Selvi Mess Salem

Selvi mess is so synonymous with food in Salem these days, its disrespectful to not stop by for a meal !! (unless you are a pure vegetarian).

Started 35 years ago, Selvi Mess attracts locals and visitors with the promise of simple, delicious Chettinad cuisine (the traditional cuisine of Tamil Nadu’s Chettiar community, which is pre-dominantly spicy and meat/sea-food driven) dishing out a gastronomic experience via their biryani, white rice based full-meals, chicken/mutton/fish/prawns-based side dishes that complement the biryani or meals along with great hospitality.

Chicken Biryani at Selvi Mess Salem

Delicious  Chicken Biryani

What to Eat:

While we couldn’t cover the full spread, here are the must-eats:

Biryani (Chicken or Mutton):
Made with short-grained rice and meat-pieces, the biryani is an explosion of flavours, but spiced mildly. Its served with tomato & kathrikkai (brinjal) dalcha , raitha, Kari Kuzhambu (mutton gravy) or Koli Kuzhambu (chicken gravy).

Meals (Veg or Non-Veg):
The Veg meals comprise of white rice, sambar, rasam, more (spiced buttermilk), tomato & kathrikkai (brinjal) dalcha along with pickles.
Kari Kuzhambu (mutton gravy) or Koli Kuzhambu (chicken gravy) are served with white rice in the non-veg meals.

Chilli Fish:
The perfect side-dish with a meal 😀 Served with lemon and onions, chilli fish is a deep fried dish made with boneless chunks of Nei Meen aka seer fish marinated with spices.

Ride to Selvi Mess - Near Dharmapuri Ghat -NH 44 on a Triumph Daytona 675R

Enroute Selvi Mess – fantastic road to a delicious meal 🙂

Useful Information on Selvi Mess, Salem:

  • Location: Selvi Mess, Opposite New Bus Stand, Swarnapuri, Salem – link to Google Maps
    While the above location is the main branch, Selvi Mess has 4 branches across Salem town:

    • Selvi Mess, Opp. Town Railway Station, Sivasami Street, Salem
    • Selvi Mess, Cherry Road, Hasthampatty, Salem
    • Selvi Mess, Attur Main Road, Seelanaickanpatty Byepass, Salem
    • Selvi Food Mania, Manivannan Road,new bustand, Salem [Selvi Food Mania, is the up-market AC version, serving the same food]
  • Cash-only, no cards are accepted
  • Parking for motorcycles, no dedicated parking for cars
  • Timings: 10:30 AM – 11 PM (Open all days of the week)
Selvi Mess Opposite Old Bus Stand Salem

Selvi Mess Opposite Old Bus Stand Salem

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Diesel Cafe Mangalore [All Day Breakfast]

While the popularity & number of places serving traditional Mangalorean cuisine continues to grow in Mangalore, a new crop of cafes catering to the cosmopolitan folks of the city are on the rise – one café that stands out among them is Diesel Café, located on Balmatta road.

While Diesel Café started way back in 2004, it has been revived to bring in additional cuisines and a new look. Diesel Café is the go-to all-day breakfast place in Mangalore to savor pancakes, waffles, English breakfast and delicious coffee.

Sharabi Banana Pancakes + Baked Chicken Feast (Mains) and Cafe Mocha at Diesel Cafe Balmatta Road Mangalore

[From L to R] Sharabi Banana Pancakes, Baked Chicken Feast – Mains and Cafe Mocha at Diesel Cafe

What to eat ?

  • Sharabi Banana Pancake – pancakes with banana toffee cream laced with Old Monk Rum!!
  • Cafe Mocha – regular mocha and it was delicious !!
  • Baked Chicken Feast (Non-Veg – Mains) – cheesy baked dish chicken, sausages and bell-peppers ( loved it!!)

Useful Information:

  • Some items on the menu are available during specific times of the day – so read with concentration 😛
  • Special Menu: Ask for the special menu – its not available throughout the year, but they run events such as International Waffles & Pancakes festival offering food beyond their regular menu
  • It gets crowded on weekends, so spend the waiting time deciding what to eat. The service is a bit-slow, but then good food takes time – order a good set of French fries laced with Sriracha mayo (the fastest thing served :D) to calm down the hunger pangs!!
  • Cash and cards are accepted
  • Parking: No dedicated parking, plenty of bylanes to park motorcycles and cars
  • Timings: Open all days of the week – 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM
  • Location: Diesel Cafe, Balmatta Road, Mangalore [Link to Google Maps]
Cafe Mocha at Diesel Cafe Balmatta Road Mangalore

Cafe Mocha at Diesel Cafe – Deliciousness!!

