Explore Bangalore!!!

Bangalore has evolved over the years and so does the food culture. The city has legendary institutions like MTR and also the highest number of pubs in Asia. The diversity of cuisines & legendary food establishments makes the city an ultimate food destination.

The good things is that you have so many options to choose from and its the worst thing at the same time as we can not cover all of them in one life!!!

The South Affair ♥ ♥ ♥

With buddy & tour guide Ananth (he took care of all the logistics & transport) we started our journey from the legendary Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, Lalbaugh road. MTR started in 1924 from this very place.

Though the restaurant is small with no fancy decor and frills, the place is CLEAN. Timing is important as they serve only meals during lunch time and not Idli or Dosa. We reached there by the lunch time and could only get hands on their meal which has Akki roti, curd rice, rice, rasam, bisibele bhat, keshar bhat and what not.

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The meal is perfect for one person, you taste different items & its totally worth the money you pay. It’s a must visit place to taste Rava Idlis (they invented it) so next time I will definately make sure to come for breakfast.

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The next legendary place is Vidyarthi Bhavan @Basavanagudi, famous for its crispy, spongy Masala Dosa. The place is always full and you may have to wait for more that half an hour. The interiors are charming and old style and the food is worth the wait.

They do not serve sambhar with dosa and I was informed that it’s the part of old tradition. Vada sambhar is like any other served everywhere. Keshri bhat is not so sweet but very tasty. Well I still have the taste of Masala Dosa & filter coffee alive. A perfect place to have breakfast if you are willing to wait though.

The last stop for the South Indian flavour was Nagarjuna – serves Andhra dishes on a banana leaf. How much more can it become south indian? ha ha. There are few branches across Bengaluru, we visited Indiranagar one. The ambience is casual with a good seating capacity. The tables are well lit and you can see what you are eating.

Try meals to get the different flavours in one plate but it only comes in vegetarian option. But trust me the daal they serve is simply the best. We also tried Chicken Kodu which was spicy & tasty at the same time. The expression after the meal was of content!!!

The Pub Crawl

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As Bengaluru is mushroomed with loads of pubs, its nearly impossible to cover them all at once so we picked them randomly in any order. We started the crawl (literally) from a legendary place “Koshy’s” near M.G. Road. Well there are better places for food but the rustic ambience, history on the walls and patrons make this place special. You can have beer in the morning while your neighbour drinks coffee… Ask for rum ice tea when you visit..

Stop number 2: Toit, Indiranagar which is a micro brewery and serve beer with names like Basmati Blonde, Kilnaleck Red. The recommended one is Tin Tin toit though. The place has all the elements of a good pub but only struggle is to get a place on a busy weekend.

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Stop number 3: Black Rabbit:

The ambience is nice, with a wooden feel to the place.The roof has some interesting lights making it look pretty at night.The music was good, not very loud and they serve decent cocktails too. Place is famous for burgers too…

Stop number 4: Arbor brewing company

The place is highly recommended but I guess we visited on a wrong day. It was halloween and the place was decorated (did I say that?) with all possible gory, ugly body parts, funny looking monsters and yeah interiors soaked in red light. They were serving special cocktails like Black Heart, Grave digger… too much of a hell – o – ween.

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Last stop: Koramangala Social – best place to end the night, they were about to close but not only allowed to let us in, the kind bartender offered us complimentary shots… A lively place to party, rooftop adds up to the charm.

Sunday Brunch: Fine dine at The Leela Palace

Unlimited drinks, lavish menu, live music and beautiful outdoor seating, it has every element you need on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The food ranges from street to gourmet, from coconut water to Scotch and mysore pak to baked yoghurt.

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The flavours vary from one dish to another and desserts will break your heart. Yeah the desserts were total let down and the better ones are Indian regulars which you can get at hundred times less money. Over all an average experience at a royal palace.

Some worthwhile mentions:

Byblos, Indiranagar

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Good options for Lebanese food. Authenticity can be subjective as I had only tried Lebanese food in Dubai.

