Just Emkaying: March 2012

Mar 29, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 10

Bangalore Countdown Day 17-11 Read Here

Thanks to some quick reminders, and Foursquare, I remembered a few more places that I frequent, or at least should be frequenting. So, if you'd like you can check out these places below:

Day 10

1.Punjab Grill by Jiggs Kalra, Kormangala

Located opposite to The Forum Mall, Kormangala, is this fine dine restaurant. I have been here just once, but everything about this place is fantastic. When you enter, you're served with towels. (The wipe your face variety)  and there are these lovely sofa / fancy comfy chairs that make you go "AAAAhhhhhh" Then comes an amazing array of food thats like (slurp). Sigh. Interior Decors are awesome. Must try the Mutton Chops, and the Chicken Platter. Booze is available too. The service is prompt, prices on the higher side. However, the place has a mix of crowds, so getting the corner to yourself for a party would be difficult. Go now, and fulfill your palate!!!

2. Blue Bar, The Taj West End, Race Course Road.

I'll be honest, while MY view might be limited, I have been here only twice. And both the instances were accompanied by really good music, food and drink. The Ambience is of a wooden shack (A large one) on the lawns of the property, and you can get drunk on that itself. I don't actually remember the food, but I remember the experience :)  If your ever feeling rich, or already are, or have come upon someone who is, do visit.

No, am not taking you there.

* * *

As I come towards the last few days of Bangalore, or alternatively closer to the first few days in Mumbai (depends on whether you hate me or love me) there is absolutely no sense of nostalgia. Strange. I did the drop in to my previous employers, L'oreal and SAB Miller, and had really good times catching up with people, and of course the sucky reasons for not keeping in touch - "Travelling Saar"

They were happy, and surprisingly not surprised at the news nor of my visit. People have been kind, warm and extremely helpful. Lots of meaningful advice from the ex bosses, the back slapping from friends, and the "how are you? Long time" from people who look familiar, but am not really sure of.

Its a lot of pressure, these expectations.

* * *

Mar 28, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 17-11

Bangalore Countdown Day 18 Read Here

I guess I overestimated the list of places I had, struggling to find meaningful ones now!!! Here goes a few more:

1. Kim Lee, Indiranagar

Located in Indiranagar, On the Double road down Sony World junction, this place is a great relief from the Chung Wah's and the Beijing Bites of the world. They have a couple of speciality dishes which are amazing, apart from the owner recommended combos. The Cilantro Chicken is the most popular dish here, along with the 3 jewel rice. Meal for 2 would be within Rs. 500 so great place for a good meal.

2. Bangalore Mandarin, Indiranagar

On the other end of the spectrum, walk into Bangalore Mandarin near the CMH road - Metro Signal, and get treated to some of the finest Pork Curry and dumplings that you can get in this part of Bangalore. Very "oriental" in decor, and slightly on the pricier side, but the food is really good. Service can take longer than usual, and the waiters aren't really courteous. All said and done, nice food!!!

* * *

Not much to say tonight, the Champions League has caught my attention. So I say, as in the entry of Randy Orton, "I hear voices in my head, they council me, they understand, they talk to me."

* * *

Mar 26, 2012

The Old Man's friend

A visit to "Daiv'd Mane"(explanation below) in the off hours, or when its not crowded is always an experience. You are either on the edge because of its eerie silence, or in awe of the tranquil sanctity of the place. Heavy wooden beams, Stone floors, the Oil lamps, the cool air, the ring of the bells resonating off the stone sculptures of the Deity's Guards. These are temples of old, not the quick-pray-pay-leave models that have begun to spring up in every nook and corner of modern Metro's. Even the most simplest of these temples in Udupi and its neighboring towns has a profound energy. It makes you want to believe.

One this visit, with my parents, we were pleasantly surprised to find 2 priests in the temple. A younger one, doing his traditional sandhyavandan, and the other an older person, age showing profoundly on him. Years of prayers and service had taken its toll on him, he was easily over 70. He sat leaning on the pillar, smiling at the rare evening visitors, who were obviously from out of town.

