Italian, Desserts, Avg Cost/dish INR 400. One of the oldest most famous ones, there are two outlets in Khan Market itself. I feel that the hype is a bit more than it deserves, don’t get me wrong it used to be awesome once upon a time.

Blanco– European, Japanese, Thai, Avg Cost/dish INR 400. Food is good; they also have a happy hour. They have Meats outlet as well, some really good stuff. Every thursday is women’s night with free mojitos… so enjoy ladies!

The Kitchen – Asian, European, Japanese, Thai. Avg Cost/dish INR 350. The food is really good, it’s a small place but worth the wait for the table. Definitely try their Khao Suey and notice the number go up on their Khao Suey meter!

Mamagoto –Asian, Avg Cost/dish INR 350. Best known for their wok & curries, it’s a must try. Go for their Meal in a bowl choices, its filling and tastes good!

Chonas -Chinese, European, North Indian, Avg Cost/dish INR 250. It has been around for 20+ years and is famous for their Happy Hours and only the Happy Hours. Some people have recommended the sizzlers.

Side Wok – Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Avg Cost/dish INR 350. Great Thai food! The prawn red-curry was excellent, and to top it all they have an online reservation system. How cool is that?

China Fare– Chinese, Avg Cost/dish INR 300. It’s been the only Chinese restaurant in Khan for some time, and the food is good. But now that they have competition, we’ll just have to wait and watch. I always notice the cat sitting outside the door, see if you can spot her.

Watermelon – Health food, Avg Cost/dish INR 350. It has a relaxed lounge-like atmosphere, segmented into multiple rooms that provide some privacy, I guess?! With a limited menu and average dishes, avoid it if you are particular about your food.

Amici – Continental, Italian, Others, Avg Cost/dish INR 350.Best known for their oven fresh pizzas, they have some good days and bad days. I went on a bad day!! But have heard really great stuff about the place too.

Mrs Kaurs Crepes and More -American, Fast Food, Desserts, Others, Avg Cost/dish INR 300. Best known for their breakfast menu, they have light meals to enjoy all day too. The portions could be a little larger but that’s gives you an excuse to order some sweet-something.

Ginger Moon– Chinese, Avg Cost/dish INR 400. On my ‘To-Try’ list.

Khan Chacha Kabab Corner– Rolls & North Indian, Avg Cost/dish INR 200. Yes, the famous Khan Chacha is now a restaurant on the first floor, but the real fun of the place was the ‘street-food’ so to say atmosphere that is now lost. For the loyalist this remains the only place for kathi rolls.

The QSR (Quick Service Restaurants): by which I mean stand and eat type of places, they are certainly quick and seem to have a lot of fan following too. So don’t get discouraged by the crowds.

Hotdog Factory– American, Fast Food, Avg Cost/dish INR 100.

Chicago Pizza – American, Fast Food, Pizza, Avg Cost/dish INR 200. Their pepperoni slice is nice.

Al Bake– Fast Food, Lebanese, Avg Cost/dish INR 75. an offshoot of the NFC outlets, this one is better than the original.

Salim Kababs – Kababs & Rolls , Avg Cost/dish INR 150. Haven’t tried it yet.

Aap Ki Khatir– Rolls & Mughlai, Avg Cost/dish INR 150. This one is definitely recommended and the rolls are better than some of its counterparts in the same market.

Mrs Kaurs Premium Cookies – Bakery, Avg Cost/dish INR 75.

The Kathis – Rolls & North Indian, Avg Cost/dish INR 150.

Cocoberry- Desserts, Avg Cost/dish INR 150.

The Cafés and Pubs: for some informal, laze around type of an environment step into one of the many café’s at Khan. Some of these turn into a party zone with loud music and beer as the sun sets.

Latitude – American, Continental, Italian, Avg Cost/dish INR 450. The latest eatery to set up shop in Khan Market is Latitude 28, a café by The Good Earth, which has its kitchen supervised by chef Ritu Dalmia.

Cafe Turtle – Cafe, Continental, Italian, Others, Avg Cost/dish INR 150. An old haunt for most, it’s great to have some ice-tea and slice of freshly backed cake while you are immersed in the book you are reading.

Sugar N Spice – Bakery, Avg Cost/dish INR 75. Like any other of their outlets, breads and pastries are good.

