A Taste of Thailand!

At Zoink!, we love all kinds of cuisines, and exotic food even more so. So when we discovered that Benjarong was having its own Royal Thai Food Festival, we could not resist and simply HAD to sample it. Plus, Thai food with its burst of sweet, spicy and sour flavours ranks very high in our favourite cuisines.

Benjarong is hosting the A-harn Chao Wang – Royal Thai Food Festival , which is featuring the most authentic Thai cuisine style to date. The ‘Royal Thai Cuisine’ is still the style served to the current Thai royal family and the cuisine reflects the splendid creativity invented by Thai noble women in the past and is a distinct art that has been passed down over the centuries through members of the noble families.

Specialist Chef Tharee Charupas, who has flown down exclusively from Thailand, will be hosting the festival along with Benjarong’s seasoned specialist Chef Ram Kumar. The special menu includes a mix of specially created vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. The cuisine has its roots in the years 1351 and was practiced by royal and noble families who have passed on the secrets of this style of cooking to the future generations.

Well, enough of us babbling. We’d like to showcase some pictures of their brilliant food.

We were the first to enter, since we were extremely hungry.

We received a warm welcome anyway 🙂

Chef Tharee Charupas, the lady behind the amazing Royal Thai Food Festival.

And they had a good collection of wines that kept us busy.

The menu of amazing dishes that we couldn’t wait to devour.

Then they also decided to hand us a cute recipe booklet of the Thai dishes they were preparing.

Which upon viewing, lead our stomachs to growl, er, rather loudly.

This is a traditional start to a Thai meal. You wrap your leaf up with ginger slivers, coconut, chilli, peanuts, onions and jaggery – infusing primary Thai flavours of salty, sour, sweet and spicy.

And the food finally made an appearance.

Tasted a lot prettier than it looked!

Grathong Thong Je – Rice tartlets filled with corn, green peas, water chestnuts and carrots.

Mee Krob Goong – crispy fried rice vermicelli dressed up in a delicate sauce flavoured with Makrut leaves.

Tung Tong – crispy fried golden pouches stuffed with vegetables and water chestnuts.

Sometimes we wished we payed attention for longer to remember the names of ALL the dishes.   :/

Luckily, we remember these Goong Sarongs – Thai prawn spring rolls in a wonton sheet. Our favourite dish of the day!

Yum Pla Duk Foo – crispy fried catfish salad topped with raw mango.

Khao Pahd Poo – Thai fragrant rice tossed with crabmeat and golden brown garlic wrapped in egg.

And, that’s all, folks! Benjarong is located at 12/1, Ulsoor Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore. Reservations for the festival can be made at 080-32217201

Toast to your Valentine! :-)

Yes, yes, We know! Love’s in the Air and all of us are grinning silly ; either thinking about your valentine or watching other people have silly smiles on the faces that they just can’t seem to wipe off 🙂

Anyways, we could not help but ask ourselves, so which would be the most romantic place in Bangalore to take your guy/girl out for a night to remember! There were quite a few options and we could not narrow it down to one. So here are the top 5 that we decided at Zoink, these are the places which is bound to bowl over your darling to fall in love you.. All over again! 🙂

In no particular order here are our picks…

1. Under the Mango Tree : Apart from the rustic romantic ambiance lend by the mango tree, they are also offering a five course meal. Starting it off is corn n chilly tangy broth followed by light  salads, smoked chicken and Waldorf. Then come the  high light of lobster raviolli in creamy wine sauce & sundried tomato pate (Ymmm!!!) and Hawaian cottage cheese with hot turkish salsa.

And also to set the mood are wines to complement and desserts for completing the indulgence! Priced at Rs 1200 per couple we think it’s a bargain! Call 22111112/3/4 or 9686601021 for making reservations.

2. Olive Beach*: Set smack in the middle of the city ( Near Brigade Road) is a tiny Mediterranean oasis off to which you can whisk away your sweetheart to whisper sweet nothings to. And no need to stay hungry while you gaze into her deep brown eyes, instead reward your other senses with dishes like Smoked salmon Tartare with Toasted Sesame Brioch or Pit roasted chicken with pomegranate glaze. Then both of you can feed each other bites of Pistachio crusted lamb tenderloin,Lobster tail ravioli with saffron butter or Tomato and red pepper risotto with provolone. Toast to your love with raspberry sorbet. All this for Rs 3000* per couple.

3. Ebony : They keep asking you to treat your angel to heavenly food among the clouds and we sure agree with them. The food is exquisite and the view 13 floors up, while not at cloud levels, is high enough for you to feel the high! 🙂 This has been one of the all time favorite spots of Zoinkers and we are sure you’ll not be disappointed one bit!

