Dim Sum & Tea in the House

Hog Haunt: Yauatcha Bangalore, 1 MG Mall

A year has gone by, and what a year it has been.

We, The Wise Hogs, celebrated our 1st friennavarsary at Yauatcha, an eloquent Cantonese style dim sum teahouse. Dim sum is a Cantonese-style tapas food, often steamed or pan-fried and paired with tea. The food is bite-size and usually comes in steamer baskets while being rolled around in carts, but at Yauatcha we had a la carte. Another interesting fact is that dim sum is usually served during Yum Cha i.e. afternoon tea.

Side Note: We forced Maribel to learn and use chopsticks because that’s how dim sums should be eaten. We also commend our waiter, as he not only knew how to use chopsticks but also patiently taught Maribel and did not snigger at our attempt at teaching her.

Eat as the Cantonese Do
Eat as the Cantonese Do

As we’ve all individually been to Yauatcha before, this time we mixed and matched our food selection from our previous recommendations.

For drinks, Maribel chose the Lychee Martini, Arturo had the Thea Martin, while Pedro opted for the Anxi Tie Kuan Yin tea (also known as Blue Roasted Tea) – a light and fragrant that complimented our food very well.

The Martinis Meet The Tea
The Martinis Meet The Tea

A Five Dim Sum Start Off

Our food selections kicked off with the Truffle Edamame Dumplings, an atypical combination of a hint of truffle with perfectly mashed Edamame. Not an easy dish to perfect, this tiny parcel made of delicate and intricate rice skin was a single bite that awakened the palette. Hats off to the creator of this dish, as well as the chef at Yauatcha Bangalore for not only procuring these exotic (in India) ingredients but also for making these perfect dumplings.

Crispy Duck Rolls came next where the outsides were flakey and not overtly oily, while the stuffing was succulent and beautifully seasoned duck meat. The rolls were so golden, that it was easy to forget that they were deep or shallow fried at all.

Next in our dim sum endeavour were the outstanding Pork Char Sui Bao. Now, the bao is a type of steamed bun with cantonese-style barbecued meat parcelled within. Traditionally they’re served in a completely covered steamer, however at Yauatcha they gave us a preview with a slight slit on the top of the steamer. The baos we inhaled were neither overcooked nor undercooked and were sticky, slightly sweet and slightly salty. Not just that, you could also taste the aromatic spices that we had the pleasure to breathe in.

In contrast, the crunchy Turnip Cakes were a surprising burst of flavours, textures and consistencies. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, you could taste the subtle hint of the sesame oil it was fried in. Also, the pyramid of cakes were made of shredded turnip blended with rice flour, bound by corn starch, and infused with a garnish of water chestnut, fried garlic, spring onions/shallots, some chilli, and possibly salt & pepper.

Our medley of dim sum ended with the Cheung Fun – thin rice rolls made from rice flour and a combination of mushrooms served on a bed of a light soy infused broth. While we gobbled them up in record time, we’re fairly sure that the trio of mushrooms were enoki mushrooms, shiitake and possibly oyster mushrooms. The textures of the different mushrooms complimented each other and the soy and sesame oil vinaigrette, treating the palette to simple and organic flavours.  

(Do note that this is a tricky and slippery dish to eat, but if you ask the waiters they cut them perfectly into portions for the number of guests sharing it.)

Our Dim Sum Trail
Our Dim Sum Trail

A More Modest Main Course

After the end of the dim sum journey, we decided to hit the main course. We sampled the Singapore Noodles (yes, it is a cantonese restaurant) because… Maribel and her NOODLES! Authentic and great, they used vermicelli with an array of crunchy fresh vegetables, seasoned with curry powder (Hallelujah!), fish sauce, and some Shao Xing wine. Additionally, to have a well balanced meal, we ordered a Szechuan Tofu Claypot to fulfill our vegetable quota and a Stir Fried Tenderloin with Black Pepper Sauce to satiate our love for meat. The tenderloin was well coated in the sauce and cooked to a perfect medium rare. While the tofu claypot was perfect silken tofu (and it’s not easy to find good tofu) coated gloriously in a szechuan sauce that paired well with the tenderloin and noodles. It was a wonderful balance of dishes that we could mix, share, and sample together.

Even though we were too full to eat dessert, we found this meal worth remembering and celebrating! Each time we’ve been here (individually and together) the consistency in their food has been impeccable, except for their portions which have reduced by approximately 20%. Their service is great and very attentive, a testament to their five-star rating especially considering how busy they are. They are happy to help you with your food choices, serve the food hot, fresh and appropriately, are willing to patiently teach you how to eat with chopsticks, and happy to receive feedback. We just wish we had taken time out and spoken to the chef. All in all, we walked away with happy bellies and a fast-approaching food coma.