Market Café – Bakery, Avg Cost/dish INR 200. One of the many specialties of this place is the wi-fi facility. It also has a Sheesha place on its second floor. The one thing you will find about this cafe’ at any given time is that you can actually ‘have a conversation’ without screaming your lungs out like in regular places. Quiet, comfortable and open, its a nice place if you want to really “catch up” with friends.

Route 04– American, Avg Cost/dish INR 300. You’ll find a lot of young kids, music is all American and by the end of the evening everyone is singing. Route 04 run by the owners of Turquoise Cottage and enjoys the same loyalty. Try their burgers, and head there during happy hours, they even have pitchers of LIIT as 1+1, a challenge to finish!

Cafe Oz & Bar – Continental, Avg Cost/dish INR 350. Nice beer & burgers. My fav is the lime & mint spritzer. I love the balance of café and pub that that Cafe Oz has.

Urban Café – Chinese, Continental, North Indian, Italian, Avg Cost/dish INR 600. Drinks are bit on the expensive side and so is food, when you look at the quantity. It has a nice ambience for some club/pub atmosphere with more well traveled diners. (And not just screaming teenagers, that you see in most pubs)

For the lets-stick-to-the-basics diners, there is a McDonalds, Subway, CCD Lounge, Barista Lavazza and the others thrown in for good measure. Hope you enjoy your trip to the mighty Khan and find your calling in one of the three lanes – outer, inner & middle.

Bon appétit!!

Delhi’s Wedding Shopping Bonanza – Part II

If the heat, rain, sweat and absolutely no bargaining skills is killing you – do not fret there are some great air-conditioned stores to choose from. They have more or less similar things and it’s a matter of your choice and luck that will change the ‘how-great-is-this?’ rating for these.

Here is a look at some specific Retail Stores


Frontier Bazar and CTC Plaza are some of the top choices. Meena Bazar , Gujralsons , Chhabara 555, Heritage Handloom Emporium and Bombay Selections are great stops for suits, sari and dress materials.

Most of these have multiple outlets in Karol Bagh, Chandni chowk, Rajouri Garden, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension and basically all over Delhi.

If you are the get-in-buy-and-get-out types you are guaranteed to be irritated with these shops. Well! Shopping for wedding in general is taxing for you, these ‘aaoji-bethoji’ (come-sit) will make you want to scream. But nonetheless this has to be done. Window Shopping or like my mom calls it ‘nain-tripti’ (pleasure for eyes) is an essential part of wedding shopping, especially if one is going to spend a considerably large sum of money on these purchases.

Some women can spend hours on end just looking at the variety in a store like Frontier. With multiple-floors of garments there is never a ‘that’s-it !!!’ for these ladies. The salesmen here are also very enthusiastic and will charm their way into making a sale. If you like they will drape the saree or lehnga with so you know how it will look, give you tones of options to play with color, and you can purchase a made-to-order, absolutely unique wardrobe here.

I believe that a bride’s trousseau is like her treasure chest, it should have a sample of the awesome things India has to offer. It is incomplete without silk sari. Nalli has a great collection of the Kanjeevaram, Kota silk, Mysore silk and other specialties of the South. Glass bangles look very festive, a great place to buy them other than Charminar (since you’ll have to go to Hyderabad for that) is Hanuman Temple in CP. It is very close to Nalli Silk Sarees.

The wedding season brings with it ‘Sales’ do make use of them. In fact, Wedding has become such a big industry that a specialty mall by the name of ‘Wedding Souk’ in Pitampura Delhi has recently opened, but I haven’t ventured to that part of town so thats all the information I have. Do let me know if there is something exciting you know about?

If you are looking for really high-end designer wear, head towards MG Road, Santushti Complex or Hauzkhasvillage to get your fill of Ritu Kumar, Satya Paul or Ogaan Or just step into DLF Emporio

Delhi, the capital city of India, is a place of great contrasts and convolutions. The many sights and sounds of Delhi make it easy to spend days exploring the old bazzars, the high-end malls and designer stores. I have had some fun times, and hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

Happy Shopping!

Review: The Only Place, Museum Inn Road – Bangalore

The Only Place

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 🙂

The Only Place

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.

Dev D review

Dev D

Dev D is the latest incarnation of the epic Devdas by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. The idea of the movie might be from the book but the implementation is anything but.

My first thought on Dev D – What a weird name for a movie ! What an eccentric song (emotional attyachaar) ! What a bizarre promo ! And finally what a strange but totally entertaining movie !