Mar 20, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 18

Bangalore Countdown Day 23-19 Read Here

Am on my way home, and this is going to be an auto post, so probably not sure if its going to get posted at the right time. Anyways who cares.

Day 18

1. Urban Solace, Ulsoor lake

OK, the funda about this place is NOT the view. Honestly, there is no view except for the trees at the top. What is good, is really nice food, very nice ambiance (of the creative Variety) They DON't Serve Beer, but Wine is available. They have comedy evenings, and poem recitals and all that. Small place with outdoor, indoor (obviously) and terrace seating. Most of the food is continental, and they ALWAYS have an interesting and beautiful group of people hanging around. The owner is also a nice chap, and will recognize you if you've been there a couple of times. Do head out there for a chilled out lazy noon.

2. Chocolate Junction, Ulsoor Lake

Ok. Now this place is NOT a food place, but more of a chocolate place. All kinds of chocolates including liquor chocolates, cakes, photo-printed chocolates, etc etc are available here. And there also some amazing gifting ideas. I first went to this place on Dec 31st 2010 to gorge on chocolates. Went there recently, and guess what? They're still amazing!!!


While I skilled at spending time by myself in my early stay in Bangalore, exploring, going on random rides, and spending time in Super Markets of the world (for some crazy reason), Bangalore gave me a great gang of friends. Year after year, people joined, and it became groups and groups. Only now, do I realize that how many people I actually know in Bangalore. People from different streams of life, all coming together in Bangalore. And then FB just gave me more connections to link them by. Honestly, I don't like the circumstances and the people am leaving behind; and to not look back is easier said than done.



Mar 19, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 23 - 19

Bangalore Countdown Day 24 Read Here

As expected, am getting lazy and the daily posts are taking their toll on me. (Am eating more) Nonetheless, in the greater food good, here goes the rest of the places you should drop by.

1. Woodstock (Indiranagar)

Located off 100 feet road (first left after the flyover coming from Koramangla)

I actually am surprised I missed this way up front. It has a good ambience, brings back lots of fond memories, and has awesome Sizzlers. In fact most of their food is awesome. All time Favorite, without doubt is the London House Woodstock Grill. If you reach there before 7-8 pm, you get a 30% disc or a 1+1 on booze, so its worth the rush from work. The Caesar Salad is good, but deserts are so so (except the Kahlua mousse) I would avoid cocktails, they mess them up. Rates right up there in my top 3.

2. Davangere Benne Dosa (Off DVG Road, Netakallapa Circle)

Its not the actual name, and the restaurant is 10feet by 3 feet long, staffed by some 7 people. You eat outside, under the shade of the Huge Banyan Tree. IF you beat the crowd in line to order some delicious, mouth watering, crispy, Benne Dosa's all in True Davangere Ishtyle. They serve lots of free Chutney, with a Soft Aloo mix that I have never ever got anywhere else. I can't explain to you in words, but believe me, If you're not the snooty-fine-dine only, and love awesome food, please head here and eat your heart out. Again, IF you reach the counter that is.

3. The Only Place, Museum road

Most of you have heard of it, many have been there. Must try the Whooper burger line up, the Lasagna and specials. Totally worth it. Again, Absolutely crowded.

4. Daddy's Deli, Indiranagar (Near Sony World Signal)

Rich, Pampering, Sinful, Delicious, Mouth Watering, Sumptuous, are all the words you'll think of when you're done at Daddy's Deli. And I have only been there once. Parsi Food at its best, grab everything while you can. I wrote about the place quite some time back, and its been one of the top 2 searches on my Blog ever since. They also serve wine, so this Saturday afternoon, grab your loved one and head out for a nice long lunch. Special Recommendation - Eggs  and the Patrani Macchi. :)

I Can't write about food any more!!!Am Starving!!!