Our Modest Main Course
Our Modest Main Course

The Wisdom

Food: *****

Service: *****

Ambience: *****

A little extra: Pair the dim sum with their teas and always ask your server for suggestions

Hog Location

Level 5, 1 MG Road Mall, MG Road,, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008

Phone Number: +91 92222 22800


How It All Started…

Hog Haunt: Fenny’s Lounge and Kitchen

We’re sure you guys have wondered how the Three Wise Hogs got together? Well it’s a story neither of us will ever forget. So here goes:

It all started in the Fall of 2014, specifically September the 13th. Doesn’t it sound ominous? Well for a certain friend of ours, it was very ominous and he regrets it till date. Maribel and Arturo, as you already know, had been best friends for a very long time. They had started a tradition of meeting up every weekend and testing out new places around Bengaluru (that list is still in progress and will never end). Meanwhile, at work Maribel had just connected on a deep and humourous level with Pedro, creating what is now called the Wiifiii Connection. One Friday during lunch hour Maribel asked Pedro to join her and Arturo on Saturday. Pedro was happy to join them and they have never looked back since.

The trio met at Fenny’s Lounge and Kitchen in Koramangala and were later joined by a whole bunch of people they knew some way or the other (well mainly Maribel and Arturo). The first to join them were Giggles (Arjun) and Garje (Garje), who ate, drank, and giggled away to glory! They were followed by Mimi (Karthik), who showed up after spending over 2 hours at Starbucks first. Finally, the group was completed with addition of Mimi’s friends, Adi and Swati (yes, we know multiples of people with the same name).

What ensued after that would probably draw a parallel to the upcoming Avengers’ Infinity War! Immediately after saying hello, Pedro and Mimi started a discussion on the pros and cons of Momo Didi (please don’t ask us who she because we have no intentions of starting another war… we’re still recovering from the first one). They went on and on and on and on and on, to the point that they dragged in people who didn’t even know she existed. Hell, Mimi even threatened to force feed Maribel and Arturo with some her (apparently) famous momos. On the other hand Aruturo, Garje, and an acquaintance of Pedro were having their own discussion about random things in order to avoid the battle zone. The rest of them were simply amused, yet terrified of pitching in to the argument.

That discussion/argument pretty much defined the entire evening and would create a memory that none could ever forget.

[That argument still continues.]

Towards the end of the evening, while Maribel decided to visit the ladies’ room, Pedro and Arturo actually spoke for the first time… at length. They spoke about Arturo’s passion of baking and Pedro’s passion for eating. They also discussed about how silly Maribel was. That was the defining moment of The Wise Hogs!

The Beginning…

P.S. Sorry Mimi! Maribel and Arturo take Pedro’s side on this. Momo Didi sucks!

P.P.S We will write a review on Fenny’s later, when we have photos and we can actually remember what we inhaled.

Us in our essence
Us in our essence

The Wisdom

Always make crazy friends!

Hog Location

115, 3rd Floor, 7th Block,Opposite Raheja Arcade, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560095

Phone Number: 080 4128 2428

Roll Over!

Hog Haunt: Arturo’s Abode

Eating a roll is the epitome of laziness. It takes away the additional task of having to break off a piece of your roti, stuff in the right amount of filling, and get your hands dirty. And with kaati roll carts on every street corner, it also takes away the effort of having to make your own roll. But I have to tell you the feeling of eating something you make yourself – fresh and healthy – is something entirely different. You probably won’t be as fast at making it as the guy in the tuck shop (after all, that is his job) but it’s still super easy to make and only needs rudimentary cooking skills & great taste buds.

So, how did I stumble upon making my own Kaati roll you ask? Well, Maribel and I went for a movie one weekend and gorged on a lot of popcorn. We weren’t particularly hungry, but we knew that if we didn’t eat dinner, we would wake up in the middle of the night with aching bellies, half asleep and banging around looking for food. Wanting something easy and light for dinner but a little nauseated by the thought of eating street food, we decided to go the healthy route and make our own Kaati rolls at home (well, I was going to make them).

We walked into More Supermarket at Forum Mall and laid eyes on a bag of frozen Seekh Kababs. We quickly picked up some onions, tomato and lettuce and raced home. Within 20 minutes of getting home, we were on our way to eating a light, yet wholesome meal (mind you, it took 20 minutes because we had to put away groceries first).

