Food review

The Grand Indian Thali

Mangalore has recently seen an upsurge of eateries from quaint little cafes to fine dining restaurants. However, there is always a dearth of places that cater to the large vegetarian population. The Grand Indian Thali created a lot of hype stating that they provide authentic vegetarian, unlimited thalis and I HAD TO check it out.

Where

The Grand Indian Thali is located at the 4th floor of City Centre Mall in K. S. Rao road, Mangalore. It is next to Cinepolis in the place that was earlier occupied by Kobe Sizzlers.


The menu here changes everyday and they offer a wide range of starters, main and

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The Menu at The Grand Indian Thali

desserts.

We visited on a Sunday for the dinner service and it could not have gone better.

The meal started with a welcome drink of Khatta Meeta Watermelon Juice followed by Samosa, Pani Puri, Masala Papdi and Dahi Puri for starters. They were served with three kinds of chutneys- Kajoor Chutney, Mustard Chutney and Green Mint Chutney. An additional Imli Chutney was also on offer. I loved the Kajoor and Imli Chutneys but the mustard was too pungent for my palate.

Next came the salad comprising of freshly cut cucumbers and carrots which were a little confusing and seemed to serve the purpose of filling us up on fiber but combined with the Chutneys, they were also consumed with gusto.

The main course consisted of Kadai Paneer, Jeera Aloo, Palak Mushroom, Punjabi Rajma and Mixed Veg. I am a huge fan of Rajma and this elated my senses like no other. It was my favourite main course and I used it to accompany all of the roti courses. Three types of rotis- Phulka, Gobi Paratha and Ajwaini Puri were served piping hot. The Ajwaini Puri was my favourite with its subtle taste of carom seeds. We even asked for extras of the puri.

Next came the rice course of Pulao with cucumber Raitha, Steamed Rice and Curd Rice with Mango Pickle. The Pulao was wonderfully balanced and the Raitha was the perfect combination to it. The curd Rice however was a tad bitter owing to the mismanagement of tempering.

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The main course and rotis

We next moved to the desserts that were calling out to us ever since we read the menu. The Anguri Gulab Jamoon was not really ‘Anguri’ but that was forgiven because it tasted really great. But the star of the show were the Shrikand and the Coconut Cham Cham. The Shrikand tasted homemade and was not at all sour like all the shrikand available in the market. It was not over-sweetened nor was it too milky. The cham cham on the other hand was sweet but when combined with the flavoured almond and pista milk, it was one of the best that I have ever tasted.

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The desserts on offer

All the dishes had a very authentic taste and were not overly spicy. They were made and served with love and the staff is very friendly, helpful and courteous. I loved the entire experience and the unlimited thali is a great value for money.


What are some of your favourite vegetarian dishes? Tell me in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

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Food review

Diesel Cafe

Diesel Cafe is one of the first trendy cafes to be established in Mangalore. It is managed by the Hotel Prestige management and has a assortment of books and games for people to relax with. They have recently updated their menu following the refurbishment that happened and we decided to try the new things that they had to offer.

Where

Diesel Cafe is located in the same building as Hotel Prestige in Collector’s Gate in Mangalore.


We started the meal with a Lemon Iced Tea which was true to its ‘lemony’ name but a tad too sweet.

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Lemon Iced Tea

We ordered the Sumo’s Ring (Assorted tempura vegetables with trio of dips) for starters.

Sumo’s Rings

I am a big fan of tempura anything and this managed to wow me as well. The vegetables were well cooked on the inside and the tempura batter was fried to a crisp. The dipping sauces were a perfect combination of creamy mayo and spicy soy sauce. There was also a bowl of thinly sliced, treated ginger which was pink in color and quite mild and provided the much needed palate relief.

The Burger was served with a side of fries and cole slaw and was very generous.

The Burger

The Pizzas on the menu are thin crust and have the option of combining two different types which is a great relief. We often find the need to try different toppings on the pizzas and this offers a great alternative to wasting food. My half of Mac and Cheddar (our take on the Italian Classic) arrived with macaroni pasta on top of a very cheesy pizza. I wish it also had some other classic pizza toppings of olives or tomatoes as there was a lot of pizza left blank.

