Best Gadbud icecream in Kumta at New Simla icecream parlour Kumbeshwar road

Best seafood lunch and ice-cream in Kumta Karnataka

Kumta is a bustling town surrounded by Arabian Sea on the west and Aghanashini river to the north that ultimately meets the sea – creating a triple ecosystem of sea, freshwater and estuarine fishes to savour 😀
While I haven’t encountered a “bad” (read NOT FRESH) seafood in Kumta, one seafood restaurant stood out.

Utsav Hotel, Kumbeshwar temple road, Kumta
Popular among locals, Utsav Hotel is a small, no-frill restaurant serving delicious fare of Mangalorean-style seafood at very economical prices.
A fish thali costs INR 70 !!

Best fish thali and chicken ghee roast in Kumta t Utsav Hotel
Best fish thali and chicken ghee roast in Kumta
  • Must eat: Fish Thali, chicken ghee roast, Anjal masala fry, prawns fry
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Parking: no dedicated parking space for cars and motorcycles (motorcycles can be parked in front of the hotel, not possible for cars)
  • Mode of payment: Cash, UPI
  • No toilet for men and women
  • No soft drinks are available
  • Timings: 11:30am to 3:30pm and 7pm to 10pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Utsav Hotel, Kumta (Google maps link)
Utsav Hotel Kumbeshwar road Kumta Karnataka
Utsav Hotel, Kumta

With the main course over, next building houses a popular ice-cream shop serving delicious Gadbud ice-cream 🙂

New Simla Ice-cream Parlour, Kumbeshwar temple road, Kumta
Hidden in a basement, they serve the best Gadbud ice-cream in Kumta.

Best Gadbud icecream in Kumta at New Simla icecream parlour Kumbeshwar road
Best Gadbud ice-cream in Kumta
  • Must eat: Gadbud, Lighthouse ice-cream
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Mode of payment: Cash, UPI
  • No toilet for men and women
  • Timings: 10am to 9pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: New Simla ice-cream parlour, Kumta (Google Maps link)
New Simla icecream parlour in Kumta Karnataka
New Simla ice-cream parlour in Kumta

After such a meal, walk down to the beach to relish the sea breeze and catch a nap under a tree 🙂
Or if you aren’t lazy , head to the beautiful Mirjan Fort about 15kms from Utsav Hotel.

Useful Information on Mirjan Fort:

  • Mirjan fort is located about 15 kms from Kumta
  • Best mode of transport: motorcycle/private car , there are buses/auto-rickshaw which ply from Kumta to the fort
  • There is NO entrance fee to visit the monument
  • Parking: speak to the shops outside the fort to allow parking of the car, motorcycle and return the favour by buying snacks, cool-drinks, tender coconut etc
  • Fort Timings: 9 am to 6 pm (all days of the week)
  • Carry water, sunglasses and a hat while visiting Mirjan Fort
  • Fort-tour guide: Not available
The magnificent Mirjan Fort in Karnataka
Mirjan Fort – you beauty!!
At maravanthe beach - motorcycle touring on a Hero Karizma
Mandatory photo stop at Maravanthe beach
Magical sunset enroute Kumta Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka

Beach trek in Karnataka from Kumta to Gokarna – Everything you need to know

Kilometres of pristine, non-touristy beaches, enchanting sunsets, camping by a beach with best friends, trek through small hillocks, forts, lighthouses overlooking the sea and taste delicious seafood – experience them on a beach trek from Kumta to Om beach in Gokarna, Karnataka.

Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka

Best time of the year to trek: October to January, after this it gets very hot followed by monsoons

Who can do this trek: Adult/teenage groups (friends, family, work colleagues etc)

Total trek distance: 30-35kms (best to spread this over 2 days with 1-night of camping on the beach)

Best way to reach Kumta: Since the start and finish locations are different – recommend to reach Kumta by bus, train, hired taxi (instead of own car/motorcycle)

Trek difficultly: Moderate (trek terrain has flat beaches, small hillocks, beach-side boulders)

Resting atop a green hillock and savoring the sea breeze enroute the Kumta Gokarna beach trek
Resting atop a green hillock
Not just flat beaches - navigating boulders on the Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Not just flat beaches!!

