Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spicy Mushroom In Sriracha And Sambal Oelek Sauce

During my trip to The USA in November 2013, my husband got lots of sauces for me. He got introduced to Sriracha sauce and Sambal sauce through some friends and also when he visited some Asian restaurants. He knew that I as a foodie would love these sauces. He immediately found out the names of the sauces, but was able to find only Sriracha sauce in CA. Sriracha is hot chilly sauce, which is from Thailand. It is used in Thai cooking. In US, it is known as "Rooster Sauce" or "Cock Sauce".

Just last month we visited Australia. During this trip, again I as a foodie went in search of something which I can't find easily in India. Luckily I found Sambal Oelek Sauce in Woolworth's store at the Gold Coast. Sambal Oelek sauce is Indonesian chilly sauce. Now it was a challenge for me from my hubby to use these sauces and to innovate something new. So I came up with this new dish which has got the spiciness of Sriracha sauce and mild sweetness of Sambal sauce. Do try this and I am sure you and your family will love it. It is simple and gets cooked without any hassles. Watch out for more innovative recipes on my blog using these two sauces.

4 tablespoon sambal oelek sauce
2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 packet button mushrooms i.e. around 12-15 mushrooms
1 onion
1 tomato
4-5 garlic pods
1 tsp chilly flakes
3 tablespoon olive oil
Coriander leaves
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Wash and chop the mushrooms into 4-5 pieces, cut horizontally.
In a kadai, add olive oil. When it heats, add chopped onion and fry. When onion turns pinkish, add peeled and chopped garlic pods. Fry for 3-4 minutes on low flame with the kadai being covered by lid.
Next add tomato and fry till tomatoes turn mushy.
Now add the chopped mushroom and fry till the mushrooms gets cooked. It will take atleast 20 minutes to cook. You will notice that it turns soft and will wilt.
Now add the sauces. Mix properly with the mushrooms.
Add chilly flakes and italian seasoning and mix well.
Add salt to taste.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monkey Bar - A Gastropub Review

Last weekend I was invited to "decode" the "Gastropub" named Monkey Bar at Indiranagar. I was excited after learning that this is a fun and quirky place and promises twice the excitement. It is India's first gastro-pub brand and has added its distinct touch to Indiranagar , following its inception in mid-2012 in Bangalore and journey to New Delhi at the end of 2013.

As soon as I entered Monkey Bar, I felt like as if I entered in a fun New York-esque space. It has exposed brick walls, soft wood floors, and large comfortable booths in deep tones, offset by mismatched yet warm lights and fixtures. This place has 2 levels and a spiral staircase connecting the 2 levels. Across the space are cool concrete tables and comfy seating, with layers and islands for groups. All over the interiors, there are fun posters and wall hangings sourced from all over the world. I did spend time looking at them, reading them and indeed they made me smile.

The food is exciting. The trendy and fabulous tasting cocktails and drinks served by the ever-smiling bartenders keeps abreast of its overall standards. The smiling bar churns out some super-refreshing fruit cocktails, ultra chilled beer and unusual concoctions like the Mangaa, Copper Monkey, Go Guava, Mary Beer and martinis served in rock glasses. The cocktails are served  in Nutella jars and copper tumblers.
The emphasis is on fresh, innovative and affordable, in a cool yet laidback, vibe and atmosphere.

Orange Mocktail, Mangaa and Virgin Mojito
The crockery is cheerfully mismatched and, somehow, perfectly complements the honest wholesomeness of the food. Wooden trays with an assortment of hot sauces will keep the most hardened chilli-freaks satisfied.

A nice place
Take a trip across the delicious small plates section for some essential pub grub and quirky flavours: on offer are Spiked Nachos with a delicious infusion of tequila and lime, Bombay Vada Pav, Tikki of Joy and Goan Chorizo Pao.
Small and Cute black boards with menu
I got to taste some starters some of the latest additions like the crispy Roasted Beet and Orange Salad which was made up of Three mustard dressed lettuce, feta cream, sesame beans,toasted and candied walnuts and crumbled feta.

PEPPER CHICKEN - Morsels of flash cooked chicken with peppers, scallions, toasted Schezwan peppers, black pepper sauce, oyster sauce, crushed peanuts and asparagus. Chicken was cooked to perfection and the flavours were all great.

PIROGIES - Pan seared Polish dumplings made up of Chicken, Celery and Jalapeño. This left me wanting for more.

