Poolside Lunch @The Bengaluru Brasserie, Hyatt Centric MG-Road

Lunch meet at The Bengaluru Brasserie was relaxed accompanied by crystal-blue poolside, open and breezy ambience, casual yet infused with just a touch of elegance. I must thank newly relaunched Hyatt centric for the invite. 

The Bengaluru Brasserie is an all occasion brasserie (bar and restaurant), that serves modern global cuisine inspired by native ingredients in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The extensive menu features healthy vegetarian and nonvegetarian meals. 

Dishes I really enjoyed were fresh and crunchy duck salad, coconut chicken spring rolls, grilled seabass, smoked lamb chops and ragi (millet) duck dosa all these meals are must try. Service was good, soft spoken friendly staff. 

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Dishes I got to taste...
Mocktails: Citrus Cooler (Orange, Lime, Lemonade)

Small Bites: Pepper Fry Pork Spiked with Curry Leaves and Onions
Fatty chunks of pork belly tossed with freshly pounded masala, just the way I like it peppery, juicy and spicy.

Small Bites: Chicken and Coconut spring Rolls with Dried Chilly Sauce

Thai curry style chicken wrapped in spring roll sheets and fried to perfection served with a spicy chilly dipping sauce.

Lean on: Poached Prawn, Green mango, tomato and Chilli Lime Dressing
Fresh and crunch salad with prawns and micro greens we can ask for a spicy or mildly spiced dressing as per choice.

Lean on: Pulled Duck, Grapefruit, Beansprouts and Cashewnuts

Pulled duck salad was my favorite it had all the ingredients fresh and crunchy greens, cashews, grape fruit and a tangy soy chilli dressing.

Mocktails: Greens to Go Lean (Green Tea, Mint, Green Apple, Honey)

Asian Affairs: Tossed Prawn Wonton, Sesame, Chilli and Spring Onions

I liked the sauce topped on the wonton, filling was slightly bland its a perfect starter for cocktails...

Small Bites: Boiled Water Chestnut and Garlic Chives Dumplings

All of us enjoyed the water chestnut dumplings and had second serving it literally melted in my mouth every bite no need to chew, there was a slight crunch from the water chestnut.

Burgers and Wraps: Hand Pulled Pork Pao, Kimchi Slaw and Bourbon BBQ Sauce

The fresh kimchi and bourbon sauce with pulled pork was another dish recommended and served by Chef Ashwini. I personally like pork in any form but this was my first time trying it with kimchi and bbq sauce somehow three different cuisines matched it was prefect really comforting. 

Country Side: Ragi Dosa, Duck and Tomato chutney.

I have not tasted ragi dosa in this form before this was again a surprise for me. Perfectly prepared ragi dosa with loads of ghee centered with duck and served with sambar and tomato chutney was ultimate. Fusion of different cuisines well balanced flavors and textures superb combination. Must try when at hyatt.  

Native Inspired Ingredients: Grilled Fish, Karnataka Avocado, Caper Berries, Cherry Tomatoes

Melt in your mouth seabass with creamy avocado, cherry tomatoes and microgreens is a classic all time favorite. I loved the presentation.

Country Side: Smoked Masala Lamb Chops, Chilli and Mace, Tamarind Curd

Highly recommend the lamb chops it was one of the best tandoori grilled chops I have tasted in a while.

Country Side: Chicken Donne Biryani, Karnataka Rice, Tomato, Onions, Southern Spices.
Rasmalai Cheese Cake 
White Chocolate Cardamom Cake 
Mango Tiramisu with Coconut Granola
Desserts were amazing. We enjoyed all the dishes served to us. My picks from the tasting was coconut chicken spring rolls, lamb chops, ragi duck dosa and white chocolate cardamom cake. i was unable to rate the drink menu since I had to head out for work...mocktails tasted were good. Meal for two would cost 2000+.

Chow Chow Bhath Recipe (Kharabhath and Kesari)

Chow Chow in southindian dialect means combination or mixture. Spicy and flavorful upma or kharabath paired and served with a sweet kesari is referred as chow chow bhath in Karnataka and Bangalore. 

One can find this chow chow bhath sold at darshinis / Sagar style hotels (quick serving eatery) across bangalore. My favorite places to order this dish in bangalore are Brahmins cafe, By 2 Coffee, CTR or Shri Sagar, Veena Stores, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Uphar Dharshini, Anand Bhavan (A2B) and Shanthi Sagar. 

