Bangalore restaurant reviews Continental


Thursday, August 05, 2010Me! In words

Cilantro, like so many other places was on our wishlist for a long time. Some of the reviews I read on its service, the food, the fact that it was 24-hours somehow all looked good. And so, for an occasion, the entire family decided to head there for dinner. This restaurant incidentally is on Dine Club's roster and offers a 50% discount on the total bill.... just another good reason for us to head here. 

Cilantro is the 24-hour restaurant attached to Halcyon Service Apartments in Koramangala. Unless you are a guest at the service apartments, you have to park outside the premises, which can get a little irritating since the location is at the curve of a road and you may not always find a secure spot. Once inside, the ambiance changes instantly. A shrub lined pathway leads to the al-fresco portion of the restaurant... a few steps down and you are in Cilantro. It is located in the rather snug atrium of the hotel and just like in the Sidewalk Cafe of The Paul, you have a clear view of all the rooms around. 

An almost complete view of the restaurant for our corner seat

The very clean open kitchen

The seating is rather cozy with sofas, plump cushions with tassles. But if you happen to get there on a full house day, you may feel a bit claustrophobic since the tables are not too far from each other. But on the night we went there, the restaurant had just a few guests and that made our time all the more better. 

We settled down and decided to start with some cliched lemon soda, orange juice and diet pepsi. The orange juice was the real deal even though the packaged version is also available here. All came nice and chilled. For a starter we had the Parmesan Sesame Sticks - these were pretty interesting - crisp, flat breadsticks, with parmesan baked into the layers. Interesting to nibble on, just wish the cheese was a little more generous. 

L to R - Anoushka's water bottle, Diet pepsi, Orange juice, Lemon Soda

Parmesan Sesame Sticks

For junior we decided to go easy and ordered a Veg Biryani. This was pretty good. The rice had a pulao-like look to it, being more red than yellow. Perhaps more tomato. But overall, it did taste really good. There were a substantial number of vegetables thrown in and the dish was moist. It could easily be had without the accompanying raita, which was almost a dish in itself, considering the quantity. 

Veg Biryani above and the big bowl of raita below

Now for main courses. There was a display on and you could choose your meats and the way you wanted it done. Dad and Sudhakar opted for the 3 piece pork chops with a topping of mushroom gravy. The chops were succulent with just the right amount of fat and meat. They both opted for well done meat and it was done perfectly. You did not have to struggle too hard with the knife. The way the plates were mopped clean, it was clear that the dish was really good. The mushroom sauce and the steamed veggies on the side gave it all the flavor it needed as well. 

Pork Chops with mushroom sauce

Mom and I decided to do sizzlers that day. I chose to have a beef sizzler called Mushroom tornado, which was a tenderloin, topped with mushrooms and with a side of steamed veggies and mashed potato.The veggies were cut broad and this was a bit different from the delicate slices or slivers that are normal with sizzlers. This gave the zucchini, carrots and cauliflower florets more crunch with every bite. The beef was well done, the way I asked and the mushroom pepper sauce made every mouthful really pleasant. I love dunking my mashed potatoes in the steak sauce and this was one sauce that was finger-licking good.

Beef steak with mushroom sauce and veggies

Mom had the chicken fajita sizzler. This was a simply a chicken fajita with the tortillas, salsa and mayo on the side. This sizzling dish had chicken slivers, topped over with a spicy mix of tomatoes, jalapenos and peppers. This made for a really interesting way to make your fajitas and overall it all tasted really good. But mom is used to simpler sizzlers and didn't really make her fajitas and ate all the elements individually. She also prefers her sizzlers without too much of a masala-like mix and this had a substantial amount on it. Again, nothing to fault the taste. 

Chicken Fajita Sizzler (above)
The tortilla, salsa and the mayo mix (below)

Food done, bellies happy, the icing had to be desserts. We opted for a Mousse Cake, an apple pie with cream and a fruit salad with ice-cream. For a moment there was a bit of confusion as one of the wait staff asked us if we wanted ice-cream with the mousse cake and we were pretty sure that combination was not right. Nevertheless we opted for an ice-cream, only to be told that ice-cream did not come with the dish. A little more knowledge about the menu would put the wait staff in a better place. Most guests today are very food savvy and you don't want to look dumb in front of them. 

Fruit salad and ice-cream, you get to choose your ice-cream and the portion can be difficult to finish if you have eaten we just had.

The cupcake sized warm apple pie and ice-cream. Now this portion was easier to finish and really helped complete the meal. It was nice and stuffed completely with cinnamon dusted apples.

The chocolate mousse du jour. This was chocolately, heavy, creamy and ensured that breakfast the next day would be doubtful. 

The food was really good, the service was decent and the ambiance was pleasant. Overall, a wonderful evening.The loos are clean with the only hassle being that they are really far away from the main restaurant. So if you have a kid who needs to go like I did, ditch the heels and make a run for it or you may not get there in time. 

And now for how Dine Club helped with the bill. The offer is a 50 % off on the bill. All of this came to Rs 2655 and after the discount, we paid just Rs 1707 (includes service charge and VAT). A pretty good deal for a restaurant of this calibre. I have totally enjoyed having the Dine Club card. If you want to get yourself one, this would be a good time to do so. In view of their anniversary, membership cards are going on a 50% discount. A yearly membership of Rs 2500 is now available for just Rs 1250. Click here or on the widget at the side to avail of this offer. 

Address: #9, Drafadilla Layout, Halcyon, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 34
Phone: 41102400
Cuisine: Indian and Continental
Cards Accepted: Yes
Wallet factor: Rs 1500 for two (If you don't have the Dine club Card)
Parking: Street Parking - can be tricky 

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