CKs Bakery Experience | Bangalore

Paneer Puff, Chicken Puff, Chicken Sausage Roll

Well, it’s been some time hasn’t it?

Nowadays it’s all about micro blogging & the traditional blogging has taken a hit!

This time we’re back with something which spans across 2 different cities. If you’ve ever been to Chennai you’ve probably tasted their baked goods as this post is dedicated to CKs Bakery & their launch in the city of Bangalore.

CKs bakery has numerous outlets throughout Chennai & now they’ve decided to enter the competitive market of Bangalore. The parent company is Cavin Kare Pvt. Ltd. Which is famous for its milk shakes & other products. CKs bakery has a number of specialties which we’ll be talking about in this post. They are also present in the cities of Hyderabad, Cochin, Trichy & Madurai.

They’ve opened 3 outlets in Bangalore, 2 of which are in Electronic city & Banaswadi. We visited the former & we are delighted with the experience. Starting with the location, their store is located near Velankani in Electronic city phase 1 & is pretty noticeable. The store might not be big on size, but it definitely has other qualities which makes up for it.

CKs bakery is famous for its Paninis, sandwiches, wraps & pocket friendly confectionary items & why wouldn’t they be? We tried it, & we loved each & every one of them.
We tried the Chicken Puff, Paneer Puff, Chicken Sausage Roll, Butter Chicken Panini, Chicken Tikka Wrap for baked goodies & the Black Forest, Butterscotch & Choco Truffle pastries.

We even tried their classic Vanilla Milkshake & boy that’s a delight! It goes very well with their handmade Coconut cookies.

We’ll keep this short & sweet as we had promised before. Starting with the highlights:

Darker: Chicken Samosa Lighter: Veg Samosa

Butter Chicken Panini

Black Forest, Butterscotch & Choco Truffle Pastries

All of their items are super pocket friendly. They are high on quality, taste & very reasonable on the pricing. All the confectionery items were brilliantly made & delicious. They re-kindled childhood memories to be honest. The Panini bread has a crunch to it & the creamy butter chicken stuffing does wonders. All of their puffs have ample amount of filling & they are good enough to clean your plate.

The cakes/pastries have distinct flavors & have 60% less crème than other pastries that we’ve had. It actually has more cake & that’s what we’ve had growing up. We’ll just say that we loved it. The rest of the feeling cannot be conveyed but only replicated.

What’s more? It actually takes them 10 minutes to deliver cakes to customers when they order one at their store. Seriously, 10 minutes! There is a see through cabin where the cake is prepared fresh in front of the customer. Now, that develops serious customer trust.

A variety of offerings from CKs Bakery

They maintain proper hygiene & we must say that we’re going to visit them pretty often. The only feedback which we had for them is with their wraps. We feel that they can be made better, as they are a bit too thin & lack sufficient stuffing. Taste wise, no complaints.

That’s all from our side. The overall feedback would be that whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right. In our short visit of about an hour we could see a good inflow of customers & that’s very good to see.

Do visit these guys to try out their offerings & let us know about your experience. From what we think, you’ll not be disappointed at all ;).

Till then—keep calm, have cake & bon apetit!

Next Stop Kolkata Street Food Festival @ The Monkey Bar

Fish Roll

It is always a great feeling if one catches a glimpse of their rich cultural heritage on display in a faraway land.

This time of the year is where all the festivities begin & we as Bengalis mostly talk about the festival of festivals: Durga Pujo.

This post is dedicated to the ongoing Next Stop Kolkata food festival across all Monkey Bar outlets in the country where certain handpicked street food specialties of Kolkata are being served.

Bengali culture has a variety of aspects and it is very well known that food is extremely important to us. Moreover, the street food in Kolkata has an influence of multiple cultures unlike any other Indian city.

We were a part of the preview & we were impressed at the amount of research conducted before putting up the final menu. The festival lasts till the 21st of October & aims to hit the emotions of Bengalis living away from Kolkata. For those who have never indulged in these, it’s time!  