This breakfast combo is a comfort food for many early morning travelers, office goers and college students. Every Bengalurean based family has a tradition to prepare this combo atleast once in a week or for Sunday brunch.
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Pic: Chow Chow Bhath tasted at vidyarthi bhavan on my Basavangudi breakfast trail series.

Ingredients for Upma:
2 Coffee Tumblers or 1 Cup Measure Measure Semolina (Upma Rawa)
2 Medium Size Onions
2 Medium Size Tomatoes 
4 to 5 Green Chilies (Depending on heat level)
3 Sprigs Curry Leaves
5 Sprigs Coriander Leaves 
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Split Black Gram Dhal
Salt, Oil and Ghee as required.
Lime Juice and Coriander for garnish...

Ingredients for Pineapple Kesari:
1 Cup Sooji/ Semolina
2 Cups Sugar
250 Grams Fresh Pineapple Slices
1/4 Cup Oil
8 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Cardamom Powder
1/4 Tsp Pineapple Flavor
5 Drops Yellow Food Color
A Pinch of Salt...

Method to prepare kharabath:

Heat a wok on medium flame allow to reach temperature. once wok or pan reaches temperature place on low flame, add the measured semolina, stir constantly until the semolina starts to get aromatic and turn light pink in color.

For beginners best practice is to dry roast semolina in small batches. If the semolina is dry roasted well lumps will not form easily in the upma. We can allow the semolina to cool in room temperature and store in a airtight container until use.

Bring 8 cups of water to rapid boil, we will divide this warm water and use for both recipes.

Heat the same pan or wok on medium flame add 4 tbsp oil allow to reach until smoking point. Place on low to medium flame add the mustard and split black gram dhal, allow the mustard to splutter and dhal to turn brown in color. 

Once the mustard stops spluttering, add finely chopped onion, tomatoes, asafoetida, slit chillies, curry leaves, and finely chopped coriander fry all the ingredients until onions turn transparent.

To cook the onions faster add 1 tsp salt and fry until the onions and tomatoes have softened and cooked well.

For every 1 cup measure semolina add 2 cup measure warm water. Add the dry roasted rawa or semolina to the onion masala and fry for a minute. Add 2 tbsp ghee and warm water stir constantly and making sure there are no lumps. Check for salt and add if needed, cover and cook the upma on medium flame.

Once the semolina has observed  majority of the moisture remove from flame and reserve in a hot pack.

Method to prepare Kesari Baath:
Heat a wok with one tbsp ghee, add 1 cup semolina, constantly keep stirring and roast until semolina turns light pink in color remove from flame reserve on a plate  until use. Boil 3 cups water reserve.

Heat a fry pan on low flame with 2 tbsp ghee. Once the ghee melts and reaches temperature add dried fruits cashews and raisins fry on medium flame.

Fry the dry fruits till light golden reserve on a plate. Using the same pan heat another 2tbsp oil or ghee add the cubed pineapple and 2tbsp of sugar fry until the sugar caramalizes and coats the pineapple the fruit should not burn at the same time it should have semi cooked reserve on a plate.

Heat a wok with 4 tbsp ghee and oil allow to reach temperature. Add the fried semolina to the ghee and oil fry for a minute. Add warm water stir well and cook the semolina until water is absorbed.

Add sugar and stir until sugar melts. Add fried and reserved dried fruits, semi cooked pineapple, cardamom powder, yellow food color stir, pinch of salt and combine all ingredients.

Cover and cook the kesari until semolina has observed majority of moisture. Once the ghee surfaces to the sides kesari it is done remove from flame.

We use a small cup to mould the upma and kesari and serve both the dishes together along with Chutney and enjoy eating it as hot as possible 😊

My Parents Tasted New Menu @Mainland China, Orion Mall-Bengaluru

Excitement filled the air, when i told my parents were invited for a tasting session at Mainland China. As a family this is our first group review on the new menu tasting. Mainland China is very famous pan-asian eatery which has multiple branches; we visited the branch located at Orion mall.

Ambience: Very inviting and grand entrance with live size terracotta soldiers greeting the customers, the air filled with aromas of stir fries and curries is surely a warm, inviting and homely atmosphere. 

One can choose semi open seating or indoor dining, which is convenient to access the buffet, but if you opt the ala-carte menu the outdoor seating is best during summer, which overlooks a large fountain. The decor is vibrant, comfy chairs and well stocked bar to keep one occupied for hours. New menu offers soups, appetizers, dimsums, mains and followed by an extensive drink menu.

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Here's what we tasted...
Orange Mojito (Mocktail)

Fresh squeezed orange juice spiked with mint, ginger and sprite...