Half and half Pizza

 

Next came my favourite part of the meal- the Pesto Cream (Basil, nut based sauce) with penne pasta. It was served with bread and rose petals and was deliciously creamy and the quantity was large enough to serve as a stand alone meal.

Pesto Cream Penne Pasta

 

They also serve breakfast all day.

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The breakfast menu at Diesel Cafe

The Spanish Omelette (Bell peppers, fresh mozzarella, potato, spinach, onion) was very hearty. The Epic Waffle (Nutella, chocolate chips, crunchy cashew nuts) was cloyingly sweet yet fun to eat.


What I liked

  1. The ambiance and the service is impeccable.
  2. The menu has improved both in its quantity and in its quality

What I did not like

The pricing is way over the top for a city like Mangalore. They do provide quality service and top notch dishes but the pricing makes us rethink the possibility of visiting the place unless there is a reason to celebrate.


What is your favourite thing at Diesel Cafe? Tell me more in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

Food review

Thyme

Thyme is a part of the Spindrift management and is promoted as a family friendly place.

Our small effort to spread the love for craft beers and food to everyone

Where

Thyme is located on the 4th floor in Bharat Mall in Bejai, Mangalore.


We visited Thyme on a Saturday afternoon. It was told to us that we would need a reservation on the weekends but we found it relatively empty.

The menu is quite extensive and we spent a good 15 minutes deciding the best way

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Thyme Special Iced Tea

to tackle it. We finally decided to start with some drinks. the Thyme Special Iced Tea was

 

iced tea with orange juice, garnished with basil, oranges and cherry. It was well balanced and not too sweet. the Green Fizz

was a fizzy lemon drink flavoured with green apple syrup. It tasted quite artificial and I didn’t particularly like it.

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Green Fizz

For the first course we chose the Chimichanga- A Mexican version of spring

Chimichanga

roll, from the ‘Continental and Fusion Starters’ part of the menu. It was crispy on the outside and had very generous filing on the inside. It was served with a very yummy dip and a salad of sorts.

We next ordered the Veg Ranchira with

Cilantro Rice for our main course. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal. It consisted of well seasoned rice with a sauce and veggies that balanced it. Not recommended for people who like their meals spicy but it was perfect for me.

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Veg Ranchira with Cilantro Rice

They have a variety of very unique deserts like the Chai Potli Creme Brulee, the Gulab Jamoon Cheese Cake and the Chocolate Ras Malai Terrine.

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Creme Brulee for dessert

Our pick, the Creme Brulee arrived in an authentic ramekin with the caramalized layer already in place. It would have added a spot of drama if the waiter could have brought a blowtorch to the table to form the crust as they do in several other places. The caramel crust on top was a little too thick and a little too bitter but when eaten with the pudding below, it sufficed to satisfy my sweet tooth.


Things that I liked

  1. The variety in their menu: We would definitely need multiple visits just to try the different parts of their menu.
  2. The view: We were seated next to the french windows which offered a view to the street below and the sea at the horizon. It added to the great food experience.
  3. The main course: It is one of my favourite rice dishes and it will surely be one of the things that I will order regularly here.

Things that I did not like

  1. The service could have been a little faster.
  2. The desert counter was at the entrance but could have served its role better had it been in view of the hungry patrons while they were ordering.
  3. The drinks were being made with flair but it was again hidden from the customers which did not make much sense.

Have you been to Thyme? What are some of the things that I should try next? Tell me more in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

Food review

Onesta

Your friendly neighbourhood authentic Italian pizzaria

Onesta has been the talk of the town ever since it opened its branch in Mangalore a couple of months ago. After all the hype surrounding the pizzaria in Bangalore, Mangalore also got a taste of it in January.

They boast a wide menu that ranges from starters to main courses of pizzas, breads and pastas, desserts and a variety of beverages. The eatery is always full so I recommend prior reservation especially on weekends.