Best Street Foods of Gurugram

Driven by the polished blue-collar corporates, a thriving stream of migrants in search of avenues and it’s true-blue locals – the street food in Gurugram is witnessing an explosion of flavours unlike any other city.

Here is ode to the delicious, pocket-friendly and fairly unique street foods near DLF Phase 3 Gurugram:

Tandoori momos:

Hats off to whoever conceptualized adding momos with masala inside a tandoor – absolute deliciousness!!

Where: The Hunger ‘s Paradise, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Tandoori Momos at The Hungers Paradise DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Tandoori Momos at The Hungers Paradise

Dabeli and Vada Pav:

Served here are bang-on taste to the famous ones in Maharashtra.

Where: Anil Bombay ki Mashoor, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Dabeli at Anil Bombay ki Mashoor DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Dabeli at Anil Bombay ki Mashoor

Litti chokha:

While this traces its origins to Jharkhand, Bihar and Eastern UP, the outlet here is run by a Bihari and tastes as authentic as the ones in East-Central India.

Where: Puja Purvanchal Litti Bhandar, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Litti Chokha at Puja Purvanchal Litti Bhandar DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Litti Chokha at Puja Purvanchal Litti Bhandar

Ferrero rocher shake and Alphonso mango shake:

How could the best Ferrero Rocher shake be found in an small outlet !! Loaded with calories, the shakes here are very addictive!!

Where: Made with More, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Ferrero Rocher Shake & Alphonso Mango Shake at Made with Love DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Ferrero Rocher Shake & Alphonso Mango Shake at Made with Love

Chicken lababdar roll & Soya Kebab Combo:

Delicious meat rolls and combos (served with laccha parathas, chutney,sauce and respective kebab). They fill your stomach with deliciousness.

Where: Rolls Royce, U Block, DLF Phase 3, Gurugram

Soya Kebab Combo at Rolls Royce DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Soya Kebab Combo at Rolls Royce

Chili Butter Veg Masala Patties Puff:

Never thought a puff could be elevated to such levels!! About 30 varieties of stuffings inside a puff.

Where: The Patties Junction, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Chili Butter Veg Masala Patties Puff at The Patties Junction DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Chili Butter Veg Masala Patties Puff at The Patties Junction

Suji wale Chole Kulche:

Suji-based bread served with delicious chole, onions and lime, very interesting and yumm.

Where: Ajay Yadav ji ke chole kulche, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Chole with Suji-wale kulche at DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Chole with Suji-wale kulche

Chicken Rara with Paratha:

Tenderly cooked chicken in gravy with laccha parathas. Lip-smacking!!

Where: Royal Dhaba, DLF Phase 3,  Gurugram

Chicken Rara with Paratha at Royal Dhaba DLF Phase 3 Gurugram

Chicken Rara with Paratha at Royal Dhaba

Useful Information while trying the street foods in Gurugram:

  • All these places accept only cash and wallet currency such as Paytm
  • Timings : open throughout the day ( from 8 am to 11 pm – timings vary slightly from shop-to-shop however)
  • No place to sit and eat
  • Avoid taking the car – No place to park (motorcycles can be managed)
  • The place is crowded, be prepared to hustle around and get your order
  • All the above places are near the DLF Phase 3 metro station
  • All the above places are on Swiggy

The above street foods aren’t complete with a good dose of masala kullad chai and some delicious pakoras!!

Best Strawberry Desserts in Bengaluru

Strawberry is by-far the most popular ‘berry’ used in desserts. In-fact next-to/on-par with mangoes, strawberry festivals are celebrated across the world and in India at Mahabaleshwar.

Here is my pick of must-try fresh strawberry desserts in Bengaluru:

1) Strawberry Sundae:

Although strawberries taste best with ice-cream, the Gelato takes it to an entirely different level.

Where: Milano Icecream, Indiranagar

Strawberry Sundae at Milano Icecreams Indiranagar Bengaluru

Strawberry Sundae at Milano Icecreams Indiranagar

2) Strawberry Lassi:

A big dollop of thick curd blended with fresh strawberries – never did a lassi taste so delicious!!

Where: Sreeraj Lassi Bar (all outlets in Bengaluru)

Strawberry Lassi at Sreeraj Lassi bar Bengaluru

Strawberry Lassi at Sreeraj Lassi Bar

3) Fresh Strawberries with Nutella:

The purest form of consuming a strawberry!! Dip one in a jar of Nutella and get lost in yumminess!!

Where: Anywhere with good company 🙂

Strawberries with Nutella at Strawberry Festival Mahabaleshwar

Strawberries with Nutella

4) Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries and Cream:

Delicious pancakes served with whipped cream, maple syrup and loads of strawberries – A breakfast date done right!!