Detailed Route:

  • Day 1: Kumta bus stand (either by walk or take a local auto) > Head Bunder beach > Vannalli beach > Mangodlu beach > Kadle beach > Baada beach > Camp/stay at a resort
  • Day 2: Baada beach > Nirvana beach > Kagal > Walk back to main road to Berkodi > bus till Aghanashini Jetty > Ferry from Aghanashini to Tadadi > Tadadi Ferry Service Point
    • From here you have 2 options to reach Gokarna:
      • Option 1: Trek further till Om beach
      • Option 2: Take a bus to Gokarna: walk towards Bharat Petroleum Tadadi bunk > board a KSRTC bus till Gokarna > Gokarna to Om beach (hire an local auto/cab)
Beautiful morning at Nirvana beach Karnataka
Morning Views 🙂
At Baada beach - Enchanting sunset on the Kumta - Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
Enchanting sunsets ❤

Where to camp during the trek:

On most days camping on the beach is fine by the locals, but when we went there were some restrictions to camp – hence we approached a beach resort to camp inside their property and use the restrooms.

We camped at:

  • White heaven sea stay: Located at Baada beach (before Nirvana beach), the resort is run by Mr.Nagraj and his brothers.
  • Extremely hospitable and warm people
  • Clean western toilets
  • Food is absolutely delicious
  • Contact Number: Mr. Nagraj +91 9448611178
  • Google Maps link
  • Note: White Heaven Sea stay is a full-fledged resort with AC and non-AC rooms and NOT a camping site, but they allowed us to camp within their property at a nominal fees of INR 150 per person/night

Best time of the day to camp: setup your tents by 5pm – so that you have time to relish the sunset by the beach

Camping at White Heaven Sea Stay in Baada beach Karnataka
Camping at White Heaven Sea Stay – Baada beach
At Kadle beach - Magical sunsets in the beach trek from Kumta to Gokarna
More sunsets..

Details of Tadadi-Aghanashini Ferry

  • Ferry for people and 2-wheelers only
  • Fixed charge of INR 20 per person and INR 20 for a motorcycle/scooter
  • Mode of payment: cash or UPI only
  • Ferry timings: 7am to 7pm with an operating frequency of 15-30mins (detailed timings – see image)
  • Ferry contact number: +91 7022212857
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry in Karnataka
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry, Karnataka
Tadadi to Aghanashini Ferry time schedule Gokarna Karnataka
Ferry schedule – Tadadi to Aghanashini

Useful Information:

  • At Kumta: Clean toilets, place to change to trek clothes, and eat breakfast at Govardhan Restaurant Lodge, opposite Kumta bus stand (Google Maps link)
  • We did the entire trek on our own, without a guide or a trekking company and it’s fairly easy and economical too
  • No food or drinking water is available enroute the beach (so carry them)
  • Some popular beaches have shacks to eat a proper meal (but with the pandemic, it’s hard to say how many shacks operate regularly)
  • The sea is rough, so avoid going deep into the sea for a swim (there are no lifeguards around, be responsible and have fun)
  • Essential gear:
    • Rucksack with sleeping bag
    • 3-man tent for 2 people (ensures enough space to keep 2 rucksacks within the tent)
    • Portable changing room from Decathlon
    • Water: at-least 4/5 litres per person for each day
    • Food: snacks and food for the day and night
    • Torchlight
    • Sunglasses + hat + sunscreen
    • Minimal dry fit clothes
    • Garbage bag to carry back the trash
    • Carry oral rehydration salts such as ‘electral’
  • Camping etiquette:
    • Try to setup camp by 5PM – this way you get ample daylight to setup and time to sit back to relish the sunset
    • If you plan to camp on the beach: please check with the locals if it’s safe (but I highly recommend to find a beach resort and camp within their property)
    • Toilets while camping: find a good spot to poop, carry a portable change room to setup as a temporary toilet, after the duties please cover the poop with sand or mud
    • DO NOT LITTER THE BEACH – carry back all the trash food/empty water bottles
  • Where to eat in Gokarna: end the trek in Gokarna with a chilled beer and delicious sea food by the beach at Namaste cafe!!
Kumta to Gokarna Beach trek - best enjoyed with done friends
Beach trek – best enjoyed with friends 🙂

The Kumta-Gokarna beach trek takes you through beautiful, clean, non-touristy beaches – nothing more relaxing than sleeping and waking up to the sound of the sea.
With the entire beach to yourself, let the inner kid out and have fun 🙂

Beach sunset and friends - Kumta to Gokarna beach trek in Karnataka
When an entire beach belongs to us 😀
Fish meals with prawns rava fry and sole fish masala fry at JK Fishland Yediyur Jayanagar Bengaluru

Best Konkani Mangalorean sea food in Bengaluru at JK Fishland Yediyur Jayanagar

JK Fishland is an obscure small restaurant in Yediyur Jayanagar, but once you taste their Konkani-Mangalorean style of sea food – you would think twice of taking that “Mangalore food-trip” to satisfy the seafood craving.

