Must Try Mango Delights in Bangalore

I am yet to come across a person who doesn’t love mangoes, people across all age groups wait with bated breath on when the King of fruits will hit the markets, making it the most awaited fruit in the year.

Being a mango lover, here is my pick of must-try fresh mango-based foods in my city:

1) Fresh Mangoes with Vanilla Ice-cream

‘Simple is delicious’ – there is nothing that beats this combination – freshly chopped mangoes with vanilla icecream, absolutely yumm!!!

Where: Corner House Ice-creams across all outlets in Bangalore

Fresh Mangoes with Vanilla Ice cream at Corner House Bangalore

Fresh Mangoes with Vanilla Ice cream – Simplicity Rocks!!

2) Puri with Aamras

A typical Maharashtrian breakfast delight – puris taste even better with Aamras (flavored mango pulp with milk)

Where: Rajavardhan Foods, Jayanagar 9th block, Bangalore

Open from: 10 am to 10 pm

Locate on Google Maps

Puri with Aamras at Rajavardhan Foods Bangalore

Puri with Aamras – Next best to Shrikhand :P

3) Raw Mango Masala with Corn

This will bring all the taste buds to life – raw mangoes + assortment of spices + sweet corn cooked in charcoal.

Don’t forgot to ask for double masala and extra lime :D

Where: VV Puram Food Street, Basavanagudi

Mango and corn masala - VV Puram food street Bangalore

Mango and Corn Masala – sets the taste buds into frenzy!!!

4) Mango Milk Shake

Who says a fruit-juice cannot replace a dessert – a mango milk shake made of fresh mangoes can resurrect anyone :P

Where: Sri Ganesha Fruit Juice Center across all outlets in Bangalore

Fresh Mango Milkshake at Sree Ganesha Fruit Juice Bangalore

Fresh Mango Milkshake – Delicious is an understatement :)

 

The above delights should last till June-end– time for tango with mango!!

An interesting trivia for motorcyclists is the famous true story of how Harley Davidson used mangoes to enter the motorcycle market in India in 2010.

 

Hail the King of Fruits!!

Unique Pani Puri Places in Bangalore

For any foodie , pani puri aka golgappa aka puchka and the various other names this delightful thing is known as has become synonymous with ‘Street Food’.

Here is my attempt to discover ‘the pani puri with a twist’ in my beloved city – the ones featured here are purely on the basis on their ‘hatke’ nature – price and taste take a secondary stand.

1) Coconut Water Pani Puri

At Thengu Mane in Rajajinagar, they serve Pani puris with pani made out of coconut water – brilliant idea!!

Taste: Made out of coconut water – the pani does lack the ‘punch’ of a traditional one.

(PS: When you visit this place – don’t miss their coconut milk-based fruit shakes , they are absolutely yumm)

Google Maps Location: Thengu Mane Rajajinagar, Bangalore

Coconut water-based pani puri at Thengu Mane Rajajinagar Bangalore

Coconut Water-based Pani Puri

2) Golgappa with Vodka

Easily the most expensive golgappas I have tasted – at Punjabi By Nature in Koramangala, they serve golgappas with vodka in 4 different flavors – aampanna or jaljeera or tamarind or pepper.

Taste: I will stick to the ‘sober’ pani puris :P

Google Maps Location: Punjabi by Nature Koramangala, Bangalore

Vodka Golgoppas at Punjabi by Nature Koramangala Bangalore

Vodka Golgappas!!

3) Golgappas at Chaatimes

For the hygiene-conscious or the street-food deterrent – this is ‘The Golgappa’ to have.

When you visit Chaatimes – ask for golgappa (the puri is made of sooji/rava – makes such a huge difference in taste) and not a regular pani puri.

Taste: Delicious

Google Maps Location: Chaatimes, Basavangudi, Bangalore

Golgappas at Chaatimes Basavanagudi Bangalore

Golgappas at Chaatimes

4) Floating Pani Puri

It’s the vice-versa of a traditional pani puri – here the pani is poured over the puri laced with masala and stuffing – really cool :D

Taste: Delicious

Google Maps Location: Om Shiva Shakti Chats, East Anjenaya Street (behind Bugle Rock), Basavangudi, Bangalore

Floating Pani Puri at Om Shiva Shakti Chats Centre Basavangudi Bangalore

Floating Pani Puri!!

