Monday, December 27, 2010


74, 15th Main,
3rd Phase JP Nagar,
Bangalore 560078
Phone: 080 4093 9311

Food: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Meal for 2: Rs1600

JP Nagar gets hip! Forgotten by the biggies in the hospitality business for long, this suburb now boasts of a true blue Thai restaurant, nestled in lush greenery. Aroy, meaning 'delightful' in Thai, opened a few months back and has managed to elicit a similar response from residents of JP Nagar and the surrounding areas (us! us! us!).

Situated on a rooftop, next to the Sarakki mini forest, its the perfect ambience for a leisurely meal (ambitious plans if you are adventurous parents with a pint sized brat in tow). The breeze swishing through the trees as you indulge in some wholesome and delicious South East Asian cuisine under the open sky, drowns out all the din from the traffic below. There is also an indoor seating arrangement if al-fresco isn't your cup of tea (or, if like us, you are caught unawares by a sudden downpour :((( )
The banana blossom cakes came with a lot of recommendation from other reviews and did meet expectations. A crisp crust with a soft inside of shredded banana flower, served with pickled cucumber, the cakes built us a nice appetite.

Banana blossom cakes

The hot and sour Tom Yum soup gets a thumbs up too. Bursting with tangy flavours of lemongrass, in harmony with fresh galangal and aromatic fish sauce, this hearty soup is just what the doctor ordered to beat the winter blues. The kaffir lime leaves added a distinctive zing to the stock. The fish soup with prawn head paste didn't disappont either- delicate chunks of fish in a pungent broth, good for the nasal passages!
The twice cooked chicken wings were full of greasy goodness and best eaten hot. The prawn satay could have been better though; it was quite insipid.
We attacked the burnt garlic chicken noodles with gusto. The shitake mushrooms and pokchoy gave a nice bite and the smoky flavour of the dish was given good company by the chicken krapow (Thai basil chicken stirfried with long beans and red chillies).

Burnt garlic noodles

Thai basil chicken

Aroy also has a limited menu of Burmese and Chinese so we gave Ong Noh - Khao Swte (pronounced -Ono cow soy; also spelt khao sway, khauk swe, khaot swe, Khao Swea etc) a try. Noodles with curried chicken in coconut milk, it is a meal by itself. It came with a host of condiments like peanuts, slices of boiled eggs, slivers of red chillies, sliced onions, quarters of lemon and the like. Being a spice junkie (blame my South Indian genes!), I was disappointed by the (coconut)milky flavour but I hear that this is how the Burmese broth is supposed to taste like.

Khao Swey

And now for my favourite part of the meal- dessert! Do not give the lemongrass icecream a miss even if you are bursting out of your pants after the meal (very likely- did I mention that the portions are very generous?). I fell in love with the nuances of citrusy taste that came through. The zesty flavour of lemongrass made my tastebuds tingle in Hallelujah.

Oooohh..lemongrass icecream

Actually, I am a sucker for anything citrusy so if you aren't, please ignore my ridiculously wordy exaltation and try something else- water chestnuts in coconut milk maybe? Which, by the way, is good too. Crunchy, cold and sweet.

Crunchy waterchestnuts in coconut milk

( ICECREAM!!!!!!!!)

Did you know.......
...............................that citral, the oil from lemongrass, is used as a mosquito repellent (citronella)around the world?
...............................that galangal is considered an aphrodisiac, and acts as a stimulant and has been said to cause mild hallucinations?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Kaveri Complex, Nungambakkam High Road,
Chennai 600034.
Phone: 044-28265240

Food: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Meal for 2: Rs 1500

A Japanese establishment that has managed to survive in filter-kaapi land for over a decade definitely deserves a dekko, especially for poor us who had to settle for the ubiquitous Saravana Bhavan (miniscule helpings with decimally challenging prices - mini coffee for Rs 10.45!!) almost every time we dared to venture out in the Chennai heat.
We did spend some time trying to locate the restaurant, hidden as it is in a nook of an old building (which led me to wonder if all Japanese restaurants are housed this way - check our review of Harima). The neat interiors are done up sparsely with Japanese lanterns, a shelf full of Japanese DVDs and books (for rent, I presumed), a small TV tuned into a Japanese channel, traditional Japanese seating as well as conventional tables and chairs.
We were given cold towels and refreshing chilled wheat tea (ocha in Japanese) upon arrival. Perfect to go with the icy hostess and co-owner, Revathi who was reticent, almost to the extent of being rude to us throughout our meal. We did notice that she seemed courteous to the Japanese patrons present there though. Hmphf!!!