Started 12 years ago, JK Fishland looks like a typical south-Indian darshini shod with steel chairs, cash-counter at the entrance and huge images of food-items over the open-kitchen counter.
But looks are deceptive, their seafood curries, fry and fish meals are lip-smacking and outdo the distinguished veterans such as Hotel Fishland, Kudla, Mangalore Pearl etc – in taste and price.

Chicken ghee roast with Neer dosa

Must eat:

  • Fish meals: thali containing boiled rice/white rice, 1 Neer dosa, 1 Bangda rava fry, fish curry, palya/subzi, chutney, buttermilk and a shot of rasam – all this for INR 90 only!!
  • Prawns ghee roast: this is master-class!! The best in Karnataka!!
  • Chicken ghee roast: the same ghee roast masala but with cooked boneless chicken (if one of allergic to shell-based fish – this is the best alternative)
  • Neer dose (1 plate contains 4 Neer dosas)
  • Sole fish masala fry
  • Anjal fish masala fry
  • Prawns rava fry: while the fry is delicious, the accompanying green chutney is the perfect side-kick
Absolute heaven!! – Fish thali with prawns rava fry + sole fish masala fry

Useful Information:

  • They serve soft drinks – such a meal is incomplete without them 😀
  • Buttermilk: can be ordered separately, best drink to calm a spicy meal!!
  • Seating is limited to 20-25 ppl at once (total of about 5/6 tables only)
  • Avoid weekends and peak lunch-time – it gets crowded (be an early bird and reach at 12pm/12:30pm for a more relaxed dining experience)
  • Taste of fish curry is way better than chicken curry
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair access to restaurant: Yes, but the dining area is very small
  • Wheelchair access to toilet: No
  • Toilets: No toilets are present at the hotel for men and women
  • Parking:
    • Cars: no dedicated parking or valet parking (lots of by-lanes around the restaurant to park)
    • Motorcycles: no dedicated parking – one can park on the main road of the restaurant
  • Mode of payment: cash, UPI and cards (debit and credit) are accepted
  • Desserts: not available – there are lots of ice-cream and pastry shops in Jayanagar
  • For the Vegetarian: best to avoid – their entire menu is seafood and chicken only
  • Location: JK Fishland, Yediyur, Bengaluru (Google maps link)

Supremely delicious and affordable Konkani/Mangalorean seafood in Bengaluru.
Can’t wait to go again!!

Anjal fish masala fry

2008 Yamaha YZF R6 In India

Living with a 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6

It took me a few kms to break out on to open roads. But by then, it was too late, I was smitten.
The 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6 is a brilliant sport bike that blends performance with mind boggling handling. Any one who rides one and doesn’t instantly want to own one should really get a full physical for they might be dead.

Since it’s debut in 1999, the YZF-R6 has smashed lap records on racetracks and set the heart racing on twisty mountain roads.

Touring on a 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

How does it ride ?
This motorcycle truly comes alive beyond 9000rpm. However compared to its predecessors the 2008 R6 sports a more “usable mid-range” translating to good behaviour on the street and canyon roads.

The low-end is pretty dismal 😦

What’s impressive is the “best-in-the-class” handling courtesy a stellar chassis – it’s a “point-and-shoot” devil that hunts down apexes and inhales corners at a ludicrous pace.

2008 Yamaha R6 ownership experience in India

City Commute:
The R6 is a very docile motorcycle below 4000rpm, while it can survive in stop-go traffic, pot-holed roads and the massive drone of dust – its happy place is an open road or a racetrack.
These low speeds manifest as enormous heat, blasted towards the rider’s legs and the delta box frame – not at a pleasant place to be.
How to avoid heat from the motorcycle at a traffic light – do not sit on the motorcycle while waiting for the green light, instead put the side-stand and stand next to the motorcycle.

