#IHBLists : Our Top Ten Happy Hours Picks in Bangalore!

Arbor Brewing Company

Who doesn’t love a tall serve of specially crafted beer?! And, 500 ml for the price of a 330 ml? Yes, please! Drink away your Monday blues at Arbor Brewing Company while sipping on your choice of stout, lager, ale and much more. They know all about steering your attention away from the weekend withdrawal by extending their happy hours all day long. So, whether you end up working late or get stuck in traffic, make sure you end the start-of-the-week evening with your favourite beer.

Happy Hours: All day, Mondays on craft beer.

Where: Magrath Road, Opp. Garuda Mall

Three Dots & a Dash

Comfortable seating, a rooftop ambience and an island style décor that is transient through the interiors and food makes this place the perfect hangout spot to celebrate happy hours! Even some of their house cocktails (which are all a must-try) make their way into the happy hour menu, so get ready for a heady mix of all things alcoholic. What to try – Tiki Tower for the Rum lovers, Beach Bum for the Vodka lovers and Forbidden Island for the high spirited!

Happy Hours: Mon – Thur from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., 1+1 on house spirits, bottled/draught beer, house wines and selected cocktails & shooters.

Where: 100 ft. Road, Indiranagar

Bootlegger

Conveniently located on Lavelle Road, this neighbourhood pub is always seen with an overflowing crowd. Nonetheless, the good times that the joint provides us with always makes it up to us. Drop in here for a team beer lunch or a relaxed afternoon session and let the happy hours take over!

Happy Hours: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. all days

Where: Lavelle Road

Tippler on the Roof

This haunt goes all out when it comes to happy hours! Molotov Mondays offer an all-day adventure and explosive offers and prices are available on all drinks, for the rest of the week. Their Molotov Monday menu includes pocket-friendly prices on food and beverages to ensure you don’t go tanking up on an empty stomach. With food starting at Rs. 35 & drinks flowing from Rs. 55, we couldn’t ask for more!

Happy Hours: All Day Monday and Tue – Sun from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. on draught beer, domestic liquor and IMFL.

Where: 100 ft. Road, Indiranagar

The Humming Tree

The advantage of choosing to have your happy hours here is that you almost always have something to look forward to, once the tipple hits! Known for their variety of entertainment every other day of the week, The Humming Tree sets you up for a (not-so-memorable 😉) night with their happy hours, Tuesdays to Sundays.

Happy Hours: Tue – Sun from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: 12th Main Road, Indiranagar

Om Made Café

Oh, for the love of wine! This quaint little space in Koramangala serves as the perfect backdrop to enjoy your favourite wines as you are serenaded by the sunsets of Luru. Their unlimited Sangria offer is quite the bargain for wine lovers – on offer every day of the week!

Happy Hours: Unlimited Sangria – all days of the week.

Where: Koramangala – 1st Cross, 5th Block

Mother Cluckers

Another hit delivered by the Plan B group that keeps everyone going back for more. Besides their happy hours, don’t forget to try out their recently upgraded menu that has added a new twist to all our old favourites.

Happy Hours: Mon – Fri from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: Indiranagar

District 6 Pub Brewery and Kitchen

A fav among the area dwellers, the brewery has on the menu some fine brews that will keep you thirsty long after the first mug. Their food menu compliments the entire affair by offering a range of eclectic dishes that pair well with your drink.

Happy Hours: Mon – Thurs from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: G 3, 4, 5 – Sheraton Hotel, Malleshwaram.

1522 – The Pub

One of the few places that still keeps rock n’ roll alive, the energy that 1522 gives you will fuel your fire to keep the drinks going. Their music along with the occasional karaoke sessions set the pace for happy hours, as much as the alcohol!

Happy Hours: Mon – Fri from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Malleshwaram

Gilly’s Restobar

If you want to unwind after a heavy work day, look no further than Gilly’s which has fast turned into the hub for corporate afterhours, in their respective neighbourhoods. With mugs at Rs. 75, Pitchers at Rs. 325 and Towers at Rs. 595, it is sure to bring a good end to your work day!

Happy Hours: Mon – Fri from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Mugs, Pitchers & Towers.

Where: New BEL Road, Marathahalli (Koramangala outlet awaiting news from authorities to resume serving liquor)

 

Bangalore, these 6 decor stores are sure to bring the quirk home!

We all love revamping our homes from time to time. Bored of the same old options? Don’t fret! Here’s a list of Luru’s most eclectic home décor collections that are sure to spruce up any living space. Quirky, classy, kitsch or rustic – take your pick!

Good Earth

The well-known art of adding an unmatchable touch of class to any living space comes in the form of the brand that we all know and love – Good Earth! Such an exemplary offering that transforms your home to what may seem like an ethereal adventure is surely one of our tops picks in the list. Though most us may find the price points a bit heavy on our budgets, the refinement and elegance of the products are incomparable.

#IHBLoves – Don’t miss out on their latest offering of designer wallcoverings! FYI, their offering also includes a line of everyday wear in natural and handwoven fabrics.

Where: UB CITY – THE COLLECTION, #24 Vittal Mallya Road
Contact: 080 41738870
Website: Click here.
Timings: Mon to Sun, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

The Wishing Chair

A lifestyle retail brand in the home accessories, décor and gifting space, their store is one that you cannot miss. A colourful and tasteful assortment of trinkets decorate their façade, enough to make you want to indulge in some retail therapy immediately. The theme for their items follows a whimsical, happy and feminine tone that adds an unbeatable charm as it reflects in the hand-picked treasures.

#IHBLoves – A special mention of the in-store eatery, The Mad Teapot Café, that serves up a refreshing and healthy menu of clean, vegetarian food and refreshing beverages.

Where: 295, 100 Feet Road, Indira Nagar, Next to Toit
Contact: 080 4093 1683
Website: Click here.
Timings: Mon to Sun, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

The Purple Turtles

Apart from being a heaven for lighting options, this is also custom created heaven for everything bespoke! Right from your coffee table and reading lamp to your chandeliers and office furniture, Purple Turtles allows you to add your personal touch to craft any piece.

#IHBLoves – They also specialise in comprehensive interior design solutions. Starting from conceptualisation and design to manufacturing and installation, their dynamic team ensures personalized and compelling experiences.

Where: #128, 1st Main, Domlur 2nd Stage
Contact: 080 4152 8039
Website: Click here.
Timings: Mon to Sun, 10:30 am to 8:00 pm

Chumbak

After their rebranding from a local ‘quirky’ brand that stood for irreverence and artsy objects (mostly cute designs souvenirs, and tongue in cheek collectibles), Chumbak’s gone all out and is all about the community. They now have a whole collection of fabulously different home decor (and furniture) that we heart!

#IHBLoves – Obvs, we heart their Luru centric brand values; that everything (for this now, nation-wide brand) is made with love, in our own city. #represent

Where: 520, CMH Road, Indiranagar
Contact: 080-2525-5520
Website: Click here.

The Purple Pony

A stand-out innovation are their seasonal campaigns that introduce a whole new selection of knick-knacks that are sure to please our hunger for variety. They cater to themes ranging from urban escapes to drama queen essentials and groove basics to festive celebrations.

#IHBLoves – Their products include an extensive gamut of room decor, bedding, cushions, quilts, curtains, lamps, lighting, furniture, decor collectibles, wall decor, wall art, carpets, rugs, chairs… you name it (click here to read more).

Where: 565/1, 15th Main Road, Koramangala 4th Block, Koramangala
Contact: 080 4094 6926
Website: Click here.
Timings: Mon to Sun, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm

Fancy Chilli

If you’re the kind of person that loves kitsch, you are going to love Fancy Chilli. Greeted with a flurry of colours as soon as you enter their store, you will find yourself rushing towards many things at once! Right from home décor to off-beat bar accessories, funky handmade products and branded items, you have an array of eye-popping goodies to choose from.

#IHBLoves – What we noticed was, photographers may particularly enjoy the photography-themed curios, some of which are pretty hard to find!

Where: No.4, Walton Road Off Lavelle Road, Near UB City, Shanthala Nagar
Contact: + 91 96110 33334
Website: Click here.
Timings: Mon to Sun, 10:30 am to 9:00 pm

6 Bangalore Cafes with a Twist: Serving up more than just chai or coffee!

Luru cafés that offer much more than a steaming cuppa chai or aromatic coffee are fast becoming the talk of B-town. And with the monsoon around the corner, what better way to enjoy a (hangover-free) weekend than to gather the gang and hidey-hole in one of these cosy corners. Take your pick from our list!