Homemade Seekh Kaati Rolls

Simple and easy, make the rolls as thick as you desire. All you need is:


  1. Chopping board to chop the veggies
  2. Pan to sauté the kabab and make the roti
  3. Rolling pin for the roti (not a roti expert, no problem – skip this step and pick up frozen parathas)


For the roti (Makes 4)

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  3. 1 cup water
  4. ¼ tsp salt

For the roll (Makes 4)

  1. 8 lettuce sleeves
  2. 2 medium onions, cut in half and finely sliced
  3. 2 tomatoes, sliced
  4. Ketchup and Chaat Masala, to taste
  5. 8 frozen Seekh Kabab
  6. 2 tsp oil – to fry the Seekh Kababs


For the Roti (If using frozen parathas, skip this step)

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour (maida) and ghee together.
  2. Add water to this mixture, little by little, and knead till the dough has combined. Turn the dough onto the kitchen counter and knead for an additional 10 mins (the longer the dough is kneaded, the softer and fluffier the roti gets).
  3. Once done kneading, divide the dough into 8 balls.
  4. Roll out the dough balls into even circles of about ¼ cm thickness (even both in shape and thickness).
  5. Place each roti on the pan, with some ghee. Cook on each side for 3 minutes on low heat. Rotis are now ready for use.

For the Roll

  1. Wash out 8 sleeves of iceberg lettuce, chop the onions and tomatoes.
  2. Place a roti on the centre of the plate and top it with 2 sleeves of lettuce, half a tomato and half an onion.
  3. In a pan, heat some oil (1 tsp for 4 seekh kebabs) on medium heat. Place the frozen seekh kebabs in the pan and grill till they have softened and browned on all sides (tip: when the seekh kebab is done, it released small quantities of water onto the pan).
  4. Place 2 kebabs onto the salad on the roti. Sprinkle some chaat masala for some tang, and ketchup for some sauciness. Fold the roll on three corners (you might need a toothpick to hold the roll in place, in case of too much filling.
  5. Repeat the process with the other three rolls. Serve to friends and family, and Bon Appetit!
Scrappy Can Do!
Scrappy Can Do!

I want that, and that, and that too…

Hog Haunt: Edo, ITC Gardenia

This post is dedicated to to all the chefs who make it their daily mission to share their passion for food.

This review, of my (Pedro) experience at Edo at ITC Gardenia is once again from my birthday staycation in May. I have to say that since I’ve moved to Bangalore, I haven’t sampled Japanese food out of pure apprehension. And Edo was a treat, both visually and gastronomically.

At Edo, I chose to sit at the sushi bar hoping to interact with the chefs. Their menu, was quite elaborate and I also wanted to sample the Agedashi tofu as it is one of my favourite dishes. But as I was trying to make a decision, the chef realized I was a complete foodie and recommended ordering the Bento box. A wise decision at that because if I had ordered a la carte it would have been enormous portions and a waste of good food. (Pedro no likey wasting food). So I indulged and the Bento box definitely took me by surprise.

The Edo Meal
The Edo Meal

It was delectable, satisfying, absolutely hearty, and enough for a person to share and sample a plethora of dishes. You know that warm feeling of being stuffed but just having that extra bite to send your experience into a food coma and have a happy belly? Yup folks, that’s how great it was!

Now Japanese cuisine isn’t easy to come by for vegetarians but fret not dear vegfoodies, they have a bento box for you too. I went with the non-vegetarian box, obviously. Even though the decor is pretty sober, but what it lacks in ambience it makes up for in culinary experience. It is impeccable, home-style food and I judge this – having grown up in Malaysia with japanese friends in school, snagging from their lunch boxes, eating a fair amount of jap food, and that one trip we made to Japan as kids.

So, the Bento box comprised of:

  1. Fresh Green Tea – You really can’t have enough
  2. Chawanmushi Egg Custard – Soothing but not eggy
  3. Miso Soup – Satisfying and refreshing
  4. Udon Stir Fry – Al dente and seasoned without overwhelming sauces
  5. Tempura Seafood and Veggies – Crispy, crunchy and moist
  6. Braised Pork Belly – Melt in your mouth goodness
  7. Tuna and Salmon Sashimi, served with Pickled Ginger and fresh Wasabi paste – I LOVE sashimi
  8. Seared Fish and Meatballs – Now we’re talking about comfort food
  9. California Maki Rolls – The fact that they are rolled in sesame made me smile because I love maki rolls with sesame

AND WAIT… just when I thought I had conquered the damn meal, they wished me a happy birthday and brought out a creamy slice of cheesecake, accompanied by what I remember as strawberry ice cream.