Pillion comfort: doesn’t exist – the rear seat is put out to make it road-worthy.

Ride review of 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

Touring:
The riding position on the R6 is somehow naturally comfortable and I found it much comfortable/relaxed over my Triumph Daytona 675R.
The seat isn’t well cushioned for touring, but then this wasn’t designed to munch miles in comfort.

Tank range: expect a full-tank range of 200-230kms on the highway

Luggage:
Best bet is a tail-bag, tank-bag or a combination of both. Kriega’s US-series of luggage would be my choice to strap on the R6.
Underneath the rear seat of the R6 are in-built loops to strap the Kriega luggage.

Suspension:
The front fork has separate high and low speed compression damping, rebound damping(both non-adjustable), only preload can be adjusted.

2008 Yamaha YZF R6 In India

Ride height adjustment:
Yamaha offers mechanical shims that allow one to change the rear ride height.
Even the front ride height can be altered by purchasing longer fork tubes from Yamaha

Cost of service: Avg of INR 8000 – INR 10,000 per service (includes engine oil and oil-filter replacement)

What I like about the Yamaha R6:

  • Razor-sharp and crisp handling: the chassis of the 2008 R6 is designed to reduce braking effect through the frame. The motorcycle is super agile, yet stable , oozes confidence to turn fast. It’s the best-handling 600 PERIOD
  • Engine: It’s an absolute screamer that revs all the way till 15,800rpm (although the tachometer shows 18,000 rpm :p) – it’s a such a phenomenal engine that Yamaha retained the same engine all the way till the 2020 model.
    • For the 2008 model, the engine was updated with better intervals and a higher compression ratio of 13.1:1 over its predecessors (12.8:1)
  • Mechanical ride height adjustment: Yamaha offers OEM parts to alter the ride height at the front and rear of the motorcycle – super cool !!
  • Build quality: The quality of the switches, the fit and finish of the body-panels and the quality of paint are supreme.
  • Access to service the motorcycle: It is so easy to take off the body panels and access the internals for a quick oil change or to clean them – kudos Yamaha !!

What I don’t like:

  • Limp Low-end power: it’s a complete lack-lustre. over the years the R6 has become very track-focused, sacrificing a bit of street ability in the quest for better lap times.
  • No braided brake lines: our Indian temperature isn’t kind on the OE rubber brake lines which tend to make the brakes spongy. Switch to steel braided brake lines for better brake feel and performance
  • No fuel gauge: considering this motorcycle will be used on the street and highway, a fuel gauge is needed
Living with a 2008 Yamaha YZF R6 in India

The R6 casts a powerful spell. It left me aching to own it. Never before have I wanted a motorcycle to be mine so badly

So persuasive is its appeal and promise that I’m sold. I’d buy it in a heartbeat. If only I could.

Mixture and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka

Breakfast and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly SH169 Karnataka

Since 50 years, Hotel Bhuvaneshwari in Bajegoly has been a popular food-stop for locals and travellers due to its delicious food and a super clean kitchen.

Located in Bajegoly town, on the highway connecting South Kanara Border, Sringeri, Kudremukha, Kalasa, and Hornadu to Belthangady – Hotel Bhuvaneshwari serves a delicious fare of:

  • South kanara breakfast regulars – Neer dosa, poori bajji, idly-vada, Mangalore buns, biscuit rotti, goli bajji, pulav and more
  • lip-smacking condiment snacks – mixture, tukudi, murukku etc
  • Sweets – sanjeera, malpuri, laddu, jalebi etc
Puri bhaji breakfast at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Simple and delicious puri bhaji
Mangalore buns and neer dosa for breakfast at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly on SH169 Karnataka
Mangalore buns and neer dosa – a staple breakfast of South Kanara

Must eat:

  • Mangalore buns
  • Neer dosa
  • Biscuit rotti
  • Puru bhaji and chutney
  • Goli bajji (served only in the evening)
  • Sweets such as sanjeera, malpuri (all sweets are served with a handful of fresh mixture)
  • Mixture: made fresh everyday by the masterchefs – the mixture and other savoury condiments are Super crisp, fresh and tasty (DO NOT forget to parcel multiple packs of mixture for the journey ahead :))
  • Kashaya: ditch the coffee or tea for a cup of this hot herbal drink that’s super soothing and tasty
Malpuri or malpua sweet at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Mangalorean style of Malpuri or Malpua