4. Huckleberry *: ‘Cook for love’ is the theme all over here at this joint in Indra Nagar making the dinner a wee bit more personal and special. The treat is a 4 course dinner including wine pairing for each course and the dessert course can be made by you for your sweet heart ( with excellent assistance from chefs who know what they are doing even if you dont! 😉 ) Either ways, Valentine or not, their brick baked pizzas are beyond scrumptious and a must have for anyone who loves good food. You just cant go wrong here paying Rs 2400* per couple

5. The Lalit Ashok : This one just takes the cake – Moon lit garden with your own private tent and romantic dinner awaiting both of you inside. What could be more perfect?! They also give you the choice between Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. You can have a bottle of bubbly while gazing at the stars or better still, at each other! To book your private tent call 080 – 3052 7777 now!

Well, so what do you think of our picks? You know a secret hideout which is juust purrrfect for Valentine’s? Do share the secret with us!

* Book through PoshVine for these experiences!

F.A.P.S. Food Fest – Photoblog

The Crackers Stall! No, not fireworks. Prawn and Garlic crackers.

This kid is not shy of the Coconut Shye.

Bull's Eye!

Er. Wrong target.

How can you possibly ring the ducks when they don't even stand still for the camera?

Goodies from Candice's stall

"Save me a seat and a bite to eat."

Ms. Candice with all of her baked goodness

A glimpse of the food stalls.

Veggies. Something about that colour.

Robin Uthappa casually checking out the stalls and trying the yummy eats.

Till the MC announced to everyone that he was there and he had to flee.

Delicacies from Lucette's stall!

Lucette and Michael at the kitchen.

"Burn your bum with hot Liver & Heart Fry, Come cool it off with Piggy Boy!"

When we spotted Captain Haddock! 🙂

Beef Sand'witch' anyone?

Pics:

Amith Krishnan,

Zoink! Foodographer

The Fab F.A.P.S. Food Fest! :)

Remember the school fests and carnivals you loved attending as a child? Lots of food stalls, friends  running about in circles in ‘colour dress’, all the fun you could have and best of all, no classes! 🙂 The Zoink! team was reminiscing one of those days at work recently and decided to gatecrash into the Frank Anthony Public School’s Carnival held on December 18th.

This carnival was like no other school carnival we had been to. Sure, it did have the variety of game and food stalls, but it was the kind of food served to use here that impressed us bigtime. For instance, one of the stalls here offered us a delicious Pork Vindaloo (all fatty pork, mind you) with warm Sanas. Pork. At a school in Bangalore. They SO had us. 🙂

Robin Uthappa's fateful cameo

The fest was bustling with energy with children running helter skelter playing countless games at stalls, parents being tagged along with their kids, the MC’s providing a running commentary on a certain Coconut Shye we had to visit to “knock the coconuts and take it home to make a coconut curry”, Robin Uthappa’s cameo appearance (he was casually strolling about till the MC announced that he was at a specific stall, where he got flocked and fled the scene). There even was a stall where one merely had to ring a live duck and could take it home if they did so. Team Zoink! tried to ring the duck, but in vain. The duck just would just keep running everywhere!

Beef Cutlets and Chicken Wings from Lucette's stall! 🙂

The aroma from many of the food stalls beckoned to us, and we stopped by each and every one of them to try what culinary delights they had to offer. We began with Lucette’s stall where she had a host of goodies whipped up for us. We tried the Chicken Sandwiches which were simply minced chicken and mayo and was delicious, crispy tasty Beef Cutlets, and the best of all Chicken Wings marinated in red wine. We simply couldn’t get enough of them.

Moving on to other stalls (the stalls are mainly set up by the FAPS’ teachers or parents of the students), we discovered other yummilicious food! Hot dogs with fresh sausages and mustard and ketchup, beef sandwiches, Mac and Cheese, Prawn and garlic crackers; the spicy Pork Vindaloo was our favourite though. There even was a stall by Town Essentials (a gourmet grocer that mainly runs its business online) that sold amazing pickles – we liked the Mushroom Pickle and the Lime & Dates Pickle the most, and picked up a couple of bottles for experimentation.

Cakes and Marzipans from Candice's stall! 🙂

In addition to all of these amazing stalls, there were also those that were dedicated exclusively for you to indulge your sweet tooth. Being the Christmas season, almost every stall was selling home made fruit cakes, chocolates, candy canes, cookies, carrot cakes, home made wines, sweets and yummy marshmallows and marzipans. We tried every single one of these goodies and came out of the stalls licking our fingers clean.

You have to hand it to the parents and teachers here though. Given the generation of takeout and ready-to-eats, a lot of them turned up bringing packed food from home and whipping up hot dishes in the stalls for the kids. Add to it the once-a-December-stinging-heat-day on the fest, and kids demanding food constantly, it becomes sort of a hellish task. Zoink! salutes y’all!

So that was that. While there were a lot of other activities happening alongside (pairing up little kids with the choice given to the lady to pick her partner 😉 ), we were mainly hovering around the food stalls and loved every moment spent there. If your school/college is having a food festival/carnival  soon, please get in touch with us. We LOVE food! 🙂

P.S. Anyone who wants to purchase the gourmet pickles we mentioned could log on to http://www.towness.com

Anyone who wants to buy home made fruit cake, carrot cake and marzipans can contact Ms. Candice on +919886024790

Pics Courtesy: Amith Krishnan