CRAB RANGOON - Crab meat and cream cheese filled fried wontons, served with sweet chilli sauce. This was made up of real crab meat. I felt it was more of cheese rather than the crab meat. But overall taste was it was great.

TEMPURA CALAMARI - Tossed in fresh green curry glaze, wasabi mayo and fresh scallion. Loved this one specially the delicate wasabi flavour added to the crispy squids.

DEVILLED FISH - Sautéed seer with chilli oil, ginger, garlic, galangal and lemon grass. It kept me guessing the ingredients. But the fish was marinated and cooked to perfection - no fish smell and taste was heavenly.

Traditional dishes like Sorpotel wind up in little jam pots, the traditional Coorg delicacy Pandi Curry is paired with warm grilled fresh Pita Bread; brain fry and offal move out of their traditional MM Road bastion to be presented in a whole new avatar.

Chunks of smoky Goan sausage, sautéed with sliced onions, garlic and tomatoes, stuffed inside toasted buttered pao. Though I did not try this one as I am a non-pork, non-beef person, my friends who tried this loved the dish. And I felt proud that it comes from Goa. So I am sure my Goan friends residing in Bangalore will love this dish.

Goan Chorizo Pav
For the main course we tried The Parsee Orderly’s Mutton Currywhich  creates its own delicious spin on India’s culinary legacy.
THE PARSEE ORDERLIES’ MUTTON CURRY- A wholesome mutton chop curry finished with grated cheese, served with coconut and clove rice. I don't eat mutton, I just tasted the curry and felt that the taste was good, specially the extra cheese which has been added to it.

THE CHICKEN CURRY - It was good, but felt the taste was kinda average types. Loved the rice served with this.

THE MOBAR BORK - Fried and Wok Tossed Japanese eggplant and paneer over aromatic black bean flavoured vegetables and noodles. I tried this dish, but frankly speaking my taste buds did not get attracted to this. Maybe because of the other non-veg items served. But the presentation was great.

Monkey Bar Burgers seriously challenge traditional notions of what a burger should be: dry-aged and wood-grilled, smoky and juicy, even well done.

SLOPPY JOE- Barbecue flavoured shredded pork with coleslaw, fresh jalapenos, onions, peppers and lettuce. Served with sweet potato crisps with celery salt

Sloppy Joe
The desserts carry forward the same quirky tone, enticing you with a mishmash of flavours that melt in your mouth.

CHOCOLATE POT DE CRÈME WITH SALTED CARAMEL - Caramel popcorn, lemon poppy cake slice with olive oil. The secret ingredient here is the olive oil. Overall this dish was heavenly and kept wanting me ask for more.

LEMON CAKE - Lemon curd, vanilla lemon syrup soaked pound cake with seasonal fruit. I felt the lemon flavour was a bit too much for my taste buds. But the as the name suggests it has to be lemony.

 The Monkey Bar menu is designed to be a bonafide dining option when one is looking for a great evening out with friends

Monkey Bar is an all-day gastropub and there is never a dull moment. The music is buzzy and the pool table and foosball is more of an invitation to unwind over an after-work beer than a game centre. You don't make a reservation at Monkey Bar; you can just walk in when you feel like. The vibe is cool NYC meets trendy, young India. This is exactly my kind of place and is perfect to throw a party or a get-together with friends in style.

Pool Table

Monkey Bar,
# 610, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, near Crossword, Indiranagar, Bangalore- 560 038.

Meal for 2 including drinks and taxes Rs. 1200-1400/-
Twitter: @Monkeybarblr
Facebook Page:
Timings : 12:00 noon onwards (Children below the age of 18 years are permitted only till 6:00 pm)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

3 Monkeys BrewPub - A Pub Review

I went to 3 Monkeys BrewPub along with my foodie friends. It is very close to my house. So when my friends decided to meet there, I was the first one to say yes. I did not know much about this place. They told me to come to Gopalan Signature Mall which is on Old Madras Road. My blogger friends were already waiting for me outside the entrance of the pub.

As soon as I entered I just stopped for a while and looked around the place. The ambiance was awesome. Really a huge place to hang around. We were seated in a nice corner which is less noisy, as we wanted to do a lot of chit-chatting. Since the place was so good we decided to go around the place. There are some private sections for people who want some privacy. There is an area where buffet is served and where people can have drinks and food. There is also a dance floor with a special place for DJ. The surprise was there is a small stage too :) 

The Ambiance  

The Longest Bar Counter In India
The best part was the micro brewery and the island bar around it. This is India's first island bar and the longest bar counter measuring 140 ft. The lighting and the music was just awesome. I was feeling a bit special too. This was the first time that I visited a pub and I enjoyed the experience. 