Useful information:

  • The hotel is crowded over weekends by locals and tourists (expect a waiting time for large group or during peak time)
  • They also sell regular snacks like biscuits, chocolates, cool drinks, ice-cream etc
  • Ambiance: non-AC, family and kids friendly seating
  • Large groups: be prepared to sit in different tables and share your table with strangers (unlikely that the entire group would get a combined table)
  • How to order: find a seat, order with the waiter, eat and then pay for the food before leaving at the hotel entrance counter
  • Wheelchair Access to restaurant: Yes
  • Wheelchair access to toilets: No
  • Toilets:clean and separate toilets for men and women are available
  • Parking:
    • For cars and motorcycles: free parking at the entrance of the hotel
  • Mode of payment: cash and UPI (no cards are accepted)
  • Timings: 7am to 8:30pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Hotel Bhuvaneshwari, Bajegoly town, Karnataka (Google maps link)
  • The road to Hotel Bhuvaneshwari (SH169)– from Mangalore/Karkala/Nitte/Katpadi is very-well-laid tarmac offering stunning views of the Kudremuka range – best relished on a motorcycle 🙂
Stunning views of the Kudremukha national forest range between Karkala and Bajegoly SH169 Karnataka
Enroute Bajegoly – stunning views of the Kudremukha national forest range!!
Karkala to Bajegoly highway SH169 - one of the best-roads and scenic highways to ride a motorcycle in South Kanara Karnataka
SH169 – One of the most scenic highways to ride in South Kanara Karnataka

Simple ambiance, fresh food, snacks and reasonable prices make Hotel Bhuvaneshwari a must-stop hotel on the Mangalore-Sholapur highway(SH-169) in Karnataka.

Mixture and snacks at Hotel Bhuvaneshwari Bajegoly Karnataka
Do not forget to pack some mixture for the journey ahead
Ride to Kudremukha and Bhagwathi Nature Camp on a Hero Karizma
What lies beyond good food – even better vistas!!
Enroute Bhagwathi Nature Camp after Bajegoly
Achari paneer tikka at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram Bengaluru

Best soya chaap and lassi in Bengaluru at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram

Your search for the most authentic and delicious fare of vegetarian-only punjabi kababs and lassi in Bengaluru ENDS HERE.

Best soya chaap in Bengaluru at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram
Best soya chaap in Bengaluru!!

Located in Kumara park west, Sheshadripuram, Patiala Lassi is an easy-to-miss restaurant with its deceiving looks as a regular “milk-and-curd shop” (they do sell them :D) offering lip-smacking punjabi BBQ starters across paneer, mushroom, broccoli, soya chaap, pineapple, snacks like aloo tikki, chole kulcha and different types of lassis – regular, dry fruit-based and fruit-based lassi.

Choose the veggie and the seasoning for the BBQ amongst: Achari (most spicy), Hariyali (medium-spicy) and Malai (cream-based, least spicy).

Aloo tikki at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram Bengaluru
Aloo tikki chaat

Must eat:

  • Soya chaap : The best soya chaap in Bengaluru and rest of south India. Tastes so good, it’s even better than some of its counterparts up north and in Delhi [Dont miss – achari soya chaap and malai soya chaap]
  • Achari paneer tikka: soft, melt-in-the-mouth fresh paneer, marinated in achari-masala and BBQ’d on charcoal – beats all the paneer starters in Bengaluru
  • Aloo tikki: the perfect fusion of fried aloo tikki, curd and mix-mash of achari, imli, chaat masala – this one is for the curd-lover!!
  • Lassi: hands-down the most rich, delicious lassi in Bengaluru. While they offer close to 7-10 varieties of lassi, my personal favourites are khova lassi, dry-fruit lassi, sweet lassi
  • Malai mushroom tikka: mushroom and cream-based seasoning is a match made in heaven – absolute deliciousness!!
Achari paneer tikka at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram Bengaluru
Most delicious achari paneer tikka in Bengaluru!!
Kesar badam lassi at Patiala Lassi Sheshadripuram Bengaluru
Kesar badam lassi