The Edo Feast
The Edo Feast

Everyone around me were thoroughly amused as I was taking photos and tackling that monstrously hearty meal, by myself. The service was welcoming – they kept refilling my tea and water – and these small things made the difference for me, especially when they are taken care off throughout your meal without having to ask for it.

The chef who was manning the sashimi bar also spoke to me throughout my meal, making me feel less awkward about eating alone, and regaled me with his travel and culinary experiences. He turned out to be from the Philippines and we spoke for so long after the meal that he even shared an Adobo chicken recipe, which I will try out soon, and his email in case I wanted tips or wanted to know where to source some ingredients.

Edo is an experience that made me grin like a fool and feel extremely lucky. Warm, welcoming, incredible hospitality and the willingness to serve with an open heart reminds you of how you need to appreciate people who love to share their love for food.

To everyone at Edo and ITC Gardenia, thank you a thousand times over!

P.S. Everyone SHOULD go to Edo.

The Wisdom:

Food: ***** and * extra from Pedro

Service: *****

Ambience: ***

Hog Location:

Opp Ramana hotel, 1, Residency Rd, Shri Rampura, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560025

Tel No. – 080 2211 9898

Souvlaki, the Brown Sugar Way

Hog Haunt: Nikhil Kamath’s Abode in Calgary, Alberta

Hey guys! This week’s post is written by Brown Sugar a.k.a Nikhil. I am referring to actual brown sugar and not the more… illegal brown sugar. I like this name because I have brown skin and because brown sugar is the main ingredient in most good quality dry rubs (for meat of course)!

Today’s post is less of a review and more of a recipe, so bear with me and forgive me for making it long. Also, this is one of those recipes that have ingredients that you will most probably have to go out and buy. I was extremely bored a few days ago and was browsing videos on Youtube when I stumbled upon this video via Jamie Oliver’s channel called ‘Food Tube’. Its a video made by greek chef – Chef Aki, one of the best chefs I’ve watched especially in terms of his attitude and cooking styles!

Hope you get a chance to try this recipe because It turned out absolutely fantastic for me! This dish feeds 4 people or one person for 4 meals. Whatever floats your boat! So without further ado:

Greek Souvlaki Kebabs

Souvlaki is a Greek fast food that typically consists of pieces of meat skewered and cooked over a barbecue. It is traditionally eaten as a kabob (kabab for Indians) in a pita bread with various garnishes and sauces.

Prep Time – 1 hour (depending on how fast you are in the kitchen)
Wait Time – 1-2 hours
Cook Time – 20 minutes

Nikhil's Homemade Souvlaki
Nikhil’s Homemade Souvlaki


  1. 1 long dish (long enough for wooden skewers to sit in – baking dishes work well for this)
  2. 2 mixing bowls (1 medium and 1 large)
  3. 1 grater
  4. 1 peeler
  5. 1 knife
  6. 1 band-aid (when you cut yourself with the knife)
  7. 1 mixer (optional, but makes life easier)
  8. 1 pair of goggles (ski goggles, swimming, whatever works) (I’ll explain in a bit)
  9. 1 coal barbecue / propane grill / frying pan
  10. 10 BBQ skewers (estimate)


  1. 2 long tenderloins of fresh pork (most expensive ingredient) OR 4 chicken breasts (if you don’t want to eat pork)
  2. 1 cucumber (pick one that isn’t bitter)
  3. 2-3 tomatoes (roma tomato is a good choice)
  4. 1 medium-sized onion (red, spanish, whatever is cheaper)
  5. 4 – 8 pita bread (or rotis/naan/parantha)
  6. Greek Yogurt (thick yogurt or yogurt sans the whey liquid)
  7. Olive oil (not extra virgin, just virgin or regular)
  8. 3 garlic cloves
  9. Fresh herbs – dill, thyme, rosemary (fresh stuff gives 3 times better flavour than the dried)
  10. White wine (cooking wine or some of the fancy stuff from dad’s bar)
  11. White wine vinegar (a very important ingredient, critical almost)
  12. Salt and pepper (to taste)


Begin with the skewers! Put the skewers in the long (baking) dish with 2 sprigs of rosemary and 3-4 sprigs of thyme (don’t bother plucking these). Then add 5 tablespoons of white wine and ensure your skewers are and herbs are soaking in the wine (to transfer the flavour of course). Set this aside for 1-2 hours. This imparts some flavour to the wood and prevents them from burning up when you cook the meat, plus the centre of the meat also get kickass flavour.

