First Impressions: Yana

A friend suggested Gold Adlabs at Kalyani Nagar as the place to meet up last week for lunch. She could make but i was lured to Yana which promised Sizzlers and Wok. Wok was the easy choice as I haven’t been to the “All stir fry” at Gordan House at Colaba. I love All Stir Fry but haven’t been there for a long time. So a chance to have a similar experience was quite alluring.

The start itself was bad as price of the wok was almost the same as the ASF one but the choices were far limited. The sever emphasized “One trip one bowl” in a condescending tone.

It got worse once the bowl was given to me. Food was partly purned/undercooked. In retrospect, the size to which vegetables and the meat was cut was the obvious culprit. The lunch is short was horrible!

Rating: 1.5/5.0
Completely avoidable

First Impressions – Hyderabad House

Its not easy to get Haleem except for places that specialise in Hyderabadi/Nizami cuisine. So when I saw a Hyderabad House in front of Forum, I was thrilled. I used to visit the one in Versova in Mumbai but it closed down some time back.

First shock: Haleem is served only on sunday. Nothing available except for Biryani.
Second shock: “But Sir, you ordered chicken Biryani!”
Third Shock: Mutton Biryani was nothing like Hyderabadi biryani!!

In all, first impression is the last impression.

Rating: AVOIDABLE

First Impressions – Magnolia

I love chinese food but somehow the only chinese place that I’ve frequented in Bangalore is Rice Bowl on the Lavel road. These days I come to Bangalore quite frequently but stay near domlur/Indiranagar thus ruling out rice bowl completely. So, its been time to experiment with places in Kormangala.

Tried Yo China but its way crowded for any entry. Minimum wait time: 30 mins. Too noisy and hence not worth the wait or another visit. Visited another place near 6th block. Nice decor which reminded a lot of rice bowl. Again long wait time but not as long as Yo China. Another time perhaps. Went over to Magnolia near Raheja residency and then visted again.

Magnolia is half km off the Kormangala main road (BDA road) into the road between Nandini and Utsav. A nice quiet area compared to most of kormangala. Its a house converted into a restaurant and it shows. Still very tastefully done interiors and very polite subdued service. Consists of two floors each with two rooms. Ground floor is non-smoking service while the first floor has one smoking room. Being rooms, smokers are completely isolated compared to most other places. Seats can be uncomfortable for large people and lack of armrests is uncomfortable for any. Tables are placed far apart so one can actually hear the music which is a huge plus.

I usually like to evaluate a Chinese place by the quality of soups and the rice. So far, I haven’t tried the rice so I’ll keep to the soup here. I’ve tried a clear soup and a thick soup. Both had the just the right aroma and the flavour. However, the thick soup is not really thick even by Bangalore standards, forget Mumbai places like Chopsticks (Nariman point). Still, the taste is just right.

Magnolia also serves Thai food. So, I ran my eye over the menu looking for kai (Thai for Chicken). Surprisingly, only one item. Then I realised that all the names are translated and the Thai dishes are with the prefix Thai. A first time for me definitely! I believe in the saying that a rose smells as sweet by any other name and so shall certainly try the Thai fare in near future.

I’ll certainly come back for more to this place.

First Impressions – Juke Box

Juke Box is a small place in Kormangala that we used to frequent during the IIM B days. So when a friend from those days asked to meet up near Forum and was delayed in the traffic, I went looking for it. I was almost sure that this mark of the old Bangalore would be gone in the megapolis that Bangalore has become. So it was shock to see it in the same place with the same signature board. Hurried back and got my friend also at Jukebox.

Juke box serves continental food which is quite decent. Its particularly known for its sizzlers. Beer too is great.

I wouldn’t rate it for the fear of my nostalgia coloring the judgement. But I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking out for a nice place to hang out with friends. Old Bangalore charm still works.

First Impressions – Moet’s shack

I noticed Moet’s shack in defence colony while on way to dinner to Little Italy last Friday. Returned with another friend the next day. I wanted a quiet place but gave in to the joy of exploration.

Shack offers Chinese and sea-food. We went for Chinese not being sure of sea food in Delhi. Again, the place was closely packed and noisy. Again I ordered Chardonnay hoping for a repeat of the last week. Alas, the wine was too cold. But any regret was short lived as food was served a lot faster than we expected. It was pretty good. But it did not delight. It merely met the standard of good chinese food in taste and in size of helpings. A place worth another visit but not the kind of place where one can vow people.

Rating: 3.5/4