The Microbrewery
Soon my friends went to try some beers. 3 Monkeys Beer Pub has got license now to brew local beers. The Director Mr. Phani Rama Krishna Reddy Kothwali is actually keen in introducing locally brewed beer to the public. They have started brewing 4 beers and 2 will be available soon. My friends who tasted them said that the beers were great. Some beers were light and even ladies could have it.

A Place For Two
Some of the beers that are going to be brewed here are the Weisen Beer from the US, Mexican Pale Lager, Irish Ale, Australian Pale Ale and many more popular &  innovative seasonal beers. They have also launched a signature beer that is a secret recipe and a rare brew of the Canadian Brew Master Mr. Martin. 

The freshly brewed beers just flew down the beer tap directly from the micro-brewery. Everyone was excited to try the different types of beers. They tried Pale Lager, Wheat Beer and Red Ale. 

Pale Lager

Wheat Beer
Red Ale
I tried an orange drink which was really really good.

My Orange Drink
The name 3 Monkeys refers to three things, namely Quality Beer, Quality Food and the wonderful ambiance.

Freshly Brewed Beer
After chit-chatting and trying the beers and knowing a little more about the place, the dinner was served. Apart from beers, 3 Monkeys Brew Pub offers a fine dining experience for all its customers. 

A Nice Place to Dine Too
The Ale beer batter Onion rings were thickly sliced, beer battered and crispy but I loved the cashew fried spicy chicken in the starters. The Chicken was crispy and fried to perfection. It left me wanting to have some more...

Spicy paneer was also good, but kinda average types. This was paired with Red Ale.

Marinated in a paste of cashew and cream, Chicken Tikka served was delicious. This was neatly paired with 3 Monkeys Wheat Beer.

The Hara Bhara kabab was made up of minced green veggies flavoured with fresh herbs was worth a try.

I heard from my friends that Mutton Rogan Josh was yummy and was cooked in Kashmiri rogan spices. I don't eat mutton so did not try it. But the butter chicken was great and I love it.

The long grains of basmati rice in rich spices made the Chicken Biryani awesome.

The music, the lighting, the food everything was good. But since it was a Wednesday, they had an event called ladies night. Here Ladies get free cocktails and shooters ALL night. So soon after dinner, the DJ and the music started. The music was a bit too loud but I heard that some people go to pubs to relax and unwind just due to the music. The quality of music was superb as they use Bose speakers. Literally everyone was on the dance floor. I should say that they really have a big space for dance too. 

I was enjoying the evening and soon Mr.Phani came and told us that the lights will be off and there will be a surprise for everyone. Exactly at 10.00 PM the lights went off and we got to witness the flare bar tending where the bartenders were juggling with fire. The music was meant for all the ladies as it was Ladies Night. Ultimate bollywood numbers were being played and I was feeling like dancing. I was thinking that if I get drunk then people would sing for me "Seedhee Saadhi Choori Sharabhi hogayi..." :P

Bartenders Juggling With Fire
I enjoyed each and every moment there. On returning home shared my experience with my spouse and in office too. He had a team lunch and he suggested this place based on my recommendation. Given that this place is close our office, they booked a table for 23. Yes, this place is close to the IT hub and is great for team lunches and parties. His team mates absolutely loved the food and the place. His colleagues thanked him for suggesting this place.
Also they got an offer. One plate free on 10 plates. So for a group of 23 people, they had to pay for 21 plates only :)

This offer is valid for big groups of people who want to have buffet i.e. buy 10 plates and get 1 free. 

Without alcohol the cost per head was Rs.460/- including taxes (Mon-Fri) and with alcohol Rs.530/- (Mon-Fri) including taxes which is a very good deal. 

My Conclusion 

I recommend this place to my readers. It is a great place to hang out.
The cost that they have is worth the food and beverage.
Cost for 2 - Rs.1200 without alcohol and Rs.1500 with alcohol.

Though the pub is open on all days, the special days to visit are Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesday for Ladies Night and on Fridays they have Bollywood night.

Timings - 11.00 AM to 11.30 PM

4th Floor,
Gopalan Signature Mall,
Old Madras Road,
Bangalore, India 560038

Phone : +91 80 66 909999

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