Useful Information:

  • Patiala Lassi has 2 outlets in Bengaluru – Sheshadripuram and Sanjaynagar
  • Offers dine-in (no seating, only standing) and delivery (via popular food delivery partners)
  • Avoid standing “very-close” to the BBQ grill, since the ash from the charcoal tend to fly and settle on the food
  • They sell paneer, khova, curd etc by weight (highly recommend to buy the paneer, it’s super fresh, but slightly expensive than branded ones)
  • Chole Kulcha: I didn’t like the taste, while the Kulcha was soft and good, the chole lacked flavour 😦
  • Pineapple BBQ: while this is not available on the menu and on a regular basis – they will prepare this upon prior order (via phone) and based on availability
  • Ambiance: basic, non-AC restaurant
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Toilets: No restrooms for men and women
  • Parking for cars and motorcycles: no dedicated or valet parking space for both. Being a busy road, finding car parking is challenging
  • Mode of payment: cash and UPI
  • Timings: 10am to 10pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Patiala Lassi, Kumarapark West, Sheshadripuram, Bengaluru [Google maps link]

Go with a massively hungry I bet you would eat 2-3 times your normal capacity.

Salty watermelon salad at The Rogue Elephant Basavanagudi Bengaluru

The Rogue Elephant Basavanagudi Kanakapura Road Bengaluru

The Rogue Elephant in Basavanagudi is a lovely open air cafe to enjoy brunch or evening coffee.
The serene greenery in the cafe and a delicious fare of continental food come together to create a relaxed dining experience.

Mango and avocado salad at The Rogue Elephant cafe in Basavanagudi Bengaluru
Delicious mango and avocado salad

Must eat:

  • Mango and Avocado Salad: made with fresh mangoes, avocados, lettuce, almonds, raisins soaked in mustard-based sauce – this is a phenomenal salad
  • Hummus and Pita: this is the best in south Bengaluru, period.
  • Cold coffee: another masterpiece, this is one of the best cold coffee in Bengaluru (beats any artisan coffee shops and chains)
  • Grilled Babycorn with lemon butter: absolute deliciousness!!
  • Salty Watermelon Salad: fresh watermelon with salted cheese and some greens – this is the perfect salad for the summer!!
  • Soup of the day: from clear soups to sweet potato soup to pumpkin soup – the soup offered is different every day
  • Brownie with vanilla ice-cream: this simple dessert is made to perfection
Salty watermelon salad at The Rogue Elephant Basavanagudi Bengaluru
Salty watermelon salad
Walnut brownie with vanilla icecream at The Rogue Elephant Basavanagudi Bengaluru
Walnut brownie with vanilla icecream

Useful Information:

  • Ambiance: open air, non-AC
  • Staff is very friendly and service is quick
  • Wheelchair Access to the cafe: Yes
  • Toilets:
    • clean, separate restroom for men and women
    • No toilets with wheelchair access
  • Pet-friendly cafe
  • Parking:
    • Motorcycles: free parking on the footpath of the cafe
    • Cars: no dedicated parking space + no valet parking (lots of bylanes with free public parking)
  • Mode of payment: cash, debit,credit cards + UPI are accepted
  • Best to go with : family, wife, kids, pets, friends, groups
  • Timings: 11 am to 8:30 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: The Rogue Elephant, Kanakapura Road, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru [link to Google Maps]
Best Tikki Puri at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru

Delicious Tikki Puri and more at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru

This 20-year old chaat shop in Girinagar Bengaluru serves lip smacking Tikki Puri, tomato slice chaat, bun masala, kurkure chaat and more.

Started in 2001 by siblings Prakash and Rajasekhar, over the years Prakash chats has grown from a small gaadi (cart) at the corner to a proper brick-and-mortar shop.
What hasn’t changed is the delicious taste of chaats – made by one person (Mr.Rajasekhar) since.