Yogisthaan

Essentially a place to relax, rejuvenate and seek some solace, this café is more of a lifestyle with everything that is has to offer. The café is part of a more varied brand offering that includes yoga classes, short & long-term accommodation and an organic shop that offers a range of organic food and beauty staples, for clean living. The café itself is macrobiotic vegan friendly and prepared with ancient Ayurvedic principals in mind.

#IHBSays – Don’t miss their happy hours from Monday to Friday, 10:30am – 12:30pm & 4:00pm to 7:00pm!

Where: Plot no. 89 11th Cross Road, Stage 1, Indiranagar
Contact: +91 804 091 4888 / info@yogisthaan.com
Meal for two: Rs. 600 approx.

Socie-tea

For the tea-lovers, of course! To cut it short, this one’s a café that lets you be just who you are or anything else that you may want! As soon as you enter the property, you are immediately taken in by their typical tea-party set-up that stands out in style. The outdoor seating adds to the charm of being a sidewalk café and the range of books and board games leave no opportunity for a dull moment. The art lovers can feel at home with the showcase of their fellow customers’ artwork, proudly displayed on the walls.

#IHBSays – Besides serving up a fine range of loose leaf teas that are multi-brew-able, visitors can also enjoy their ‘Beau-Tea’ hall which has a wide range of home decors and gifts like candles, rare art from across the country, bags, terracotta jewellery and apparel.

Where: No 83/4, 13th main, indiranagar
Contact: + 91 99807 24004
Meal for two: Rs. 500 approx.

Ants Café

A delectable menu of global cuisine that can be enjoyed in a quiet and serenading balcony ambience surrounded by trees – enough to catch your attention, isn’t it?! But, that’s not all that Ants has to offer. Besides being nominated and bagging the prize for being one of Luru’s best breakfast haunts, the café does its bit to give back to society by supporting arts and crafts traditional to the North-East. With ‘crafting traditions’ as their tagline, their store has been in business for over 9 years, focusing on 7 states, creating opportunities for artisans and beneficiary households, giving Rs. 5 Cr back to the community with 1 million touchpoints! Some big numbers, aren’t they?!

#IHBSays – Something to look forward to are their periodic food festivals (especially the ones with Naga food).

Where: 2286, 1st Cross, 14 A Main, Hal 2nd Stage, Indira Nagar and also at #5, Avalon, 1st Main Road, Whitefield Main Road, Whitefield
Contact: 080 4152 1742/080 2845 6760
Meal for two: Rs. 800 approx.

Atta Galatta

Literature buffs, pay attention – how many times have we reminisced, sitting around with friends, over a cup of our favourite beverage, wishing for the good ol’ days? Well, get your dose of all things nostalgic at Atta Galatta, while you munch and sip on some oh-so-yummy eats and drinks. Luru’s only bookstore cum café that has stirred up a perfect paradise for foodies and bookworms, alike. Food, filter coffee and literature? Yes, please!

Where: #134, KHB Colony, 5th Block, Koramangala
Contact: 080 4160 0677
Meal for two: Rs. 250 approx.

Art Blend Café

As the curators like to put it, the café is for coffee with a hobby – a place that aspires to create a space for artists, those with an artistic gem and lovers of conversation. Art Blend Café runs regular art and craft workshops covering jewellery making, clay modelling, bunting, origami, embossing and much more.

#IHBSays – It also provides space for artists, photographers and crafters to display their works.

Where: #659, 24th Main, 22nd Cross, 2nd Sector, Near Parangi Palya Bus Stop, HSR Club Road, HSR Layout
Contact: +91 98867 82062
Meal for two: Rs. 750 approx.

Bistro Claytopia

A bistro that also lets you create your own little masterpiece as a souvenir of the great experience you have there! Here, you can not only enjoy the best of cappuccinos, kheema omelettes, burgers & sandwiches, but also get in touch with your artsy spirit with just 4 simple steps – 1) pick a piece 2) choose your colours 3) sketch your design 4) paint it. The rest of the magic is created by Claytopia, as they glaze and fire your creation to be mantelpiece ready in 2 weeks’ time – voila!

Where: 11, 80 Feet Main Road, 1st Block, Koramangala
Contact: 080 4126 7163
Meal for two: Rs. 600 approx.

For the Love of Coastal Cuisine: Our Top 7 Bangalore Picks


Seafood lovers, come aboard – get ready to mark these joints in your food chronicles as those that won’t fail to delight:

Karavalli, The Gateway Hotel

Yes, the first thing that strikes your mind is the exorbitant pricing of their menu. Yet, the uplifting ambience, top – notch service and impeccably delicious food make for one indulgent meal! At Karvalli, you can pamper yourself in true style. Once you’ve had the complimentary serve of rasam that accompanies your meal, you will happily look forward to your meal to come.

Psst – Leave your menu up to the knowledgeable staff to suggest… you will be pleasantly surprised by their intuitive recommendation, as per your taste.

#IHBLoves – Meen Eleittad, Allapuzzah meen curry, Caramel Banana Ice Cream

  • Damages: Rs. 3500 for 2 approx.
  • Location: The Gateway Hotel, Residency Road
  • Contact: 080 66604545

Mangalore Pearl

A pocket-friendly joint that is a boon for seafood lovers looking to have a drool-worthy meal. Be sure to start your meal with the ‘solkadi’, a pink coloured, spicy and tongue-tingling version of buttermilk that is served at just the right temperature. Their clean and quirky interior especially caught our eye. Quick service and great food are a stand -out at Mangalore Pearl.

#IHBLoves – Seer Fish Fry, Squid Sukka, Crab Ghee Roast, Bangda Fish Curry

  • Damages: Rs. 700 for 2 approx.
  • Locations: Frazer Town
  • Contact: 080 – 25578855

Mahesh Lunch Home

Offering an array of food that covers the cuisine of the west coast of India, Mahesh Lunch Home has a super extensive menu so make sure you come with a mighty appetite. Though a bit pricey, the taste and generous portions match up to provide a satisfied dining experience. Advance booking are strongly recommended as it is hard to find an empty table at the bustling restaurant.

#IHBLoves – Surmai Fish Curry, Bombay Duck Fry, Stuffed Baked Crab (above), Clams Sukka

  • Damages: Rs. 1500 for 2 approx.
  • Location: Residency Road
  • Contact: 080 – 41311101

Sanadige, Goldfinch Hotel

A menu that boasts of exceptional cuisines from Kerala, Mangalore, Maharashtra and Goa. The vibrant ambience with traditional influences stand out prominently as friendly staff usher you to your table. The fresh seafood display at the restaurant allows you to pick your meal for the day, assuring you the freshness of your meal. Their bar menu offers treats, as exciting as their food with some exotic coolers and cocktails to complete a well-balanced meal 😉

#IHBLoves – Yetti Sukka (Prawns), Stuffed Kurle (De-shelled Crab) and Anjal Tawa Fry

  • Damages: Rs. 1200 for 2 approx.
  • Location: Goldfinch Hotel, 32/3, Crescent Road, Off Race Course Road, High Grounds,
  • Contact: 080 – 41291300

Vembanad, The Paul

A fine -dining restaurant that offers authentic Kerala cuisine with a flair for seafood. Every dish is a careful blend of spices and flavours and the staff will be happy to assist you if you want to pair them with a drink. No wonder they were awarded ‘Best Restaurant – Kerala Cuisine’ at the Times Food & Nightlife Awards, 2016. They also have ongoing food festivals which are well worth accommodating in your schedule. P.S. the fish pickle served as an accompaniment is one of the best we’ve tasted… go crazy!

#IHBLoves – Malabari Chemmeen Soup, Fish, Meen Nirachathu, Njandu Varatiyathu

  • Damages: Rs. 1800 for 2 approx.
  • Location: Off Intermediate Ring Road, Domlur
  • Contact: 080 – 40477777

Anupam’s Coast II Coast

An absolute legend in seafood, this classic restaurant is sure to be any Mangalorean’s pride and joy. With the most traditional dishes cooked spot – on and some characteristic Tandoori and Chinese imitations made exciting, no wonder Luru food lovers are ga-ga over Anupam’s. Though we love that the quality and taste of the food remains unchanged overtime, the ambience could sure use some sprucing up, to match the spice of the menu!

#IHBLoves – Ghee roast with Appams, Prawn Sukka, Crab Masala Fry

  • Damages: Rs. 1000 for 2 approx.
  • Locations: M.G. Road, Koramangala
  • Contact: 080 – 41460555

Carnival de Goa

As the name suggests, almost all aspects of the restaurant remind you of a Goan vacay. Whether you want a full-fledged meal to treat your taste buds to a carnival of flavours or just grab a quick and scrumptious lunch in between work, this is the place to hit. Besides coastal cuisine, you can also choose from continental classics like xacuti, cafreal and thalis that make for an all-round meal.