Now coming down to what we tried:

Beadon Street Fish Roll, Girish Park Shoitan Deem, Chitpur road Chicken Rezala, Esplanade Mughlai Porota, Vardaan Market Moong Daal Pakodi Chaat & the Vivekananda Park Ghooghni.

We also tried a couple of cocktails which are a part of the menu.

The full menu consists of 4 other items which can be seen in the menu which we’ve put up.

The fish rolls in Kolkata typically consists of thin slices of Kolkata Bhetki, stuffed with a mixture of curried fish/prawns & vegetables. It is always served with Kasundi mustard. Here, in all cases there were some adaptations based on multiple factors, mainly because this is going to be in a bar menu. The actual fish rolls are generally bigger in size but they’ve replicated the taste remarkably & made them bite sized.

The Shoitan Deem is a hybrid of scotch eggs & Egg devils available in the streets of Kolkata. A well done Dimer Chop (Egg chop) will blow your mind! This was impressive with the runny yolk (6 min eggs) & the shammi kebab filling but it isn’t quite there. Moreover, egg devils are generally light on the stomach. This is not. Highly recommended for meat lovers.

Shoitaan Deem

The entire spread
Moong Daal Pakodi Chaat

The Rezala was our favourite! The delicate flavor & the traditional triangle parathas took us back a thousand kilometers. The white curry was aromatic & not so rich. Making the gravy richer would have enhanced the taste but it would’ve lost the “street food” touch. Very well executed & highly recommended. The meat was well done as expected.

We had mixed feelings about the Mughlai Porota. Although typically, Esplanade Mughlai Porotas are famous for being made with duck eggs, in this case considering different palates they were made with normal eggs. In the iconic shops, they are deep fried & very oily but here they are sautéed on a tawa & not much excess oil. The crunch was missing though. The taste of the potatoes were spot on.

Lastly, the Ghooghni & the Daal Pakodi chaat are ingredient based. These guys did their homework well & it tasted as good as the real thing. The ghooghni won the race because the Chutney in the Chaat needed to be more Khatta as the sweetness was perfect.

Ghooghni with  Phuchka Pani Capriojka

Chicken Rezala with triangle Paratha
Mughlai Porota with Thanda Cha 

About the drinks: we tried the Thaanda Cha which is quality Darjeeling tea with a tickling kick of Vodka.

The 2nd drink we tried was the Phuchka Pani Capriojka which was truly brilliant. It had a great balance between the Vodka, the Gondhoraj lebu & the Phuchka jol. The mixing was done perfectly & it goes very well with the items on the menu.

That’s all we tried, but we’re surely going to visit to try the Pork & Prawn Dumplings!
This festival is running across Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai & Bangalore & we would definitely recommend a visit.

We have our roots in Kolkata & felt the deviations but criticism aside, they’ve done an amazing job.

Do let us know about your experience if you visit!

We’ll be back soon with more news on grub.

Till then—believe in good food & bon apetit!

Tiki moments of truth with Three Dots and a Dash

Personalized experience is the order of the day for restaurants and pubs with growing set of millennials partying out to shove off the week’s stress. And it is surely going to disrupt the pub culture in India. Those who wish to reach out better to the target audience, take a leaf out of Three Dots and a Dash’s book. Think about it. There are just so many options providing happy hours, DJ nights and so on. You need to differentiate to stand out of the crowd. Saying it loud is easy, but hitting the right chord with the millennials requires a differentiated experience – probably the Hawaiian theme at Three Dots providing a tropically uplifting party ambience clearly makes a point.

The new outlet of J P Nagar at the heart of South Bangalore has lots of open space that gives every audience a sense of privacy. The interiors ensure a relatable Hawaiian party theme. The diverse group of patrons are all dressed in Hawaiian themed shirts and trousers. You may visit during off-hours if you wish. This is certainly not a place for a quick drink. One needs to enjoy the relaxed vibe, the amazing Tiki cocktails and delicious platters, the accompanying music and classy décor to soak up the Aloha spirit.