Tomato Slice Chaat at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru
Tomato Slice Chaat

Must eat:

  • Tomato slice chaat: raw tomatoes layered with delicious condiments, tamarind-base sweet sauce, spicy chutney topped with sev and puffed rice – it’s a burst of flavours and juiciness of tomatoes!!
  • Bun masala: our Indian version of a burger packs a big nippat, flavoured peanuts, sweet and spice chutney and other condiments stuffed into a bun
  • Kurkure Masala chaat: When Kurkure and bhel came together, extremely delicious and best savoured right away before the Kurkure lose their crisp.
  • Special Bhel Puri: a delicious bhel Puri aka churmuri meets pineapple – this is a treat for the taste buds!!
  • Tikki Puri: save the best for the last!! Absolutely delicious
  • Pineapple slice: sliced pineapples topped with sauces and condiments
Bun Masala at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru
Pure deliciousness – Bun Masala
Best Tikki Puri at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru
Best Tikki Puri in South Bengaluru

Useful Information:

  • They DO parcel the chaats, but I highly recommend to eat them there – else they would get soggy and lose the crisp
  • While ordering, state how spicy the chaat should be – less, regular/medium and high
  • Family and kids friendly
  • Seating arrangement: it is a self-service small shop, not more than 5-6 people can sit at once
  • Mode of payment: cash and UPI only ( NO cards are accepted)
  • Timings: evenings only – 5 pm to 9 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking:
    • No dedicated parking for cars and motorcycles
    • Best to park the car in one of broader adjacent roads and walk to the shop
  • Location: Prakash chats, Girinagar, Bengaluru [Google Maps Link]
  • Catering: they undertake outdoor catering of chaats (Contact number: +919741338871)
Menu at Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru
Prakash Chats Girinagar Bengaluru
Humble place, lip-smacking chaats..
Mushroom kabab and mushroom biryani with mushroom chilli and ragi mudde oota with mushroom curry at Hotel Oyster Hesaraghatta main road Bengaluru

Mushroom delicacies at Hotel Oyster Hesaraghatta Bengaluru

The Hesaraghatta main road is referred as “the mushroom highway”, courtesy the plethora of mushroom farms and hotels, food stalls serving ‘full-menu mushroom’ delicacies.

Most popular and the oldest (since 2006) is Hotel Oyster which is “the original mushroom hotel” on Hesaraghatta main road.

From “mushroom kababs”, “mushroom biryani”, “pudina mushroom”, “mushroom burger” “mushroom soup” and even “ragi mudde with mushroom curry” – they got’em all!!

Mushroom kabab and mushroom biryani with mushroom chilli and ragi mudde oota with mushroom curry at Hotel Oyster Hesaraghatta main road Bengaluru
Mushroom Kabab & Mushroom Biryani (both on the left) are “Must-Eats”

What to eat:
My personal favourites and must-try if you are visiting for the 1st time:

  • Mushroom kabab: the freshest mushrooms fried in lip smacking kabab batter, served with a freshly-cut onions, a slice of lemon and fresh pudina chutney (they even sell the kabab-masala separately)
  • Mushroom biryani: the best rice item on the menu.. mildly spiced short-grain rice with perfectly cooked mushrooms (it’s best paired with a soft drink!!)
  • Mushroom burger: the freshness of the burger bun, lettuce, veg-patty loaded with cooked mushrooms is supremely delicious – never did I imagine finding a burger this good, so far out of the city
Mushroom burger at Hotel Oyster Hesaraghatta main road Bengaluru
Mushroom burger – one of the best you can taste in the outskirts of the city

Useful Information:

  • Hotel Oyster is a pure vegetarian hotel, serving mushroom and paneer-based dishes
  • Fresh mushrooms (white button and oyster mushrooms) are sold at the hotel (minimum quantity is 500gms)
  • Ambiance: very basic seating arrangement + NO AC
  • Family and kids friendly restaurant
  • Best time to visit: Its crowded during the weekend, better to visit on weekdays
  • Parking: free car+motorcycle parking at the entrance of the hotel
  • Mode of payment: cash and UPI only (no credit or debit cards are accepted)
  • Wheelchair access: dining area of the hotel is accessible by wheelchair
  • Toilets: NO toilet facility is available for men, women + NO wheel chair access to the restroom
  • Timings: 7 am to 9 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Ragi mudde oota/Thali contains ragi mudde + white rice + mushroom curry + tangy rasam. It is available only between 12 pm to 4 pm + don’t hesitate to ask for extra rasam, mushroom curry (extra serving of curry is free)
  • Location: Hotel Oyster, Hesaraghatta main road, Bengaluru (link to Google Maps)

What to see around Hesaraghatta?