Dev (Abhay Deol) is the son of a rich industrialist from Punjab who is packed off to London for higher studies. Paro (Mahi) is the daughter of a manager in Dev’s father’s factory and is a good friend of Dev. The movie begins with a quick characterization of the hot and fiery Paro and the spoilt brat that Dev is.

The conversations between Dev and Paro and Dev and his dad, who he liked to call by his name ( Sattu) are absolutely hilarious.

A refreshing change from the rest of the bollywood adaptations of the novel, Dev D narrates the same story in REAL situations. The screenplay is smooth, no lecture bazzi happening and no long-drunk-falling apart-dialogues.

Anurag Kashyap takes the basic structure of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s original story, but updates it to today’s time and issues, making the characters’ actions and motivations something that a lot of the viewers can relate to.

I loved the fact that names of the characters just fall into place, amazingly imaginative. The minute ‘Chunni’ introduces himself, one can’t help but smile. Wearing his goggles to see who is calling when the phone rings was an LOL moment for sure.

The songs felt like, what-the-hell-is-happening, but in a couple of seconds you are drawn into it and you come out of the hall humming ‘em. Contradictions-Confusion-Craziness all-in-all interesting.

Times of India gave the movie 5 stars, saying that Dev D is indeed a coming-of-age film. I agree.

Unlike the last couple of movies I’ve seen recently, this one keeps the viewer engaged. It doesn’t bore you with song and dance routines, or thinks that the audience is dumb or assumes that logical reasoning is outside the scope of the viewers mental ability. CC2C, Gajni & RNBDJ may have been blockbusters, but this one deserves the awards.

Shekhar @ Stalefresh says it was a bold & well thought of movie; most my friends are of the same opinion. But I’m sure this is the opinion of a certain segment of people. If this was a report I was working on I’d say – ‘Teens & Young Adults, living in urban areas, adventurous and outgoing are the key segments’. Some movies are not made to please everyone, but to shock a few.

My verdict – Thums up  (With vodka please 😉

Review: President is coming

The President Is Coming – 8 Hands , 2 Birds, 1 Bush

President is Coming

THE PRESIDENT IS COMING follows the likes of Khosla ka Ghosla, Bheja Fry and many other films of their ilk? It does seem like a script of a play and also flow the same way; I’d say that it is at least making an attempt in that direction. Low Budget, mainly shot in one room, outstanding cast, witty script & totally entertaining.

The Plot: George W. Bush, President of the United States is visiting India & in addition to the many diplomatic and political things on the agenda, he has thought of a rather unique event- a meeting with one of the young faces responsible for shaping “The New India”. A PR firm has thus been hired to shortlist an Indian below 30 years of age to shake the President’s hand. In a contest inspired by Survivor & Big Brother, 6 contestants are to fight it out in a talent contest to be the ONE to shake hands with the most powerful man in the World.

An out-n-out comedy, the movie is directed by the debutante Kunal Roy Kapoor and carries a star cast ranging from Konkona Sen Sharma, Shernaz Patel, Ira Dubey, Vivek Gomber, Satchit Puranik, Namit Das, Anand Tiwari to Shivani Tanksale. ‘President Is Coming’ is laced with an intelligent script that pours light on the social issues like male chauvinism, gay relations, homosexuality and brain drain and still makes you LOL.

Konkona Sen Sharma plays a novelist, who thinks that she is an ideal contestant because she is a booker prize winner (being manipulative also help). There are other contestants, which include a software engineer from Bangalore, IIMA pass out social activist, Gujju Stock broker, a Page 3 socialite with an MMS scandal history and an American-born-confused-desi accent trainer from Gurgaon. Watch the movie to know who actually shook hands with Bush!

The film has been made in English, hence catering to a niche segment. The publicity is mainly depended on Word of Mouth (I’m doing my bit). I enjoyed the humor, the mud sling, and the humor on region, profession, social status, Language, marital status & obviously G.W Bush J.

My verdict: its sarcastic humor will appeal to only a select section of the audience; the masala-glossy-yashraj-types may find it a bit drab.

Review: Ghajini

GHAJINI

Revenge is what I want to take for the 3.5 hrs of complete torture I had to go through while watching Ghajini.

For once the problem was not with the script. The idea and the story were good; it had (supposedly) a great cast with Aamir in the lead. The movie had a big budget and two good looking women … So, what went wrong?

