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Food Review #170

The Dark Knight burger from The Burger Junction – black brioche bun, one thick beef patty, jalapenos, lettuce, bacon and some special sauce. It is amazing! To drink I had their Peanut Butter and Muffin smoothie. Delicious!!

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Slice Of Spice & Masala

One of the places that I really wanted to try was Slice of Spice near Saritha theatre. I had seen so many reviews of people praising their food that my taste buds were intrigued. Plus I live quite near them and not having been until today is something that I cannot find an excuse for. Today I wanted to go there for lunch before my usual weekend movie. I skipped breakfast and survived on only coffee and by 12:15 I was so hungry that my pangs made go to SoS and I ordered and sat waiting in anticipation. Things did not go as I planned.

After going through the menu I asked for al shrouf chicken and kubbos. After discussing with one of the servers, as he said that it would take some time, I asked him about what dishes can be brought quickly, and on his suggestion I ordered two pieces of al-fahm and I asked for kubbos. Another server asked me what I wanted to drink and I ordered a lemon iced tea off the menu. Something went wrong in the translation.

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They brought me a hot lemon tea which I said I didn’t want. He went back and 10 minutes later said that they didn’t have iced tea. So I ordered cold coffee. Then he brought me two chicken al-fam pieces and….naan. By now, I was too tired to disagree and being famished I started to dig in and my fingers expected juicy flesh of chicken …..and got a nice lathering of oily masala. The chicken was so coated in that masala that I could only taste the chicken in a few sections. Especially on the second piece, the masala was slapped on like — makeup on a clown or the makeup on a kathakali artist! I found it hard to swallow at one point.

I am sharing a pic take of the chicken and my plate at the end of the meal. If you took all that grease and liquefied it, you could lubricate the engines of a couple of cars. Saving grace was the cold coffee which was really good and the mayo that comes with the alfam.

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Even though I am so disappointed so many of you have raved about this place, I will go there other day and try something else. Who knows, maybe the chef was having an off day, broke up with his girlfriend and was listening to emo music in anguish as he cooked my meal. But I am not looking forward to tomorrow morning after coffee!

Till next time Slice of Spice.

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Food Review #166

Classy Beef lasgna from French Toast Cafe & Bakery with a Hazelnut Latte. The latte was weak and not good at all and the lasagna could have used some more seasoning but it was still good.

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Cochin Is A Burger Town

I have posted about this before, in fact just over a year ago, and I still don’t get it. When did this sudden craze for burgers engulf my city? Ffor decades we had restaurants that served you a small cutlet type patty and called it a burger. Yes they would add some lettuce and onions and tomatoes but that was it. Now – it’s like you are spoiled for choices.

In the last few years many burger joints have popped up in the city and it’s crazy that we have so many choices for really good burgers. And more are coming up all the time. Ok, so let’s go with the fast food chains and the ones that don’t serve any beef products first. We have 3 McDonald’s, 2 Burger Kings (they have mutton instead of beef), 4 KFCs (yes they do serve burgers), 2 MarryBrown (a Malaysia based KFC style food chain that also serves burgers) & 7 Chickings (a Dubai based KFC styled fast food restaurant that also serves burgers). A few cafes like the now defunct Coffee Beanz, Coffee Cube & Fort Cafe serve decent beef & chicken burgers. But now – we have a plethora of burger joints and cafes that serve burgers.

2 x Burger Junction, Mash 24, The Grill Lab, Burger Lab, Burgeria, 3 x Burger Spot and 5 – yes make that 5 – Burger Huts. Really good cafes like Cafe Papaya, 2 x Cocoa Tree, Tonico Cafe etc. have excellent burgers in their menu. Even Cafe Coffee Day, the largest coffee shop chain / giant, who have fallen from grace since their heady days of being the biggest names in town, have resorted to tiny burgers (only chicken or paneer) in their menu but are far from good. So we do not have a lack of options when it comes to burgers beef, chicken or otherwise. But how and why did this phenomenon happen. And why couldn’t it have happened in the 90s?

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Unlikely Pairing

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Yes, everyone has their unlikely pairing of food, combos that others find weird and crazy. And if you don’t have atleast one, you are a boring individual.

I once used to have sandwiches of cheese and tapioca chips – called the Naveen sandwich after my younger cousin who came up with it. Another cousin accidentally came up with a double decker style sandwich – spicy prawn pickles (achaar) in one layer and sweet strawberry jam in the other. It was weird but oddly satisfying as the sweet jam cooled down the hot n spicy prawn mix.

At my current office, an earlier vendor used to bring egg or mixed veg noodles which I loved and if they had Kerala style chala (sardine) fry I would buy 2 or 3 and eat them along with my noodles. They do not make sense together as they are two different food styles but I don’t care. I love it!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Fight The Heat With Fruit Juice

This summer, like of the past few years, has been bad. Energy sapping heat and humidity which makes you sweat like you were leaking water. It starts in mid or late February and picks up in April. You sweat as you sleep and when you wake up your legs are sticking to your sheets. My head is usually soaking wet in the middle of the night.

I tend to drink a lot of water anyway but these months I drink a lot more. But there’s only so much water you can drink each day. I drink 3-4 coffees as well because I need it, especially as I am 40 and need that pick me up a couple of times in a day. But I’ve started to get back to drinking the best thing possible. Fruit juices.

I buy them from one of the stores when I shop for groceries and they always have offers. Buy 2 of any brand and get a 3rd one free. Minute Maid, Natural, Real – you name the brand, I will buy them. I buy a couple of litres a week and drink them during the day or the late evenings. Tasty and good for you as well. I wish I could get fresh juice all the time but it’s not realistic.

So now instead of vodka + juice, it’s just juice!

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Kerala’s Burger Hut

I went to a Burger Hut for the first time yesterday afternoon. I had heard of this little chain of burger joints for a few months now. Apparently they have 4 outlets in Cochin if I am not mistaken. Kaloor stadium, Ayyappankavu, Padivattom & Kakkanad. That’s 4 outlets that have sprung up in quick time. How have they managed to open 4 outlets, granted that these are small places with minimal seating – the one I went to have 4 tables inside and a couple more outside in their patio.

I chose to go and check them out for a late lunch yesterday on my way to work. The prices are very good, down right cheap if you compare them to almost every place that serves burgers. I ordered the Jumbo cheesy beef, a medium fries and a Pepsi. The burger and fries came to less than Rs.200! Seriously? Ok, but the proof as they say is in the pudding. How will the burgers look and taste? The takeaway menu looks great but when have burgers looked like they way that they are shown in the ads and in paper menus?

15 minutes after I ordered a server brought my red tray with a Pepsi can, a styrofoam bowl filled with fries that came with a small cup of mayo. French fries and mayo? Why not and it was ok, fries were decent but nothing great and the mayo tasted a bit like butter. 2 minutes later came the burger which looked nothing like the menu one. I did not like the bun which was hard on the outside and the burger patties weren’t anything great. They looked a bit too overdone as well though there was plenty of cheese. Overall I’d say it was a 7 maybe a 7.5 outta 10. But wait! For that price? Jumbo cheesy beef is just Rs. 120 and a medium fries comes to Rs.55. Less than 200??? For that rate I will give it a 9. They have a variety of burgers and a few subs. And they deliver. I will frequent them and I hope they do well and their burgers improve in quality. Ignore the menu pics as you know….photoshopped and all that!