Living with a KTM Duke 390

After the resounding success of the Pulsar generation, Bajaj (having acquired a major stake in Austrian-manufacturer KTM) upped the game of affordable performance-motorcycling in India with the launch of the KTM Duke series – the Duke 390 being the most powerful naked motorcycle available in India from the KTM stable.

Having owned a Duke 390 for about 4 months now – here is my ownership experience which is mainly to help you guys to decide if this is/isn’t the motorcycle you wanna live with.

City Commute:

I found the riding to be manageable (Courtesy: wide handlebars + a close-ratio gearing on the first 3 gears) UNTIL I rode the Duke 200 – Such a delight to putter around the city traffic (closed-ratio gearbox + a more-at-ease engine) made all the difference.

Pillion Comfort – Doesn’t exist

This is an ‘out-and-out’ rider’s motorcycle – the pillion grab-rail is useless against the ferocious power + the tight/narrow seat makes things a far cry for the pillion.

Braking:

I don’t know – The ABS on the Duke 390 is confusing at times – it kicks-in when you don’t want, doesn’t when you actually want – weird…

Touring:

The highways showcase an entire different side of this motorcycle –  such a delight to ride, those gearshifts at 7,000 rpm are so liberating , the right amount of power  to entice the senses and not to scare the living daylights out of the rider!!

Riding in the twisties, the foot-pegs scrape the tarmac as opposed to the under cowls (unlike in the RC series).

Luggage Options:

Couple of them in the market (Doughnuts + saddle bags + seat/tail –pack etc) – I personally use the Kriega US-series, that worked like a charm on my R1.

Tank Range:

A good 200 to 220 kms for a full-tank (the highest I pushed too was up-to 257 kms which I don’t recommend at all) – which is reasonable and a welcome/mandatory break for the rider from the aggressive riding that requires high levels of concentration.

KTM Duke 390 Ownership Experience/Review in India.

Loving it!!

Things I love on the Duke 390:

  • Intoxicating Mill – my goodness!! The power band is so crisp and in the right places – the usable rev range from 3,000 to 8,000 rpm is absolutely brilliant
  • Metzeler Tires – They channelize with brilliance all the hoot from the engine onto the tarmac – in-fact I rode a friend’s 390 that had Michelins and clearly – 40% of this motorcycle’s character comes  from the Metzelers  (take them off and you have a hooligan that’s tough to keep on the road) – Expensive, but I can never imagine any other tire that would do the job
  • USD Front Suspension – USD from WP, cant ask for more on a 2 lakh motorcycle!! – just love the way the suspension behaves under braking

Such a bummer:

  • Snatchy Throttle with blind spots (especially between 3 to 4k rpm – its so annoying when you downshift and hit this rpm band, the motorcycle goes all jerky)
  • Jarring Plastic Noise/Vibrations from the tank and headlight/display console
  • Pathetic Mirrors (Riding jacket +pillion limits the complete visibility) rendering them useless
  • Rain-Water Spills on the backpack in-spite of the hugger
  • It just doesn’t start/crank sometimes (noticed this especially at a traffic light with an empty road in the horizon :P)

Having said all this – the Duke 390 brings up a ‘smile every-time I crack the throttle open‘ without the hassles of expensive spares or their availability or steep cost of ownership or the lack of premium fuel (unlike the bigger capacity versions) and  that encapsulates what this motorcycle was built for – AN EASY-ON-THE-POCKET ROCKET!!

Indian Paratha Company Devanahalli

A standalone dedicated place serving only parathas is hard to come by on the highways in South India – Indian Paratha Company is the first.

Veg parathas + chai + a beautiful piece road leading to the place are good enough to entice the motorcyclists – so around 12 hungry motorcycling pals descended to this place – occasion being the last bachelor ride of a dear friend.