Where: The Hole in the Wall Café, Koramangala

Pancakes with strawberries and cream at The Hole in the Wall Cafe Koramangala Bengaluru

Pancakes with strawberries and cream at The Hole in the Wall Cafe Koramangala

5) Chocolate Pizza with Strawberries & Bananas:

God bless the soul who created this combo!! Chopped strawberries with bananas on a chocolate pizza – it doesn’t get better than this!!

Where: Onesta (all outlets in Bengaluru)

Chocolate pizza with chopped strawberries at Onesta Bangalore

Chocolate pizza with strawberries & banana at Onesta

6) Around the world berry –Bubble waffles with Nutella and Strawberry:

Delicious is an understatement – do not miss this if you love waffles, nutella and strawberries 🙂

Where: Belgain Waffle Factory, near Brigade road

Around the World Berry - Bubble Waffles at Belgian Waffle Factory Brigade road Bangalore

Bubble Waffles at Belgian Waffle Factory

Good to know: I highly recommend checking with the above restaurants on the availability of strawberries before-hand, since they are seasonal.

Have a berry-good day 🙂 🙂

HVR Veg Hotel Hassan [Breakfast Ride]

While Hassan is the gateway to some of my favorite places such as Chikmagalur, Belur-Halebeed, Sakleshpur, Kudremukh etc.

I could never find a breakfast place in Hassan worthy to blog- until I heard about HVR Veg Hotel from a buddy who studied in Hassan and it turned out to be great one.

HVR Veg Hotel has been dishing out delicious dosas, idly and vadas in a quite residential colony of Hassan town for over 25 years. Although they have a branch in Sheshadripuram, Bangalore – the original one is worth a breakfast ride!!

What to Eat:

Set Dosa:

Fluffy set dosa served as a pack-of-3-dosas/plate with aloo palya and delicious chutney.

Set Dosa at HVR Veg Hotel Hassan

Set Dosa – at its best!!

Masala Idly:

Super soft Idly with steamed veggies served as a pack-of-3 idlis/plate with chutney.

Masala Idly at HVR Veg Hotel Hassan

Masala Idly – loved them!!

Benne Khali Dosa:

Crispy dosas made with butter served as a pack-of-2-dosas/plate with aloo palya and chutney and don’t forget to add crispy vadas.

Benne Khali Dosa at HVR Veg Hotel in Hassan

Benne Khali Dosa – best relished with crispy vadas 🙂

Useful Information:

  • They don’t serve sambar, only chutney
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for less number of idlis and dosas per plate – you would be charged accordingly and helps to try more items on the menu
  • Cash only, no cards are accepted
  • Parking: No dedicated parking, plenty of bylanes to park motorcycles and cars
  • Timings:
    • Monday to Saturday: 7 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm
    • Sunday: 7 am to 12 pm only
  • Location: HVR Veg Hotel, Basettikoppal Main Rd, Krishnaraja Pura, Hassan Link to Google Maps
NH75 - Bangalore to Hassan Highway on a KTM Duke 390

My new year began with such vistas on an otherwise boring NH75 🙂

Wish you all a fabulous 2018 🙂

Ride safe and hard!!

5 Offbeat Chaats in Bangalore

While the typical chaat landscape in Bangalore varies from south-indian style masala peas to north-india-based channa masala and tikkas to the spice-bred Chintamani/Bangarpet delicacies to the funky Mumbai-wala chaats.

There are some outliers whose definition of a chaat go beyond the regular and have become an expert in the art of integrating offbeat ingredients into their version of a chaat.

Presenting the best offbeat chaats in Bangalore:

Kedia’s Fun Food, Jayanagar 4th Block

Kedia’s has been serving delicious Gujarathi-influenced street food in the guise of parathas, mithai and chaats for 15 years.

It is their Rasgulla Chaat which ticks the right taste buds with fresh rasgullas acting as the base (like Papadis) of the chaat. It’s not overly sweet to kill the taste of the chaat.

  • What to eat: Rasgulla Chaat
  • Orientation: 6th C Main, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore Link to Google Maps
  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm (all days of the week)
Rasgulla Chaat at Kedia's Fun Foods Jayanagar Bangalore

Rasgulla Chaat at Kedia’s Fun Foods Jayanagar

Thengu Mane, Rajajinagar

Thengu Mane means ‘Coconut House’ which translates to everything they make is coconut-based – from coconut lassi to tender coconut soup to tender coconut green tea and even coconut-based milkshakes (which are delicious).

The tender coconut pani puri is served with pani made from coconut water whereas most of the other ingredients/masalas resemble any regular pani puri.

