And so a New Year begins. This was our first weekend back in Bangalore after all the reveling in Mangalore. Yes! I know I never got around to to profiling all the Kuswar (X'mas sweets) on the blog like I said I would, but then that's because it all ended up in our stomachs. This first weekend, we decided to splurge on an expensive restaurant, our once-a-month indulgence thing. And so based on recommendation from a good friend Mazhar, we headed to Paparazzi.
This restaurant is on the 10th floor of the Royal Orchid Hotel in Manipal Centre on Dickenson Road. An excellent view of the city and its traffic. Am sure the night view is better than the day time one. We made an 8PM registration and found the place deserted when we got there. But by the time we left it was packed. So good thing about the reservations. Decor is the upmarket types, but I personally found the lighting to be excruciatingly dim. I am the kinds who needs to see what I am eating and this place was lit up by the equivalent of 10 candles in an auditorium.
Now for the food. Paparazzi's menu is based on the favorites of Hollywood stars. So everything on the menu is a favorite of somebody. Just wish they mentioned who - it would have made for nice trivia when we were waiting for the courses to be served. For drinks - Sudhakar opted for a draught beer. I had a Lord of Passion which was Tequila shaken with passion fruit, fruit liquer and sour mix. Draught is draught - nothing much to say on that. The cocktail smelt quite potent and was one of those slow-to-take-effect type.
Draught beer and Lord of Passion
We were served a complimentary chicken starter. This was bite sized crumb fried chicken with a mint and chilli chutney.
Complimentary chicken starter
As starters we ordered the Five Spice Scented Piggy ribs - which obviously is pork ribs coated in five spice and double cooked. We were served exactly two ribs - one for each. I wonder if this dish is served based on the number of people who are at the table. It came with an interesting dip which was light mayo mixed with chopped apples, walnuts and slivers of lettuce. The pork was excellent in taste and well cooked. In some places a bit too well grilled leading to a few really tough mouthfuls.
Five Spice Scented Piggy ribs
For main course Sudhakar opted for the Blackened chicken. This chicken fillets served on a bone, coated with crushed black pepper and served with steam vegetables. A bit too peppery even for someone who loves pepper the way Sudhakar does.
I went in for the Lamb and Pork casserole. The one thing I found annoying about this place is that you have to order your accompaniments separately. I mean, what is a casserole without some buttered rice or garlic bread. And that is where this restaurant makes a killing. So for Sudhakar we ordered the Creamed potato mash with dill and for me the Garlic loaf infused with cheese. Both of which added significantly to the bill.
Creamed potato mash with dill + Garlic bread infused with cheese
The casserole, while it tasted brilliant, was not how a casserole should be. There was no baked layer of white sauce and cheese or the layer of baked potatoes that covers the thick meat gravy on the inside. Instead, a steam boat shaped bowl full of pork and lamb gravy with potatoes was served. Can't fault the taste, but the presentation was all wrong.
Chicken fried rice
Lamb and pork casserole (dull lighting = dull photo)
For Anoushka, on her request we ordered a chicken fried rice, which we ended up parceling. One bite was enough to say that it tasted like the fried rice for an average Chinese joint. What I was really looking forward to in the restaurant was the fact that it served risottos. And I was keen on one since most places, barring Bangalore Bistro use Indian red rice instead of the customary arborio. And though I like experimenting - a corny chicken tikka risotto was not really something I wanted to order.
We bowed out from having desserts simply because we were full. Service is courteous but the time taken to serve courses and even the drinks is quite long. The restrooms are outside the main restaurant but are clean and well kept. A meal for two with drinks and dessert can touch Rs 3000. Quite on the steep side and a nice restaurant for that once-a-month splurge.
Address: 47/1, Manipal Centre, the Central Park, Dickenson Road
Phone: 25584242 / 25596488
Cards Accepted: Yes
Wallet factor: Rs 3000 for two
Parking: Exclusive + Valet