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 To describe my experience at Shivaji Military Hotel I would have to go back to a conversation. When filming for an episode of FoodMad in Hyderabad with Rocky and Mayur we were between shoot as usual hung up on a food conversation. That’s when Rocky tells me of the amazing Biryani he had at Shivaji Miltary hotel when long back he had been shooting for HOMP. I told myself then “Take a mental note, this is one hotel to visit when in Bangalore.”
Shivaji Military Hotel 1

But the thought seemed to have been long lost in my memories when I hadn’t visited Bangalore for quite sometime. During my recent visit, soon as I landed I headed over to a friend’s house. Though tired off the bus journey and his home being in Old Airport Road, he suggested that for lunch that we go to Shivaji Military Hotel. That’s when I got excited and remembered the promise to myself I had taken a long time back to visit this establishment.

Shivaji Military Hotel

So off we were on the bike criss-crossing through the traffic all the way to Jayanagar to get our fix off the Donne Biryani. Now even though we too had to use the maps and still did find it a little difficult to locate but the easiest is to look for the Indian Oil Petrol Pump and the lane with Shivaji Military Hotel is right opposite that. Now the crowd wasn’t immense as expected and we were guided to our table shortly. So first orders off the single page pamphlet-like menu was for the Mutton Fry and a Chicken Donne Biryani.

Served On Dry Leaf Paper Plates

The table had been cleaned from the before customers leftovers neatly and a new leaf had been set for us to partake. A service waiter walks around handing out cups and filling with Rasam for the Biryani. The ‘Rasam’ served is mostly Chicken and Mutton Stock and goes extremely well with the Donne Biryani. The Mutton Dry arrived in no time and was the best goddamn Mutton Dry I had in a long time. We both were left munching on the gorgeous succulent mutton and forgot about taking a break in between altogether.

Mutton Dry

The Chicken Biryani was full of flavors and the aroma of it all hit my nostrils soon as the ‘donna’ was placed in front of me. “Donne” means big sized cups /bowls made from areca nut palm leaf . These are eco friendly disposable plates and cups. As Biryani is served on these plates/bowls it is popularly known as “Donne Biryani”. Unlike authentic biryani’s, this biryani is not layered nor cooked in dum. This is very similar to preparing any Pulao but its cooked with mutton/chicken stock. But all the flavors envelope every single grain of rice. The best taste actually turned out to be mixing the Biryani with the rasam and a squeeze of the lemon wedge given along with.

Mutton Donne Biryani

Now what we ordered wasn’t enough obviously and so we called out to the waiter to get another donne of the Mutton Biryani and Chicken Dry. The Chicken Dry was lip-smacking good. With loads of the curry leaves, it had a nice tangy south-Indianish flavor to it. The Mutton Biryani seemed to have been just cooked and was piping hot while served. The flavors hadn’t penetrated enough yet and the mutton still required some time to soak in the stock.

Chicken Fry

I wouldn’t classify what I had at Shivaji Military Hotel to be Biryani but more leaning towards Pulao. But to have not gone to Shivaji would be a missing out on some great stuff that they be serving out to the people from the time of the Military Cantonments to the common man. Dining at Shivaji Military Hotel is an experience. The recipes are a close guarded secret and only passed on thorough generations in the family. I still salivate thinking of the amazing Mutton Dry I had in Shivaji Military Hotel and will go back no matter the distance to have another piece of it.

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It’s the time of festivities all around the country. We welcome the festival of Baisakh in our special way around this time. Many festivals culminate on this day with the Tamils and Bengalis have their New Year, the Odias have their Pana Sankarathi, Assamese with their Bohag Bihu and Punjabis have the Baishakhi. Keeping up with traditions, Sheraton Bangalore has come up with a unique and traditional menu to celebrate Baisakhi this year.

