We often overlook our backyard in pursuit of the beyond.
One such hidden gem is New Prakash Hotel located in Hosakerehalli, Bangalore that has been serving delicious Karnataka-style non-veg food for over 12 years.
The menu is simple but a lip-smacking spread of medium-spicy mutton, chicken an egg dishes that can be coupled with biryani ( mutton and chicken), white rice, ragi mudde
What to eat:
My personal favorites include:
- Biryani (both chicken and mutton are good) served with curd-raita, lemon pieces and a dollop of spicy green chutney + chicken sherwa
- Chicken fry – semi-gravy spicy chicken pieces
- Mutton kaima balls
- Mudde and mutton chops
Biryani with Chicken Fry – absolute deliciousness!!
It is a very basic, no-frill setup with separate dine-in section for families.
– dosas with chicken or mutton gravy
– Biryani rice only is also available
Breakfast time: 6:30 am to 10:30 am (Sunday only)
- Mode of payment: only cash and popular Mobile wallets such as GooglePay, PhonePe, PayTM etc are accepted (No card payments)
- Parking: ample parking for cars and motorcycles in surrounding lanes (no dedicated parking)
- Monday to Saturday (12 pm to 3 pm and 7pm to 10 pm)
- Sunday ( 6:30 am to 10:30 am breakfast only+ 12 pm to 3 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm)
- Bottled water and soft drinks are available
- A stiff shot of hot and spicy rasam to drink is served at the end of every meal – it’s the perfect end to this type of food
- The hotel is located on the 1st floor accessible only by steps (no elevator)
- Food Parcel: available (but not listed on food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato)
- Contact: Mr. Jayaram +919972875814
- Location: New Prakash Hotel, Hosakerehalli-cross, Bangalore (Google Maps)
New Prakash Hotel is a no frill hotel serving delicious non-veg food with good service – no flamboyant theatrics.
Simple, value for money and delicious food that draws a steady flow of patrons.
Derived from the rich-pedigree of the S1000RR, the roadster S1000R combines the best of the naked street riding experience with the super sport DNA.
The 2019 S1000R is powered by a 160bhp and 112 Nm torque inline 4 engine tuned for more low to mid-range torque making it useful for road riding.
Oodles of delicious mid-range 🙂
The BMW S1000R Pro variant is shod with the A-list of goodies such as:
- DDC (Dynamic Damping Control): semi active electronic suspension on front & rear
- Gear Shift Assist Pro: up and down quick shifter with auto-blip on downshifts
- DTC (Dynamic Traction Control): traction control at lean angle
- ABS Pro: includes the ABS to be disengaged to slide into or or out of the corner.
- Launch control + pit lane speed limiter
- Touring comforts include heated grips and cruise control
- Akrapovic HP Titanium exhaust
- Standard riding modes – Rain, Road
- Special riding modes – Dynamic, Dynamic Pro
[Changing these modes gives you a different preset of the bike (throttle response, ABS, traction control and suspensions)].
Yes – the Akrapovic comes standard with the motorcycle!!
What is BMW Dynamic Pro ?
The dynamic PRO mode is the sportiest riding mode which instructs the ABS and DTC to intervene the least – Best utilized on a race track for launch control, rear wheel slide and many such hooliganisms.
“Magical” Dynamic Pro Control Module – looks like a red/white USB stick 😀
How to unlock the Dynamic PRO mode?
The Dynamic PRO mode can be activated only when the Dynamic Pro coding plug provided along with the motorcycle by BMW is physically inserted into the slot below the rider’s seat.
The Dynamic Pro control module needs to be plugged under the rider’seat
How to activate the Launch Control?
Dynamic Pro also lets you engage Launch Control.
