Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Restaurant Review: The London Curry House, Bangalore

I'm kickstarting this year's blogging journey with a post that is dedicated to the homeland. I just got back from a marvellous holiday to India and I am still sensing that deep-rooted melancholic tug that irrevocably binds me to everything and everyone back home. The vibrant colors at every nook and corner, the benevolent climate of the hometown, the comfort of home, the food lovingly prepared by mum and MIL, the familiar roads, the warmth in the smiles of the people I've grown up around and seeing the number of people who willingly and gladly entertain my children for hours on end is what I miss most of all. Of course, there are two sides to every coin and there are aspects of the homeland that I don't miss at all but keeping in mind the sentiment behind this post, I'm not going there okay? ๐Ÿ˜›

Since my last visit, I've been on a quest to explore the dining scene in Bangalore. Almost every year it so happens that our annual visits to the city coincide with a cascade of family events and social visits that  don't leave us with that much quality time to spend at my in-laws home and thus we shy away from any opportunity to checkout the city (and with the horrendous traffic, it becomes the easier choice to stay home!). Being a Mysore girl, I've not been to that many restaurants in Bangalore so the foodie in me thought it was high time I started. I am aware that it is a daunting challenge given how many food establishments there are in the bustling metropolitan and the rapid pace at which the foodscape is evolving. The classic restaurants, the chic eating spots, the gastro pubs, the fine dining establishments, the trendy urban cafes and the street food - I want in on all the grub the city has to offer! I decided to start slow and first cover the areas closer to home. Thus far, I've found a few places I like already - Samarkand, Sattvam, The Higher Taste, Toscano and The London Curry House to name a few.

The LCH was suggested to me by a family member. Located at the heart of West Bangalore, this vegetarian restaurant serves modern Indian cuisine with a twist. I was quite surprised to know that it is a vegetarian restaurant because judging by the name, I assumed otherwise.

The interior is earthy and rustic with pops of color to make the space appear more interesting. The artwork on the walls and show pieces depict iconic London structures such as the London telephone booth, double decker bus, Big Ben, London Eye and more. I liked the lamp posts and greenery that have been incorporated into the decor.

The ambience at the LCH is casual and relaxed.

We arrived at the restaurant quite early on a weekday afternoon and so there were only 2-3 tables occupied. It gave me a great opportunity to take some pics. Fast forward to an hour later, as we were getting ready to leave, the restaurant was bursting at the seams! Based on my observation, I would advise you to make a reservation especially it you are planning to head down over the weekend.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best 10 Memories of 2017

Well folks, are you gearing up to usher in the New Year 2018? You may already be holidaying at popular destinations or getting ready to meet near and dear ones, pop the champagne, enjoy a hearty feast or make party-fueled New Year Resolutions (only to break them the very next day! ๐Ÿ˜). Most of us have a set routine for welcoming the new year. I certainly do and right now I am at my in-laws house in Bangalore, getting ready for a family get-together this evening. I just got done baking a chocolate cake which looks like it could end up being a disaster. Oh well! ๐Ÿ˜›

The New Year stands before us like a blank book. It brings with it the hope for a better tomorrow and also a chance to do better than today.  It is a golden opportunity to reinvent our lives and ourselves. I have mulled over the year gone by and I do have certain goals and aspirations for the new year which I plan to fulfill with utmost sincerity. I would like to start this year on the right foot by exercising more, drinking more water, consuming more portions fruit, making smarter food choices, reading more books and (hopefully!) travelling more. I also hope to come up with more fun mother-daughter activities to do with my girls. Only time will tell how I will fare on achieving them but I will be optimistic for now ๐Ÿ˜Š If you have set goals for yourself, I wish you good luck!

As this year comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on all the positives and negatives. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that had a great year but if you had a bad one, then look at it as an opportunity to wipe the proverbial slate clean and start afresh. My prayers for everyone in 2018 is to be able to focus on health and wellness, enjoy quality family time, fulfill career goals, acquire financial stability and achieve personal happiness. And if you can get some adventure and exciting opportunities thrown into the mix, there would be nothing like it!