  • Hesaraghatta Lake: while the water levels in the lake has reduced, it’s still a beautiful place for bird watching
  • IIHR Campus: A must visit if you are into gardening, farming – the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research sports a massive campus accessible to public where one can buy fresh fruits and gardening/farming essentials such as seeds, saplings, cocopeat etc at very affordable prices (compared to Bengaluru city)
Hotel Oyster Hesaraghatta main road Bengaluru famous for mushroom food
The oldest hotel serving mushroom dishes..
Touring on a 2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F in India

Living with a 2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F

The Suzuki GSX-S1000F is the epitome “more than meets the eye” as its bulbous styling will “turn-off” most riders from even riding the motorcycle. Once past the looks, it’s a fantastic road going sports bike.

Being positioned as “sports-tourer”, the GSX-S1000F is more “sporty” than a “tourer” – in fact it handles like a sports bike, has the top-end rush of the iconic Gixxer-1000, but is kitted with a “Renthal Fat bar” & a relaxed riding position making this a “comfortable sports bike”.

The show stopper in the 2017 GSX-S1000F package is the “Engine”, a retuned version of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 that ran between 2005 and 2008. This 145bhp inline 4 engine is smooth, torquey and brilliant for road riding with loads of low-end + mid-range torque and a massive top-end punch that sounds good too.

2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F ownership experience in India
Bulbous meets sharp design..

Let’s get to the real world ownership experience of the 2017 GSX-S1000F:

City Commute:
The GSX-S1000F is a comfortable motorcycle to putter around the city – a combination of relaxed rider ergonomics such as – upright riding position, foot pegs right below the seat and wide handlebar make it easy to navigate the traffic.

  • A redesigned bigger radiator ensures that the heat dissipation is manageable.
  • Expect a real world tank range of 180-200kms in the city

Touring:
Comfortable riding position with good wind deflection and a creamy spread of torque across the rev range makes the GSX-S1000F a lovely motorcycle for tarmac touring. With the right suspension setup, it will even soak-up broken tarmac/gravel-roads with elegance.

Tank range: expect a full-tank range of 240kms on the highway

Suspension: It’s got a fully-adjustable upside-down fork and a shock that’s adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping, both from KYB

Luggage: The motorcycle doesn’t have any provision to mount hard-luggage. One has to do with soft luggage options of a tail-bag or a tank-bag.

Cost of Service: Avg of INR 8000 per service (includes oil and oil-filter replacement)

Touring on a 2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F in India
Enroute Kudremukha, Western Ghats, Karnataka

What I like about the GSX-S1000F:

  • Engine: Borrowed from the K5 GSX-R1000, this is one of the smoothest inline4 engine in the market – it’s just brilliant!!
  • Chassis: the aluminium beam frame chassis and the swing-arm are designed to be fun-to-ride with agile handling and feels incredibly well-balanced
  • Suspension: Fully-adjustable front and rear suspension from KYB or Kayaba allows the rider to dial-in the settings suitable for a plush-comfortable ride and a responsive hard setting to chase corners.
  • Brakes: Front brakes are 4-piston Brembo callipers derived from the GSX-R1000 and a single pot Nissin caliber at the rear providing good bite and feel during braking.
  • Rider seat: is broad, soft and is very comfortable even over long distances
  • Traction control: is less intrusive and doesn’t take away the riding experience. Operated via the handlebar switch on the left, the traction control has 3 settings – 1 is the lowest sensitivity allowing rear wheel slide, level 2 is for regular road riding, and level 3 is for wet or cold riding conditions.

What I don’t like:

  • Unlike a text-book sports tourer, touring with a pillion and luggage is NOT BUILT-IN
  • Rear seat comfort: the passenger seat is narrow and uncomfortable for anything other than short trips.
  • NO options from Suzuki to mount a luggage side-rack or hard panniers
  • NO built-in steering damper
  • Full LCD Instrument Console: Simple, non-colour digital display shows sufficient information, but under bright sunlight, it’s difficult to read the dial.

Instrument Console and Renthal fat bar on the 2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F
Cockpit View..

The Suzuki GSX-S1000F is blessed with a ‘brilliant engine’, ‘agile chassis’ and ‘comfortable rider ergonomics’ which translates to a wonderful riding experience out on winding roads, boring expressways, city commuting and even bad roads.