Bangalore restaurant reviews Basavanagudi

The Rogue Elephant - Basavanagudi

Monday, April 05, 2010Me! In words

The Rogue Elephant's original branch is at Ambara at Ulsoor Lake. Getting there the first time round took us two failed attempts over two weekends. When we finally did, the experience was worth the wild goose chases. You can read my earlier review on the Ulsoor branch of Rogue Elephant here. When we heard that Rogue Elephant had opened in Basavanagudi, literally our backyard, we jumped. So on one fine weekend afternoon, with Sudhakar's cousin Reshma in tow, we headed there.

This Rogue Elephant is located opposite Krishna Rao park, just a bit before New Generation School. The board is hard to miss. We parked on the street opposite and walked into the Rogue Elephant. True to staying different, this outlet is set in the middle of a thriving nursery. All the plants you see are for sale. You walk down a Mangalore-tile covered isle and come to an al-fresco style seating. Greenery all around... what more could you ask for.

The beautiful entrance to Rogue Elephant

A portion of the seating

Anand, one of the co-owners was there and he recognized us immediately. He told us that the place has been open for 3 months now and we felt like kicking ourselves for not coming earlier. Now right down to the food. For starters we decided to have the mezzeh platter. This came with a circle of pita bread and three dips. One was the unbeatable hummus, steeped in olive oil, next came an interesting dip which Anand explained to us was their take on the spanish dish patata bravas. The original has a peppers dip that is placed on potatoes. This was only the dip. The third was a tribute to the south indian style of preparing brinjals (badnekayi). We had to order another circle of pita bread. Wanted to do the licking of the bowls in style.

Mezzeh platter (L to R) - South Indian brinjal, hummus, papata bravas dip

For main courses, Sudhakar decided to have the chicken bangers with mash and onion sauce. "Comfort food" in Anand's words. What came was a delightful dish of chicken frankfurters, two smooth round mounds of mashed potatoes - all of this dunked in a heavenly onion brown sauce. One look at the dish and you can imagine how good the combination was.

Chicken bangers with mash and onion sauce

Reshma had the Thai chicken salad. A refreshingly cold dish of boiled chicken, peppers, lemon grass, galangal and chilli flakes. The greens were fresh and the chicken just added to each crunchy mouthful. This is one dish you can spend a leisurely time over... picking up bits of any ingredient you like... chicken or lemon grass... that's what Reshma did. And how we wished we had ordered that salad.

Thai Chicken Salad

I had the potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce. The gnocchi felt luscious in the mouth. With the sauce, each mouthful went from smooth, to delightfully chewy and then melted away. The sauce was on the heavier side. It is one of those where you will not realize you have overeaten until you walk to the car to head home.

Potato gnocchi in mushroom sauce

For Anoushka we ordered a portion of herbed rice. This came with silvers of caramalized onions and was nice. Its part of an Indian meal that's served up here but the staff is good enough to give us just this.

Herbed rice portion

On another visit, we had the hummus with grilled chicken for starters. The chicken was well marinated in an Indian mix of yogurt, garam masala and red chillies. It had been on the skewer long enough to give it that slightly charred outside and a sinfully smooth inside. With each bite, a spicy stock would release from the chicken. The hummus of course is the best around. Enjoy it the way it is meant to be eaten. Break a piece and bread and take as much hummus as it can hold and pop the load into your mouth.

I had a salad second time round - this was a chicken sausage and potato salad. Again sinfully rich thanks to the mayonnaise. I like my potatoes well boiled and these were. The chicken sausage was of the spicy variety and had been tossed in a pan for that crispness. The dish can take a while getting through. Get through it or else you will regret it when those late night hunger pangs strike.

Chicken sausage and potato salad

Sudhakar had the pan fried fish with lemon butter sauce. This was the same dish that we had ordered at the Ulsoor outlet. The fish was fresh, the lemon butter sauce refreshing and the dish wonderful.

Pan fried fish in lemon butter sauce

For dessert we had the carrot cake with vanilla ice-cream. Warm cake with cold ice-cream... heaven was now at arm's reach. To drink, both visits combined, we had among other things ice-teas. They are served here with the sugar solution on the side. Green tea and a pot of coffee. All proved to be wonderful accompaniments to the meal.

Carrot cake with Vanilla ice-cream

Ice teas

Green Tea

The Rogue Elephant is a great place for weekend meal. The seating is limited so you might want to get there a bit early, like noon. Anand is almost always around and is the best to consult on what to order. The place is right now only open for lunch and a very late brunch. A good tip here would be to ask for things that are not on the menu. You will be surprised. Rogue Elephant closes at 7 pm. They are working on that at present. The loo is unisex and spotlessly clean. An average meal for two comes to around Rs 1100 with the cool drinks included. They do not accept cards so keep cash handy.

Address: Opposite Krishna Rao Park, Next to New Generation School, Basavanagudi, Bangalore (keep Gunasheela Hospital as another landmark)
Phone: Will get this soon
Cuisine: European/Mediterranean
Cards Accepted: No
Parking: Nothing exclusive, but will not be too much of a problem

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