The Baisakhi spread at Sheraton is at their specialty restaurant, Feast. And let me tell you personally this is one feast you’ll never forget. It’s humongous that you can’t try all the dishes in one visit. There are so many options laid out that even a foodie like me had a hard time choosing what to eat next. This was a Feast in the truest sense.

Feast

As soon as we entered into the dining area we were welcomed with a welcome drink in Beer bottles. The hatke twist was the beer bottles filled in a charming and innovative way and had Salted Lassi. The Baisakhi festivities now were on, that we had our sip of lassi, “shan se.” This definitely laid a good expectation and I wasn’t disappointed as to what followed after.

Welcome Drinks

As we took our seats at the table the manager introduced us to the Chef Qureshi and Chef Maqsood Mohammed who have curated the entire spread. During the tête-à-tête with the chefs they explained, that they have 2 different menu that is alternated every other day. This gives guests variety and also opportunity to sample different items with every visit.

In Conversation With The Chefs

The environment had been pumped up just to feel the true Punjabi flavor and the Baisakhi spirit. The staff had donned the brightest colours and put on the traditional attire. After a brief walk around the huge spread I finally settled at the table and started off with some vegetarian for a change. The Tandoori Gobi had been perfectly marinated before going into the tandoor. It tasted really good but the best among the vegetarian starters was the Bharwan de Paneer Tikka. And inside the Bharwan de Paneer Tikka, the exquisiteness was in their stuffing that made it unique. A delicate stuffing of dry fruits felt like an explosion of flavours once in the mouth. The Rajma de Tikki was nice but following up after the Paneer Tikka it was hard replacing the goodness that I had moments before.

Starter Menu

The flavour of most of the dishes that I had on my plate were truly authentic. And it was time to finally move on towards the non-vegetarians component of the starters. The Bhatti de Kukkad which was actually made by warriors and rediscovered in the bylanes of Amritsar is the perfect example of good things come in small packages. The kebab was succulent, juicy and spicy in the right proportions. The Mutton Seekh Kebab was very pleasing with the ground spices in the minced meat done perfectly.

Starters At The Table

The main course spread laid out at Sheraton Bangalore is one meant for kings. I couldn’t have much from the main course because I was partially filled up from the starters that night. Steamed Rice went good with Rara de Meat and Bhuna de Kukkad. The meats was so perfectly cooked that they were almost falling off the bone, so juicy and that made the meal so much more enjoyable.

Rara de Meat

Now to the specialities that I thoroughly enjoyed at Feast. And that was the live station which served the Sarson ki Saag with Makai and Bajra ki Roti. Now Bajra ki Roti has never really been my thing. I find it too hard to chew but the one served that night were actually thin and much better. The sarson ka saag though needs a little bit of work to elevate it.

Live Counters

The dessert spread was huge. They had something for everyone. Started off with the Suji de Katli and made my way to the star of the night, the Fruit Phirni. I have had my fair share of phirnis but the one I had right in front of me that night at Sheraton was splendid. Desserts are my best part of the meal and my sweet tooth was enjoying it all. The Jalebi and Rabri was fabulous but with such an enormous dessert menu it was hard to get through them all. So to end it all I grabbed my cold stone ice-cream creation of my choice to end it all.

Fruit Phirnis

The Baisakhi festival in on at Sheraton Bangalore from 10th-19th April 2015. They sum up the tagline ‘Come relive Punjab with us’ in the perfect sense. Including the Baisakhi Festival menu, there also is the regular Continental and Chinese dishes part of the buffet too.

Baisakhi

Address:

Sheraton Bangalore Hotel
Brigade Gateway, 26/1, Dr.Rajkumar Road, Rajajinagar, Malleshwaram
Ph: 080 42521000 / 9008302545

Photo Credit By FD Team : Subhasis Jethy

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The person who uttered the wise words “There’s always something happening over a glass of beer” was right on so many levels. The feeling of having a glass of crisp, freshly-brewed beer in your hands, smashingly delicious finger food in front of you and conversations to get you going glass after glass is a feeling like no other.