As we bid adieu to 2017, whatever you feel for your colleagues, friends, family or other near and dear ones – love, admiration, gratitude or respect, let them know so you could put a smile on their face and feel good about it while you are at it!

So, coming back to the crux of this post, here are my top 10 memories of 2017,

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Special: Marie Biscuit Chocolate Log

I'm just in time for the holidays! I really wanted to do one last recipe post this year and so here it is ๐Ÿ˜Š

I'm in India thoroughly enjoying the holidays and hence I was not able to devote a lot of time to this blog post. I chose this recipe because it is from a blog I trust and I've made it before in Singapore. I thought it turned out quite nice with minimum effort and it is one of those recipes that you must have in case of a dessert emergency (which is a real thing by the way!). 

This recipe is as easy as it gets you guys. You have a handful of basic ingredients, no cooking involved and with only a few hours of setting time in the fridge, you have a simple and yummy dessert ready to serve. Kids will like it for sure (mine do!) but since this dessert is eggless and not very sweet, I am assuming it will appeal to everyone. 

I realized that the cocoa powder I use in Singapore is far superior than the one I used in India for this blog post and hence the color and taste of the dessert was much better in my previous executions. Try to get your hands on good brand of unsweetened cocoa powder and you will are good to go. 

That's all from me! Wish you all a Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…  Happy feasting!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baker's Corner: Oven Roasted Herbed Potatoes

Three cheers for December! I know it is still early you guys but I'm all set to ring in the holiday cheer ๐Ÿ˜Š The countdown has ended and tomorrow this time, I will be in India amidst loved ones *insert jumping up and down like an excited schoolgirl emoji*

The past few days have been insane - an extra busy work week compounded by packing, sorting, cleaning, shopping, Christmas baking and last minute catch-ups with friends. And in an unexpected turn of events, I had extended family visiting from India as well. In the midst of it all, I was hellbent on binge-watching season 2 & 3 of Narcos on Netflix and finishing this blog post so looking back, it was one heck of a week! I am so ready for a change of scene. As usual, my list of to-do's is longer than the Nile when I am on a trip back home. People to meet, food to eat, restaurants to check out, places to visit and most importantly, stuff to buy ๐Ÿ˜ I've been reigning in my spending the past two months so I can let loose my crazy inner shopaholic in India ๐Ÿ˜‚ I can't wait! In all probability, I won't be very active on the blog till next year but I'll be posting updates on Instagram so you can catch me there.

It is all about the humble spud today. I have for you a recipe for a side dish that is not only simple and universally loved but also looks appetizing, is hearty and delicious. So much win you guys! Roast potatoes are typically served alongside meat but I make them on certain weekends as part of a western full breakfast comprising of toast, eggs, baked beans, fruit and coffee. 

Potatoes are a huge favourite in my household. We consume more than I would care to admit and in every fathomable form (carbs be damned!). Oven roasted potatoes are not something I use potatoes for that often but of late I have started to. Now, right off the bat, let me tell you that this is a very easy recipe that comes together in about 30 min so I have bypassed the step of parboiling the potatoes which unquestionably results in superior roasted potatoes. Let's just say I'm lazy and I am satisfied with the potatoes this way so I am just going to claim laziness + ignorance = bliss! 

I prefer using the thin-skinned waxy potatoes for this recipe. You don't need to peel them and they roast really well. On the subject of flavour, you can tweak the spices and herbs (dried or fresh) depending on your liking. You can throw in some caramelized onions, toasty pine nuts or add in grated or crumbled cheese (parmesan, cheddar or feta work well). The dish is just that versatile.

Here is another variation of the exact same recipe I make using 3 medium-sized red potatoes cut into cubes. In addition to the ingredients mentioned in the recipe below, I used 1/4 tsp onion powder, 4-5 lightly crushed whole garlic pods with the skins on and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. So yum!

Lightly crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside and bursting with that herbalicious flavour. With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, you will need this in your life so I'll leave you to it folks!