#IHBLoves -Peri Peri Squid, Prawn Curry with Rice (true Goan beach shack style!), Lobster Thermidor, Sea Food Platter

  • Damages: Rs. 900 for 2 approx.
  • Location: 1st Floor, 8/6 Kensington Point, Ulsoor Road, Ulsoor
  • Contact: 07676767620

Summer is Coming: 15 Favourites To Beat The Bangalore Heat!

It’s getting hot in Bangalore, and what better way to stay cool than to indulge in these summer foods and drinks:

  1. Passionfruit Sorbet at Art of Delight – Who doesn’t like sorbet? Especially when it’s passionfruit!
  2. Kiwi-Lime Juice and Nannari Sherbath (below) at Sabari Juice Junction – Give their nannari sherbath a try; you will not regret it. Super fresh and just mildly sweet, it is the quintessential summer health drink. 
  3. Mango Gelato at Gustovita – All their gelatos are absolutely lit and the mango one, even more so.
  4. Fish Burger and Kiwi Granita at Bistro Claytopia – You must be wondering how a burger will give you the summer feels; but trust us on this one. Claytopia’s fish burger is so fresh and light as a main. Pair that with some of their kiwi granita and you’ll have a pool party in your mouth!
  5. Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad at Secret Garden – Although this is a very generic salad and one can get it at just about every other restaurant, we love the one from Secret Garden in particular due to the use of super-fresh ingredients.
  6. Snow Bingsu at Café Yegrina (below) or Ais Kacang at Nasi and Mee Asian Canteen – The Koreans call it Bingsu and the Malaysians call a similar bowl of shaved ice flavoured with red bean compote etc., an Ais Kacang. Either way, these bowls of flavoured shaved ice are super delicious and are absolute life-savers in the summer. 
  7. Chicken Donor Pita Pocket at Leon Grill – Are you convinced yet? If not, we’ll just let this massive, astoundingly fresh pita pocket do all the work for us!
  8. Aam Ras and Poori at Rajdhani – It isn’t possible for anyone to not be hooked to this Gujarati delight.
  9. Nandini Buttermilk – Seriously, need an explanation?
  10. Aam Panna at Amaseena – This popular, green mango concoction is done absolute justice at Amaseena and the result is a perfectly spiced, chilled, mildly sweet aam panna. Just the way it should be.
  11. Fresh Fruits and Cream at Bombaysthan – The classic Summer combo for all ages, eras and decades.
  12. Almond Horchata at Chinita (below) – This cold Mexican drink comprising of ground almonds, rice and finished off with some cinnamon dust is another great option to try this summer.
  13. Green Papaya Salad at Lan Thai – The green papaya salad at Lan Thai is a complete winner and we especially recommend the variant with prawn and squid. Seafood in the summer is always a good idea.
  14. Solkhadi at Suryawanshi – Solkhadi or Kokum kadi is one of those super-invigorating summer drinks which leaves you wondering why you don’t drink it as often.
  15. Cucumber Chaat from the Vendor in front of Max, Indiranagar – The chaat is cold and slightly sweet and is unlike the usual chokingly, peppery garnish that is added to cucumbers sold on the road.

 


DISCLAIMER – All reviews posted by The Bangalore Food Harem are solely the personal opinions of the reviewers, presented in good faith. The opinions given are open to the reader’s discretion and any restaurant who feels there needs to be a reassessment of any review is welcome to contact us at thebangalorefoodharem@gmail.com. Defamatory or malicious voice will not be used, as this is neither our goal nor aspiration.

 

 

Gear Up for the Theatrics: Bangalore’s Top Theatres

Bangalore has always had a fan following and talent for theatre, owing to which we are able to enjoy many cultural hubs in the city. The various theatre arenas, old and new, stand testimony to the same, along with the variety of local, national and internal performances they have on display, throughout the calendar year. The best part – they are way more pocket friendly than a night out at the movies, while being just as engrossing! Here’s a list of the top theatre arenas to catch a play, this weekend:

Alliance Francaise de Bangalore

A part of one of the world’s most renowned French language centres, Alliance Francaise has been around since 1964! Besides offering several courses in music, literature, dance and drama, what the academy is best known for is the host of plays that bring excitement to their audiences, throughout the year. Some of the finest theatre personalities have performed on the stage of Alliance and their commitment to fostering and propagating the arts has largely shaped the culture of new-age Bangalore. Make an evening out of visiting the place as you’re sure to be taken in by the modern art that decorates the campus while finding an event or activity that will catch your fancy. End the evening with a quiet and relaxing meal at their quaint little café set amongst the greenery.

Where: 108, Thimmaiah Road, Opposite U.N.I. Building, Vasant Nagar

Contact: 080 4080 8181

Chowdaiah Memorial Hall

A timeless landmark of our city, this hall was built as a tribute to Thirmakudalu Chowdaiah, the famous violin maestro. Many of us may have fond memories of visiting the hall as school kids to watch some exciting performances, while being enthralled by the shape of the building (a 7-stringed violin). Needless to say, it will always be a part of the theatre and music culture of the city.

Where: 16th Cross,2nd Main Road, G.D. Park Extension, Malleswaram

Contact: 080 2344 5810

Ranga Shankara

World class facilities at affordable rates is what comes to your mind when you visit Ranga Shankara. It is no wonder that the space has captured the attention of top personalities in the nation. Their main aim to build & promote the culture of theatre is reflected in every aspect of their planning and offerings. Ranga Shankara offers the opportunity to watch top class plays at bare minimum prices or (many-a-times) free. Girish Karnad (celebrated Indian actor, film director, writer, playwright and Rhodes Scholar) is closely associated with the arena and has had some interesting productions at Ranga Shankara.

Where: No. 36/2, 8th Cross Road, JP Nagar, 2nd Phase

Contact: 080 2649 3982

Jagriti Theatre

The 200-seat theatre built around a full-thrust stage has hosted many plays from India and abroad. Besides the main stage, Jagriti offers 3 more stages for cosier interactions: The Rooftop – an open-to-sky space for 50 people, The Terrace – apt for an informal seating of 20 people and Lumbini – a terraced space for upto 80 people. Some of their recent in-house productions include Alice! in 2015 and Radio Jagriti & Us and Them in 2016.

Where: Jagriti Renaissance, Varthur Rd, Near Adarsh Palm Meadows, Ramagondanahalli, Whitefield

Contact: 080 4124 2879

Ravindra Kalakshetra

Built as an ode to Rabindranath Tagore on his 100th birthday celebration, the cultural hub has a seating capacity of 900 with advanced facilities and technologies for artists and audiences, alike. Mainly shadowing the history and traditions of South India, the arena has had many prominent theatre and film personalities like Umashree, Mukhyamantri Chandru, T. S. Nagabharana, Master Hirannaiah, C. R. Simha, T. N. Seetharam, and Prakash Rai among others, on its stage.

Where: Besides Town Hall, J.C. Road, Kumbaragundi, Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Road, Kumbaragundi, Sampangi Rama Nagar

Contact: 080 2224 1325

IHB Lists: Our Koramangala Pub Picks

Koramangala is so self-sufficient that you seldom have to leave the area, especially with all the buzzing bars and pubs sprawled all over the locality. So what better way to hang with the gang than at one of Koramangala’s many pubs? We give you our picks of pubs you must visit for some good vibes. Best part is, they’re merely a hop skip and a jump away from each other, so no drinking and driving!

  • Koramangala Social (below) – Also known for their green house inspired interiors and design and co-working space
  • The Beer Cafe – You get to take your pick of beers from all over the world
  • Gilly’s Resto-Bar – Value for money for an array of options of food and drinks
  • Om Made Café – Do we really need to tell you to visit this favourite spot?
  • Indigo Live Music Bar – Where music is as important as what you drink
  • Happy Brew – Enjoy a cold one with some live music to keep you company
  • The Local – Easy on the wallet and has an added bonus of a rooftop
  • Boozy Griffin – Bringing a British touch with its decor, design, and vibe
  • Barleyz – Known as a brewpub with a buzzing and massive rooftop area
  • Sotally Tober (below) – Filled with contemporary, unique, and uber cool interiors with a global cuisine

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pub hop the night (or day) away at Koramangala. But make sure you drink responsibly and plan your ride back home in advance to make for a great night out!