Next onto the pork tenderloins. If you bought a fresh cut of pork, you will notice some white stuff on the pork. This is a kind of fat/tendon that doesn’t become soft, no matter how much you cook it. So cut it off and keep it aside to cook for your dog later, because even though it’s got a lot of flavour your dog will like it more than you! For the chicken guys, do the same with the chicken to ensure its lean and healthy, but don’t feed that fat to your dog. (Also, use that band-aid once you’re done here.) Once you have cleaned the meat, cut it into chunks that are about 2-3 cm wide and place it in the large mixing bowl. Get your goggles out and chop that onion into quarters. Separate the layers of each quarter and put it into the mixing bowl with the meat.

Now comes Chef Aki’s famous marinade! Put 5 tablespoons of olive oil and white wine vinegar into the mixing bowl with the meat and onions. Take 3 sprigs of rosemary and 3-4 of thyme, but this time pluck the leaves off the branches, chop them into smaller leaves and add it to the large mixing bowl. Dice 2 cloves of  garlic and add it to the marinade. Mix the meat and onions well with the marinade. Your meat prep is done! Set aside for at least 30 minutes in a cool place (fridge probably), where you might notice the meat turning white. This is normal because it’s the white wine vinegar acting and not the meat. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Lets get started with the Tsatziki sauce – a traditional greek sauce served with meats as a dip or on top of the meat. Peel the cucumber and then grate it into long thin pieces (you know, like cheese). Place this into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and set it aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the s**t out of finely diced garlic add 3 tablespoons of olive oil till you can see no trace of garlic. Alternatively, put those two in a bowl and then press on it with a spoon to squish the garlic until it becomes small enough where you don’t care anymore (with perseverance this works acceptably, haha) but make sure  you mix the olive oil and the garlic well. Then, take 5 cups of greek yogurt into the medium mixing bowl and add the olive oil and garlic mixture to it. Add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to this and mix it up. Take the mixture and put it in a cloth and drain all the liquid out of it. OR if you don’t want to add another cloth to your laundry pile, use a fine colander/sieve and drain your mixture in that. Meanwhile, use some paper towels to press down on the cucumber and squeeze the liquid out. Take this cucumber and add it to the yogurt mixture. Your sauce is almost done! Last step in the sauce is the dill. Take 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill, remove the leaves from the sprigs, and add it to the sauce. Yay, your Tsatziki sauce is done! You can also use this sauce as a dip for parties and stuff. Or like me, eat it with Tortilla chips and Lays.

Time to take a break while your skewers soak up all that wine!

Done? Awesome. Its time to assemble and cook your souvlaki! Take the skewers and alternate a piece of meat and onion on the skewer. If you want, you can add green peppers (capsicum), cottage cheese (paneer), mushrooms or whatever else you like to your skewers. Ensure you don’t overload the skewers or they will buckle under the weight. I typically put 3-4 pieces on each skewer. Also take your pita bread out of the fridge.

Time to fire up the barbecue/grill/frying pan! Remember, let it heat up to 400F or so before you start cooking. Then spray some cooking spray or oil to prevent the meat from sticking to the grill. Cook the skewers till they are lightly browned all around. I put them on one side for 6 minutes and then flipped it for another 6 minutes on the other side. As you are cooking your meat, place the pita bread on top of the skewers and then close the lid for 2-3 minutes. This adds some flavour to the bread and warms them up too.

Pork cooked? Try one piece to see if it’s evenly pink inside. If yes, turn off your barbecue because you are DONE!

Assemble your pita bread however you like it. Chef Aki added the souvlaki, tsatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and olive oil and made it into a Souvlaki wrap with the pita bread. I skipped the tomatoes and lettuce and made me a more basic wrap. Simple right? 😛

Here’s the YouTube link for those who would rather watch the video 😀

Mrs. Jain and her Cauliflower

Hog Haunt: Glen’s Bakehouse

This was originally supposed to be posted much later, but since Arturo the great is a busy bee, her ‘Marvellous Cake’ post takes a backseat to my (Maribel’s) awesome solo post!

