Saturday, 27 February 2016

Strategic Food Delivery Expert : Meal Diaries

There was a time when pizza was considered as the only dish which can be home delivered. But man's desire for having more variety of dishes at the comfort of his couch has lead to the birth of many food & foodtech startups.

Though lot of food delivery services are there in market, hardly I see competition among those. Since no one can stick to a single cuisine for long time and natural urge to explore more variant & cuisines has opened a lot of opportunity to bloom innovative food service startups at any point of time. Certainly, Meal Diaries is a new player in the market with lot of strategy.

It was a great privilege to attend Meal Diaries sampling event organized by FBAB as a part of its 20th Bloggers meetup.

PACKAGING: It looked very professional. Light branding, multi pocket pack and intact packaging was really cool. Every dish they served was intact without any spills or mixup.

DELIVERY: Since the event was organized  about 2-3KMs away from their kitchen, we were able know experience their delivery speed. And I personally think they should improve a bit in this factor. Though the main course was delivered a few minutes late, food was warm as it should be.

Every food service tech has its own strategy when it comes to the menu. Likewise; Meal Diaries changes its menu everyday and renews it only after a month. And there is an exception for some popular dishes which are in demand. You can see those popular dishes in their menu frequently compared to others. This strategy is quite unique and I think it will surely satisfy explorers tummy.

SALADS: Green Green everywhere... They got some decent array of salads which appeared like they have lined up vitamin packages.

Vietnamese Salad: This salad was accompanied with sweet and sour dressing option. If you are spicy & tangy lover like me, you will definitely love this dish. Sweet and sour dressing added a tangy twist to bland Salad.

Yasai Salad:  Served with Spicy Mayo. How come anything served with Mayo can possibly taste odd... It was an absolute delight.

Asian Green Salad: This salad was quite an out of box thing. Seasoning it with Lemon & Coriander added wacky sour taste. Though it tasted very normal, I liked it.


Pita Pockets: It's a Syrian originated dish which is quite popular in Mediterranean and middle East countries. It's an easily customizable dish and Meal Diaries chose corn fritters as it's stuff. I've tried Pita Pockets with Paneer & Capsicum stuff before, but corn fritters seemed like a very ordinary choice. Nevertheless, it was good.

Whole Wheat Wrap: Unlike other dishes, wheat wraps can be a great stuff for a delivery oriented service. Since it remains hot for a long time and as it can be consumed even if it's slightly warm. Ingredients were good, taste was great and the quantity seemed fair to me.

Burger: Another popular American food. It comes in a huge size and the party used in it was fried to perfection. However, I wish bun was bit more softer.


Gobi Paratha with Chola meal: By the time they served the Big Meal, we were almost full. But still we managed to taste their main course. Gobi Paratha was kind of okay. I was not able to find the proper gobi flavour in it. It was more like a plain paratha. However the chola served as a side dish was good.

Onion Cheese Chilly Paratha with black Dal meal: All I can say is it was a good combination. By the time we opened the paratha, it was little mess. However the taste was good and black dal side dish was nice.

Bhindi masala with pakodi kadhi meal: Bhindi Masala was awesome. It was perfectly fried and tasted too good.


Gulab Jamoon: I must admit, it was one of the best Gulab Jamoon I had in recent times. It was so soft and sweetness was just perfect. Generally I'm not fond of sweets, but this time I ended up having 4 gulab jamoons.

Ras Malai: Another great way for a happy climax. It was too good. It was neither too sweet nor too bland, it just matched the perfect description of Ras Malai. Brilliant!

Their strategy, service oriented dedications and a great team seems like a perfect formula for success. Some minor tune ups in the service and improvement to the delicacy can surely make them a pioneers in the market.

FINAL VERDICT: Meal Diaries can be a answer for those who love to explore varieties of delicacies at the comfort of their home. But only if you have open mind for all kinds of cuisines and interested in fusion delicacies.

3.5 / 5

Meal Diaries Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Soho St. : First choice for great buffet

Soho St. is one of the popular choice for corporate dine-out, organizational/community meet ups, team-out and of course birthday or anniversary parties.

I've visited this restaurant for couple of times in a year and half back. I just loved their food & drinks back then, but never got a chance to visit this restaurant for a long time in recent months. But when FBAB (Food Bloggers Association) arranged lunch meetup I was excited to revisit this restaurant. But, I got disappointed with food and drinks this time.

AMBIANCE: It appears like an invitation, well designed wall decals and great branding catches your eyes. Bar is ideally placed at the entrance, behind the bar it has dessert counter and it has wide spread of buffet arrangement in front of its huge kitchen. It also has a live kitchen at back entrance. It has a great seating capacity and can house any kind of crowd. What's interesting is you can feel it's environment as romantic or a crazy party floor or celebration venue or as discussion stage. It suits for everything.

SERVICE: I found nothing to complain nor to prise about. Stewards were attentive at the beginning and lost interest by end of our lunch session. Anyway, didn't felt that we were ignored. They were kind enough to suggest the drinks and usually within minutes drinks & food were arriving on table. Overall I can say service was good!

FOOD: Soho St. is one among those restaurants which makes customers to rise their eyebrows seeing wide buffet arrangement and the variety of food. Starters were really great and gave a good company to cocktails. Whether it's salt & pepper American corn or paneer pasande kebab or tandoori pineapple or dry babycorn one, each starter was too good!
Pav bhaji & other chat items were good, but they were not heated properly often, so it lost its freshness very soon.
In main course many curry were just good but I didn't felt it as awesome as my previous experience. Butter paneer did caught me. It was less spicy yet delightful... Just enjoyed that
single curry.
Then we began our trails with desserts. First thing caught my eyes was cold stone ice cream. A mixture of 3 flavors of ice cream with generous potion of caramel, chocolate chips & crackles will bring water in your mouth. It's taste was awesome. Along with that choco mousse was too good. But other than that almond cake was clear let down as it was bitter, some other jelly cakes were also below average. But I must admit that I'm really impressed by their desserts spread & great varieties!