Wanna bust a move? Here are our top 5 dance studio picks in Bangalore!

We all know how much Luru inhabitants love to shake a leg. Whether it is to impress your friends on the dance floor, finding a fun way to burn that holiday weight or just to let loose, there is no better way than dance! Luckily, the city has no dearth of talent and boasts of some nationally acclaimed studios that will bring your hidden talent to the surface.

Here’s our list of the top five dance studios in the city:

Nritarutya Dance Studio

This Indian contemporary dance studio stands out for its perfection in synchrony and calisthenics. Their refreshing performances result from their constant look-out to explore novel dance expressions arising from unique urban structures of living, physical (martial, dance & movement) traditions and performing practices.

#IHBLoves – The clientele of founder, Mayuri Upadya (wife of famed singer, Raghu Dixit) ranges from Prime Minister Modi and Amitabh Bachchan to the Queen of England and even the Birlas & Ambanis!

Website: Click here.
Where: G-9, H-I Block, Golden Orchid Apartments, Lavelle Road, Bangalore – 560001.
Who: 080-41329218

Lourde Vijay’s Dance Studio

One of Luru’s oldest and most loved dance studio, LVDS offers a wide range of styles to choose from for adults and kids, including hip-hop, b-buoying, Bollywood and contemporary. Every batch is trained to give a star-studded performance at the end of the season to show those dance moves off in front of your family and friends. Having top class trainers and instructors (some with even a Guinness record to their repertoire), LVDS is sure to add the groove to your dance moves in a fun and exciting way. Sign up for their trial class and expect to get hooked!

#IHBLoves – They offer private lessons based on fitness or skill development goals, depending on your choice.

Website: Click here.
Where: # 4, 1st Main Palace Cross, Chakravarthy Layout, Bangalore – 560020.
Who: 080 – 23315566/9845239123

Latino Rhythms Dance Academy

As the name suggests, pick this academy if you want to become a master performer of Salsa, Zumba, Jive or Bachata. Additional dance forms offered include Bollywood, hip-hop, contemporary and belly dance. Just over a decade old, this state-of-the-art facility for Latin dance has already trained over 15,000 students.  LRDA can be rated one of the best due to modern facilities such as soundproof studio, air suspended floor, wi-fi, changing rooms, centralized a/c and most importantly amazing trainers!

#IHBLoves – You can register for a free scholarship based on skill and dedication!

Website: Click here.
Where: #55, 3rd Floor, Koramangala Industrial Layout, Opp. Jyothi Nivas, Above Indian Coffee house, Bangalore – 560095.
Who: 080-40926810

The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet

A non-profit charitable trust that is dedicated to the performing arts, this foundation has all the right ingredients to make it a world class learning ground while giving back to the community. With a vision to become Asia’s forefront ballet school and dance academy, the Lewis Foundation offers ballet, jazz, yoga, Callentics & Pilates, with various camps organised for children.

#IHBLoves – The attention to detail in their productions of The Spectacular Circus and Oz – The Ballet, shows us the dedication of the team in aiming for the best.

Website: Click here.
Where: #34/1, P1 & P2, Salma Bizhouse, Meanee Avenue Road, Above Coffee Day, Opp. Lakeside Hospital, Bangalore 560042
Who: 080-88006677

Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography

NIKC is based on the consideration that dance is not just art, but a way of life! The events section of their website outlines a host of performances for us to choose from to watch their delightful creativity unfold. Alternatively, you can sign up for their newsletter or follow them on social media to stay updated.

#IHBLoves – It offers a range of diplomas for budding choreographers or anyone who wants to take dance up professionally.

Website: Click here.
Where: 37, Bhoomika, 17th Cross Road, Malleshwaram, Bangalore – 560055.
Who: 080-23348645

The IHB Guide to Birdwatching in Bangalore

Bangalore, The Garden City, is one of the few cosmopolitans that still enjoys the luxury of harbouring some sheltered birdwatching havens, in and around the city. So, gather your binoculars and pay a visit to the birdwatching arenas our city has to offer!

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

The most centrally located spot for a birdwatcher to make a quick getaway, Lalbagh offers a mix of opulent gardens with exotic flora and wet habitats that attract several birds to its vicinity. Psst – make sure you pick a day during the week and avoid public holidays to dodge the crowds. Settle at a secluded spot and enjoy the peace and quiet while you keep a keen eye out for a variety of striking birds and even some colourful butterflies.

What to look out for: Black Pelicans, Purple Herons, Brahminy Kites, and White-Breasted Kingfishers.

Hebbal Lake

Another pick that is not too far from the city centre, is Hebbal Lake, located right beside the flyover. The well-maintained walkway constructed around the lake makes for a serene walkway and good line of sight to spot birds. The best months to visit the lake for the purpose is between September and January.

What to look out for: Kingfishers, Spot Billed Ducks, Spot Billed Pelicans, Grey Herons, Median Egrets, Painted Storks, and Yellow-Tailed Wagtails

Manchinabele

Located just a short drive away from Bangalore (approx. 30km/60 mins through the Bangalore – Magadi main road) and located just before the Tippagondanahalli reservoir, Machinabele also has a scenic dam that serves as a visual treat. With ample greenery around the water body, it is no wonder the area has turned into a birdwatcher’s treasure. However, entry into the area is restricted so ensure that you plan in advance and take the necessary permissions from the local authorities.

What to look out for: Rosy Starling, Oriental White Eye, Pied Crested Cuckoo, Indian Silverbills (White throated Munia), Blue-face Malkoha, Scaly Breasted Munia, Tawny, Bellied Babbler, Rufous Treepie, Long Tailed Shrike, White-browned Bulbul, Brahminy Starling, Pied Bushchat, Coppersmith Barbet and Indian Roller.

Bannerghatta National Park

We’re all familiar with this landmark, a close getaway from the city to spot some wildlife. However, the park has also gained a lesser known reputation for the hobby of birdwatching with as many as 150 species of winged wonders! The scrub and forest habitat is perfect for many migrating birds to take refuge and the jungle lodges in the area offer a comfortable stay for birdwatchers to make a fruitful weekend outing. The ‘Alley of Flycatchers’, as it is known, is a must-visit and you will be sure to come back with many additions to your record book.

What to look out for: Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Jungle Owls, Coppersmith Barbets, Oriental White Eyes, and Indian Pond Herons. Keep your fingers crossed and you may even come across the rare and shy, Yellow Throated Bulbul.

Nandi Hills

Well-done roads and a scenic drive up the hill sets the tone for a wonderful birdwatching experience atop Nandi Hills (approx. 50km/70 mins through the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway). Though, quite a crowded place on the weekends that is not exactly bird friendly, a weekday visit makes it worthwhile. Carry your binoculars and find a cosy spot amongst the many benches and gazebos placed at the numerous viewpoints and you are good to go.

What to look out for: Indian Blue Robins, Booted Warblers, Malabar Whistling Thrushes, and Blue Capped Rock Thrushes, Falcons

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

A fair drive from Bangalore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a hotspot for any bird watching enthusiast, as it’s literally a bird watcher’s paradise! Open seven days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm, you can spend an entire day there, gazing at an array of exotic and migratory birds under the cool shade of the trees for Rs.50/adult. You can even enjoy a relaxed boat ride amongst the meandering paths of the lake comprising of six small islands, and spot some massive crocodiles right by your side (not for the weak-hearted).

What to look out for:  Pelicans, Painted stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Egret, Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Heron Breed, Great Stone Plover, River Tern, Streak – throated Swallows.

Don’t forget to tag us in your photos! 😉

Bangalore, take your pick: 7 kinds of Christmas Specials around the city!

A Night Market from the East

Where: Fatty Bao
What: A complete feast from the East awaits you at the “Night Market”– synonymous with the diverse street food grills and night market delicacies from across East Asia. These are available from December 16 to Jan 1, 2017.
#IHBPicks: The Grilled Quail Eggs and Korean Ddukkbokki, Thai Mu Ping and Malay Spicy Coconut Lamb and Firecracker Chicken Wings all spiced up with an extra dash of Sriracha!

A Feliz Feast

Where: Sancho’s
What: A Mexican feast lined up from Dec 24-26th, 2016. Feliz Navidad Muchachas!
#IHBPicks: Roasted Pumpkin Taco Salad dressed in orange vinaigrette sprinkled with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds, the Mexican Chile Rubbed Roast Turkey served with crunchy winter vegetables, spiced sweet potatoes and chipotle cranberry jus and the Christmas special dessert – Glazed Strawberries, Spiced & Brandied Christmas Cookies Stack made from delicious Strawberry Jam and Chocolate Custard Cream. YUM!