For as long as I can remember, of all the places, Mumbai was the last place I'd see myself moving too. But then things unfold in mysterious ways, and when you look back after a few years, you'd think "Really?". I was packing today, and for most the time I was nostalgic,just looking at stuff. The first trip to Nandi hills, the second trip to Nandi hills, The mandatory Mysore road Coffee day trip, the Savandurga hills. Over time, all these places leave a little in you, and you in them. And photos, yes. I love taking photos, because it reminds you of the good times. Obviously, no one takes photos of the bad times. In fact, you can guesstimate where a person is standing, depending on the number of photos they've been sharing. If they are the sharing types. Anyways, enough said for one day. Forgive the grammar, too hungry to bother.

Off to dinner :)



My Story

Way back in the hot summer in Udupi '00, I remember the moment I fell in love with Marketing. Sitting on the steps of the Bus Stop, I overheard my senior talk about Advertising. Yes. Advertising.(how it developed into marketing is a long story) It was then that he told me two things. One, Its important that you always learn, but its more important to let others know you're learning (I now think that if you're learning it shows automatically). And two, You know whats best for you, no one else does. And therefore no one else can ever tell you what to do, whether you're right or wrong, or whatever. Cliché? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.

Mar 14, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 24

Bangalore Countdown Day 26&25 Read Here

Day 24

1. Egg Factory (St Marks Road)

"Eggtarians" rejoice, behold your dreams come true!!! Located in the nook of St. Marks road, right at the beginning and behind Dewars Wines, is this awesome place that serves, well, Eggs!!!and all types of em. They have a range of dishes, including some varieties that are native to the Education town of Manipal. What makes this place really cool, is that the interiors are set up like a factory. Work benches for seats, quirky sign boards and all that. There's always place to sit down, the service is good, the ambiance is fun. Eggcited? Head out this Sunday to see for yourself!!!

2. Laa Jawaab (Indiranagar)

On CMH Road, right above ICICI Bank is this nice fine dine kinda restaurant which was discovered by  accident (I was looking at the new glow sign, when the car screeched to a haul inches away from my bike). They have an awesome range of tandoori kebabs, and most of the mutton dishes are succulent. Avoid Cocktails and Vegetarian items, and the waiters can get snooty. But the Mutton, Sigh. The ambiance is nice, over looking CMH without the noise part. Nice family get together? Go for the Chops!!!


The closer the D Day, the more interesting its getting. There are so many places that I haven't yet discovered, all ways been pushing it to the next Saturday or Sunday, which inevitably goes down Beer laden pubs. I think the biggest miss has been not getting the tour of the Vidhan Soudha, which must rank as one of the grandest buildings in the country. But I guess the stench of politics would have been too much to bear. Also missed is the Museum on Kasturba Gandhi Road, which frankly speaking did not really appeal to me. I guess all in all, there's still time in the larger scheme of things :)


Mar 13, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 26 & 25

Bangalore Countdown Day 27 Read Here

Quick update on Day 27, the Meghana Biryani (Aka Meghana Foods) has also opened parallel to Nagarjuna foods near Brigade road. :)

Day 26&25

1. Punjabi Rasoi (Indiranagar / RT Nagar)

While Bobby Dhaba is by far the most popular "Punjabi" joint in Bangalore, (And I haven't been there, YET) Punjabi Rasoi serves one of the best North Indian Cuisine. I don't call it "Punjabi" cuisine, because I haven't actually eaten in Punjab. Anyways, Recommended grabs here are the Chicken Chatpat (Lip smacking), Mutton Sheekh, Dal Makhani, and Butter Chicken. Prices are very reasonable, and they have decent service.

2. Halli Mane (Malleshwaram)

This HAS to be the most popular Vegetarian joint. Some might say MTR is the best, but personally I think they are two different styles of food. Halli Mane has a typical Bangalore feel, giving you the best of Bangalore and Karnataka. While the sheer pace of the whole thing can be overwhelming for new comers, it  is quite well organized. There is a separate snack counter, Dosa counter, Parcel Counter, Chat counter, and a service dining area above, making it actually look complicated to the new comer. While everything is awesome, do specially try the coffee. Feel free to explore the food!!!

Just FYI, Halli Mane, means Village House in Kannada.

