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There has always been this question of Buffet Vs À la carte popped a little too many times to us when asking for recommendations to eating out. We as Indians love a good spread. After all who doesn’t want to have that extra Gulab Jamun or an extra helping of that delicious chicken curry? Thus the major conundrum in taking the decision of sticking to a buffet or À la carte.

Sea Food Platter At Olive Bistro

When thinking as a group, Buffet does make for a better option. The safest bet to take when you don’t know everyone’s palettes or tastes. It’s each man for himself, stretch, stand and shove onto plates, the food items you love. But every time after a buffet I end up with a full stomach and not so satisfied meal, I know I should have stuck to the À la carte.

Buffet 1

When going for À la carte and ordering for myself at the table I know exactly what I want and which dishes I’d want to try and moreover how to want it. Sometimes it’s a good feeling knowing that the chef in the kitchen is going to pay that extra bit of attention to making and plating my order than the food in a buffet spread, left to dry and die. I don’t have to be getting up a number of times, to pick food for my plate. Just relax back and wait for the hot piping food from the kitchen to arrive directly onto my table and be served by the waiters.

Carte 2

Economically viewing, buffets stand out quite ahead. Enjoying an unlimited array of food, laid out as you can refill anything and everything any number of times does make for a practical choice. But how many times have we at the end of the buffet realized that we never could try most of the dishes on offer? That almost everything to anything was passable at best.

Buffet 2

À la carte on the other hand, you might end up with a gratifying meal, but the bill at the end of the gastronomic journey is going to cost you. For people who dislike buffets and still have to go with a group, the next best thing is the Set Menu. You get to choose the dishes that you want to be served to the group from the menu for a set pricing and needn’t worry anymore as to having your food cold from the spread table. The waiters serve your orders at your table directly too. But this too can’t be as satisfying as an À la carte order considering that the chefs in the kitchen will have to be cooking for a gathering than a particular table.

Carte 4

In all conclusion, it is a never ending decision to be made every time a party, a get together or a dining out has to be planned. Buffets are the way to go when eating out with a large gathering. But when sticking to small company or individual, the À la carte is the pragmatic choice. It all really depends on the dining experience, the food you want to eat and what you want to tuck into that small pocket you call a stomach.

Carte 3

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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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Nestled away from the sounds and lights of the city, away from all the hustle bustle of the daily lives is a quaint little Greek Village setting overlooking the secret lake. The entrance passages are lingered with gravel and the nights aglow with lightened up pathways. Olive Bistro is a beautiful setting that has taken charm, elegance and the allure of eating out to a setting so relaxed that dining in here is not just for the food but for the experience as well.

The monsoons are just about to be over and we took a peek into their “Monsoon Menu” on offer, and must we say we are delighted. To take off an enticing journey we decided to settle on the initial soups.

Barbecued pork ribs, grilled pork sausage, mustard mayonnaise

The vegetarian section had the Farmhouse Minestrone, a very rustic take on the tomato soup with chunky vegetables, butter beans and the grainy texture of the Grana Padano cheese, topping off with a hint of Basil, this soup was definitely a good start.

The Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Broth – A mix of chicken, carrots, beans and mushrooms was very subtle and light on the palate.

Smoked Chicken and Quinoa Salad – Quinoa is an ingredient which is hard to hard to combine in a regular menu. A mix of sweet from the pomegranate and sourness from the buttermilk dressing with the iceberg lettuce, it gives the much needed freshness to the salad.

The Watermelon and Feta Salad – Quite wonderful though conventional feels crisp and all natural fresh to the tastebuds.

Apple, Pinenut And Feta Cheese Salad

The Apple, Feta and Pine Nut Salad aligns a bit on the sweeter angle.

Paprika Chicken

Appetizers on our tables included the Paprika Chicken served on skewers and the Char Grilled Pork Sausages which were the highlight for us. The sausages are made in-house and with every bite, the flavors burst in the mouth.

Char Grilled Pork Sausages

Other best items on the menu which simply wowed us were the Lamb Meatballs and the Saffron Arancini.

Saffron Arancini

Filo Wrapped Brie Cheese – The best dish which stood out, drizzled with toasted almonds and saffron honey drizzle with a light flavor of orange to it.

Filo wrapped brie, orange, tosted almond and saffron honey

The Paprika Mushroom with feta and hazelnuts stuffing with a tangy Bravas sauce is a delight.