Hold the starter while the bike is running for a few seconds, and the white shift light will come on along with ‘3 LCON’ on the dash. The number refers to how many launches you have left before you need to ride the bike a certain number of kilometres to have another stab at it
Living with an S1000R:
- Service Intervals and Cost: the service intervals are scheduled once in 10,000 km and avg cost of service ( based on the 1st service) is around INR 15,000 – 18,000
- Full tank range: 270-300kms on the highways
- Pillion comfort: it’s meant only for the rider, however for short commutes the pillion seat is manageable
- Luggage Options: only tank, tail bags to haul the luggage. Plenty of premium options from BMW Motarrad, Wunderlich, Kriega etc
- City Commute: courtesy the wide handle bar and upright seating – it’s super easy to maneuver in traffic, but due to the heat from the motorcycle, the frame gets hot and may induce a burn on the inner thigh
- Mirrors: visibility is good (with the rider in full gear)
- Dials: very clear to read in day and night – information displayed is crisp and legible
What I like:
- Mid-range Missile: oodles of torque and power in the most usable RPM band (between 3000 RPM to 7000 RPM)
- Brakes: mind-boggling stopping power by the top-spec Brembos
- Exhaust note: The Akrapovic HP Titanium exhaust sounds brilliant, the bangs & pops when the throttle is let off is “sheer music to the ears’
- Quick-shifter: the up-and-down quick-shifter elevates the gear-changing experience
What I don’t like:
- Super-sport like turning: making a U-turn is akin to a super-sport motorcycle – one has to run wide to make the turn
- Custom Suspension setting: There are two settings – Road and Dynamic – and both seem to be varying degrees of ‘Hard’. If there was a third ‘User’ mode where riders could really dial in the softness, that would be great.
- The frame gets super hot in the city traffic and can induce burns to the inner thigh of the rider
- Ground Clearance: The cat-con unit of the exhaust often scrapes the road-humps (in-spite of slow riding and with no pillion)
- Foot-peg close to exhaust: For tall riders, due to the less distance between the foot-peg and the exhaust end-can, the heel of the right foot will be in constant contact with the exhaust – hindering foot movement on the foot-peg
Very comfortable to put long distances – in-spite of the wind-blast…
The S1000R is a very clinical motorcycle – It’s fast, controlled, enormously capable and it’s cornering manners will hunt down apexes with an evil gleam in its eye and a mile wide smile on the face.
Mind you, I haven’t ridden the Aprilia Tuono 1100, Yamaha MT-10 or the KTM Super Duke 1290 R yet.
Life is indeed tough.
The Master-class super naked from BMW
One of the best places in Kolkata for Mughlai cuisine – Arsalan Restaurant is also popular among locals for the Kolkata Biryani.
Origins of Kolkata Biryani:
Biryani was introduced to this region by Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Oudh around the 1850s. The current Kolkata biryani is the localised version of the Lucknowi or Awadhi biryani.
What is Kolkata Biryani:
The Kolkata biryani is made with aromatic basmati rice, steamed potato and huge chunks of juicy mutton or chicken layered in a big-pot (handi) to which certain spices such as cardamom, mace, saffron, cloves and sweet ittar etc are added.
Back to Arsalan Restaurant, which started in 2002 by Mr. Akthar Parvez – their claim to fame has been ‘Kolkata biryani’ that’s best paired with a plate of ‘mutton/chicken chaap’ (ribs in rich spicy gravy).
With branches all over the city, Arsalan Park Circus Kolkata is where they started first. While the food is absolutely delicious , the ambience is very frugal and is always crowded, however service is fast.
The best Kolkata Biryani in the city !! – don’t forget to order a chaap..
What to eat:
- Special biryani (chicken/mutton)
- Mutton/chicken chaap
- Parking- No dedicated parking for cars/motorcycles
- Biryani is served only with meat and aloo – curd-raita and salad needs to be ordered separately
- Gets crowded during lunch time – for a large group, takeaway or delivery option is more convenient
- Payment – cash and cards are accepted
- Timings – 10:30 am to 12 am – open all days of the week
- Location– Arsalan, near 7 point crossing, Park Circus, Kolkata [Google Maps link]
Since 1953, standing tall in the shade of an aralimara (peepal tree) – Aralimara Panipuri, a small chaat shop has been serving delicious fare of Karnataka-style chaats such as pani puri, masala puri, Dahi puri, aloo puri, bhel and sev puri.
Easily one of the oldest chaat places in Bengaluru – Aralimara pani puri is a road-side fare, drawing patrons with the aroma of the masala gravy and clanking of the ceramic plates (nostalgic memories of eating a chaat).
But it’s claim to fame has been “consistent” great taste, hygiene, customisation of the spice/flavour as per individual taste and fast service.
The ever delicious Masala Puri!!
What to eat?
While everything they offer is delicious- my personal favourites are the masala puri, pani puri and aloo puri.