Matteo Cafea

In the home land of Cafe Coffee Day, Matteo is a good alternative for some seriously good shakes and coffee

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One place for all your chocolate & dessert cravings. They also serve pizza and other meals. A must go place

Berry’d Alive

Very colourful and lively place. Try their Double Decker Brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream –  two big brownie chunks soaked in lush choco-caramel mousse topped with a generous amount of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with that nice and creamy hot chocolate sauce

All you can eat Sunday Brunch at Playboy Beer Garden, BHS

Why I love brunches? Difficult to say but something about brunch makes me feel classy. The food options are unlimited, you can keep on drinking and yes there is no rush – you can stay forever…

Playboy has introduced the Sunday brunch at their beautiful Balewadi High Street set up with live grills, live music & live egg counter. Bubbly Mimosa keeps the atmosphere sparkling on a lazy Sunday.

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The menu:

Breakfast anyone??

You can have milk with cornflakes & some bread & cheese platter to start with. Some fresh fruits & made to order eggs are enough to give you a smile. But thats all folks.. the breakfast ends here and you jump over to the luncheon..

The next level:

The wide variety of appetisers or Tapas  have everything from cold soup Tomato Gazpacho to Kerala spiced squid rings (yum) served with pickled madras onions. The selection is creative with vegetarian & non vegetarian options which will spoilt you for choice.

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A special mention to the Tenderloin roulade with sultanas & rosemary glaze – a perfect amalgamation of sweet and savoury flavours.

The continuous flow of appetisers will keep you entertained throughout. I really liked the mini jerk chicken pizza. Veg spring roll with Schezwan sauce & devilled cheese toast was totally a regular affair.

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Live, Love & Grill…

The live grill at Playboy is the highlight of Sunday brunch. The proteins may differ but who cares.The aroma curling up from the grill makes me high !!

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Live, Love & Grill

The first thing that will grab your attention is the scent of smoke – sweet & fragrant. Pork ribs have wonderful flavours with slightly sweeter sauce to counterbalance the saltiness of the rub. The meat is moist & juicy. The texture is little crunchy & little chewy.

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Try their veg Burmese Khow Suey, one dish soup meal with egg noodles, coconut milk & veggies along with complimenting condiments. The one served to us was little spicy but tasty for sure. Add lemon to add some tanginess

Mi – Mo – Sa

Mimosa is a refreshing and bubbly cocktail,  perfect for brunch. Take a chilled flute glass, fill it with 2/3 of prosecco, add some freshly squeezed juice, garnish with fruit and viola – your bubbly is here..

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Its not very sweet, has tanginess from fruits and bubbles will definitely lift your spirits. You have to give it a go guys, or may be more….

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Live music by Zameer K

The mains:

Well after so much of good food, if you still have some space left, the mains on buffet are all set to make your brunch in a gluttony.

By the looks, I opted for chicken fricassee. The gravy was rich, smooth totally complimenting the mashed potatoes. The chicken was beautifully cooked. Loved all the elements of the dish.

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Chicken biryani was not outstanding but in the right spirits & out of all the other dishes a better option.

Sweet nothings:

Desserts are the most exciting part of any meal and here you will feel a slight disappointment. There is nothing on the menu which will give you a sugar rush. The only saving grace is strawberry panna cotta.

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Good food, live music, magician and a complimentary foot massage will make your Sunday afternoon into literally a fun day. You will get all of this in

Unlimited Brunch packages at –
Food: 849*
Food + Beer + Sangria: 1199*
Food + IMFL + Classic Cocktails: 1499*

*Service charges & govt taxes will be applicable

 

Few pints & some Double Roti…

Your neighbourhood cafe Double Roti (Viman Nagar) has become more awesome!!! The open cafe famous for serving “awesomeness between breads” has introduced an all new bar equipped with premium range of liquor and cocktails that will raise your spirit levels to a different level.

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The Bar:

Taste some Game Of Thrones inspired cocktails like Wildfire, Winter is Coming & Kings Landing. Feel the freshness of lychee with vodka & lemon grass in Danerys Charm or get a kick from spiced up cucumber & Jalapeno spiced up Margarita. They have a wide selection of rum, whiskey, liqueur & classic cocktails too.

Live Music:

What can make your evenings more fun than Live Music, huh huh?? A live wire performance from TMKC (Teri Music Ki Chahat – yeah right!!!) was a real crowd pleaser. The live music will be a regular affair along with comedy nights planned in near future.