Paprika Mushroom

Another interesting dish of the monsoon menu was the Savory Tart, served with a side of rocket, orange and tomato salad, this tart of caramelized onions and goat cheese is delectable.

Savory Tart

Confit Chicken Leg which is chicken leg marinated overnight and slow cooked and the Pan Cooked Blackened Salmon are other intriguing dishes on the new menu.

Confit Chicken Leg and Pan Seared Basa

But the item which took us by surprise were the Calzones. Stone oven baked flat breads, the Calzones make a nice accompaniment with the tomato salsa.

Calzone

Desserts, always the best part of the menu. Not going to lie, but we’re a bit put off by the mention of Eggless Pannacotta but upon being served the thoughts were put to rest but the lovely texture and fluffiness from not being prepared with egg was missing here.

Eggless Pannacotta

The Fresh Fruit Pavlova with Raspberry Coulis is like ecstasy wrapped in a small package. Gooey and fresh from all the fruits with a crunchy base. But the best dessert of all would be the Mud Cake Slice.

Fresh Fruit Pavlova

Olive Bistro for us will be more than the food alone. It’s taking a trip through an enchanting exotic setting, relaxing and breathing in the freshest of air while you are spoilt with the best of food.

Tuna Bagel

Olive Bistro
Inside Durgam Cheruvu Complex
Road No 46, Jubilee Hills
Contact: 040 69999127, 9248912347
Website: www.olivebarandkitchen.com

Pics Credit – Olive Bistro & FD.

Olive Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Cravings for a Pizza and we look at each other and go CPK in unison. The routine fare is usually the cheesy crust, the regular toppings and the same order at the nearest outlet. So you can imagine why California Pizza Kitchen has become a favorite in recent times. A new definition to word Gourmet, these pizzas are as fresh as it can be defined in a food dictionary.

So what is it about California Pizza Kitchen that has us going gaga during our recent outings? It hits all the right taste buds from the first bite. Packing in a lot of freshness, the taste of every ingredient and all the flavors topped on a beautiful thin-crust pizza and most importantly walking out completely light and happy and satisfied.

Chicken Carnitas Pizza

More of an upmarket American Diner with high chairs and conversations over Pizza making up for the most of it. Not to be of course steered away from the Akon and David Guetta tracks playing in the background but you know right from the look at the menu that this is where cheese must have finally attained peace, on the crust of pizza being dished out from the ovens in California Pizza Kitchen.

The Chipotle Grilled Chicken

Best known for serving innovative and traditional pizzas but don’t be veered away from its delicious appetizers.

The Chipotle Grilled Chicken – It’s a master dish cooked in the kitchen. Chicken Strips perfectly griddled packed with a fabulous smoky flavor from the chipotle peppers served with sides of herb ranch dressing and in-house salad is a definite must-try.

Chipotle Grilled Chicken

Spicy Chicken Supreme – Not to be steered away from is yet another appetizer that is our favorite. A typical panko coated chicken breast pieces fried and tossed in tangy barbeque sauces you could actually feel the crispiness with every bite. It might sound all regular in the description but the flavors feel so fresh when had with the tortilla salad and ranch sauce.

Spicy Chicken Supreme

Chicken Carnitas Pizza – Our usual order has been the same ever since we laid our hands on it the first time. Completely hand tossed crust pizzas topped with crisp marinated chicken strips, gouda and mozzarella cheese with the perfect layer of cilantro pesto, it is a marvelous pizza that can’t be missed.

Chicken Carnitas Pizza (1)

Watermelon Ice Tea – Accompanies our perfect meal every time. The fresh hand-crafted refreshing Watermelon Ice Tea just completes the meal. Seldom have we come across an ice tea so refreshing that has us smiling at each other with content with every sip.

Watermelon Ice Tea

Desserts…now that’s an area which is hard to not have in spite of already having one of the most satisfying meals.

Sticky Toffee Pudding – The Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the best here at California Pizza Kitchen. Hot toffee pudding with pecan nuts completely doused in rich and buttery caramel sauce is a melt in the mouth and yes it might just be a bite of heaven.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Masterchef Australia crazy? They also have a MasterChef Special Italian Menu till 18th Nov 2014 in their outlets and we sure are going to be back to try some of those already interesting sounding flavors from the enticing menu.

Damn all this writing is already making us crave for just that “one more” slice form the kitchens of California Pizza Kitchen.

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