Based on what we tried, I recommend:

Mooli Paratha and Ginger Chai:

This was a real surprise, I am not a fan of Mooli parathas in South India (somehow it just doesn’t taste as good as they do up-north) – but the ones here were good and tasted much better than the popular aloo parathas.

The Sidekicks – Achar + green chutney were lip-smackingly delicious!! (no-wonder they are charged extra :P)

The Ginger tea is a perfect companion on a cold-morning ride :)

Mooli Paratha and Ginger-Tea at Indian Paratha Company, Devanahalli

Mooli Paratha & Ginger Tea – Must Try!!

Parathzza:

A base made of paratha-dough (akin to the pizza-base) and the stuffings laid-out on top (akin to pizza toppings) – voila, parathzza !!

Chettinad Parathzza at Indian Paratha Company near Nandi Hills

Chettinad Parathzza

Good to know:

  • Parking for cars/motorcycles is on the service-road, no dedicated parking
  • Eating outdoors is best enjoyed till 9 to 9:30 am and from 5 pm onwards (highly recommended to avoid other times of the day)
  • Food is on the expensive side ( An average of 70 to 100/plate of paratha – which is 4 slices)
  • Veg-food only
  • Milkshakes , inspite being on the menu werent available
  • Lots of space to sit, hang-out, relax and eat at your own pace (unlike some places where the next group of people are breathing down your neck to vacate the table)
  • Cards Accepted
  • Timings: 7 am to 11 pm all days (although I recommend to reach after 730 am )
Indian Paratha Company near Nandi Hills

Indian Paratha Company on AH43/NH7

Location:

This place is after the Bengaluru International Airport (on the highway –NH7/AH43) before the deviation to Nandi Hills

Google Maps Location

Hole in the Wall Koramangala Bangalore

For English/American breakfast aficionados this place needs no introduction – serving delicious breakfast throughout the day such as pancakes, waffles, burgers, eggs & sausages along with the cozy ambiance makes it the perfect place to catch-up over breakfast.

About Hole in the Wall:

Located in Koramangala , the south-eastern part of Bengaluru – Hole in the Wall was started by Lynn D’Costa & Nathan Lee Harris in 2010.

Must-Haves:

Pretty much everything they serve is yumm – but these stood-out:

  • Pancake with Peaches with Cream:

The best pancake I have tasted till date – such a simple combination that’s so yumm!!

Waffles with Pancake and cream - Hole in the Wall Kormangala

Waffles with Pancake and Cream – Absolute Delight :)

  • Funky Monkey Waffles:

             I guess this is inspired by Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream – Funky Monkey Waffles consists of delicious waffles topped with bananas, caramel, chocolate sauce, chocolate chips :)

Funky Monkey - Hole in the Wall

A Yumm Monkey to hang out with :P

  • The All English Breakfast:
All English Breakfast - Hole in the Wall

The All English Breakfast – for the bacon and sausage fans!!

The Others:

  • Dirty Burger:

A 2-meat burger (choice of 2 different meats) that’s as filling as a 3-course meal…

Dirty Burger - Hole in the Wall

Dirty Burger – for the meat lovers!!

  • Waffles with Nutella:

Nutella-fans – this is your Nirvana :)

Waffles with Nutella-Hole in the Wall Kormangala

Waffles with Nutella – life is soooo good :)

Useful Information:

  • Notice The Board :D

The ‘Specials’ are not on the menu – look-out for the board inside the café or ask the staff for the weekly specials – they are a notch above the standard offerings.

  • Weekends are packed that translate to a good amount of waiting time (which is totally worth it !!)  – weekdays are more relaxed allowing one to soak in the food and ambiance.
  • Closed on Monday
  • They serve only breakfast – so don’t walk-in expecting pastas or steaks
  • Location: No. 4, 8th Main Road, Koramangala, 4th Block, Bangalore, Karnataka 560047, India
  • Hours: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Bangalore Coffee House, BSK 3rd Stage

Growing up on south-Indian breakfast regulars such as the Idlis, vadas, dosas and chutney – I have a fair-to-good idea of how any or all of the above taste.

I have had the privilege to eat at some of the finest south-indian places in and around my city. Bangalore Coffee House, located in BSK 3rd stage is one such potential place that has the right-mix (great food + hygiene preparation) to make it to the list.

