Restaurants Reviews

The Flour Works- or does it ?

 After finding a new restaurant that we intended to check out today closed, a friend and I ambled along to Kalyani Nagar to look at a much reviewed place The Flour Works.

Since there were no signs to help us find it, and without an address, we drove up and down several tree lined lanes finally stumbling upon it close to the Joggers park. With a large red and gold signboard it looked, from the outside, like a chinese noodle factory.

Inside was cool and inviting with a high ceiling, if a bit messy in style.In fact it had no style at all. Strange white lace patterned curtains with tie backs. A forest of different wood tones. Teak chairs, dark wood panelling and  pine tables. The decor was, in short, indifferent. The tables were set with maroon runners and the glassware was grubby.

It took some time for a waiter to present himself at our table . The menu seemed to consist of mostly breakfast and brunch items, eggs, porridge, waffles and sandwiches. Since it was lunchtime we thought we would take the waiters suggestion and order  from the Mains .

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We ordered a cooling drink each as it was a hot day. Mine was a watermelon, mint and cranberry juice attractively named Frosted and my friend chose another, equally delightfully named,Snow Lemonade.

Fifteen minutes later the lemonade arrived and after an interval of another five minutes the watermelon juice was presented.I liked the waternelon juice which was cool and fresh, with the cranberry giving it a bit of a tang.

We then waited a further 25 minutes for our main course to turn up.

First came the chicken and bean chili topped with grated cheese accompanied by slices of garlic bread. After a break of another ten minutes came the pan fried Basa with a lemon caper sauce along with a cauliflower puree and green beans.

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Neither was plated very appetisingly. The fish was underdone and not very fresh though the sauce was piquant. The beans were raw and too mature and woody.The one saving grace was the cauliflower puree which was fluffy and flavourful. 

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The chicken bean chili was tasty and hot though nothing special.

Quantities were painfully small. This main course is meant to be fattened with a salad, an appetizer and a dessert. Do NOT expect to share it amongst two people.

The service was tired and unenthusiastic and we seemed to be eating in relay, first one then the next.

All said and done a disappointing meal and overpriced too...a cold drink and a main course came to Rs 1100 for two people.

Perhaps The Flour Works would be more rewarding to those who stick to its breakfast and sandwich menu ?

 

 


Lila Cafe in Baga,Goa

When in Goa do as the Goans do. Eat prawn curry and rice or fish curry and rice or crab curry and rice or chicken curry and rice or pork vindaloo and rice or...anyhow you get the gist if it. I cannot get tired of Goan food as long as I make a huuuge salad from time to time. The cafes are getting a bit better in that they offer vegetables too, at least a few of them do. The management/ owners at most seaside shacks are quite happy to make up an order not on the menu. I tell them to lightly boil a mixed lot of seasonal vegetables and pour a teaspoon of chopped garlic sauteed in oil over them. Then sprinkle with a generous pinch of black pepper and bit of salt. It goes perfectly with the hot curry and you get your daily veggie intake.

Michaela

There are those who tire easily of the hot stuff and want a serious change. You have little Italian pizza joints and so on but for something completely different head to Lila Cafe on the banks of the Baga river, going inland from the sea at Baga along the Arpora stretch via the tunnel bridge and past Micheala's banner. She used to be a midwife and now does piercings.

Elisabeth

Lila Cafe is owned and run by Elisabeth Saal , who has lived in Goa for over 20 years and began the Coconut Inn at Candolim many years ago before it was sold. She is constantly around the cafe keeping an eye on everything . She does breakfasts, brunches, lunches and teas and makes delicious pumpernickel, whole wheat, and other German breads. Though the place sometimes seems to be a Lonely German Osho'ites Club, the friendly waiters serve other customers quite happily.

Mangocheesecake

On the menu is simple, familiar Sour Cabbage and Mash potatoes, Roesti, Hungarian Goulash, Spaetzle, Sour Beef dumplings, Ratatouille with Rice, Brown Bean Salad, Smoked King Fish with salad, Avocado with Prawns, Aubergine Pate and other such fairly European dishes. The best was the Mango Cheesecake which I had to wait three days to taste as it was always sold out. They also have a Chocolate Mousse which is nice and several other sweet dishes.
The kitchen is spanking clean, the breads are worth buying to take home and there is a jewellery shop at the back for those who are fed up of food.

Bagacreek

A nice place to spend an hour or two looking at the lazy river and the mad motorcyclists who cut like a knife through the perfect landscape on the road that, unfortunately, passes between the cafe and the creek.

Lila Cafe
Pumpernickel Health Food Pvt Ltd
House no 566, Baga
Calangute 403 528
Bardez, GOA
Tel: 0832 2279843
Open 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.


Asian Assimilation

Prem's Restaurant has been around since the 80's.He also began the first grocer shop stocking 'different' vegetables like celery, iceberg lettuce, brussel sprouts ( quite mangy ones to be absolutely fair) and broccoli (with a yellow tinge). At that time, the height of the Osho movement, he was catering mainly to ' foreigners' , the followers of Osho who, at that time ,were mostly from Europe , as the cult did not attract many Asians except ,perhaps , the Japanese.
They became more or less permanent residents floating down the Koregaon paths in orange or white robes.They were accepted in true Indian style, as hippies were accepted in the '60's.

Anybody who has travelled for over two weeks knows that initially one tends to react very positively to the local cuisine and then with memories and homesickness comes an overwhelming desire for the 'Taste of Home".

Prem,( meaning Love), being Punjabi ,had no idea what this taste meant to Europeans but having several friends from the ashram who possibly entered his kitchen to persuade his Nepali cooks to add a thing or two to the gravy , some kind of cuisine emerged. I wouldn't call it fusion cooking.

He now boasts 'Bazil'- a casual Italian Kitchen', "Indian Kitchen",( which has a good vegetarian choice besides the Tandoori section) "Chinese Wok' and "Continental". All available in the same place.The Continental is in a transitional state- Chillies in the brown sauce, amul cheese in the Mornay, cloves in the Hollandaise. But good.

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We ordered the Pepper Lamb with (chilli),basil brown sauce , baked tomatoes, mixed vegetables and french fries

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the Prawn Curry and Rice and -

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Kadahi Paneer with Butter Naan.Huge glasses of fresh Mosambi juice went well with all of these dishes.

Today the courtyard at the back, where his restaurant is situated, is packed, especially on a Sunday, with people from all over the world who want a change of one kind or another.Indians who want to try "Western food" , Koreans who like the Chinese food, French who like the Indian food, and students who like everything as long as they can take their time eating it.

Since Prem's does not believe in quick service, you have time to enjoy the outdoor ambience while waiting and waiting and waiting for the food to arrive. Slow Food? Somehow it makes one feel welcome.

Lunch for three with drinks: Rs 650

Prem's Restaurant
North Main Road
Koregaon Park
Ph: 26130985