 The Christmas Carnival

Where: Phoenix Marketcity
What: Enticing activities for kids like – Workshops from professional, experiential zone & performances complete with a Wishing Castle, where your child can make a wish and the mall will make it come true. This is on till the 25th!
#IHBPicks: The Carnival Parade on the 24th and 25th from 5pm till 9pm. Watch out for the international samba dancers and Brazilian mask men! What we also love is the Christmas flea they have on till the 25th (11am to 9.30pm) full of holiday goodies. If that’s not what you’re looking for, head on over to the Goan Market (only on the 24th & 25th; same timings) which also features live music and a DJ!

The Eccentric X’Mas

Where: Social (Church Street & Whitefield)
What: A typical quirk filled special menu with all things that scream out Social. This menu will be served a la carte from 20th December until the 30th.
#IHBPicks: Berry pulao topped with vegetable skewers, the Roasted  chicken leg with farmer’s omelette. For the sugar lovers there’s the Apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and the Rum soaked pineapple with chocolate mousse. Accompany the grub with a range of drinks inspired by the season and designed to tingle your senses from head to mistletoe. Must try’s include the Pomegranate & Cherry Mojito, the Apple Old Fashioned with Cinnamon Smoke, the Espresso & Peppermint Martini, the Marshmallow Martini and the Chocolate & Chilli Margarita! Slurrrp.

The Quaint Gathering

Where: Your nearest Smokehouse Deli
What: A carefully curated Xmas special menu (with the freshest ingredients) that’s available from now, till the 25th!
#IHBPicks: The Spice cranberry redux and caramelised figs, Half a BBQ Spatchcock, the Christmas Fruit Trifle. If it’s just desserts you’re after, there’s Yule log (pictured above), Chocolate Mud, Mushroom Meringue and the Christmas Fruit Trifle –  all best washed down with either a glass of Mulled Wine.

The Gastropub Christmas

Where: Monkey Bar
What: Small plates, large plates, desserts and cocktails available all day on December 24 & 25th, There’s an option of ala carte or you can grab a three course meal which is priced at Rs. 650++ (veg) and Rs. 750++ (non veg).
#IHBPicks: Small plates – do try the prawn cocktail tartlets and pigs in a blanket. The British pub-grub large plates include some of our favs such as Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Chicken with rosemary spuds and gravy, Lamb Hot Pot, Fish and Chips and Curried Vegetable Pot Pie. Get yourself a decadent MoBar Trifle or special holiday macarons (pictured above) to end your meal on a sweet note!

A Brunchy Affair

Where: Olive Beach
What: A beachy holiday brunch on Christmas Day (25th, Sunday) with Mediterranean vibes at Rs.3000 per head, 12 noon onwards. OH and the brunch offers you a sumptuous spread, unlimited cocktails including holiday specials like delicious Spiced Hot Chocolate, Mulled Wine, Hot Apple Cider, and Eggnog.
#IHBPicks: Our favs from their Mediterranean delicacies are  the Gorgonzola and Walnut Salad, Frittelle con Gamberi, Oysters’ au Natural with lemon and wine. Keeping up with the season’s spirit, you defo can’t miss the Honey Glazed Smoked Ham , Roast Turkey with wild berry and apple compote, turkey gravy and stuffing and the Smoked Lamb Leg Roulade. To soothe your sweet tooth, they’ve got an epic Mini X’Mas pudding with brandy butter and Pistachio Cranberry Bars.

A very Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating, and Happy Holidays to all! xx

 

 

Munch on these Bangalore: The Christmas goodies list is here!

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas favours all the way, oh what fun it is to have a food coma for the next few days. Bet you sang that in your head, ha!

If you haven’t figured out your Christmas goodies this year, keep calm and read on. We assure you, you’ll be the centre of attention at your next holiday do. In addition, we’ve compiled DIY style home-made alternative for all the below since it’s all about keeping with the spirit of the season – spending time with loved ones and gorging on these once-a-year treats.

For a drool-worthy Christmas this year, the must-haves on your table should feature the following:

Plum Cake – Christmas ain’t Christmas without some good ol’ fashioned boozy plum cake. When you go cake-shopping look for a moist cake with the right amount of dry fruits – not the tutti-frutti doughy kind. Our recommendations for good last-minute plum cake this season are from Thoms, Santanam, Sugar ‘n’ Spice at Taj Vivanta, Bangalore Baking Company at JW Marriott and Desserted Cafe.

DIY: Make your own classic plum torte by following this easy recipe here.

Eggnog – Eggnog in Bangalore is a rarity. We’ve only spotted it on 2 menus so far – Cafe Cerisse & Sue’s Kitchen

DIY: We found this recipe here, to be particularly simple and indulgent.

Indian Xmas treats – One of our favourite childhood memories is sitting around the table with the entire family making rose cookies, murukus and kalkal. These traditional Indian Christmas specialties are always best home-made. But you can find quality (and tasty) readymade ones at Thoms, Santanam and Nilgiris too.

Christmas Cookies – We cannot get over how yummy and cute the sugar cookies from Munchies (Brigade Road) were. We ordered these for a Christmas party last year and they’ve been on our mind all year. They were a custom order, so make sure you order yours ASAP! Psst their number is 080 41126336.

DIY (below): Betty Crocker has an amazing alternative that looks incredibly gorge-worthy. Recipe here.

Wine/Mulled Wine – The perfect way to pull all these delicious goodies together is a good bottle of wine, and for those chilly winter nights there’s nothing better than a glass of piping hot mulled wine. If you can’t get your hands on home-made wine, Not Just Wine & Cheese and the Drops outlets have a great selection. As for mulled wine, we recommend Toscano and District 6 orrr…..

DIY – You could just look up at our very own recipe here!

#HolidayTip

All of the above make lovely thoughtful presents. You can even pack them off as party favours for your guests to take back home! Well, if that’s the case, don’t forget our invite please 🙂 xx

Happy Holidays!

Fusion Food List: Bangalore’s big 5 for an adventurous palate!

Indian fusion is the hottest and might we add, the fastest growing trend in the city today. It allows for its patrons to be completely comfortable with the kind of food served but with a twist that satiates those who wish to be adventurous! We have visited the most popular fusion restaurants and this is our list of the ones we liked best:

Farzi Café

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This place is the newest kid in the block and has become our new favourite owing to the quirk and the use of molecular gastronomy. From the stuff we sampled, we loved the Galawati Sliders, the Chilly Duck Samosa, Tempura prawns and crispy fried chicken w/ lotus root. If you love desserts try the Big Bang- a molecular delight resembling the Milky Way! Quench your thirst with the Farsi Idea or the Chai Pani- a combination of tea and coffee spiked with a good amount of alcohol and try out their unique shots as well.

We Heart: Use of molecular gastronomy all around in a non OTT way.

Permit Room

Predominantly South Indian fusion, this place manages to rustle up home staples with their unique spin on them like the Upma with Bacon, Cubbon Park Bhel and the Iyengar Egg Puff. Also their unique in house cocktails like Jhum Jhum Tiger Balm made with gin, Sichuan pepper and pomegranate and Hyper Monk an old monk and espresso drink are totally worth trying.
We Heart: Hits home with its improved versions of south indian favourites!

Glocal Junction

We loved the food here be it their range of pizzas or the broccoli with mustard or their lovely shish taouk. Also, their butter chicken risotto really packs a desi punch! We’re definitely heading back here to try out their desserts that sounded very interesting. All in all, Glocal too is a good option to get your fusion fix.

The Open Box

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TOB for us, will always be a winner! From the chicken 65 in the quirky chai glasses, the biryani in the little cooker or the Chai Creme Brûlée, they’re all winners. The Hummosa , a broken samosa served with hummus and some veggies as well as their pizzas are also delicious! We love it all. Especially when you can make our nights out even better with kitschy drinks that come in little sippy cups or in an IV drip bag!
We Heart: The indian spin on classic dishes from international cuisines has got us completely floored!

Social Offline

Social does need a mention here with their amazing butter chicken biryani, Japanese Surf ‘n’ Turf – tenderloin served on a bed of mash and wasabi prawns, the China boxes or the Notorious P.I.G or the minced prawns on toast, with black sesame and kaffir lime….. all delicious! Whether it’s the humongous LIT or the pickle flavoured Acharoska, there are several options to quench your thirst here and you will almost never leave Social disappointed.

This post has been compiled by The Bangalore Food Harem (BFH) and edited by I Heart BLR.