They close early (2:30pm and 9:30pm are the last orders for lunch and dinner)

Being cold shouldered by the hostess, we had no option but to take menu suggestions from a kind looking Japanese gentleman who was seated at the next table, Mr. Toshi. He was not only good company; he also recommended some pretty interesting Japanese staples and accompaniments which we enjoyed.

Mr.Toshiyuki Nakagome

Japanese food is supposed to taste natural with almost no spice added. Soya sauce, ginger, wasabi, seaweed etc are used on the side to add some flavour during meals. We started off with simple and crisp Ebi Tempura (batter fried prawn) with a soya sauce dipping. Dahlia has an impressive variety of fish and other seafood on its menu so an order of mixed maki sushi made its way to our table. The fish was extremely fresh and the sushi rolls get top rating for their subtle flavour. We enjoyed it so much that we almost didn't realize that the fish was raw....not something we get to eat everyday ;) Not to forget a rehash of the mind-numbing wasabi experience!

Ebi tempura

Maki Sushi

Next was the Teishoku or the Japanese set meal which is a portion of rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables and a vegetable or meat dish- in our case, roasted pork with ginger. The pork is spooned over the rice (the accomplished ones use chopsticks!) and eaten, with a bit of the accompaniments in between. The tender strips of pork, mildly sweet and cooked to perfection were outrageously tasty. The miso soup tasted watered down but we were told by our Japanese friend that it is how it should be.


To quote Lonely Planet, it’s hard to imagine how Tokyo could function without noodles. Fittingly, the menu at Dahlia offers staples such as soba (brown buckwheat noodles) and udon (white wheat noodles) served hot or cold, in a range of styles. Our serving of Zaru soba (cold noodles) came in a bamboo plate with slivers of seaweed on top, along with some broth, wasabi and chopped spring onions. The wasabi and spring onions are mixed a little at a time in the broth, the noodles are then dipped into it and eaten. Despite not being richly flavoured, the dish was very satisfying.

Zaru Soba

There are no desserts on Dahlia's menu but what we had was filling enough. The portions are good enough for two and the flavours are appetising without leaving an aftertaste for the rest of the day (which means no going burrrrp and smelling of onions or fried chicken later :D).

Revathis ill-mannered behaviour (seems to be a common sore point across many reviews we came across) would have dampened our experience if not for Mr Toshi who helped us pick from the menu as well as surprised us with useful nuggets of information on Japan and its food. Thank you for letting us know that our babys name means 'happiness' in Japanese!!! Yes, we have a daughter, A DAUGHTER, WORLD!

Edited to add: Dahlia has a branch in Bangalore as well. Church Street is the place to go if you are craving some Japanese chow.

Did you know.......
...............................that maki means 'roll' and refers to any type of sushi which is made in a roll with sushi rice, toasted seaweed and various fillings?
...............................that although it’s highly rude in the West, in Japan it is customary to slurp your noodles, both to cool them (when hot) and to enhance the flavour?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh Ghee....!!!!

I found this list of 43 most mispronounced food words and it was quite an eye-opener. Some samplers...

Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah)
Guacamole (wah-cah-moe-lay)
Ghee (ghee, not jee) - muhawhawhawhaw!
Turmeric (ter-me-rick)- never thought anyone needed to be told that, eh?

Now you know how to sound like a food snob :D !!!

Did you know...........
.....................................that crêpe is pronounced by the English as 'crape' and by the French as 'krep' (e is pronounced same as in the e in 'wet')?
Cartoon courtesy