Where

The Mangalore branch of Onesta is located on the 4th floor of Mak Mall adjacent to Barbeque Nation in Kankanady.


We went on a Saturday afternoon and had to wait for around 20 minutes for a table to be available but the staff was very courteous and helpful during the whole meal.

They have their regular menu as well as a “Chef Armando Special Menu”. The best part of the menu is that they mention the exact quantity of each dish and also have a disclaimer that the portions are small so that the patrons can try a wide variety of dishes.

We were given Focaccia Bread with a herb infused Mayonnaise dipping sauce as a

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Focaccia bread with herb infused mayo dipping sauce

  complimentary starter  which although was a nice gesture, filled us up before our order arrived. The bread was dense and chewy but the mayo was very yummy.

We also ordered their Herbed Wedges (Chunky herbed potato wedges served with Paprika Mayo). The wedges  arrived hot and perfectly baked and the mayonnaise ensured that it didn’t feel too dry.

We needed something to cut through the richness of the meal so a Fresh Lime Basil Fizz (A tall fizzy lemony drink with muddled fresh basil) was ordered from the beverage part of the menu. It had

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Herbed wedges with paprika mayo, Fresh lime fizz with basil

beautiful basil undertones and provided a much needed relief to the palate.

Our main course consisted of Sweet Corn, Pineapple and Cheese Thin Crust Pizza (Sweet

pineapple chunks with American corn, salty cheese and fresh basil). I expected a perfect balance of the sweet pineapple and salty cheese like it says on the menu but I was sorely disappointed. I could only taste the pizza sauce. However, I liked the crust which was very thin, even and crispy.

They have a separate section for desserts where you are allowed to look at what you want to order. We ordered the Double Chocolate Cake (Rich layers of chocolate in soft sponge) and Tiramisu (A classic

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Pineapple. corn and cheese pizza

Italian dessert with mascarpone cheese) from the regular menu and Apple Pie cake (Classic tarte apple cake) from the special menu. While I expected the double layer chocolate cake to taste very rich and chocolatey, it was just a sponge cake with two layers of chocolate cream, topped with frosting. The tiramisu was deconstructed and arrived in a tiny shot glass with one layer of coffee mousse topped with a dense mascarpone cheese layer. The biscuit and sprinkling of coffee on top were its saving grace. The apple pie cake had the perfect crust-to-filling ratio. the crust was crisp and crumbly and the filling was well balanced between the apple and cinnamon flavours. It had the authentic apple pie flavour and I would definitely order it again.


Things that I liked

  1. Variety in their menu: We are spoiled for choice and would need multiple visits to
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    Double chocolate cake, Tiramisu, Apple pie cake

    try all of what they have to offer.

  2. Customer service: All staff was very courteous, friendly and helpful.
  3. Apple pie cake: My favourite thing in the meal by a wide margin. I loved the authenticity of the dish.

Things that I did not like

  1. The eatery has a glass roof which seems very impractical in a city as sunny as Mangalore. The place is always full and needs efficient seating. The glass roof makes it had for anyone to be seated at the tables directly beneath it which should have been addressed sooner.
  2. Desserts: While the menu and the looks are tempting, the actual taste failed to impress.

Have you been to Onesta? What should I try next? Tell me in the comments below or on my Instagram @the_food_and_book_life

Food review

Mumbai Street Kitchen

Mangalore has always had a paucity of quality places that serve authentic chaats. Bhandary’s Mumbai Street Kitchen was a much-awaited eatery and I’m glad to say that it exceeds all expectations.

I have visited the place on opening day and several times since and have compiled my experience.

Where

It is located in lower ground floor of Excel Mischief Mall off K.S. Rao road in Mangalore.


Situated in the heart of the coastal town it provides a diverse menu that targets patrons across all ages and budgets. The first thing that hits home in this place is the fact that they have tried to create a ‘Mumbai feel’ with the décor reminding us of a railway station. Right from the open spaces and the names of various stations painted on their walls to the old-timey kettles and metal stands for carrying cutting chai, the place has a very laid-back feel.