DISCLAIMER – All reviews posted by The Bangalore Food Harem are solely the personal opinions of the reviewers, presented in good faith. The opinions given are open to the reader’s discretion and any restaurant who feels there needs to be a reassessment of any review is welcome to contact us at thebangalorefoodharem@gmail.com. Defamatory or malicious voice will not be used, as this is neither our goal nor aspiration.

Bookworms of Bangalore, here’s a list of our 5 fav libraries in the city!

Who doesn’t enjoy some quiet time with their favourite book to de-stress from the otherwise whirlwind routine of the city life? Here are some places where you can find your food for the soul:

State Central Library

One of the oldest and most loved libraries in the city that is also a stark landmark for sight-seeing. The red brick building with a well-maintained rose garden stands out amongst the verdant greenery of Cubbon Park, adding to the charm of the structure. It is said that the archives contain a copy of every book published in the state after 1970, amongst various other collections, that will satisfy your research and leisure reading demands. A total of 2,40,093 (and counting) books and periodicals are currently part of their collection, waiting to be explored.

Location: Sir Seshadri Iyer Memorial Library, (State Central Library) 
Cubbon Park
Timings: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
Contact: 080 – 2221 2128/ 080 – 22867358

Eloor Library

A chain of libraries in India over the past 34 years, the Eloor Library in Bengaluru has one of the finest collection of books that any book lover would love to dive into and discover. Membership can be availed for as little as Rs. 1000 per head which is fully refundable at the time of closing. Cost of renting books is also reasonable at just 10% of the cost of the book (subject to a maximum amount), with a reading time of 14 days as the standard. Right from new arrivals and classics to general fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, sports and cookery, the sections of Eloor range far and wide.

Location: G – 9, Blue Cross Chambers, Infantry Road Cross
Timings: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Contact: 080 – 42057280/ 080 – 25591408

British Council Library

With state-of-the-art facilities and an atmosphere that inspires creative thinking that feeds the wanderlust of your mind, this library is definitely a stand-out from the others, by character. Besides being a space for reading and renting noteworthy books, the library is also a social arena where you can meet friends and explore the resources. They even organise skill based workshops and lively meet-and-greet sessions with authors on a regular basis.

Location: Prestige Takt 23, Kasturba Cross Road
Timings: 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Contact: 0120 456 9000

Mythic Society Library

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Established in 1909, this library caters to the curiosity of the intellects interested in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Epigraphy, Culture, traditions, Art & Architecture, Folklore Ethnology, Literature and allied subjects. They also host several lectures by renowned professors on various topics of interest (sign up for their newsletter to keep track). Additionally, a grant provided by the government for their centenary celebrations has allowed for a spacious hall that is to be made into an art museum and a guest house, exclusively for accommodating out station scholars.

Location: 14/1, Nrupathunga Road, Opposite Reserve Bank
Timings: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 am to 5:15 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00pm; Monday Holiday
Contact: 080 – 2221 5034

Just Books

Your typical ‘Rent, Read and Return’ format that has been brought to the city – Just Books has as many as 30 facilities all over. For those that find it hard to commute to the bigger libraries, this one is the perfect option and accessible without much effort from any part of Bengaluru. Moreover, you can easily rent your favourite books online, from the comfort of your homes, and have it delivered as per your convenience. This new generation community library chain provides a unique reading experience for all book lovers with a wide range of books available on all topics.

Details: Multiple locations across the city (30 facilities). Find details of your closest outlet here.

So, get your reading glasses out and pair it up with a steaming mug of tea/coffee to enjoy your favourite weekend read!

Love animals? Adopt some unconditional love: Our top 5 animal shelters in Bangalore!

Those who know it will vouch for the fact that there is nothing that provides more solace than a few licks and cuddles from one of our four legged friends. Want to get your own dose of this unparalleled therapy? Visit one of Bangalore’s many animal shelters. You can even make it a fun day out for your pet by taking him/her along. Just give them a call and drop in for a visit:

CUPA Second Chance Adoption Centre

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A visit to this refuge for abandoned animals and confiscated pets (mostly dogs), is sure to melt your heart. One of the most popular shelters in Bangalore, they rightly believe that “Dogs have a way of finding people and filling a void we didn’t know we had”. Consequently, each adoption is done with painstaking care to ensure that the pet owners are compatible with the pet a 100% as they are educated from A-Z about adoption care. As you enter the facility it warms your heart to see love that you are welcomed with and the compassion of the many volunteers who have dedicated themselves to the cause, selflessly.

Address: 16/2B Roopena Agrahara, Madiwala, Bengaluru. Landmark – Silk board Junction, Balaji Complex

Contact: +91 94801 73793

Website: Click here

Cessna Lifeline

Aimed at providing the best possible care for pets as well as pet owners, Cessna should definitely be a handy contact on a pet-lover’s phonebook. Available 24/7 for emergencies, they also have a well-equipped pet store with products for dogs, cats, and even exotic pets. They also offer behavioural counselling, puppy care and counselling and nutritional advice. PS: they also organise many fun activities!

Address: #148, HBCS, Amar Jyothi Layout, KGA Road, Off Intermediate Ring Road, Domlur, Bengaluru

Contact: +91 76763 65365

CARE – Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre

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At CARE, you can donate, adopt or volunteer to help stray animals be hosed, get timely medical aid, be rehabilitated and re-homed. You could spend hours playing with the 25 dogs and 3 cats that have found a permanent home at their shelter as their bountiful delight stands testimony to the great job that the foundation does, day-in and day-out. They even offer a wide-range of services such as vehicle rescues, passive adoption, humane education, canine therapy, inpatient facility and holiday boarding.

Address: #19/1, Jakkur Village, Yelahanka Hobli, Bengaluru

Contact: +91 9483911110 / 080-69999372

Website: Click here

PFA – People for Animals

Wild over wildlife? Here’s the place for you! A non-profit conservation organisation working towards the rescue and rehabilitation of urban wildlife, people for Animals concentrates on rescuing injured, displaced and orphaned animals (mammals, reptiles and birds) before releasing them back into their suitable habitat after the required medication and rehabilitation processes. A must-visit for any animal or wildlife enthusiast for an informative and fun day out. The news and events section on their websites keeps you updated on all their thrilling activities and rescues with a list of the latest wildlife that they are fostering.

Address: Survey No. 67, Uttarahalli Main road, Kengeri, Bengaluru

Contact: +91 9900025370/+91 9980339880

Website: Click here

Karuna Animal Welfare Association of Karnataka

Formerly known as SPCA, this non-profit foundation offers the services like provision of shelter and rescue homes for animals, ambulance services, health camps, human education, cruelty cases, ABC / ARV programmes, night emergency services and snake care service throughout the state. Besides the various celebrations that they organise throughout Karnataka such as commemoration of ‘World Veterinary Day’ and ‘World Zoonosis Day’, their dog shows organised on a regular basis are something to look forward to.

Address: Kasturba Road, Bengaluru

Contact: 080-22860205/080-23411181/080-23511329

Website: Click here

Do a good deed: get involved and volunteer at the shelters or donate money, utilities or time… it will go a long way!

Love cycling? Here’s a list of top trails around Bangalore!

Done with our picks on the top trekking trails around the city? Time to continue the adventure with our brand-new list on bicycle trails around Luru that you will thoroughly enjoy:

Melukote

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

A bike trail with a dose of spirituality is what Melkote offers as it accommodates several temples, some of them offering their own measure of recreation. The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple (above) may appeal to the artists and architects with their traditional, yet concrete pillars that showcase artistic carvings that are sure to amuse.

While, the Yoga-Narasimha Swamy Temple offers a 300 (alternatively, you may choose to bike your way up half way) step climb for some light exercise.

Distance from M.G. Road –  Approx. 145 km via Kunigal

Turahalli Forest

800 acres of deciduous forest mostly dominated by Eucalyptus trees, Turahalli is also known as Karisma Hills is just an easy 30 minutes’ ride from the city. The ride to the forest is not a very tiring one as the tar roads make it pleasant throughout. As you reach the forest, you enter a mud road after which the climb gets a little steep as to reach the summit in about 200 mts.

There are several South-Indian style breakfast places for you break at on the way. Or, you may choose to pack something up to enjoy a bite once you reach your destination.

Distance from M.G. Road – Approx. 19 km via Kanakapura Road

Thattekere

Imagine cooling off by a serene lake post an energizing bike ride… enjoying a picnic lunch under the shade of a welcoming tree…. and indulging your curiosity as you try and name some of the exotic birds that you may spot! Well, that’s Thattekere Lake, for you. Besides the gentle trail that makes the bike ride enjoyable for everyone, the lake scores high in our list as it is one of the last remaining lakes in the city that remains untainted.