I started off with one from the chef-recommended Tiki cocktails – the Fog Cutter. A unique combination of three spirits, this one had a unique aroma and classy presentation in a fresh coconut with a sunflower on top with the fuming dry ice in its base. The taste was a bit on the tangy and mildly sweeter side with the orange and pineapple juices gelling nicely with the spirits and the flavor from the tender coconut.

Fog Cutter (on left) and Dead Reckoning – two classic Tiki cocktails that should be on your wishlist

The next on the menu was The Forbidden Island. The specialty of this masterpiece lies in the concoction of vodka and white rum, gin, brandy and the touch of Red Bull and apple juice. It’s quite neat to whack someone out if he/she is not familiar with strong cocktails. It came in the classic Forbidden Island Tiki mug – one you might have in your showroom for décor.
The Forbidden Island – a signature cocktail to get you in the groove
I also decided to try out some of their delicious dishes from a varied range of cuisines.
Beet Beet Zing Kebab - one for the veg tandoor lovers who wanna get out of mundane paneer tikkas
The first of so many was the chef’s special Beet Beet Zing Kebab. The dish is not at all spicy (base prepared with mashed beetroot) and complements the Tiki drinks nicely with its taste and aromatic spices. The Peanut Tikki is another veg delicacy that should find a place alongside Tiki cocktails.

If you are one of the “carne” cravers, here comes your wishlist. I tried (rather it brought out the glutton in me :-p) the Almond Yogurt Kebab (chicken) and it was really tender and one of the juiciest chunks of chicken I ever had. The secret marination certainly made its mark. It’s a dry tandoor starter with a savoury taste.

Almond Yogurt Kebab (Chicken) – a delicious chicken starter that will never disappoint your palettes

The chicken wrapped prawn was served hot from the station next. Rich taste and succulent prawns would help you relate to the classic bacon-wrapped prawns also available on the menu.
Chicken Wrapped Prawns – one for the seafood lovers
 I jumped to the main course straight after and it was time for some pizza. Gone are the days of the likes of cheese bursts and thick crusts. The chef introduced himself proudly as the hot Cottage Cheese Tikka was laid down on the table. The palatable thin crust and the succulent toppings marinated with tikka sauce were incredibly coupled to prepare one of the best pizzas I ever had. This or any other option from the pizza chart is a must-try if you are fond of classic Italian pizzas.

Go Italian with the thin crust Cottage Cheese Tikka (veg)

Next up was Chicken noodles. I am not too fond of flat noodles, but the presentation and aroma was compelling. I tried it out and the taste was pretty good with the accompanying Hawaiian Pork Curry. You should definitely try out this spicy main course if you have a taste for spicy pork. The succulent combination of bone, fat and meat is so perfect (this is where I find many of the signature dishes from other restaurants average with disproportionate measures), that I could not resist gorging on it. The X-factor: a chance to have the chef customize the level of spice just to suit your taste buds perfectly.
Hawaiian Pork Curry - a chef's masterpiece
With all the spices nicely blended in, I had to cool everything off with the Tiki Tower – a cocktail prepared carefully with variants of rum and fresh melon by the expert patron. I was extremely happy with the waiting time at Three Dots and a Dash, which is generally high for a crowded Tiki bar as each and every cocktail requires care and curation time.

