2015 - The Food That Was!

Thursday, December 31, 2015Me! In words

And so 2016 is just a couple of hours away. 2015 has been good for us in many ways, and on the food front, it has an absolute journey. Lots of discoveries, lots of interesting meals and standout dishes and some great experiences. As has been the custom on the blog for the past three years, here is my round-up of 2015. Brace yourselves because this is a long post as the year was really kind to us. Each entry has a link to a detailed post on the same.

Great Meals of 2015

The year 2015 started off with the Avarekai Mela as it usually does. This mela takes place on the famed VV Puram food street each year and just grows bigger and better. The sheer variety of dishes, sweet, savory and much more. My picks at this mela this year, were the heavenly uppitu, the curd and avarekai kodbale and the avarekai gulab jamun

Just some of the goodies at the Avarekai Mela 2015

Early this year we decided to head to Vembanad at the Paul Hotel. Good Kerala food is what we were looking for. This place does not really go all out in making a noise, but I honestly think it should. The food was simply brilliant - Right from the Kondatum Molagu to the Chemeen Thenga Ularthu to the Kappa Meen Curry to the Erachi Ularthu. Totally worth the splurge time and again.
The Chemeen Thenga Ularthu at Vembanad

Another great meal this year was at the Street Food Special at Church Street Social that look place sometime in March. There were so many highlights of the meal - Vodka shots made from Mango Bite, Aam Panna and Paan Pasand candies and the Mutton Biryani Burrito were real standouts. In fact, I was even quoted in the Bangalore Mirror on the Burrito. 

 The Vodka shots made from timeless classics in terms of candies

The Flavors of Sichuan festival at the Lantern, Ritz Carlton was amazing, is to say the least. An entire food festival dedicated to Sichuan Peppers was definitely unlike anything we have ever tasted at one go. Through the meal, hot, sweet, sour and spicy flavours will assail your tastebuds. And you know that the peppers are working their magic when you have an interesting, all pervasive sensation in your mouth. There were so many great ones in this meal - the Chicken on Daikon with Sichuan Pepper paste, the Dan Dan Noodles, the Sliced Sichuan Pork and more!

 Sliced Sichuan Pork at the Flavors of Sichuan Festival at the Lantern Ritz Carlton

Next up was a brilliant showcase of the festival titled "7 stars 7 nights" at Citrus, Leela Palace where the spotlight was on the 7 chefs of Citrus and the magic they could create. Each night of the week had one chef create a 4 course menu that showcases a cuisine. While the meal was superlative, it was the one by Chef Giri who specializes in South Indian Food. Christened Stir fried Lobster - the dish consists of squid ink infused string hoppers that sandwich together stir fried lobster that has been tossed in a range of Indian garam masalas. The gravy you see below is a take on the Meen Moili and is coconut heavy. The dish was every bit as delectable as the description - the lobster was perfectly moist despite being stir fried - the string hoppers married beautifully with the gravy and the dish comes together to give you a medley of tastes like no other. 

Stir fried Lobster as part of the 7 Stars 7 Nights promotion at Citrus, Leela Palace

I have been in love with Chef Vittorio's food, from Ottimo, ITC Gardenia from Day 1. When he hosted a time travel style menu where you had a classic dish and its Chef Vittorio interpretation plated up together, I couldn't wait to get started and I wasn't disappointed. The Spaghetti Putanesca and its time travel version were my pick of the many other great dishes.

The Potato Salad and its amazing interpretation at the Time Travel Festival at Ottimo

We love our Iftaar Raids and its something we have been doing almost since the start of the blog. This year, Masjid-e-Eidgah Bilal made a debut on the list of places. The mosque is a beauty in itself and lined up neatly on the outside were several stalls that saw us come back at least 4 times. While the food each time was great, it was the woodfire prepared haleem that we came back for each and everytime. 

 The Woodfire Haleem at Iftaar at the Masjid-e-Eidgah Bilal

I attended the Austrian Wine Summit in June 2015 and had a wonderful time - sampling wines, understanding the wine regions of Austria and taking in the breathtaking countryside. One wine paired meal I thoroughly enjoyed was the one that explored the wines of Burgenland, along with some of the local delicacies. The meal was organized at Press Haus Haider in Illimitz in Burgenland.
 A medium-done beef filet that was placed on a vegetable risotto. Simple yet delicious
And of course when in Vienna, I had the famed Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher, Wien! Decadence on a plate is all I can say!  

Sacher Torte at Hotel Sacher, Vienna

 A trip to Koti Resorts in Shimla and the chance to savor at authentic Himachali vegetarian spread was another memorable meal of this year. Such memorable dishes all made from the bounty of nature.

The Traditional Himachali Spread


If you go through my Facebook page, you will see just how many times I have spoken of my favorite discovery of the year - Krazzy Folds in Jayanagar. Great food, very VFM and amazing plating and service, plus Sunday breakfast! Life cannot get better than this. I could write sagas on each dish. You might as well just read the blog post and wait a bit for detailed blog post on their breakfast offerings.
The Grilled Sausage in Mustard Sauce at Krazzy Folds

Who would have thought that a Japanese restaurant would open up at a nondescript place on Double Road. We certainly did not, but Sakae was a nice discovery. I don't have a post up on it yet, as I want to visit a couple of more times. Their Pork Ramen really had me wanting more.

The Pork Ramen at Sakae

This next discovery is not really in Bangalore, but on the highway just outside of Mangalore. Laxmi Niwas at Kalladka is famous for its KT Chai aka Kalladka Chai and Rhimjhim coffee. Both the tea and coffee are served in layers with the milk at the bottom and decoction on top. The coffee in fact does this amazing little dance with the layers jostling each other. Hands down the best coffee and tea to start the trip with.

KT Chai and Kalladka Coffee at Laxmi Nivas, Kalladka
And of course, our love for Miltary hotels in Bangalore does not cease. We continue to look for new places and try them and 2015 found us at Kaveri near Nandi Hills for a pork based meal. We also visited New Govind Rao at Cottonpet. The idlis and kheema ball curry as well as the mutton pulao are to die for.

The Mutton Pulao at SGR in Cottonpet


Meeting Emelia Jackson and Renae Smith, the finalists of Masterchef Australia (the only version worth watching) 2014 was a highlight of this year. I missed a chance of meeting George Calombaris, but am keeping my fingers crossed for next year. The two ladies were quite the riot and I had a great time with them. 
With Emelia Jackson and Renae Smith

And another opportunity to interview Janice Wong, the undisputed Dessert Queen and the creative hand behind 2am:Dessert Bar in Singapore, was another great one.

 Janice Wong at an event in Bangalore

 And so there you have it. My year in food for 2015. Have a very safe and Happy New Year and hope to see you all on the blog next year. I do hope to be more regular than I have been in the past few months. First up! Clearing a small backlog that I have. See you all on the other side

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