DRINKS: Sadly this time drinks disappointed me deeply. At the beginning I ordered martini, but it had over dose of sugar. Toooo sweet so that I couldn't able to figure out other blended flavors at all. As per suggestion of a steward I ordered mint flavored mocktail by the end of main course, the drink tasted good but it was full of ice. It took forever to get melt. Hardly I took 4 sips out of it. It should me named as "Mint Gola" not mint mocktail. In general I tasted other cocktails & mocktails but nothing tasted good apart from 1 or 2 which were just above average. Hope management will take care of this issue because last time when I visited this restaurant I loved some of the drinks. But this time I felt sorry for drinks quality.

EVERYTHING ELSE: Parking wouldn't be a problem; kitchen, dining area and bar are hygienic.

FINAL VERDICT: Though they offer good variety of drinks with awesome spread of food, I would like to stick to beer next time. Recommended for all kind of occasions for its great ambiance!

3.5 / 5

Soho St. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Front Look

Saturday, 6 February 2016

An amazing weekend food destination : Holy Flames, Marathahalli

Absolute Delight! Honestly, this is one of those restaurants which lives beyond your expectations. This restaurant has taken a leap in experimenting fusion food and delivering the unmatched quality at the same time. It was really surprising to see the equal priority for both Veg & Non Veg categories in their each cuisine.

AMBIANCE: Its quite astonishing, tables are well equipped with Barbecue Pit with decent cutlers. Wood log textured wall will definitely tempt you to take a selfie with it. Some of the decal & sign frames makes you to spend bit time figuring out what it really mean. Corner of the restaurant hosts live wish grill counter, another corner has desert counter. Bar is strategically placed near the entrance. Kitchen is quite big and hygiene is maintained well. Apart from all these, they have a nice pool with lawn & Garden at the entrance and they are planning to host mobile grill counter in the garden area which will be a great combination of fun & food once they implement.

SERVICE: Their service should be benchmark for many posh restaurants in Bengaluru. Each table will be attended by 3-4 stewards and they never ever give you chance to look up to make a service related request. Since it was an invitation for tasting event, we are able meet the Owner, Manager & Chefs. Everyone is so humble and service oriented. They will make sure that you feel like a VIP in their restaurant. Chef was very kind enough to come again and again to ask about the quality & taste of food and he was very open for the suggestions. Totally they will offer an unique kind of service.


Pineapple Passion & Pink Lady
Their food upholds the name "Holy". After a long time I enjoyed each food without bothering about diet. Some of the starters were divine in deed.We were served with two shots as welcome drink. The Pink Lady & The Pineapple Passion. It was quite difficult to detect the flavor of Pink Lady but at last we assumed it as Canberry. However both drinks were good and gave the indication that our lunch session is going to be wonderful.
As I stated above, service was real quick. As soon as we finished our welcome shots, they arranged grill pit in our table and loaded with Variety of grills... Nooo... They were not just ordinary grills, they were divine grills...

Paneer Grill: It was tooooooo soft. Very rarely I got to taste such high quality paneer and Holy Flames is my new favorite in it. We got to know that they prepare paneer by themselves in restaurant instead of depending on paneer available in retail.
Tandoori Ananas: Star of the day, I don't know how many of these pineapple grill I consumed on that day. It tasted simply magical. Spiciness use to kick in to the taste buds after swallowing it. We couldn't able to hold our curiosity and called chef to know the art of such spice management. Other Grills like potato, corn & fruits were too good.

Paneer Sufiyan, Aloo 65 were good and taste was just perfect as it should be.Salt & Pepper Corn was one more dish which delighted our lunch experience more. It was neither too crispy nor too soft, somewhere in middle of perfection which is too hard to achieve. We just enjoyed every bit of it by ordered multiple times.Apart from above starters, they served hara bhara kabab & Jalpeno Fitters. Hara Bhara Kabab was good in terms of both filling and taste. Jalpeno Fitter was quite aside. Though it was true to its core taste, didn't appealed much in between such wide starters range.

This restaurant has adopted one of the rare trend in the Town called Wish Grill, where you can choose the cuisine, ingredients and experiment by creating your own fusion food. Though this option appears like wonderful, I'm quite disappointed from the output. Flat Noodles was below average and a Mexican veg bowl tasted just average.

By the time we reached the stage of having Main Course, our stomach's were full. After talking a walk in lobby with the Manger, we were back in track and tried our hands on main course. Curries were good, Naan was soft. Chef was kind enough to prepare Veg Biriyani freshly (which was out of the menu) upon our request.

Before jumping on to deserts we tried chat section. I had papdi chat which was good but paani puri was too sour.I must admit, their desert spread is one of the widest desert spread in the town. Brownies, Cakes, Pastries, Bengal Sweets, Ice Creams and what not. You will definitely feel like kid while selecting the desert. I tried combination of two ice creams, brownie, a pastry and a bengal sweet. Everything was good.

I tasted a cucumber flavored mocktail which was too good, my fellow foodies who tried cocktails were too happy about their drink.

EVERYTHING ELSE: I just wish that the wish grill had separate section for Veg & Non Veg, Distance between the tables are good and provides perfect privacy. Available space is well utilized to host all kinds of crowds.

FINAL VERDICT: I feel its an ultimate destination of Barbecue Experience. Value for Money, Delightful Service and Divine Food Quality are the Key Factors to put this restaurant in your wishlist.

4.5 / 5

Holy Flames Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Naveen Suresh, Food Blogger
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