Moreover, it’s clean surroundings, lush greenery and warm sunshine make it a bird watcher’s paradise, as well.

Distance from M.G. Road – Approx. 50 km via Hosur Road

Big Banyan Tree

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A biking trail that takes you around a 3-acre space that houses a Banyan Tree over 400 years old! Due to the age of the tree one cannot decipher the original tree trunk as its roots have spread across to look like trunks themselves, providing a great resting or picnic spots.

This biking trail does not take more than 6 hours in all and works as a great getaway for a half-day retreat. However, beware of monkey trouble!

Distance from M.G. Road –  Approx. 36 km via NICE Road- Bangalore- Mysore Expressway

Cycling Wine Tours

The Bangalore to Mysore stretch offers a host of options for wine aficionados and one of the better ways to get there is to get on your bicycles and enjoy the ride. There are plenty of eateries on the way for tea/coffee breaks and a scrumptious breakfast.

The many wineries are happy to welcome guests for a quick tour and lesson on wine and have them venture into their vineyards for a day well spent – sipping on fine wine alongside some delicious food while looking over the scenic yards.

#IHBSays

  • Ensure you wear loose and comfortable clothing
  • Dress in layers (t-shirt + light jacket) to stack up them as per the weather
  • Wear comfortable shoes and carry spare socks/laces
  • Do not carry heavy bags
  • Load up on fluids (water, juices, energy drinks) and sunscreen
  • Carry a packed lunch with a picnic mat
  • A Frisbee or a board game would add to the fun

Loooong Weekend Ahead: Our 5 day guide to happenings around Bangalore!

Friday, 28th Oct

Bollywood Night 

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What: Feat. DJ Vicky spinning bolly tunes all night long to get you into Diwali mode.
Where: Indigo Live Music Bar
When: 8 p.m. onwards

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble (FB Event Page)

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What: Influenced by the Gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt, Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is a Winsconsin based instrumental acoustic jazz group. Their music takes influences from American jazz, European folk, traditional Latin, Parisian waltz, and other vintage-jazz sources, and hence, you can expect the originals and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.
Where: Windmill Craftworks
When: 9.30 p.m. onwards

Saturday, 29th Oct

 Parasailing (Event Page)

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Where: Vikings Aerospots, Jakkur Aerodrome
When:  Saturday October 29 at 6.00am to Sunday October 30 at 9.00am
Wait: Click here to book!

Big Punjabi Diwali Party feat. DJ Jasmeet (Event Page)

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What: Diwali celebration is incomplete without smashing Bollywood chartbusters and video tech sequences! And with DJ Jasmeet in Sanctum its sure going to be a starry Saturday night.
Where: Sanctum Club
When: 8 p.m onwards

Diwali (Sunday, 30th Oct)

Doggy Diwali Bash (Event Page)

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What: A cracker-free diwali just for your canine best friend!
Where: Dog Park at the Elephant Pond, Bangalore
When: 8.30 a.m. onwards

Festive Diwali Brunch (Event Page)

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What: Diwali celebrations combined with a proper Luru Sunday brunch! Think unlimited chaat, homey sabzis, jalebis and more, teamed with original cocktails that are sure to tingle your tastebuds.
Where: The Humming Tree, Indiranagar
When: 1 – 5 p.m.

Halloween Parties (Monday, 31st Oct)

Spooktacular Halloween Party (Kid-Friendly) (Event Page)

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Where: Divas & Dudes, Indiranagar
When: 6 p.m.
Wait: Costs Rs.800/Child and Rs.500/Adult

Wolf of Church Street – Halloween Edition (Event Page)

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Where & What: Start things off with a roarrr at Easy Tiger, Church Street with our pub quiz, then sink your teeth into our live act at RUSSH, and claw your way up to Thalassa – The Mediterranean Terrace Lounge for the pre party. Get pumped for an after party at the Hard Rock cafe that’ll leave you on all fours.
When: 7 – 1 a.m.

Rajyotsava Day (Tuesday, 1st Nov)

Rajyotsava Day Special Seminar (Event Page)

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What: A seminar, on the occasion of the 61st-year celebration of Kannada Rajyotsava.
Where: Any Sapna Book House
When: 7.30 p.m. onwards

Write Out Loud (Event Page)

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What: An evening of spoken word poetry
Where: Lahe Lahe, Np.2906-2907, HAL 2nd Stage, Kodihalli Layout
When: 7.30 p.m. onwards

Happy loooooooooong weekend Bangalore xx

Any vegans out there? Bangalore, check these 8 restaurants out!

Since many people are changing their diet in order to be healthier, we have seen the demand for vegan food skyrocket. So if you’re a vegan or want to consider vegan options, here is a list of places that are either exclusively vegan or have vegan friendly options on their menu.

Before we jump into it, what exactly does being vegan mean? It’s when you exclude meat and all animal products from your meals because being animal friendly is one of the main ideas behind it. For example, you don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Alternatively, vegans rely on plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

1) Paradigm Shift

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What: A multi cuisine restaurant and bakery for all things vegan including pastries and cakes. They also have vegan baking workshops for those of you that are interested!
Where: 8, Terrace Floor, 80 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala
Contact: 096329 03999

2) Carrots – The Healthy Kitchen

What: A store and restaurant that offers fresh and organic meals. They have also introduced fair trade pricing in Bangalore. From smoothies to milkshakes made with different kinds of milk, there’s plenty to pick from.
Where: 607, 80 Feet Road, Koramangala 6th Block
Contact: 080 4117 2812

3) Lumiere

What: A restaurant, store outlet, and organic bakery with an online shopping portal for those who want organic alternatives, as they believe in a “seed-to-table organic” business model.
Where: Sri Kote Ashirwad Towers, Outer Ring Road, Doddanekundi, Marathahalli
Contact: 080 6534 1133

4) Green Theory

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What: Bangalore’s favourite local vegetarian and organic food stop that serves a vast spread of organic food from soups to pastas. Most of all, you can request for vegan options!
Where: #15, Convent Road, Richmond Town
Contact: 088614 35956

5) The Higher Taste

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What: 100 % Sattvik food; rich in “life-force” such as, organic fresh fruits and vegetables. It excludes canned and processed food and foods that have chemical fertilisers. The restaurant has a global menu and uses its own raw materials.
Where: The Iskon Temple Complex,  Hare Krishna Hill, Chord Road, Rajaji Nagar
Contact: 080 22766501

6) Little Italy

What: The famous veggie Italian restaurant also has a menu with vegan options that are of course, free of meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Where: HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar; 32nd Cross, 7th Block, Jayanagar; Hosur Road; and HRBR 2nd block extension, Kalyan Nagar
Contact: http://littleitaly.in/

7) Sattvam

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What: They strongly believe in the philosophy of the Sattvic way of life. Sattvam has a la carte and buffet purely with Sattvic food and organic food, which also includes vegan options.
Where: Sankey Road, Opp Shell Petrol Bunk, Sadashivnagar
Contact: 080 2360 8000

8) Fresh Pressery Cafe

What: As you know, Fresh Pressery Cafe promotes the belief that fresh and healthy food can be tasty. Their cold pressed juices (made with vegetables and fruits), food, and desserts have vegan options upon request.
Where: Good Earth, Walton Road and Koramangala 5th Block
Contact: +91 9886079125

Diwali Gifting Guide 2016 – What to buy and where to buy it?

Come October and it’s time for one of our favourite festivals of the year – Diwali! Besides the holidays, parties, sweets and fireworks, the festive season is incomplete without giving your loved ones the perfect gift. Tired of the same old options? Here’s a list of some fresh ideas to choose from:

Chumbak

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Our favourite dose of kitsch never fails to amuse us with their quirky gifting ideas. No surprise that they feature on our list of offbeat Diwali gifts. Light up your interiors with a colourful set of mini lanterns or a table lamp in bright and attractive shades that stand out in bold festive spirit. Their special ‘Gold Collection’ for Diwali offers some unique designs. Customised gifts and occasion specific gift boxes make for a one-stop-shop. Be sure to check out their ‘Diwali’ section on the website to help plan your shopping list in advance!

Website: Click here

Decoupage Art

Take your pick from the elegantly handcrafted coasters, magazine racks and wall plates or ask for your own customised keepsake. A delicate art demanding skill, precision and time, decoupage involves layering paper cut-outs with seams of lacquer for the perfect finish. The refined and graceful designs are sure to add a pop of colour to your interiors with their floral motifs and charming flair.