3. Nagarjuna (MG Road / Indiranagar/ Jayanagar)

One of the members of the Andhra Food Trinity of Nagarjuna, Nandini and Nandhana, these guys are particularly better in the quality of food, compared to the other two. Popular for its Biryani and Andhra Meals, unfortunately, just like most of their type, their service is sad. Its always crowded, and it is as if they are doing a favor by letting you eat there. Coming to the food, Andhra Chilly Chicken, most of the mutton dishes and the Biryani is worth a try. If I were you, I'd skip the Sea Food. You are warned, it's some real spicy stuff here, so keep some space for desert ;)

4. Cafe Max (Indiranagar)

This is my absolute favorite hangout, unfortunately, I haven't been there enough. Located on top of the Max Mueller Bhavan on CMH Road, they serve awesome Bacon and Sausages, great Cheese cakes, and a fantastic ambience to go with it. Nice Breezy Terrace, with the right crowd (wink, wink) and there you have a perfect Saturday Morning. This is a must go to place, people. Must. Go. To.

I believe the only sad part of Bangalore, are their Auto walas. Totally moronic, they WILL Fleece you, and will make the best attempts to make you pay more. It's happened to me a few times, and its a pain. But then let me tell you that more than 50% of the autos are not licensed and are run by people trying to make a quick buck. It also doesn't help, that during the IT boom, people paid over and above the regular fare. Why? I don't know. But they have got used to it. How to save yourself the trouble? - This should help. (How to Choose an Auto Rickshaw


Mar 11, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 27

Bangalore Countdown Day 28 Read here

Day 27

1. Kudla (Opp ITC Gardenia, Richmond Road)

This is another restaurant that's a specialist in South Indian Food, the name "Kudla" is a nickname for Mangalore in Tulu. The Sea Food is the star of this restaurant, and their non veg Thali is a must have. The Seer Fish and Prawn is highly recommended, the Chicken Curry is also good. I would skip all Non South Indian stuff, but their not bad either. It's the second best South Canara Restaurant in Bangalore, after Coast 2 Coast.

The Ambiance of the place is very comfortable, adorned with the typical costumes of Yakshagana and Buffalo Racing. They also serve alcohol, so its a nice place to head with Friends or Family for a gastronomical delight. Slightly on the expensive side.

2. Meghana Biryani, Kormangala

Most of us have heard of the Hyderabadi Biryani House, located at Victoria Layout and Old Airport Road that serves really masale-daar Biryani (But the meat isn't that great) and then there is the Hyderabad House located in Koramangala and Residency Road ( Aromatic + Good meat, but Very Very Dry). You also has Ritchie's in Frazer town which does a decent Dum Biryani.

But Meghana Biryani, located in 5th Block, is different. His Fish and Prawn Biryani is fantastic, as is his side dishes in Chicken. The Ambience is decent, but always crowded owing to the college crowd. Nonetheless, if you're trying something different, head over here.

I haven't been around the whole of Bangalore, but I have traveled around a lot.Most of this is because of my Sales days in L'Oreal. In fact, most of my mental landmarks have been built around H&G stores, or others. And that's also how I know many good places to eat. Though it may look like there are a lot of places to eat, it is a fact that there is a huge shortage of good restaurants in Bangalore.

What Bangalore has taught me is a don't worry attitude. I mean, the worst that could happen isn't actually that bad. It's a handy lesson.


Mar 9, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 28

Bangalore Countdown Day 29 Read Here

Day 28

1.Thulp (Kormangala & Other locations) 

With a seating capacity of 20, lots of board games and comics, and a menu that is introduced by "Moo", this place is an awesome joint. Innovative and Delicious. "Whattaay Burger da" is the first thought with the first bite into that juicy, well done meat dripping with melting cheese and held in place by green lettuce. Sigh. Enough said. go, gO, GO!!!