Most Bangaloreans (at least the ones I know) have been to or have heard of Glen’s Bakehouse. Located next the Toit, this bakery is known for their famous cupcakes, especially the red velvet ones. But I beg to differ, because as mentioned in our ‘About’ section, if you have tasted Arturo’s red velvet, then the ones at Glen’s will become a faint memory. However, I still love eating at Glen’s because of a multitude of reasons such as their quaint ambience, hot & fresh food, and its proximity to craft beer. So this Friday wasn’t any different.

This past Friday (28 Aug), I was joined at Glen’s by a very old friend of mine – Mrs. Jain. Now, Mrs. Jain is a new resident of Namma Bengaluru, making her a novice to many of the things our city is known for (an eclectic combination of pubs, bakeries, and an inherent lazy culture) and making me her de-facto tour guide (on most occasions). And after a long period of delays due to work and conflicting schedules, Mrs. Jain and I finally made our way to sample Glen’s delicacies TOGETHER. As she had heard a lot about it and had been wanting to visit them for quite a while, it was an easy Friday evening pick for us. Also, the beauty of dining with her is that I automatically choose to give vegetarian choices a fighting chance.

Meet Mrs. Jain!
Meet Mrs. Jain!

After our customary bout of gossiping, we finally chose to gorge on a Corn & Cauliflower Cheesy Bake, a Creamy Mushroom Quiche and a Cheese Croissant. We washed those calorie-rich items with another calorie-rich drink – a Chocolate Cold Coffee, topped with Whipped Cream. The food was served piping hot (to the point that the bake burnt our tongues), tasted fresh, and were just a burst of flavours. Not many people like Cauliflower, but Glen’s made that mundane vegetable into a delicious dish with just the right amount of crunch and soft texture. The croissant was soft and flaky, though it had less cheese than anticipated. Finally, the quiche was simply stunning with harmonious blend of flavours and the perfectly baked tart base. And as an accompaniment, the Cold Coffee was cold, chocolatey, and very rich! From my past experiences the other items I would recommend that one must try is their Cinnamon Sugar Roll – a mammoth dessert that requires two people to finish.

Though Glen’s has a charming and quaint cafe feel, they haven’t utilized their space very well because the tables are a tad bit too close together and if you’re admiring the cupcake stands, you are bound to be hit by the door when it swings open. Also, the service has been a little slow and lost each time I’ve been there.

And a very valid grouse that Mrs. Jain brought up was that they don’t have any eggless versions of their desserts, making it difficult for her to take any back home as she and her husband don’t eat egg. With a number of people turning vegan or are allergic to egg, having no eggless versions is no longer an option. If Glen’s solves these issues, they will watch their loyalty base exponentially increase!

Pedro’s Side Note: I agree with Maribel but a serious must have is their Glen’s Signature Coffee. Addictive and a perfect chocolatey coffee cup of happiness.

The Wisdom

Food: ****

Service: ***

Ambience: ***½

Hog Location:

Shop No.297, 100 Feet Road, II Stage, Near Toit Pub, Hoysala Nagar, Indira Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038

Tel No.: 080 4122 8773

Coorg, No Longer 252 Kms Away!

Hog Haunt: Coorg – The Restaurant

One car. 3 HUNGRY Hogs. Road Trip (Sorta) for Food. When we want food, our tums are willing to travel.

It was a Friday night (21-Aug-15) in Bangalore and it was raining (nothing new there). Add to that ‘Election Week’ and we were in for one crazy adventure. Now, you need to remember that when we started making our Friday night plans, we didn’t take into account any of the madness (very stupid of us, we know). The plan was for three ‘wise’ and hungry friends to go to Chinita and gorge on some real Mexican food. After a long day of work (we don’t just eat you know!) we bummed out at Arturo’s place for an hour or so, before finally booking our cab. That was our first big mistake.

Although it took us a while to get moving, after having one cabbie decline our request, we got our butts into an Uber cab and started our journey to Indiranagar from Jayanagar. We got stuck at every signal on our route, got hungrier by the second (meaning Arturo was contemplating gnawing on Pedro’s elbow), and took our normal nonsensical conversation to a whole new level. That was where we realized our second mistake – no snacks. (Hence, our pledge from now on – always carry food!)

We finally got to Indiranagar in about 70 minutes and as Chinita doesn’t normally take reservations, we called them as we were about to reach,and were told that there was an hour-long wait. Now, what? We were reaching the dangerous zone of ‘Hangry’ (hungry + angry) and Arturo was just about willing to jump out of the car and race towards the first open food-joint she saw.

Lucky for us, before she could jump to her death (that’s how bad the traffic was), Pedro thought about ‘Coorg – The Restaurant’. And we got lucky, because our cab guy was nice enough to weave through Indiranagar traffic in order to get us there in record time. We also think he was scared that we would eat him up.