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Bar Menu:

Designing a bar menu can be a challenge with different needs of the customers. Double Roti has all The Classics like Bruschetta, Nachos, Mushroom Bites, minced chicken balls and many more to keep the party going. The special mention to the caramelised Onion & Feta Cheese Bruschetta, with perfect balance of sweetness from caramelised onions and saltiness from Feta – a must try!!!

The spicy chicken on sticks was spot on and pair best with any beer. The cheeseling bhel was another finger food you can’t stop eating while having your favourite drinks.

Best part about the menu is that you can have their signature burgers & pizzas too and trust me they are simply superb.

The Eye-catchers:

If you think you have enough, please prepare yourself for some happy endings. The desserts are good-looking and irresistible. The brownies are rich, chocolatey and moist, Blondies are butterscotch-ey, chewy & my favourite of the evening. Put some caramel sauce on a blonde, pair it with vanilla ice cream and say hell yeah!!! (side effects of sugar rush I guess..)

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I have come across few places which do justice to Creme Brûlée. Well the one you will get here has some class of its own. You can hear the crackling noise of caramelised sugar and the smooth custard will make you feel content. Only one point of improvement can be the evenness of caramalisation of sugar.

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The verdict:

The ambience of Double roti with its open exteriors makes it a cool place to hang out. Bar  menu totally compliments the drinks selection, the food is served fast, its made heavy & its made tasty. Live music adds the extra dimension to the whole experience.

Go to enjoy the neighbourhood local bar experience…

Ambience: 4

Bar: 3.5

Bar menu: 4

Itadakimasu! @Miyuki

“Something happens when you stay at a DoubleTree by Hilton”. And a lot happens at Miyuki too, the exclusive Japanese restaurant at their Chinchwad property.

The hotel is situated on Tata Motors road, close to major manufacturing companies provides luxury suites, award-winning restaurants and different amenities under one roof. The interiors are tasteful  and do justice with the Hilton tag. The hospitality of the staff will make you feel special.

The Hotel have four restaurants serving delectable continental, Indian and Japanese cuisines. I was invited by Mitali, PR – Goodwordmedia to taste the new menu at Miyuki and this was the first’s for me to taste the authentic Japanese food.

The setting of restaurant speaks to you

With place for only seven, you can feel the exclusivity. The chairs face hibachi grill which makes you see the chef in action. The Japanese food is all about minimalism and you can see that in the whole concept.

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The new Menu:

Japanese cuisine is more than just Sushi, Sashimi or Teppanyaki. The food is an art in Japan & it reflects in all dishes. Japanese cuisine mainly consists of rice, fish, ramen, pickled vegetables & seasonal ingredients. The new menu is designed around these components keeping the original flavour alive. They also have bento (lunch box) concept which is like a fixed meal.

The Chef:                                             

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Chef Amarjeet

 

Chef Amarjeet is the man behind Asian Cuisine & Miyuki is trained by Master chefs from Japan. Being exclusive restaurant has its own charms and chef accompanies you throughout the meal. He welcomes you with Konnichiwa & a big smile. The chef is very friendly and tells you the story behind Sushi, the origin of Ramen & some interesting Japanese food facts…

The Tasting:

The lunch started with Ume Okra Yakko which is chilled tofu served with pickled plum & ladyfingers. Tofu with silken texture was super soft and as per chef, was imported. The crunch from Okra, sweetness from soy sauce & sourness from pickled plum creates flavour   riot in the mouth.

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Ume Okra Yakko

Next was Sashimi platter with Salmon, Swordfish & Tuna. The presentation was beautiful, the cuts were even more. I never had a swordfish and chef advised to mix wasabi with soy sauce. The idea is that wasabi has anti bacterial properties and if you don’t know the fish will suit you, just dip it in the mixture. Wasabi cleanse the raw fish & soy will reduce the pungent taste off wasabi. I loved the mild & sweet flavour of swordfish & the texture is meaty even though it’s a fish, a must try.

Yakitori: Tori Negima (Chicken & Scallions) & Ebi (Shrimps)

Yakitori is simply chicken grilled on skewers. The chef will prepare the dish on the grill in front of you and the whole act is an art. Its like some sword fight ending in a delicious grilled chicken seasoned with yakitori sauce. Another lip smacking preparation. Yumm

Suigyo No Yakiniku is grilled tenderloin in Yakiniku sauce. The presentation of the dish is beautiful, meat tender and taste was inbetween sweet & savoury. Its something I would love to eat as an appetizer.