- Avoid weekends as they are too crowded
- Feel free to customise your chaat wrt spice or sweet levels
- Seating: while one has to stand and eat – they do have a small shop opposite the chaat cart that can accommodate 5-6 people
- Mode of payment: cash and Google pay only (debit/credit cards or other wallet payments are not accepted)
- Timings: 5pm to 10pm – all days of the week
- Location: Aralimara Panipuri, Kempegowda Nagar-Chamarajpet, Bengaluru (google maps location)
- Parking: Available for 2-wheelers (no dedicated parking) + for cars – being a crowded area, difficult to find parking
Aralimara pani puri chaat shop
The Biryani aka briyani elevated the small towns of Vaniyambadi and Ambur in Tamil Nadu to unprecedented stardom among food lovers.
On the Chennai-Bangalore highway – the number of outlets selling Ambur biryani outnumber the coffee shops and its no longer a surprise that folks travel down from Bangalore only to relish this delicious biryani.
How did biryani reach Ambur and Vaniyambadi ?
Back in the 1800s, this style of biryani was introduced by the Nawabs of Arcot who ruled this region of Tamil Nadu.
A typical Ambur and Vaniyambadi biryani is served with ‘dhalcha‘, a spiced-sour brinjal curry and curd-based raitha. It’s cooked using firewood in pakki akhni style (rice and meat are cooked in separate vessels and then assembled in a regular biryani degh/vessel to be cooked further in dum)
Difference between Ambur biryani and vaniyambadi biryani
While meat for both the types of biryani is marinated with curd and similar masala – it’s the type of rice that distinguishes them .
Ambur biryani is made with the short and round grain rice variety called ‘Seeraga samba’.
Vaniyambadi biryani is made with the aromatic and long grain ‘basmati’ rice.
Which is the best place for Ambur and Vaniyambadi biryani ?
Undoubtedly it would be at a local Muslim wedding – the next best place would be
- Khaja Restaurant in Vaniyambadi town
- Rahamaniya Briyani Hotel in Ambur town
Ambur chicken biryani and chicken 65
Useful information on Khaja Restaurant Vaniyambadi:
- Must- try: chicken and mutton biryani + chicken 65
- Parking: No dedicated parking for cars – ample space to park motorcycles in front of the hotel
- Mode of payment: cash only, no card, no UPI or wallet payment are accepted
- Timings: Open all the days of the week – 8 am to 11pm
- Service: non-AC service in ground floor + separate AC section on 1st floor
- Location: Khaja Restaurant Vaniyambadi (Google Maps Link)
Useful information on Rahamaniya Briyani Hotel, OV Road Ambur:
- Must- try: chicken and mutton biryani + chicken 65
- Parking: Its a super crowded place – finding a spot for a motorcycle is tough, highly recommend to not take the car on this road (Its akin to Chickpet Market of Bangalore)
- Mode of payment: cash only, no card, no UPI or wallet payment are accepted
- Timings: Open all the days of the week – 11 am to 10:30 pm
- Service: non-AC service in ground floor + separate AC section on 1st floor – but most people either Swiggy/Zomato the biryani
- Location: Rahamaniya Briyani Hotel, OV Road, Ambur (Google Maps Link)
Biryani ride to Ambur & Vaniyambadi – at the foothills of Yelagiri
- In order to try the biryani at both towns – stay in Yelagiri (hill-station town – 20kms from Vaniyambadi)
- Both the restaurants cook biryani in batches to ensure the freshness of the meal – try to time your visit between 12 – 12:30 noon (before it gets crowded)
- Leather Goods in Ambur: Don’t forget to shop for leather goods in Ambur town ( pick any of the shops on Netaji Road in Ambur town)
- Build a massive appetite before hitting these biryani joints !!
Winter mornings in Bengaluru are best savored with the warm company of friends, delicious breakfast, a cup of hot chocolate and endless conversations at a small-cosy café – the new Lavonne Café on St Marks road was the chosen adda.
Delicious French Benedict
From beverages that include coffees, smoothies, dairy delights and refreshers to breakfast majors such as pancakes, eggs, toasts , sandwiches, salads and pastas – it’s hard to miss the counter at the entrance decked up with quiche, croissants, muffins, cupcakes, tarts, cheese cakes, pies and an array of pastries.
Among the breakfast items – the French Benedict, made with mushrooms & cheese stuffed in a soft pastry and poached eggs is a master class, followed by the savory (non-sweet) pancakes that are super filling and delicious.
Savory (non-sweet) Pancakes
Fresh Strawberries with Mint over dark chocolate ganache over a toast is a must try for any strawberry fan.
For the strawberry fan!!
