Quick recap – If you are looking for a place far removed from air conditioned holes in the wall, try Chakum Chukum Calcutta on a Roll in Indiranagar. The best thing about this place is that it is not a restaurant. In a really quiet bylane of Indiranagar, amidst a lot of greenery and pretty houses, you see a tree big enough for some shade and to have a chabootra around. That is Calcutta on a Roll.They serve parathas (that we did not try), soft drinks, and hajaar different kinds of rolls. In all possible combinations that you can imagine. Double egg, double chicken, chicken double egg, egg double chicken, to name a few. Chakum has a reasonable collection of rolls for vegetarians too. Try it on a boring Saturday evening, walk around the place, sit on the chabootra, talk nineteen to the dozen, and eat a lot. Trust me, if you are anything like me (pity if you aren’t), you will love this place. Because it is NOT a restaurant.
The Only Place – Another bylane restaurant that must have been around for a gazillion years. Perfect to catch up with friends on a Sunday afternoon, especially when you are nursing a hangover, the weather is to die for, and you can survive anything but alcohol. It is sort of al fresco, open on the sides, again very green, and serves some really, really good food. I had some fried prawn thing and dessert and fries and another entree. I am not sure if this post is helpful without any names, but let this post be just about the places and the overall awesomeness of food. And the food at The Only Place is just that – awesome. At very reasonable prices. Don’t expect impeccable service. If the owner is in a good mood, he will be supremely sweet to you. If he is worked up about the rush, he will cut short your order and warn you about how long your food will take. Almost like dads :P Having said that, this place is worth more than 1 visits.
And Ants Cafe – perfect for rainy morning breakfast. The place is run in partnership with an Assamese NGO. The shop downstairs is worth a look. Great scarves and stoles and kurtas and shirts in cotton and silk, really pretty kitschy jewellery, and some beautiful lampshades and other bling for homes – all at prices way better than Fab India and Mother Earth. The restaurant upstairs serves all day breakfast – brilliant omelettes and sandwiches. I have heard the salads and pancakes are great too, but my breakfast was all cheese and chicken and eggs. The spanish omelette was just right. The chicken and cheese sandwich was quite likeable. But the coffee, well. Just ask them to make it really strong. Mine was, the husband’d was as tepid as every other place that is not an Udupi joint. But the show stopper here is definitely the ambience. Extremely interesting furniture – all bamboo and tree trunks and pretty, bright cushions. The terrace is almost in the middle of huge trees and there are broad leaves from indoor plants that fill in any space that is not green! The place is beautiful. Get a book or grab one from the shelf that has 15 books (yes, I counted. It was a matter of this little bet with the husband) and a lot of magazines, or bring some really good company. I opted for company and it was the nicest, laziest morning in months. Go there. Tomorrow. Picture this.
There have been other places like Hole In The Wall (stupidly small), Cafe Thulp (aaaargh!), Nizaams (err), King Bites (ya ok, my cook makes parathas), Biryanis (bloody misnomer of extremely spicy and HOT chicken pulao), Rajdhaniv(too much food, too little taste), Legends of Rock (everything tepid – the drinks, the music, the mood), Cream Center (ye cheating hai! Not even close to the mindblowing food that the chain serves in Bombay), and this paratha place (bad enough for me to not even remember the name!) and none of them stood out. Surprisingly most of them are much hyped places. I wonder why!
Also, I am almost embarrassed to tell you that I finally discovered Commercial Street last month. Glad I did! If you have been around for a while, love roadside shopping, chappals, and cotton, and if you happen to be one of the handful of people who have not been there yet, GO!
I have been reading quite a bit. I happen to be a late starter on Flipkart. And my life and the lives that have been running parallel to mine – all very good. A Fine Balance (now reading and loving it), Eat pray Love (I finally managed to finish it. Complete waste of loo minutes), By The Water Cooler (timepass, fun in parts), Catcher In The Rye (whatte classic. Love it every time I read it and I can’t do it enough).
Movies. Tanu Weds Manu (AAAAAAAAARGH.), Turning 30 (Cliched turning 30 angst), Band Baaja Baarat (what was the hype about?) Break Ke Baad, Anjaana Anjani, Guzaarish, Sherlock Holmes (none of which I could sit through), My Sister’s Keeper (cried buckets, loved loved loved it). So don’t get me started on these. I will finally catch up on Ye Saali Zindagi and No one Killed Jessica this weekend – yes, I have been running really late here. More on this later.
I am off to Manchinbele Dam tomorrow, Kerala in July (yes, in monsoon. Yay me!), Coorg in August. I will hopefully post about the December road trip that has been a lot on my mind lately, if only because it was the happy place that helped me survive the March and April heat. Now it is raining and beautiful, the April showers. And suddenly there is so much to look forward to! Picture this.
Ah! Now I am done.