Firstly, it was way too long. I mean three & a half hours…

Secondly, I wanna understand – Why those songs were shoved in the middle. Have a music album or background music or something else!!!

Then there was the new comer so to speak (She has done a version of the same movie in the south and dubbed for another version so this was her third attempt at the same thing). Don’t wanna comment about her acting skills, but don’t you thing she moved way too much. I mean can’t a person be normal.

Did I mention the bakwas songs? Well! They are worth mentioning again. The songs standalone are good no doubt. AR Rehman is still awesome. It is just that they were not required & made the movie extra long. Aamir’s six-pack … Oh Sorry! eight-pack did not need so much airtime. “We get it Aamir you worked your assoff to beat SRK, but we really don’t care”. The songs were just a ‘look-at-me-I-am –aamir-the- muscle-uncle’ the girls just came & went with a blink of an eye.

Lastly, I have to mention Jia Khan’s Wanna-be-Dr-activist-confused-idiot Item number at college annual day. So-out-a-place.

Ghajini movie is a must watch for an Aamir Khan Fan cause he’s all you’ll get to see.

Let me end by saying that this movie is nothing like the movie “Memento”. Do watch Momento so that at least you enjoy the genius behind the real script/movie.

RoadTrip, Indiranagar – Bangalore

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 🙂

Kareem's, East Street – Pune

After successfully running 7 outlets in Mumbai – The well known Kareem’s is now in Pune. Sadly it has replaced another one of our favorite joints – Olympia Kathi Rolls.

Not to fret, though, there is some good news. Kareem’s has retained the Olympia Kathi Roll on its menu and have the same guy cooking them. 

Olympia Kathi Rolls was almost an institution, next to Portrait Studios on East Street. One can not miss the long queue outside the restaurant in the evenings. 

Olympia serves perhaps the best Chicken Kathi Rolls outside of Kolkata. Priced at a about fifty bucks it is value for money. The piping hot paratha enriched with a generous and well cooked soft covering of beaten eggs and filled with substantial pieces of succulent spicy chicken – it tastes heavenly as you dip it in the accompanying pudina chutney and freshly sliced onion rings.

One word of caution for the delhiites: This is not the Kareem’s from Old Delhi but Mumbai so don’t go expecting something you won’t get.  

Like I mentioned, the rolls have been incorporated in the menu, but apart from the rolls the menu has a lot of other stuff too. Recommended are the Kebabs, one can choose from a dozen or so in the menu. We had Murg Kurkuri Potli’ (Rs 119) but a good idea would be to take the non- veg platter (Rs449) to sample the assortment. Also, try the unusual Indian bread on offer like the Taftan (a soft rice flour bread) or Khamiri or kulcha or lachedar Parantha (Rs29/39).

 

 

Interesting observation: Almost every price mentioned on the menu ends with a 9, Rs 99, 119, 129 and so on as if the menu belongs to a Bata shoes shop 🙂 Don’t know why … I don’t judge, I only make observations 😉

You are here – by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

You are here… or… so you think !

What do a couple of college friends do when they are reunited after a long time ? Think about the good old days ? Especially if you are one of the lucky few who have had an entertaining & adventurous Teenage to Twenties. That was the feeling I got while reading ‘you are here’.

It looks like Ms. Compulsive Confessor has had some good times, some not so good, some difficult (which every 20 year old has) decisions to make and has met some interesting people. Except … that is all it is.

Half way through the book I stopped to think “hmm… Where is the story going ?” and then it dawned upon me… there is no story, no plot, no event, no climax, no nothing. Just a peak into the life of Arshi.

And who is Arshi ? She’s twenty five, works in a PR agency in Delh, comes from a broken family, lives with her room-mate who can’t decide if she is Ms-goody-two-shoes or anything-for-love types… who’s boss is a slave driver… has a boyfriend who for bizarre reasons blows hot or cold… Sounds like Bridget Jones (oh! Come on… at least a lil bit) However, the humor is used pretty well, and several passages will have you smiling at the images created, metaphors used, almost like Carrie from SITC.

If you have read/like her blog “The Compulsive Confessor” you may enjoy the book, otherwise it will be a bit of a drab. So pick up the book if you have nothing better to do.

A bit about the Autor: Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan studied English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College at the Delhi University and has been a journalist for many years. She writes the popular blog The Compulsive Confessor where she talks about her experiences as a young, single woman in urban India. You are Here published by Penguin, is her first novel.

Copper Chimney, Bangalore

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.