The Tiki Tower - something to cool you down after a mouthful of Hawaiian spices
To me each of the vast exotic tiki drinks has a personality of its own. From taste to presentation to affordability, I find each of them a must-have.
Time for desserts. The chef promised us a delectable experience with the Nutella Banana Empanadas with Ice Cream (with a toothsome cherry topping) and it surely lived up to its expectations. Afraid of too much sweets? This one’s perfectly suited for you. I also tried out Butter Raisin Cake, again a not-so-sweet delectable experience that would nicely sum up the 4-course meal on a cozy relaxed afternoon.
One for the dessert-lovers: Nutella Banana Empanadas with Ice Cream
 I am sure Three Dots and a Dash had many more treasures hidden in their Hawaiian chest, but I had to calm my cravings as nearly 4 hours went by in this gastronomical exploration. This is a must-visit for all who crave for a tropical exploration to the beach-side with a Tiki cocktail in hand.

Delectable Meat & Grills @ On The Rocks | Crowne Plaza Adyar Park | Chennai

Grilled Tenderloin on the rocks

It is a known fact that alcohol goes well with meat, be it white or red. Plenty of people prefer their drinks in a certain way & we recently enjoyed our meat in that way. Surprised?

We were too! Now, confirming our lines of thought: we tried our meat on the rocks. Stone minced meat & cooking meat on a hot stone is practiced in many parts of the world, but what we tried had a twist. Ever seen a thick fillet of beef cooked on a piece of volcanic rock under 5 minutes? Well, that’s what we are talking about ;)

This post is all about our dining experience at On The Rocks, Crowne Plaza Adyar Park, Chennai. They have an exclusive bar at the ground level & a family dining area at the +1. They focus mainly on their grills & wine pairings & they are of a different league.
Coming down to what we tried:

The 5 meat course on the plate & the tenderloin on the rocks: short & sweet isn’t it?
Each course has a soup/salad accompaniment. We tried the salad & Chicken & Thyme soup. The salad had the right balance between greens & citrus elements. On top of that it had feta, cherry tomatoes & pomegranate seeds/nuts as the crunchy element.
The soup was a clear broth soup with loads of vegetables & chicken. It captured all the natural flavors & it was an absolute treat.

On the rocks:

The volcanic stone is heated to about 200 degree Celsius & because of its properties, it remains hot. First, some rosemary & rock salt is scattered on it & then the thick tenderloin fillet. The meat has to be turned periodically to avoid overcooking certain portions. It has a red wine jus for adding while cooking. We had it medium rare & accompanied with a blue cheese sauce & vegetables it is a complete meal. This was one of the best tenderloin steaks we’ve had till date.

Mocktails with bread & accompaniments

 Stone cooked Tenderloin

On the plate:

Well, this is a meat eater’s paradise with 5 different types of meat being served one after the other. The red meat is paired with a Shiraz. The 5 being: Chicken, Duck, Lamb, Tenderloin & Tiger Prawns. Except for the lamb which was slightly overdone, all of them were cooked to perfection. The chicken & duck paired well with the BBQ sauce which was served. The duck is a special variant from Thailand & was plain grilled without marination. For the red meats, a different sauce was served & as expected, the pairing was perfect. Lastly, the prawns were huge in size but the best in taste. It was partially caramelized on the outside & it was juicy on the inside. Kudos to the chef. 

We tried a mocktail before the meat came in: It was pineapple based with vanilla ice cream. It was mildly sweet & the consistency was just right.

Grilled chicken on the plate

Grilled Lamb on the plate

Grilled tenderloin on the plate

Grilled tiger prawns on the plate

Grilled duck on the plate

Lastly, for dessert we tried a couple of items, the names of which we do not remember exactly.

There was a coffee crème brulee with the perfect crack, served with figs & an almond biscuit. It had the right amount of sweetness & balance of flavor. The chocolate delice was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It has a velvety texture outside & a creamy texture inside, but fully chocolate. A must try for chocolate lovers.

That’s all folks!

Chocolate Delice

Coffee creme brulee

It was a really special evening with varied conversations & the dining experience wouldn’t have been the same without it.

The items mentioned above are carefully crafted to perfection & are definitely worth a shot. Don’t complain to us if you get cravings all of a sudden though ;). Do enjoy the visuals & let us know about your experience if you visit.

Till then—stay tuned & bon apetit!

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