The Twist

The steak was succulent. The chicken juicy. The entire meal had a certain…character to it. He tucked into it with unusual abandon. She finally spoke when he’d finished licking his fingers.

“You like it?”

“Like it? It’s magical! Where did you find such a genius chef?”

“Oh, he’s good, no doubt. But the magic here lies in the ingredients and also,” she hesitated before adding, “the meticulousness with which they were sourced.”

#

“Stop!” My companion smashed his fist on the bar counter, spilling some of his beer in the process. “I’m not going to listen to any more of this tripe. I can see the twist coming a mile away. She served him a human being, didn’t she?” he asked.

I smirked in that annoying way which always got on people’s nerves.

“No, she didn’t. How predictable would that be? And who said anything about there being a twist anyway?”

“Fine. Continue then,” he said.

“Where was I now…oh right…the source.”

#

“Where do you source your food from?” he asked.

“We grow it ourselves,” she replied.

“What’s your secret?” he asked as he not-so-discreetly mopped the remaining juices off the plate with his fingers.

“Our farm animals are on a special diet. So are our vegetables. We don’t use ordinary feed or fertiliser.”

#

“She grinds humans up into the fertiliser and the feed, doesn’t she? Is that it? It’s even lamer than I thought!”

“Why are you being so morbid? And I do agree — that would have been very lame. Now, if you don’t have any more ‘theories’, shall I continue?”

He nodded. A cold, steely determination had crept into his eyes.

I smirked again.

#

“I’d love to meet and compliment the chef in person. This was the best meal I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.

“I’ll summon him immediately,” she made a couple of gestures at the server.

A few seconds later, a voice coughed behind him. He looked up to see a tall slender man in a chef’s hat standing over him.

“Well, that was quick,” he said.

“Meet The Count, our head chef. He has apprenticed under a lot of culinary masters and is now a man who possesses the sum of their skills. He’s absolutely lapped up their talents, so to speak,” she said.

The Count smiled at him. He smiled back. The Count’s teeth glinted.

#

“Vampire!”

“This, sir, isn’t chic-lit!” I said with as much indignation as I could muster.

#

“What’s your secret?” he asked.

“Would you believe, cauldrons? I always cook in cauldrons. And I like to sing with the other chefs while I do it,” The Count replied.

“That’s…interesting,” he said.

“Surely, there must be something else?” he probed further. He knew that The Count was hiding something.

The Count hesitated for a bit, then leaned into his ear and whispered.

#

“Warlock?”

“Nope.”

#

“Salt. Lots of it,” The Count said. “And a shitload of MSG,” he added with a wink.

#

“You’re horrible at spotting the twist,” I said. And then I ate him.

Telling that story always gives me the munchies.

THE END

Cha Bar and Coffee World – Bangalore Restaurant Review

I’m going to start the restaurant review section with a twin review of two of the most popular caffeine dispensers in Bangalore.

A trip to the Cha bar at the Leela Galleria on Airport Road is a very rejuvenating experience. Set among the literary atmosphere of Landmark, with internet in the air (they have free wi-fi!), the tea parties at Cha Bar can last a relaxingly long amount of time. 

They have a huge variety of teas to choose from of course. Each type of tea is served its own characteristic manner (my Ceylon tea came along with a Wodehouse-ian cow-creamer full of milk). But importantly, for people who aren’t too fond of their cuppa, they have an excellent array of snacks to choose from. And yes, they serve excellent pakodas to go with the tea.

Great place to while away the leisourly hours with a cuppa in one hand and a book in the other. Recommended.

Ambience: 3.5/5 (a bit cramped for space)

Food: 4/5

Pricing: 4/5 (reasonable)

Service: 4/5

The first restaurant that I visited in Bangalore was the charming Coffee World near Eva Mall. The place is spacious and seems like a hipper version of the numerous coffee chains. When at Coffee World, follow the proven effective three step process : sit down, strech your arms and order the strawberry waffles. Absolute bliss. 

They also have a tasty selection of sandwiches which come with a variety of breads (panini, brown, etc to choose from. The solitary fruit based drink I had there was nothing special but I haven’t tried enough from the liquid section to make up a mind on them.

 It is definitely a great place to unwind with friends. Recommended.

Ambience: 4/5

Food: 4/5 (the waffles steal the show)

Pricing: 3.5/5 (a wee bit overpriced)

Service: 3.5/5

Bangalored!

Oh and by the way, this blog has moved from Mumbai to Bangalore.

This opens a lot of avenues for this blog, food-wise anyway. Bangalore is the food capital of India (that’s right) and it gives me the opportunity to regale you with tales from my dining diaries.  

I like Bangalore – it has good food, good people and great traffic jams. But how is that any different from Mumbai you ask? The great thing about Bangalore is the sheer compactness of the city. In Mumbai when you want to dine out at your favourite restaurant, you plan in  advance, you get home from work early, and then you pray that the traffic won’t be as bad as last weekend (which trust me, it will be). The meals don’t begin with starters here, they begin with a long commute. Enter Bangalore. The city has a large variety of cuisine to offer like Mumbai, but the fact that the city is much smaller in size, ensures that these restaurants are in close proximity to where you stay. You would find a lot of streets where numerous restaurants are huddled close together. Eating out here is hence a much more relaxing experience.

 Next up, restaurant reviews!

Social networking – foodie style

With the arrival of the vacation season, we have the added burden of doing something useful with our time.
Some people watch TV, some read, some write to their politicians, and after they get bored of that, all of them eat. Yes, vacations involve a lot of eating. But, the main problem with eating is that it requires – say it aloud now – cooking.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

1. You wake up with that taste in your head – the taste of that sumtuous gourmet meal you had at that lovely restaurant.

2. That coupled with the morning dizziness, inspires you to try and recreate that succulent treat at home.

3. You log onto the Internet, download the recipes and get to work.

4. After a few hours of ‘what the heck is sasperella-ing’, and ‘who likes truffles anyway-ing’ and  innovatively substituting the exotic indredients with the Indian alternatives, your meal is ready.

5. The meal tastes ‘a wee bit different’ from what you had envisioned .

6. You cry yourself to sleep consoling yourself with things like ‘youcan’t get those ingredients in India’ to – ‘ it would cost less to order it from a restaurant anyway’.

How many times has that happened to you?

Now call me naive, but there must be some people out there who can create that gourmet stuff at home using
ingredients and equipment that can easily be found in all Indian households/markets. It’s time for these people to step up and share their delightful recipes with us fellow gluttons. We’ll all try to whip them up and put up our creations
online for others to cherish and salivate over.
Which brings me to my brilliant idea – I call it the Open Source Recipe Project. Yessiree, you read it right
the first time – the OSRP. We’ll allow people to put up lists of dishes that they would really like to learn to create on
their own at home. People who have the requisite know-how can then contribute the recipes along with pictures
of their works. Of course, only recipes that have been tried and tested by the contributor would be accepted to ensure that they can indeed be made by mere mortals.

And lo/voila/presto, we’ll have a happy web 2.0-esque community in our hands. Lets see now, ‘Open Source’ – check, ‘Contribute’ – check, ‘Web 2.0’ – check. That just goes to show that there’s nothing you can’t achieve when you put the latest buzzwords together. So, when and where do we begin the social networking – foodie style?