  • What to eat: Tender coconut pani puri
  • Orientation: 185, 19th Main, 1st Block, Rajajinagar, Bangalore Link to Google Maps
  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 3 pm  & 4 pm to 9:30 pm (all days of the week)
Tender Coconut Water Pani Puri at Thengu Mane Rajajinagar Bangalore

Tender Coconut Pani Puri at Thengu Mane Rajajinagar

Arvind Ladduwala, Mittal Towers MG Road

Mittal Towers is popular 2 things – paid parking for cars & delicious marwadi & north Indian food outlets in the ground floor serving parathas, poori-sabzi, chole bathura, rajma chawal, mithai and chaats.

Arvind Ladduwala serve jalebi chaat, made with deep-friend jalebis (without being soaked in the sweet syrup) acting as the base of the chaat (like papadi). The jalebi used in the chaat has mild sweet flavor which doesn’t overpower the overall taste.

  • What to eat: Jalebi Chaat
  • Orientation: Ground Floor, Mittal Towers, MG Road Bangalore Link to Google Maps
  • Opening Hours: 11 am to 8 pm (all days of the week)
Jalebi Chaat at Arvind Ladduwala Mittal Towers MG road Bangalore

Jalebi Chaat at Arvind Ladduwala Mittal Towers MG road

Sri Sairam’s Chaats and Juice, Malleswaram

Easily the maximum varieties of chaats (close to 99 variations) available under a single roof in Bangalore, Sri Sairam Chaats has been serving whacky chaat combinations since 20 years in Malleshwaram and all this at an average price of 35 INR/chaat.

Student’s special chaat is the coming together of all the possible flavored fryums & chips prepared in bhel puri style – absolutely delicious!!

  • What to eat: Student’s Special, Crazy Chaat, Chips Masala
  • Orientation: 35/1, Near MES College, 16th Cross, 8th Main, Malleshwaram, Bangalore Link to Google Maps [They have 2 outlets in Malleshwaram – one near MES College & another near Kadu Malleshwara temple]
  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 10:30 pm (all days of the week)
Students Special Chaat at Sri Sairam Chaats and Juices Malleshwaram Bangalore

Students Special Chaat at Sri Sairam Chaats and Juices Malleshwaram

Punjabi by Nature, Koramangala

A proper dining place serving Indian & Mughlai cuisine, while their lunch buffet is popular during the day, their pani puri with served with vodka is a crowd favorite in the evening.

  • What to eat: Vodka pani puri
  • Orientation: 6, Krishna Industrial Area, Hosur Road, Near Forum Mall, Koramangala Bangalore Link to Google Maps
  • Opening Hours: 12:30 pm to 11:30 pm (all days of the week)
Vodka Golgoppas at Punjabi by Nature Koramangala Bangalore

Vodka Golgoppas at Punjabi by Nature Koramangala

Chikkanna Tiffin Room Nagarathpet Bangalore

When it comes to food, Bangalore has never been so cosmopolitan!! Food from almost every corner of our country/globe has found its way here.

Yet there is something magical about the ‘local-food-gems’ which are known, nurtured and guarded by the locals.

Chikkanna Tiffin Room is one such local-food-gem thriving in the bustling lanes of Nagarathpete in the Old City Market area of Bengaluru. From the past 50 years, this humble tiffin room has been dishing-out delicious Masala, Khali and rice-bath dosas laced with lots of love and ghee.

What to Eat:

Masala Dosa:

Crispy brown masala dosa laced with atleast 25ml of ghee/dosa – things really cant go wrong with this combo 😀

The chutney and potato palya add to the taste.

Masala Dosa at Chikkanna Tiffin Room Nagarathpete Bangalore

Delicious is an understatement!!

Khali Dosa with ghee:

With all the ghee teaming with masala dosa, the other dosas and rice-items don’t get ghee by default, so ask for the extra ghee – worth the extra charge.

The Khali dosa which is crispy around the corners and soft at the centre can be ordered either as a single or double with chutney and palya.

Khali Dosa at Chikkanna Tiffin Room Nagarathpete Bangalore

Yumm Khali Dosa – crispy edges and soft at the core!

Rice Bath Dosa with ghee:

This avatar of dosa is the most difficult to finish – order this when you are absolutely hungry!!

The rice is spicy, but phenomenally tasty!!

The Idlis are decent, but not up-to the class of dosas.

Rice bath Dosa at Chikkanna Tiffin Room Nagarathpete Bangalore

Rice bath Dosa – for the hog in you !!

Useful Information:

  • Timings: Open between
    • 7 a m to 11 am & 5pm to 8pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
    • 7 am to 11 am only (on Sunday)
    • 5pm to 8 pm only (on Monday)
  • Cash only, no cards or electronic payment
  • Parking: Avoid the car (no parking available), motorcycles can be parked in any of the bylanes
  • No Sambar, No coffee or tea is served
  • Location: Chikkanna Tiffin Room, Nagrathpete Google Maps Link