Ebi Furai or crumb fried prawns is a perfect companion of Beer and it is served with Japanese Tartar sauce, toatally different from the regular one. Chef told us that it has been made with egg yolks, onions, gherkins, mayonnaise & parsley.

We are having Japanese food and Ramen is an integral part of the Japanese cuisine. We were served with Suimono, a clear broth soup with Miso ramen. The broth was very rich in flavours has thin slices of carrots and fish (don’t remember the name) in it. Good for the rainy season. Miso is fermented soybean paste and the ramen, though originated in China has undergone major upgradation in Japan. The Ramen had a slice of pork, cooked to perfection. Japanese use both the hands to eat ramen, they sip & eat at same time (incredible no?). The other elements of the dish were sriracha, peanut butter, soy sauce and lentils which lifted the flavours to a different levels.

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Suyigyo No Yakiniku
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Ebi Furai
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Suimono
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Miso Ramen

Before serving us the Sushi, Chef Amarjeet briefed us the history of how Sushi originated. So basically the food which was mostly rice & fish was stacked over each other with Nori paper inbetween and preserved for the difficult times. Also Sushi on contrary is not the regular food in Japan and served during the occassions only.

And then he unveiled the beautiful California Rolls with a twist. Instead of rice covering the fish, it was other way around. He admitted that this is not the original Japanese roll but invented in California – strange but delicious. Would have loved to try some more different kind of rolls but may be next time.

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California Rolls – just look at the detailing!!!

A good meal always end on a sweeter note, the chef presented most anticipated dessert of the day “Wasabi Panna Cotta”. The first look was promising, first bite exciting but then I could not understand the taste. I was expecting the explosion of hot & sweet but I guess Panna Cotta overpowered the heat of Wasabi. Nonetheless it was an innovative creation.

I loved the whole experience and would like to thank The BTeam & Mitali for the invite. A special thanks to Ms. Patrice Abrantes, Manager DoubleTree Hilton to bear the photography sessions with patience and more for the interesting conversations.  So people if you like to have some great authentic Japanese food, please do visit Miyuki and please make the reservations in advance.

The overall rating:

Ambience – 4.5/5

Food – 4.5/5

Service – 5/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mumbai that weekend

A weekend in Mumbai gives me a sheer joy of having good food with so many options. It’s really difficult to zero in the places to go, so this time we decided to go with the flow or rather to follow our host in Mumbai, Ananth without any questions.

We stopped at Capital Social BKS for some quick drinks. Quick it was as the place was flooded with people with huge waiting list. What else one can expect on a Saturday night huh?? This was my first experience with Social franchise. It has a rustic appeal with compressed seating space. The best place to sit is by the bar. With twisted classics and regular drinks, you have good enough options to lift your spirit!!! They have equally interesting food menu, which we were not able to try. Unfortunate

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After a not so perfect start we drove down to Linking road and found “The Fatty Bao”, a colourful pan-asian bar and restaurant. It was already past dinner time, but the lady at the reception was helpful and we got our tables in flat 15 minutes.

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The Fatty Bao is armed with a well stocked bar with amusing cocktails like Green Kimono with Absolut Pepper & Made in China with Absolut Mandrin & Lucy Liu.

The food menu is interesting with flavours from Japan, Korea as well as Taiwan. Try Three Cup Chicken cooked WOK style in soy sauce and sesame oil. For vegetarians, experience the crunch from water chestnut (not very common) in Baked Wonton Cups.

My favourite dish of the night was fried anchovies with XO sauce. Posting its picture is making me hungry right now. The XO sauce with a base of dried sea food gives that extra zing to fish.

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Fish with XO sauce

I guesses that The Dancing Prawns we ordered are supposed to be dancing in your mouth because of the chilli jam but it did not happen. The prawns were well fried and crispy which made them enjoyable.

Kimchi Potatoes were a little low on flavour and the kimchi itself did not perform well on expectations. The service is quick. the decor is tasteful and most important the prices are right. I am in love with the place. Will come back for some Baos & Ramen for sure.