Quick Tip: Order a delicious cuppa of Belgian hot chocolate and a fluffy croissant while you wait for the main breakfast 😀
The Prequel to the breakfast 😀
- Menu Availability:
- The Breakfast menu comprising of French Benedict, smoothie bowl, Lavonne breakfast combo etc is available only from 8:30 AM to 11 AM
- Pancakes, Toasts, Beverages are an all-day fare
- Sandwiches, Pastas, Salads are available only from 11 AM on wards
- Cars: Limited dedicated space to park (find a public parking spot and walk up to build an appetite!!)
- Valet Parking: Not available
- Motorcycles: dedicated space to park motorcycles & scooters
- Café Timings: 8:30 AM to 11 PM
- Payment: Cash and Cards (no UPI or wallet payments)
- Location: Lavonne Cafe St Marks Road (Google Maps Link)
After food, soak in the warmth of the winter sun and the greenery to build up an appetite for your next meal with a stroll in Cubbon Park with your gang !!
Hikkaduwa, a small seaside town about 100 kms from Colombo is popular among tourists for surfing, nightlife and the beach lined-up with numerous bars and restaurants. Thronged frequently by the locals and tourists is Moonlight Restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner along with beer, ice teas, fresh fruit juices and coffees (hot & cold).
While the menu boasts of cuisines across the globe and the portions are enormous – it is their Srilankan Rice and Curry, loaded with flavor and spices which appealed to our Indian palate.
A typical Sri Lankan Rice and Curry served here consists of a massive portion of locally grown white rice along with coconut sambol (freshly grated coconut, red chilli flakes along with a huge squeeze of lemon juice), yellow dal, lots of crispy papadams, assortment of curries such as sautéed egg-plant curry, spicy fried potato with red chilli flakes, spinach-based curry along with a fish/chicken curry.
Another delicious dish was the crab and prawn curry (ordered separately & not part of the Rice and curry combo) – that flavor of the curry, along with the white rice deserves a standing ovation to the chef at the restaurant.
- Food portions are enormous – even a single bowl of pastas or noodles is good to fill-up 2 adults
- If spicy food isn’t your thing – inform the staff during the order, they would tone down the spice-levels
- Parking: no dedicated parking for motorcycles or cars (highly recommend walking to build an appetite!!)
- The main course, starters and drinks were delicious, while the desserts were ok and can be avoided (Pro-tip: after the meal, walk across to a grocery store and gorge on some chocolates or an ice-cream)
- Payment: Cash only (LKR or USD) – no credit or debit cards are accepted (Tip: lots of ATMs around to withdraw cash)
- Timings: Open all the days of the week (10:30 am to 11 pm local time)
- Quick service and friendly staff
- Compliment the meal with bottle of refreshing non-alcoholic ginger beer!!
- Sri Lankan Specials on the menu – served with a portion of white rice
- There is no separate smoking/non-smoking section – so most of the patrons smoke at the table
- They do have options for vegetarians and vegans – but their signature dishes are primarily chicken/fish/prawn/crab-based
A combination of delicious food, sea-breeze, great service and a reasonable ambiance makes Moonlight Restaurant a must-visit restaurant in Hikkaduwa for sea-food lovers.
In the 1980s, Bengaluru saw the rise of Andhra food with the pappu-led vegetarian meals and spicy biryanis by the likes of Nagarjuna, Nandhini, Nandhana and various other chain of Andhra restaurants. What’s relatively less known is – the foundation of this delicious Andhra food cuisine in Bengaluru happened in the 1970s by Hotel Annapoorna.
Located in the bylanes of Majestic – Hotel Annapoorna serves delicious and spicy Andhra food for vegetarians and non-vegetarians under a basic ambiance and easy on the pocket (compared to the popular Andhra chains).
Delicious Mutton and Chicken Dum Biryani with Chilli Chicken
For vegetarians: wholesome and unlimited Andhra Meals (led by delicious pappu, sambar, rasam, curd, array of curries and spicy chutney, papad and unlimited supply of white-rice and refreshing buttermilk)
More options for non-veg – highly recommend trying:
- Mutton & Chicken Biryani – served with curd-raitha and sherwa/salan gravy (their most popular food)
- Chicken 64 starter – delicious spicy boneless chicken fingers
- Chilli Chicken – semi-gravy, pieces of chicken with bone cooked in green chillies – must try for spicy food lovers
- Seafood – very limited and seasonal options – the Anjal Fry and Prawn Fry standout
- Ambiance is basic and there is no air-conditioning. Expect a waiting time of 10-20 mins on weekdays during lunch-time for a group of 4+
- Timings: 12 PM to 3:30 PM and 7 PM to 10:30 PM – all days of the week
- Location: Hotel Annapoorna, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru Google Maps Link
- Parking: Dedicated sheltered parking for two-wheelers, no dedicated parking for cars (one needs to find a spot on the road or other bylanes)
- Payment: Cash and Cards only (no wallet or UPI method of payment is accepted)
- Wheelchair Friendly: No (the restaurant is a few steps above the ground floor – there is no ramp to take up a wheelchair)
Vegetarian Andhra Meals with lip-smacking pappu and other chutneys + curries
Delicious food, quick service and affordable Andhra food makes Hotel Annapoorna, a must-try non-veg Andhra restaurant around Majestic-Gandhinagar.