Conversations Over Beer

So what gets a Microbrewery culture going in Bangalore with many breweries being set up across the Garden City? It’s more of the experience, the combination of food with freshly crafted frothy liquid goldenness which makes it appetizing. The IT Capital is slowly turning out to be the unofficial Beer Capital of India what with thanks to various microbreweries.

Dishing Out The Cool Music

Here’s our look at the beer culture that Bangalore has revolutionized onto. Mad over beer lovers that we are, makes us want to do a trip down to this beautiful city just for the excuse of visiting the various breweries. Yes, the microbrewery uprising might have started out at The Biere Club which has very a good selection of fresh beers but we settle for two others which have become our regular favorite guzzling grounds.

Toit Interiors

Toit – The moment you enter through Toit doors the atmosphere breathes energy and the music gets to your feet at the very instant. The microbrewery in Indiranagar boasts of a regular customer with us to be counted among them with more focus on their beers like first love. Interiors done in an English pub setting with a very good selection of rock numbers playing in the background this place has the most amazing craft beers.

Chicken Lasagna At Toit

Six of the craft beers being the Dark Knight, Colonial Toit, Basmati Blonde, Toit Red, Tintin Toit and Toit Weiss being regulars on the menu they have seasonal flavors as well. We loved the Litchi and Apple Cider ones the last time we visited from their festive menu.

Beer Samplers - Toit

The best part is a visit to the Mocktails page which actually might give you a good laugh with quirky drinks like The G-String and Indian Doctor’s Prescription drinks on the menu.

Mocktails

The food is least to be disappointed about with the Baked Mac and Cheese and Prawns on Fire being the absolute standouts.

Baked Mac 'N' Cheese - Toit

Our Picks: Colonial Toit, Tintin Toit, Toit Weiss, Apple Cider and the Hefeiweizen. Dark Knight with it’s black coffee flavors isn’t for everyone. Recommended to try the beer platter before settling for the best one as per tastes.

Prawns On Fire - Toit

Toit
298, 100 Ft Road,
Indira Nagar II Stage
Contact: +91 901 971 3388, +91 901 981 3388

Website: http://toit.in/
Arbor Brewing Company – Old school wooden benches and light bulbs overhanging and the lovely sound of beer fizz as it escapes the tall glass. What more could Beer Aficionados ask for? Overlooking the Garuda Mall in bustling Brigade Road, ABC Brewpub, the Indian cousin of the famous Arbor Brewpub in Ann Arbor can be a bit hard to find if going the first time.

Arbor Beer Samplers

It’s on the 3rd floor of the complex and as soon as you enter and notice the huge vats of beer being brewed, you know you stepped into Beer Heaven. It’s India’s first American Craft brewery with the concept of pairing food and beer together.

Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich At ABC

Having up to eight regular flavors on the menu with other beautifully crafted varietals being a regular, it boasts of a beer menu like no other. The Food Menu is also vast as the beer selections. The Spicy Fried Calamari and Flaming Chicken Wings are not to be missed.

Chicken Wings -  ABC

Our Picks: Raging Elephant, Phat Abbot, Spiced Ale, Pilsner and IPA

Heavenly Drumsticks -  ABC

Arbor Brewing Company
8, 3rd Floor, Allied Grande Plaza, Opposite Home Stop,
Magrath Road, Brigade Road
Contact:
080 50 144477

Website: www.arborbrewing.com

The other notable Beer places around town are Prost Brewpub, Barleyz and Windmills Craftworks. Reservation is a must on weekends for most of the breweries.

So before we do end up with a case Cenosillicaphobia, let’s be ordering another round of drinks for our tables and there’s the “Cheers”. Drink responsibly and do give share some gyaan once a bit high with your fellow mates.

The Right Lady For You, Eh

Photos By: Abhishek Mishra and FD

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