Finally, after 90 minutes of being cooped up in a car, in the rain and horrible traffic, we climbed up the two levels of stairs into the terrace location of ‘Coorg – The Restaurant’. Standing against the backdrop of basic furniture and simplistic décor, this food-haven had a homey feeling, especially because it was adorned with relics from the owner’s house.

But the first thing Pedro did was make a beeline for the dessert i.e. Caramel Custard and homemade Coconut Souffle. Even though ‘Coorg – The Restaurant’ was a tried and tested place for her, she didn’t really get any custard the last time she was there because the boys ate it ALL and Pedro simply hates losing her dessert (like we already know).

However, before the rest of us could scope out the entire menu, we were greeted with a bright smile and a warm welcome from the owner Priya, whose last name all three of us forgot to ask. Post being assigned out table, we headed towards the food and reached food heaven even before our first bite. Food from Coorg is a meat-lover’s heaven and their menu has every dish that you could possibly associate with Coorg. They have a good spread of home-style Coorgi cooking and everyone’s welcome to eat as much as their heart desires.

Now, time to get down to the main part of this blog, the menu for that night. It goes as follows:

  1. Nuputu – Coorgi-style String Hoppers
  2. Koli Curry – Coorgi Chicken curry
  3. Pandhi Curry – the famous Coorgi Pork Curry
  4. Chili Pork  – a dry and spicy Pork dish (which Arturo might have nearly polished off)
  5. Kumbh Curry – an Oyster Mushroom gravy
  6. Kuru Curry – Vegetable curry made with small fresh beans
  7. Bolari Fry – a gravy made with Mangalore Cucumber
  8. Mango Curry – a seasonal specialty that future patrons will haveto wait till next year to try
  9. Otti – a Roti ade with mashed cooked rice
  10. Ghee Rice – which we didn’t try because we were already full by then
  11. And for dessert – the Caramel Custard and Priya’s Coconut Souffle, which Pedro couldn’t get enough of

Point to be noted: Arturo generally HATES Caramel Custard, but at ‘Coorg – The Restaurant’ she had a gluttonous helping, which is saying something!

Hogging away at Coorg!
Hogging away at Coorg!

Our parting shot – leave your diets at home, wear loose clothing, maybe even starve the whole day, because this is a food experience that is TOTALLY worth it. But remember, the place is only open from Friday to Sunday.

Another word of advice? When you go check out the food at Coorg, take a few minutes to talk to Priya as you will be treated to fascinating stories about herself, her family, the restaurant, and their regular customers (of which there is a very long and loyal list).

P.S. – Sorry vegetarians! We forgot to sample the vegetarian food as we didn’t get past the meat. However we’re sure that their veg options are just as delectable!

The Wisdom:
Food: ***** and another * from Pedro for the dessert
Service: *****
Ambience: *****

Hog Location:
477, Krishna Temple Road, 1st Stage, Off 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Phone Number: +91 9845493688

The Dessert That Bounced Away

Hog Haunt: ITC Gardenia – Ottimo

Hola amigos, Pedro and Arturo checking in for this review. This visit to Ottimo dates back to the end of May, Pedro’s birthday weekend and staycation at ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru.

(Note: Since this was a while back, our memories are quite hazy on the names of the dishes we ate but we definitely recall the experience.)

It wouldn’t have been a celebratory weekend without all the hogs, but Maribel was somewhere in Alaska/Canada celebrating her brother’s graduation (Maribel, Pedro is still holding on to that grudge!). Mind you all, Maribel got Pedro a really amazing birthday gift, so me thinks Pedro’s resilience is dwindling. And our honorary hog (who is not so wise) Scrappy joined us on Maribel’s behalf, because we never leave a fellow hog out.

The evening began with the complimentary cocktail hour; and Pedro, being the light weight she is, was loopy by the time we started the second leg of the evening – to dine in style at Ottimo. The ambience at Ottimo was classy, contemporary, and not very rustic but we grinned like fools as we strolled into the room full of herb, wine and cheese fused aromas. Pedro was like a child in a chocolate factory, and Scrappy, being the absent-minded professor, walked straight into the decoupage wall setting, almost dropping it down, What a great way to start, right? Thank god we didn’t get thrown out, saying no children allowed. Phew!