Coffee and friends are a great blend – add scenic roads and a motorcycle to the brew and it becomes perfect!!
Situated adjacent to the Cauvery Peak Estate, famous for its Coffee Museum and Plantation Tours – Cauvery Peak Coffee Shop in Yercaud offers the best brew of coffee ranging from hot-coffees such as filter coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino to the delicious cold coffees.
Cauvery Peak Coffee Shop – The best cup of coffee in Yercaud!!
Nestled amidst scenic hill-station roads, Cauvery Peak Coffee Shop is an outdoor-coffee shop overlooking a pond and surrounded by vast coffee plantations – there is ample space to sit-back under the trees, soak in the crisp air and relish the delicious fare of brew.
Beautiful roads leading to the Coffee Shop
- The entire menu consists of about 10-12 variations of hot and cold coffees and no food at all – which I believe will complete the experience
- Smoking on the Cauvery Peak coffee shop premises is strictly not allowed
- While coffee is served in the outdoors – feel free to check their indoor souvenir shop
- Parking: Cars can be parked within the plantation gate, whereas motorcycles can be parked across the road near the pond
- Payment: Cash and Cards are accepted – no wallet or UPI based payments
- Timings: Monday to Sunday – 8 am to 5 pm
- Location: Cauvery Coffee Shop, adjacent to Cauvery Peak Coffee Estate, Yercaud – Google Maps Link
- If you are a coffee fan – do signup for a guided Coffee Experience Tour involving a visit to the 150-year old coffee plantation, making of coffee and coffee museum (recommend to book prior) – tours start from INR 400/person + taxes (Even kids are allowed on the coffee experience tours)
- I recommend visiting this place after a heavy lunch – relish the coffee and head-out to any of the view-points close by to experience magical sunset
- And always do your bit to keep this place free clean and from plastic
Catch a sunset after the cuppa
The freshness of coffee from the newly-roasted beans from the plantation, crisp air and the serene location elevate the experience of sipping this cuppa.
Ever been to a hotel that doesn’t use – onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, beetroot and even tomato!!
Located in the temple compound of Udupi Sri Krishna Temple complex – Mitra Samaj has been dishing out delicious vegetarian fare since 1949 and is often the 2nd-most visited place after the temple darshan 😀
While every part of Bengaluru sports atleast one ‘Udupi-restaurant’ – the authentic Udupi-cuisine is heavily-influenced by temple cooking methods of Udupi brahmins – infact the lineage of the families that run the best south-indian restaurants of Bengaluru such as MTR, Shivalli Restaurant, Brahmins Coffee Bar etc can be traced back to Udupi district.
Tough to choose 😛
Back to Mitra Samaj – they offer 2 menus:
- Morning menu of dosas, idlis, vada, pineapple ksheera (akin to kesari bath of Bengaluru), upma, mangalore buns etc
- Evening snacks in the form of goli-baje, button idli and more
Highly recommend: – vada sambar, masala dosa, mangalore buns, goli baje – washed down with atleast 2 cups of delicious filter coffee.
best sambar for a vada..
- While the restaurant is within the temple compound – one doesn’t have to remove footwear to reach or eat at Mitra Samaj
- Food is served with coconut chutney (tastes ok) and sambar (absolutely delicious) – be prepared for ‘why you wasting food’ kinda look – if you leave food on the table
- Mode of payment: cash-only (no card or digital wallet payment)
- Parking: No vehicles are allowed inside (unless you are a temple vendor or a big bureaucrat)
- Location: Mitra Samaj, Sri Krishna Temple Complex, Udupi [Google Maps Link]
- Timings: 6 am to 9:30 pm [all days of the week except – closed on Wednesday]
Mitra Samaj is the torch-bearer of authentic Udupi cuisine – the quality and simplicity of food is unrivaled by any other restaurant in the vicinity.