Where To Buy: Hand Crafted with Love, Wheeler Road Extn., Bangalore.

FB: Click here

Customised Chocolates from Rage

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The evergreen favourite that just evolves with time but never goes out of style! And, who has a celebration without chocolates, anyway?! Bangalore’s prominent chocoletier, Rage, offers an exclusive range to choose from, this Diwali. Gift with a twist by customising your chocolates with centre fills of choice and tastefully designed wrappers, gift boxes, and silver plated trays. A fitting personal or corporate gift, these chocolates in their fine attire are almost too good to eat!

Website: Click here

Universal Gift Cards

We all have those few people on our list that we just cannot please! So, give them what they want – a universal gift card that can be redeemed at a range of local & international stores or even for an experience of their choice. With many options to choose from for the fussy aunt or the little niece who is used to being spoilt for choice, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Website: Click here

Spread the Cheer

Festive seasons are reminders of how lucky we are to be able to celebrate live and love with our family and friends. Do remember to not only be thankful but also make a small effort to share our blessings. Buy gifts and greeting cards from your local NGOs and contribute to the underprivileged to spread the cheer!

These few have caught our fancy: Earthy GoodsCraft Roots and CRY.

Amateur Astronomer’s Guide: Stargazing in Bengaluru!

There is something about the infinity and mystery of celestial wonders that we just can’t deny! If you, like us, are ever-intrigued by the beauty of the cosmos, you can start by exploring your hobby, right here in Namma Bengaluru. Here is your handbook to becoming an amateur astronomer:

Start off by joining a group. Bangalore has two active unions related to astronomy as a hobby à

Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers (1976)

An independent, non-profit housed in the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. The ABAA frequently conducts fun and interactive activities like telescope building, night sky observation and astro-photography. Giving beginners the perfect induction is the ‘Know Your Stars’ program conducted on the first Sunday of every month. Besides giving an insight into the stars, constellations and planets, you can also learn about the basics of using a telescope! Also, take home a star chart as a souvenir, provided to all visitors, with a lesson on how to use it.

Website: Click here

FB: Click here

The Bangalore Astronomical Society (2006)

The BAS is a non-profit organization working for the promotion of astronomy as a hobby as well as a science for the city folk. Join their Google Group and be a part of all the trending discussions about latest astronomical developments and exciting activities. You can post your questions and have them answered, on topics related to the universe, astronomy, telescopes, stargazing, observing and astrophotography. Download their specially designed log books for free from their website – a great tool to kick-start your hobby! They even have certification programs such as the upcoming ‘Messier Catalogue Visual Observer’ – their first certification program to appreciate amateur astronomers for interest in visual observations.

Website: Click here

FB: Click here

The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

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Founded by the Bangalore City Corporation in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city and a fond memory of local school trips. With a 15 meter diameter dome, and seating capacity of 210, the planetarium also houses a Science Park and a Science Centre. The ‘Space Master’ projector showcases the night sky as seen with the naked eye to give a spectacular view. Attracting as many as 200,000 visitors a year, the’Sky- Theatre’ show blends science with art, literature and cultural aspects of many countries. With special visual effects, animation and videos, these shows are sure to provide an out-of-the-world experience, literally! Daily show timings (except on Mondays and second Tuesdays): 3 p.m. in Kannada and 4.30 p.m. in English.

Where to stargaze?

  • Hosahalli – about 20 km off Doddaballapur, approximatelely 70 km from Bangalore.
  • Shivanahalli – about 35 km from Bangalore. Here, the ABAA has a 12″ telescope for observations with many more activities for space lovers.
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium – every Sunday at 6 pm, there are talks given by experienced amateurs on upcoming heavenly events as they await a clear night when the telescope is brought out for some serious stargazing.

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  • Do your research – The Lunar Calendar is your almanac. Ask around for the best vantage points hit Google and the local astronomy websites to get a heads up on what to look out for on any particular night. Be observant of the movement of comets and stars, learn names of constellations and try your skill at spotting them!
  • Make use of technology – Several Apps are now available to feed the appetite of astronomers. The Google Skymap App can help you locate stars, constellations and the pole star among other things, while The SkEye Planetarium App (on android) calibrates the section of the sky you are pointing at (almost) instantly, with a huge database of deep sky objects for reference. AccuWeather App on the other hand can help you plan your stargazing night out on a clear night for best viewing.

Retro Bites: Hop on for a ride on the 90’s Bangalore Food Express

Be it a fast-food chain selling burgers through a clown, or a posh rooftop-restaurant serving “authentic Lebanese food”, or a fast-paced restro-pub dishing out exotic tapas and cocktails, these were things unheard of if you were a Bangalorean in the 90s.

We’re talking of a simpler time when you could count the number of restaurants on Church Street on one hand, when you could stand on the terrace of your house and see the LIC Stone Building at Anil Kumble Circle and when Koramangala didn’t quite exist as part of the city.

If we’ve already got you feeling nostalgic, wait till you hear our take on the foods every city-dweller got the munchies for, in the 90s. We’re not saying all the food we’ve listed below are still the best, it’s just that they were un-pretentious, are of a forgotten era and still give us that warm fuzzy feeling when eaten.

West Bangalore (This was the erstwhile Centre of the city but for the sake of convenience it’s being referred to as West Bangalore in this post)

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If you lived in the Rajajinagar/ Malleswaram/Basvangudi area or just anywhere in West Bangalore, we’re sure the following were a regular with you:

  • Bun butter congress from VB Bakery,
  • Dil Pasand & coconut biscuits from O.G. Variar & Sons
  • Elvis Presley & Choc Fiesta from Richie Rich
  • Snacks like chow chow bath mixture and favourites like Mysore Pak from Venkateshwara Sweets or Krishna Sweets
  • Rava Idly from MTR or the Benne Saagu Masala Dosa from CTR or Idli-vada from Veena Stores/Raghavendra Stores, or Vasudev Adigas, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Brahmin’s Cafe and similar old-school South Indian joints.
  • Bangalore-style Chaats from Karnataka Bhel House

Central Bangalore

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Central Bangalore comprised of its fair share of iconic restaurants. If you grew up in this area in the 90s, these were very likely some of things you loved snacking on:

  • Mixed Grill and Appam & stew from Koshy’s
  • Kulfi, grape juice, mango juice & lassi from Bowring Kulfi Stand
  • Masala Dosa and Chana Batura from Airlines
  • Burgers from Indiana
  • Kebabs & Brain fry from Empire or Imperial
  • Death By Chocolate & Hot Chocolate Fudge from Corner House
  • Rum tart, Apple cake ball, Pineapple Pastry, sandwiches & Lasagna from Sweet Chariot
  • Dry-fruit Ice Cream with cream & honey from Lakeview
  • Chocolate-covered Marie Biscuits from Nilgiris
  • Plum Cake from Thom’s Bakery
  • Coffee & South Indian breakfast from India Coffee House
  • Bengali sweets & Mishti Dohi from KC Das
  • Sweets & Chaats from Arya Bhavan, Kanti Sweets etc.
  • Chinese food from Chung-wah
  • North Indian food from Queen’s
  • Coastal food from Tom’s Restaurant
  • Indo-Chinese food & South Indian food from Woody’s (Remember going shopping in Commercial Street and invariably ending up at Woody’s for a bite?)

East Bangalore (East Bangalore were the outskirts of the city so you wouldn’t find too many eateries here)

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Although, eateries in East Bangalore were far and few in number, favourites from them were:

  • Mutton Samosa & Mutton Cutlet from Albert Bakery
  • Punjabi, Marathi & Gujarati Food from Bombay Post at Carlton Towers.
  • Cream Cones, Honey Cake, Aloo Bun, Veg Puff and Jam Swiss Roll from Iyengar Bakery (includes all their branches throughout the city).

 

  • You can easily skip Airlines, Indiana and Woody’s as the quality of their food has severely deteriorated. Also, Bombay Post shut down a couple of years back with the rest of the places in Carlton Towers.
  • Do make your own judgment call on things like cream cones from Iyengar Bakery and food from India Coffee House as the culinary standards of the city have risen since they started selling the said foods.
  • We realize this list is not all-encompassing, so if you think we’ve missed a place drop off your comments below; we’d love to hear from you!

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DISCLAIMER All reviews posted by The Bangalore Food Harem are solely the personal opinions of the reviewers, presented in good faith. The opinions given are open to the reader’s discretion and any restaurant who feels there needs to be a reassessment of any review is welcome to contact us at thebangalorefoodharem@gmail.com. Defamatory or malicious voice will not be used, as this is neither our goal nor aspiration.