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I wanted to experience the late night food scene of Mumbai so we ended up at Bade Miya. And after a delicious meal of Asian food, we got another disappointment, a horrible meal of burnt, chewy kebabs and tandoor chicken. With all hype and hoopla associated with Bade Miya, the only positive thing is that they serve food late night..

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Wake and bake@Candies

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Candies, Pali Hill is a bakery in a huge bungalow and is a pure visual delight. The place is tastefully done with tiled mosaics, wall murals, wooden handicrafts and paintings on the wall. Take a walk to experience the Portuguese/Spanish influence. Adorable!!!

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Well the story ends here. After the feel good factor comes food. There are lot of options and as we were in time, we could manage to get what looked promising. Spinach and mushroom quiche, chicken and mushroom quiche were average and bland. I liked the mutton chop though it was a bit oily.

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Chicken lollypop with cheese is a nice idea but not exactly executed well. It became soggy due to reheating. American club sandwich is again a very average effort with oily chips. The chilly paneer was the only one with some flavours.

So don’t expect the same experience in food like the visual one you have at the time of entrance. For drinks, apart from Mango smoothy, Bombay Blue, Chocolate milkshake and Cold Coffee did not make the cut.

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Bombay Blue, Cold Coffee, Chocolate Milk Shake, Mango Smoothie

All in all its a cool place to hang out or spend some time with friends as the place is beautiful, the prices are right but the food is what needs to be worked upon.

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Food of the gods I don’t know but definitely good for me!!! This cute little bakery in Hiranandani Gardens serves pastries, cheesecakes, brownies and sandwiches too. This one was in my must visit list and  it delivered.  The moment you enter the shop, it feels like alice in wonderland. Could not decide what all to order but then I always go for my instincts

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The cupcakes are super tasty with the cream so light and refreshing that you will be in a trance. The Red Velvet Cheesecake was heaven and macaroons are like macaroons – crisp, soft and chewy. They also serve English Breakfast but Candies in the morning did not allow us to have any over here. With so many options you will definitely spoilt for the choice. I hope they open one in Pune soon!!!!

The Mumbai trip was fun, filling and tasteful for sure. All thanks to our guide Ananth who with all patience and love drove us in and around Mumbai and help us having good food the whole time.

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Food Trucks -meals on wheels

Food trucks are cool and fun but a LOT of work. There is no ambience & there are no tables, you have only the concept & menu. I really like the idea of food trucks, as I share the experiences of eating India & Indianised Chinese food at the primal versions of food trucks in and around Delhi as a kid.

 The section will feature some of my food truck experiences with no geographical boundaries!!!

Breaking Bread – crusted to perfection

Pune is getting its share of food trucks and it will be a great boost to the food industry & more reasons to smile for us hungry souls. So far we have a few trucks operating here and there and Breaking Bread is bang opposite Crosswords at ITI road, Aund.

Easy to find, it has started with a good note as I could see people around the truck whenever I cross the Crosswords. And finally when I got the chance to actually taste the food, I knew the reason. The name of the truck plays important role and I guess owners Nishit & Niraj have done justice as the name justifies what they serve.

It was a food tasting session organised by TheBTeam, so we were lucky to taste all the items on the menu. The menu is simple with both vegetarian and chicken options. The only drink they serve is virgin kokam mojito, a kokam sherbet with a twist of mint. A refreshing concoction for summer, but I can drink it anytime. The Hot Mess is a combination of fries, beans, salsa, cheese. And there is a chicken version of it too, which is my favourite. All of the ingredients create a riot of flavour in your mouth.

If you want to achieve burger nirvana, the meat should be tender, should have more fat, the seasoning right & cheese on the top. The burgers on the menu somewhat fits into this criteria. I highly reccommend the Goan chicken burger which gives you tender chicken, some spiciness & THAT messy experience. It would have been better with some more chillies. The other burger I liked was The Jerk Burger with pineapple slaw giving it that extra zing. For vegetarians, they have Cajun cottage cheese burger. Toasty sandwich comes with potato & chicken option. Banoffee sandwich, a sweet version with banana & chocolate is not my idea of a banoffee, but thats the only option for a dessert.