The staff is always courteous, attentive and upbeat although we did find the service a tad slow on days where the place was at full capacity.

We tried a variety of South Indian and the North Indian dishes over the course of several visits and found nothing to complain.


Chaats

pani puri
Chaats that delight at Mumbai Street Kitchen. Clockwise from above: Raj Kachori, Mumbai Paani Puri and Dahi Sev Puri

The Mumbai Pani Puri served in a modern arrangement was a delight as was the Pav Baji. The Delhi Pani Puri is served in a plate made to look like the old aluminium plates found in dhabas which I adored. The Samosa Chaat and Vada Pav were a little too spicy for my taste but then, I have always had a low tolerance to spice. The Vada Pav was made just with green Chutney and masala powder which made it quite dry. I would have loved more sauces within the Pav to give it a smoother feeling.

The Dahi Puri and Dahi Sev Puri were a blessing to those who love their chaats a little sweet (read- me!). Raj Kachori was muted in taste. The Sabudana Vada was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside like a perfect Vada should be. It was, for some reason, served with Dahi but since I love my curds, I have nothing to complain about it.

South Indian menu

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Clockwise from top: Rava Masala Dosa, Sabudana Vada, Vada Pav, Dahi Puri, Buns

We also tried South Indian food like Buns and Rava Masala Dosa which were made to perfection. The usual uncooked blob of dough that is found in the centre of Buns in most of the so-called authentic South Indian restaurants was fortunately missing and they were crisp and hot, served with beautifully seasoned Sambar and Chutney. Rava Masala Dosa was wonderfully thin and crisp with the bhaji inside being well cooked and well proportioned. It was also served with the same Sambar and Chutney as the Buns.

 

Drinks

Coming to drinks, this place offers a huge collection of hot beverages, juices, milkshakes, faloodas and, for the first time in Mangalore, fresh creams. We tried the coffee and the cutting chai but found them to lack the freshness that we have come to expect of Mangalorean restaurants. The Sulaimani chai served with a side of lemon and extra sugar cubes however, exceeded my expectations.

Desserts

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Made-to-order Jalebis that arrive piping hot to your table

Bombay Badshah offers desserts in the form of Kulfis, Ice Creams and freshly made Jalebis and Rabdi. We tried the Hangyo Kulfis (mango and malai) which were true to the Hangyo flavour. The made-to-order Jalebis were our favourite part of the experience. You can watch your Jalebis being made and they are served piping hot and in a good enough quantity to leave you feeling extremely satisfied.

I have heard great things about the seetaphal fresh cream and the tender coconut fresh cream and will definitely try them the next time I visit.


Ghasitaram Bambaiwala

A walk through the glass doors leads to the Bhanday’s Ghasitaram Bambaiwala which offers a wide range of sweets and namkeens but we found them to not be in the same league as some of the best known sweet shops in Mangalore. We liked the Besan Laddoo but the Shahi Laddoo was made with a heavy hand for nutmeg. The Laung Lata and milk (Bengali) sweets too lacked freshness. Almost all of the namkeens were a little too salty for our liking and were not very crisp. With Mangaloreans being pampered with excellent sweet shops, Ghasitaram needs to up its game if it wants to play with the big boys.

On the plus side, the staff is extremely nice and very generous with free samples to taste and they did agree to specially make Diwali gifts for us with assorted dry fruits even though they were busy with other customers so I think they still have hopes for carving out a niche for themselves if they pay enough attention to detail.


Things to try the next time

My next visit to Mumbai Street Kitchen will be for their Fresh Cream and Misal Pav which are not available elsewhere in Mangalore. Their Rolls, Sandwiches and Pizzas also deserve a try.

They have also recently introduced two Thalis which look really good and are on my list to be tried the next time.


What was your favourite dish at Mumbai Street Kitchen? Have you tried the sweets and namkeens at Ghasitaram or the Thalis?

How does Mumbai Street Kitchen compare to the other similar eateries in Mangalore? Let me know in the comments below or follow me @the_food_and_book_life to know more.