Friday, December 8, 2017

Little Green Café - Restaurant review

A few of us decided to meet up on a Friday night at Little Green Café, situated off Church street on Museum road opposite Chutney Chang in the bustling restaurant row near Bengaluru's famous MG Road. The restaurant has a quaint artsy cafe/cottage like ambiance which serves exclusively vegetarian organic fare.

Pendant Lighting at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru Pic Credit, RupaB
Couple of things that immediately got my attention was that they used reclaimed wood to make a beautifully patterned floor. The lighting was next, the almost 60-80 LED lights hanging from the ceiling only consume the energy a regular 60w bulb uses!only 1 watt per bulb and there were at least a hundred of them hanging down from the ceiling. Finally, they use a unique air-conditioning/cooling, that works like a cooler and so their is less carbon footprint from cooling the whole place down. With large picture windows that surround the restaurant, light and cool breeze pour in all the time.

Now coming to the food, we started with non-alcoholic drinks, mine was the Lemon mint cooler with Basil seeds and another friend ordered a Watermelon Basil. Both were refreshing and cost Rs180 each, however I wish they offered natural stevia sweetener as I felt it was a bit too sugary.

Lemon Mint cooler at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru, Pic Credit: RupaB
We tried several appetizers, the Mezze Platter, little Tikkis, Bruschetta 3 ways and a Mushroom Cappuccino soup.

Mezze Platter at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru, Pic Credit: RupaB
The Mezze platter at Rs300 was the best, the Beetroot hummus a clear winner in terms of taste and texture. It was served with pita halves and crisp lavash sticks and a small helping of tatziki. The other hummus served was Chia hummus, basically a regular hummus with a sprinkling of chia seeds which did nothing to add to the flavour as barely 1/2 tsp of chia was used as a garnish. We asked for some extra lavash sticks and they kindly brought us some at no extra charge.

The Little tikkis at Rs250 had 6 mini tikkis that are made with quinoa & feta and ricotta and greens. I could neither taste nor see the said ingredients, hence I will not recommend this dish.

Bruscetta at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru,  Pic Credit: RupaB
Next up were the Bruscetta at Rs250, 6 slices of baguette bread with 3 different toppings. Sauteed mushrooms was outstanding, next was the Tomato avocado...even though these two flavours work well together, it did not have any of the creamy avocado flavour making it very average in terms of taste. Finally the traditional tomato/olive and herbs was again quite bland!

Mushroom Cappuccino at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru, Pic Credit: RupaB
The soup, while the name suggests coffee, I'm assuming it means there should be a froth/foam that is supposed to top the soup (faux molecular style). The bowl was quite large and the flavour of the soup was quite good and had a unusual sweet after taste for a savoury dish, but we did not see any foam and the waiter had no clue why it was called cappuccino!

In the mains we ordered two dishes, starting with Thai curry with red rice at Rs380. The gravy was sufficiently thick, mild Thai flavours with a few vegetables and firm tofu complete with the aromas of basil and lemongrass which was served with well cooked chewy Kerala red rice.

Pav Bhaji Fondue at Little Green Cafe Bengaluru, Pic Credit: RupaB
The second main was Pav bhaji Fondue at Rs360. Now the only thing fondue about this dish was that it was served in a fondue pot and an assortment of 2 pieces of grilled breads: mini pav, bruschetta, lavash sticks and mini pita. The flavour was quite good, reminiscent of a Bombay style gravy, but the portion was quite small in my opinion.

Desserts are placed up front by the cashier station and it changes everyday. We saw barely 6-8 pieces individually placed in little plates and placed in the cold cabinet, and it was not appetizing looking so we decided to pass on dessert.

Code of Ethics: We went on our own accord and paid for our meal.

Overall Rating
Food – 7/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Service – 8/10
Value – 7/10

Little Green Cafe
9/3, Prestige Pearl House, Museum Road, near Church Street, Bengaluru
Timings: 11am-11pm
Phone: +918861726457

Monday, November 27, 2017

Healthy Cooking - Simplified with Philips Domestic Appliances

Time and flavour are of essence, I had the opportunity to witness the saucy Chef Ranveer Brar cook up a storm in under 30 minutes together with the incredibly fit Shwetambari Shetty, a Zumba and fitness expert with a huge fan following.

The appliances that Chef showcased were the Philips Air fryer and the new Viva collection Juice Masticator amongst the other traditional ones like their mixer-grinder and hand blender. Chef Ranveer Brar was assisted by the very talented Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju, who had all the ingredients prepped and ready for the Chef.

Both the celebrities were candid about their experiences in becoming health conscious and the need to improve awareness in healthy eating options and not denying the body and soul of a good meal. While the experts had a lot of pointers the very affable Mr.Gulbahar Taurani, Marketing and Business Head of Philips India Domestic appliances also mentioned that the dynamics of the Indian consumer is also evolving in an their needs for delicious food.

To begin with a colourful healthy juice was made with pears, carrots, cucumbers and watermelon and attractively placed in a champagne flute garnished with fresh cut fruits.

Next was an appetizer, Idli chat made with Rava Idli's that went through a few minutes in the Air fryer to give it the perfect crisp exterior and mixed with a tempering of coconut oil and aromatic curry leaves! Beautifully presented  with a handful of crispy popped rice that were tossed with Idli chutney podi/powder, giving the old dish a new twist!

Liberally spiced with a Chettinad flavour were the fish fingers which were then dipped in a delectable batter and air fried to give it an extra crisp coating and keeping he fish moist on the inside, this dish got most of the audiences attention as everyone wanted to know to make the ever popular snacks like pakoda/bhajia in the Air-fryer.

Finally we ended with a befitting sweet nothing.......
White chocolate brownies. Now who can resist a little tidbit that is covered with sprinkle of cocoa and decorated with bright red cherries?

What was wonderful about this event was the interactive nature of the presentation. Some of top bloggers and influencers of Bengaluru were in attendance and we were free to ask any questions of the panel, who graciously took the time to answer in detail. Another perk was the hostess Ms. Sushma Bala who kept the audience members very happy by handing gifts to audience members who correctly answered food related questions. The winners each received the Phillips handheld blender, a very good tool to have in the modern kitchen.

The event finally ended with the customary selfie time with the celebrities and a sumptuous dinner at the Taj Vivanta hotel on the swanky MG road.

As more people strive to eat healthier, they also need to stock up on all types of gadgets to help make the most and I highly recommend investing in a Phillips Air-fryer, the super handy Hand held blender and finally the Cold press Juice masticator, the Trio are a boon to every enthusiastic home chef. I thank Philips Domestic products and Avian Media for extending and invite to me and experience their new products in action.

Photograph credits: Avian Media and me