The chefs Kaustubh & Niranjan literally sweats to serve these delightful & happy meals to us customers. Enjoy the open air, messy and pocket friendly food between  19:30 to 23:30 everyday. You can also follow them on Facebook – www.facebook.com/breakingbreadpune or/and Instagram – @breakingbread16

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The Hot Mess

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Toasties
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The Jerk
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Banoffee Sandwich

All day comfort food: Cafe PeterDonuts

I love coming to PeterDonuts because they satisfy my physiological need to eat food. Simple!!! They have everything in their menu from different breakfast options to delicious Ramen. The counters filled with yummy donuts wakes my inner self and mouth watering sandwiches reminds me of my purpose in life….

With now 5 branches across Pune (Aundh, Viman Nagar, Deccan, Bavdhan & Pimpri) it has become easier to reach at any time of the day. I have not been to Pimpri one but the red interiors are common at all other locations and Viman Nagar one has a huge black horse standing in the middle.

The menu is quite extensive and gives you lot of options for standard breakfast, sandwiches, Ramen, pasta & much more with hot/cold coffee & tea options. Some of my favourites sandwiches are Jungle book & chicken ham and you can order them for brunch too with eggs, sausages salad. Go ahead and try their Ramen, especially BBQ & Gochujang Cheese Ramen. BBQ ramen has the sweet and sour taste of BBQ sauce and the other one is spicy but on the same time cheese makes it creamier.

on a recent visit (May) I came to know about their Korean food festival which includes Korean dishes like chicken bulgogi, chicken SSAM, Kimchi ramen. We tried Kimchi whole wheat momos, which are fried and comes with option of veg or chicken. We ordered the veg ones and did not get disappointed. The schezwan sauce elevated the flavour of momos to a next level. Roasted chicken SSAM had tender roasted (of course) chicken with salad, served on a lettuce leaf. You take a bite and all the flavours create a riot in your mouth. From the newly introduced starters, we ordered spinach cheese bites and it was undoubtedly the winner of the day. In my opinion, it would have been the best buddy of chilled beer. But nonetheless, we washed the food with Peter Blast, a cookie crunch and Mango smoothie.

To finish the day on a sweet note (yeah we had still some rom left in our stomach) we finally ordered newly introduced  Affogato, an ice cream laced with espresso. If you are not crazy about coffee, do not have it as it can spoil your taste buds. As a coffee aficionado, it was the perfect end of a fulfilling meal.

Its a great place to eat, hang out and chill with friends and I hope they keep  on serving amazing dishes. The cafe is little steep on pocket but considering the quality and quantity they serve, its a worthwhile investment. Looking forward to some more interesting food festivals…

There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw

LSD – Love Sugar & Dough

It’s all about Cupcakes!!!

Cupcakes are beautiful, small in size, easy to handle and can be eaten anytime of the day. A good shot/pot of coffee or tea elevates the whole experience.

Love Sugar & Dough serves you all of the above in a beautifully designed interiors with shades of pink!!! The ambience is impressive with different wall clocks and chandelier. Move to the counter and you will see beautiful display of cupcakes in all sizes, shapes and colour. It takes time to actually order with so many options. We tried Hazelnut mousse pastry, Blueberry & Raspberry Cheese cakes along with different mini me’es.

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The cupcakes score really high in terms of appearance and thats the first reason why I am always attracted to cupcakes. The first bite tells you they are moist, which is always a sign of a good cup cake. And then comes the flavour.

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The frosting plays and important role & I find it little hard and less complimenting. Hazelnut mousse pastry should have more light and fluffy. The cupcake is  pretty heavy and I couldn’t go for another one. Which defies my rule of having cupcakes for the sheer size of it.  The cheese cakes are better than regular ones with creamy texture.

With the help of a regular customer (she is a colleague and die hard fan of the place) we decided to take few more cupcakes for home. And after trying red velvet & rainbow I say that cheese cakes are the ones to go for.

From tea front, Masala Tea is a must try here and they serve it in a beautiful pot. For me personally, Iced coffee goes well with all cup cakes.

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The cupcakes ranges from Rs. 70 to Rs. 140 but to go again or not depends solely on the other experiences you have or you would have…. As some one said:

There is no problem, which cannot be solved by a cupcake & coffee. (Unknown author)