2. Coast2Coast (Kormangala and MG Road)

Chicken Ghee Roast 
My Favorite place in Bangalore, this is authentic Mangalorean Cuisine. Love Seafood? This is the place to go. Love Kori Roti? You'll get it here. But By GAWD, The master piece, the king of kings, the brillianto magnificento moutha wateringa dish is.......*drum roll*   THE GHEE ROAST. Believe me, and I kid you not, this dish is orgasmic. It comes in a variety of options, like chicken, mutton and prawn, but prawn is the best. The best combo would be to have it with Neer Dose, or Appam. Also must try is the Chicken Sukka, which is a coconut paste based dish from the Coasts of South Canara. They also serve alcohol, so its a great get together point. I will so so so miss it. 


As I mentally prepare to leave behind a lot, I don't know a lot of Bangaloreans. Most of my friends are people who have come from out of town, and more so out of state. I don't know why I speak Hindi most of the time, even though am fluent in Kannada. Some people would believe that I am a Mallu, some have even asked me if I was a Bengali. Both to which, I vehemently shook my head in disagreement. One lives on coconuts, and the other on Sugar. 

I made new friends in Bangalore. I learnt the native dialect of Udupi (Tulu), in Bangalore. Amongst other things, which will come in due time, Bangalore saw me through it all. Hopefully till the end. 



Mar 8, 2012

Bangalore Countdown Day 29

Bangalore Countdown Day 30 Read here

Day 29

1. SLV Ragigudda (Jayanagar East End)

SLV Ragigudda
Located at Jayanagar 4th block , East End this restaurant is a legend. It has one of the best South Indian fare in Bangalore, and Adigas stands no where compared to this place. It is one of the most popular eateries around the place, and you will never, NEVER find the place empty. My Favorites were mostly the Dosa Variety, Idli Vada Sambhar Chutney combo (which is truly superb) and the evening snacks. There used to be a lot of the college crowd here, but the last I went there was 2 years back. I hope to make a trip here before I leave though.

2. Kabab Magic (Jayanagar East End & other locations)

Kabab Magic
Am sure all of you have heard of the Empire Chain of restaurants. But believe me, if you fancy similar food, this place is far more tastier and value for money. The Shawarma rolls are to die for (My Favorite Snack!!!) and the Combo meals are brilliant. I think the Arab Pulpy Grape Juice was what they brought to Bangalore for the first time. The Grilled chicken (My Comfort food number 1) here is different in the sense that it is not drowned in fat and red chilli. Their rumali rotis are also awesome and go great with any dish. All in all, if your in that area drop in. Again anytime on Friday onwards, you'l find a huge que. Mind you, however this isn't fine dine. It's great food.


My relationship with Bangalore has been love - love. I have taken baby steps at my job, my first bike ride, everything started here. I think I can't remember a single moment where I hated the city. I have been stopped by a cop once and let go. I have had 3 major accidents on my bike, however not once have I been injured. Others have. 

At one time, this Auto toppled in the middle of the road at Ulsoor, because we were crossing a junction and he was speeding and hit my back tyre. But the Auto had school kids in them and one of them got a cut on her head (And it was her bday) The whole crowd got together against me, even though it wasn't my fault. But the moment I spoke in Kannada, every one backed off. After intense interrogation by the kids grandparents and colony members, I was let go. I went to the hospital with chocolate's and was expecting the worst from her parents. But the girl had told her parents that it wasn't my fault. Bless her!!!

So, you know the city also was part of many first's of my life. As I chronicle these places, each one brings back a special memory. Some are Joyful, and some are not. But its all good in the end.


Mar 7, 2012

Bangalore Countdown day 30

A day which I thought would never come has finally come. Am moving out of the state, and more so, out of Bangalore and towards Mumbai.

As a tribute to this City I called home for last 5 years or so, everyday, I intend to put up some of the best places that one must go to, and of course the things that make this city what it is. 

Break it

Tear it, Break it
Throw it out of bounds
Liked it, Loved it,
It Took me down

The noise in my head
Images floating by
Stand by and watch
As things go away

Its blurring
Fading, Cracking
But we move on

Sometimes it ends
To start again
Others just walk over
Smiling through the pain

We still live
We still hope
Give In, Give all
Stop trying to Cope