Bangalore Coffee House is a new kid on the block serving up delicious south-Indian breakfast with only chutney (no sambar) and yes – they make them well!!

Idli-Vada-Bangalore-Coffee-House, BSK 3rd stage Bangalore

Crispy Vada with Chutney – Brilliant !!

Must Eat:

I tried pretty much everything they have on the menu, but these caught my taste buds :P

  • Vada + Chutney
  • Ghee Pongal
Ghee-Pongal at Bangalore Coffee House, BSK 3rd Stage Bangalore

Gheelicious :D

  • Masala Dosa
  • Filter Coffee to finish the proceedings :)

Certain items such as Rava Idly are only available in the evening.

Masala Dosa at  Bangalore Coffee House, BSK 3rd stage, Bangalore

Masala Dosa + Filter Kappi – the perfect ending :D

Location:

50 Feet Rd, 3rd Block, Banashankari, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Landmark: Katriguppe Water Tank or opposite State Bank of Mysore, BSK branch

Useful Information:

  • Cash Only
  • Time: 6:00 am to 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Open on all days
  • Certain items such as Rava Idly are only available in the evening
  • Regulars such as Idly, Vada, Rice items such as Pongal, Bisi bele bath, Dosas (masala, khali dosa etc) are available throughout
  • Parking: Ample for 2 wheelers, lots of bylanes around to park the 4wheelers

Must Do Things for a Motorcyclist in Bangalore

Being a motorcyclist my entire life, I always wondered of ‘What More’ can one do apart from the regular notion of weekend touring on motorcycles. The intent has been to highlight/experience ‘other available facets of motorcycling’ in my beloved city.

1) Get Off the Road:

Big Rock Motopark, an off-roading facility run by Santhosh CS and his team providing the experience of off-road trail and dirt riding and yes they teach you to take “jumps” (the closest to flying on a motorcycle!!)

  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/bigrockmotopark/
  • Location: Holali Village, Kolar
  • Distance from Bangalore: 60kms
  • Contact Number: +919731799941/+919731733341
  • Cost: half day program (6000 INR/person includes food, gear and the motorcycle – mainly the Honda CRF 250)

Usually their programs/events are on weekends from 7 am to 5:30pm.

Off-Road Program at Big Rock Motopark, Kolar

Off-Road Training Program at Big Rock Motopark

Image Credit: Big Rock Motopark

2) Royal Enfield Factory Tour:

There is so much that goes into a motorcycle and no better way to understand that than visiting a motorcycle factory. In spite of an array of opinions – the RE factory tour is highly recommended for every motorcyclist (especially the Paint-Shop of the tour) – helmets off to these artists!!

  • Website: http://royalenfield.com/aboutus/factory-tour/
  • Location: Tiruvottiyur, Chennai
  • Cost: 600INR/ person
  • Days of the tour: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month
  • Procedure: Register for the tour online and wait for a confirmation email
  • Cameras and Videography during the tour is limited
  • Duration of the tour:  3 to 3.5 hours
Royal Enfield - Factory Tour, Chennai

Royal Enfield – Factory Tour

Image Credit: Royal Enfield India

3) Live the Poster Dream – Luxury Bike Rentals in Bangalore!!

Can it get any better!! You heard me – the first of the kind to rent superbikes on a day-to-day basis (mostly Harleys and Triumphs for now).

WickedBike - Bangalore's first Luxury Bike Rental

WickedBike – Bangalore’s first Luxury Bike Rental

Image Credit: Wicked Ride

4) Sign-Up for a TrackDay Riding School

The best arena to understand and push the limits of one’s riding abilities – a 2 day session on racetrack opens up the mind of the rider enabling him/her to make better decisions on the road.

Bangalore-based Indimotard’s TWO and Apex Racing Academy offer track-day sessions at MMSC Chennai or Kari Speedway Coimbatore.

Indimotard-TWO TrackDay Riding Program , Kari Speedway Coimbatore

TrackDay Riding Program from IndiMotard

Image Credit: IndiMotard Adventures