Scrappy decided to keep it simple and ordered a delectable Mushroom Risotto, which confused the crap out of her when it was plated with a couple of flowers. “Why are there flowers on my food!?” she panicked. Her face: priceless! The two of us (Arturo and Pedro, in case you have forgotten) indulged in the two pre-set 4 course meal, which ran through the theme of Old vs. New – every dish came in two variations, one traditional, the other deconstructed. We couldn’t decide on which one we wanted, so we just got both sets. We swapped, sampled and sipped (yes we had red wine paired to compliment the meal, which was far too dry for our liking, could have used a softer wine.)

General Course of Meals:

Antipasti – Carpaccio/ Tuna Pate

Prima – Ravioli and Lasagna

Secondi – Chicken and Fish

Dolci – Tiramisu

The Ottimo Hogfest
The Ottimo Hogfest

Chef Vittorio Greco made his rounds – very appreciated – and the service was good but a little slow. The food tasted great but we think the protein portions were quite small. Antipasti – scrumptious and great cuts. Ravioli and Lasagna – Not enough to be considered a Prima. Pedro and Arturo couldn’t agree on the Secondi. (Pedro: I prefered the fish; Arturo: I prefered the chicken; although it all had much too much tomato on it). Moreover, if you have complimenting sets on the same menu, they should really make sure portions are even. The more traditional version was more substantial than the deconstructed version. The plating could have been better. And when Pedro decided to break into what was the ice cream-like rock of Tiramisu, the dessert decided to bounced off her plate. (insert ‘dejected and slightly drunk face’, Pedro HATES to lose her dessert). They overfocused on the plating and not enough on the portions or how to make it easier for diners to consume.

Would we dine again at Ottimo? Possibly for a date, but our advice: stick to a-la-carte menu to really get your money’s worth.

Pedro’s side note: Having only had dessert which was Tiramisu at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, I would rate them higher on their dessert and on a better experience. Hats off to Chef Massimo Gullota at ITC Grand Chola. The tiramisu there was traditional, no fancy plating and the minute I bit into it, I had an immediate foodgasm. The layering was perfect and the alcohol blend was just right; and from the number of Tiramisus I’ve devoured, I know it’s not easy to nail. Ottimo Grand Chola definitely had their priorities in regards to food on point.

Ottimo Gardenia, hope you won’t disappoint next time.

The Wisdom:

Food: ***1/2

Service: ***1/2

Ambience: ****

Hog Location:

ITC Gardenia, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001

Tel No.: 080 2211 9898

The Right Pinch of Flavor

Hog Haunt: Mustard Ministeries

For us ‘Wise Hogs’ food is god, food is what we always want, and food is the only thing that will encourage us to venture out of our cozy cocoons and bum modes. So this Friday the 14th, we ventured out into the dazzling sunlight and trudged our way around the corner to satiate our breakfast needs and kickstart our long weekend.

Our stop was the new breakfast pace in Koramangala — Mustard Ministries. Located on 80ft Road, this cafe exudes a bright and chirpy atmosphere, what with it’s sunny colors and knickknacks spread around (exactly what we needed to wake up). We arrived just before the breakfast hour ended and were lucky enough to be treated to their diverse yet simple morning meals. I chose to have their ‘Yummilicious Appams with Veg Stew’ and a side of Chicken Sausages, while Pedro enjoyed her meat cravings with the ‘Meaty Omelette with Bacon & Sausages’ and a side of hash browns. Accompanying our meals were our much-required shot of caffeine, albeit with a few addendums i.e. a Chocolate Cappuccino & a Hazelnut Cappuccino (yes we like our sugar rush).

To sum it up, the food was out of this world. Simple and delicious, every mouthful we had was a burst of subtle flavors and treat to our tastebuds. The omelette was just the right balance of eggs and meat, the sausages were perfectly cooked, the hash browns melted in our mouth, the appams were soft & light, and the vegetable stew was a bowl full of heavenly goodness (even though the haldi turned my lip color from pink to ombre). In addition, both of our coffees were piping hot and the perfect drink to our hot meals. Needless to say, everything was inhaled in record speed!

Adding to our wonderful experience, the service staff was welcoming and ensured that there was not too much of a time lag between the order time and bringing our meals.

The only few suggestions we can make are the chairs be replaced with something more ergonomic and they add an open-seating area for a more immersive experience. Next time we go, we’re going to attack their lunch menu and probably browse through their store! And how can we forget their heavily-advertised Game Nights.

The Wisdom:

Food: *****

Service: ****

Ambience: ****

Hog Location:

1053, 1st Floor, 7th Main, 3rd Block, 80 Feet Road, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560034

Phone: 080-49652964

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