Kimchi, Pickled Cucumbers and Sauces made inhouse for dimsums. There are sauces that can be purchased which is also placed on display.

We enjoyed the kimchi, spring onion and basil sauce for dimsums...

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Clear Soup
aromas of mint, star-anise, ginger and spring onion with chewy noodles and springy chicken was so comforting...

Crispy Lotus Root 
Crispy lotus roots were tossed with curry leaves, crushed black pepper and a sticky chilly soy. This dish has a very distinct southern fusion element which we loved.

Crispy Corn Cubes 

Lightly coated with cornflakes was crunchy and literally melted every bite the spring onion chilly soy sauce was perfect condiment...

Dynamic Prawns in Silken Tangy Mayo

Showstopper dish presented at our table. People dining there literally turned to catch a glimpse of the dramatic presentation. The prawns were soft and not chewy, which was lightly batter coated and fried, crispy skin has absorbed majority of the chilly mayo, prefect appetizer for chilled beer....

Crispy Chicken with Smoked Chilly and Peppers 

Tender morsels of chicken are coated with a light batter and fried. the crispy chicken is wok tossed with crushed black peppers, ginger, garlic, smoked chilies and sweet bell peppers. Nice presentation and very aromatic. This dish was served as an appetizer, but its a must have accompaniment for fried rice or  noodles. 

Up next were dimsums...
Spiced Tofu Dimsums with Mountain Chillies
The tofu filling was mildly spiced and very soft. Wrapper had perfect texture...chewy and soft, best part was flavors from plantain leaf...

Thai Style Chicken Dumplings 
Soft mince chicken with lemongrass and kaffir lime.

Thai Style Vegetable Dumplings 

Both the chicken and vegetable dimsums had the same flavor but tasted different. Veggie dimsums were crunchy tasted fresh, whereas the chicken was soft but had very strong flavors from kaffir lime. 

Prawn Siu-mai with Lemongrass
I felt the outer skin could have been slightly soft but the prawn filling was superb.

Main Course...
Japanese Buckwheat Noodles 

Soft yet chewy buck wheat noodles were wok tossed with vegetables, loads of garlic and garnished with chilly oil...

Sichuan Chicken Hot Pot

Tender morsels of chicken combined and cooked with shitake mushrooms, shallots and black bean sauce was a perfect accompaniment with edamame fried rice...

Exotic Vegetables in Black Pepper Sauce

Crunchy veggies were perfectly prepared it could have been slighly spicy but tasted really well with fried rice and noodles...

Vegetable and Edamame Fried Rice

Every grain in this fried rice was separated, that's how I like it. Fried rice on its own tasted good but must pair the rice with chilly sauce from the condiments, kimchi and pickled cucumbers. I had three servings of rice with condiments, chicken and vegetable curries it was excellent.

We finished our lunch with lovely desserts...
Surprise Chocolate Dome 

A cascading chocolate dome decorated with caramel popcorn and centered with a large scoop of vanilla icecream, fudge brownie, honey noodles and chocolate...the surprise was unravelled once the hot chocolate was poured on top to reveal the hidden dessert.

Such a lovely dessert. The hot chocolate with fudge brownie and honey noodles was amazing...

We ended our lunch with mango custard. Packed with fresh flavors the mango custard was set to perfection, topped with fresh chopped mango and served on fresh mango puree with a hint of mint flavor from the mint garnish was light and really awesome😍

Overall experience...staff were super courteous and very friendly. my parents enjoyed the lunch it was all new experience for them. We enjoyed all the dishes.

I would like to visit them again for buffet someday the spread looks lovely. After shopping or movie at the mall one can surely expect a hearty meal at mainland china the new menu is promising and offers variety of dishes.
Our picks from the menu was chicken soup with noodles, thai vegetable dim sum, crispy lotus roots with black pepper and curry leaves, tofu dim sum, kimchi, smoked chilly chicken with peppers, buckwheat noodles and szechuan chicken hot pot with shitake mushrooms. 

All beverages are fresh it did not taste stale after a long time I got to taste good quality drinks here and beer was chilled which is really refreshing on a humid day. Meal for a couple would cost 1500/- to 2000/- if your in a group try all the dishes from the new menu it would cost between 3500/- to 4000/- ++ 


Poolside Lunch @The Bengaluru Brasserie, Hyatt Centric MG-Road

Lunch meet at The Bengaluru Brasserie was relaxed accompanied by crystal-blue poolside, open and breezy ambience, casual yet infused with...