Food Review: Brio Cafe, M’lore

It’s been a few days since we first dined at Brio Cafe, Mangalore; and in short, the experience was a blend of hits and misses. Situated right outside the Lighthouse Hill entrance of St. Aloysius Pre-University and Degree Colleges, one would imagine that this little cafe would be bustling with students bunking class and gorging on some scrumptious fast food. But one look at the prices on the menu, and it’s clear why the place is not filled with enthusiastic young chatter. But the exorbitant prices are not all that’s off about this place…

Here I share The Foodscape’s experience at Brio Cafe, Mangalore. Brace yourselves, it’s a long one. 😛

 

Ambience

When we walked in to Brio Cafe, we quite liked what we saw. It is a chic cafe dressed in tones of cream, beige and chocolate, and a splash of colour here and there. While dining tables surrounded with high chairs provide for a comfortable dining experience, the cute sofa-coffee table seating arrangement that the cafe sports is great for a coffee and cake break.

The brick walls add a homey vibe to the experience, while neatly set tables topped with candles bring with them an air of warmth. The carefully picked wall decor is also pleasing to the eye; though I’m not quite sure if there’s any symbolism attached to the bicycle themed decor. Something we didn’t quite like were the paper menus; they were crumpled and worn, certainly not something that complements the ambience.

Chilled and laid back, it wasn’t hard for me to be at leisure here. Also, I must mention that the cafe plays some great music! 🙂

 

Appetizers

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Priced at Rs. 100, the Cheesy Garlic Bread was quite nice. It came with six pieces of soft bread topped with semi-melted mozzarella. It was well seasoned and looked great too. However, as the boyfriend put it, ‘It just wasn’t cheesy enough!’ It lacked that blast of cheese that we all love when we sink our teeth into some velvety cheesy goodness.

IMG_9491

Baked Stuffed Potatoes

When browsing through the menu, the Baked Stuffed Potatoes caught my eye. I instantly pictured skin-on baked potatoes, filled with chicken or sausages topped with oodles of cheese. But when we asked the server about the stuffing, he didn’t know just what it was. He told us they were stuffed with cheese, carrots and vegetables. It would have been lovely if the server knew exactly what he was serving; it provides a reassurance of sorts to diners, that they’re in good hands. We went with the potatoes anyway.

IMG_9527

When the stuffed potatoes arrived, they looked lip-smacking. Priced at Rs. 150 and tossed in a gravy oozing with earthy flavours of paprika, the potatoes were cooked until crunchy and stuffed with as assortment of veggies like carrots, peas and baby corn. The cheese was nowhere in sight. I found that the earthy flavours of the gravy overpowered the gorgeous potatoes, the stuffing didn’t do justice to the dish and the potatoes themselves were a little too hard for my liking. The goodness of that mushy bite that is characteristic of baked potatoes was missing. All in all, the brother, the boyfriend and I were not fans of this dish.

 

Drinks

Then came our drinks, which I think was the best part of the meal. The boyfriend went with a Pomegranate Cooler, the brother with a Chocolate Milkshake and I with a Mojito. While the former was a wonderful dance of pomegranate and lemon on the taste buds, the milkshake was smooth creamy and chocolicious; and my mojito was refreshing! However, I didn’t quite understand just why the Mojito was priced at Rs. 110. That’s crazy expensive for a drink as simple as a mint and lime concoction! The Chocolate Milkshake was Rs. 120; pricey, but edging on worth it; and the pomegranate cooler was priced at Rs. 80, quite reasonable.

 

Maincourse

Lamb Burger

For main course, the brother decided to have the lamb burger. Priced at Rs. 170, it looked inviting when it arrived, with the bread being all soft and pillowy and a side of fries. But upon tasting it, we were disappointed. The flavours and textures of lamb are beautiful and cooking it is an art. To be able to work spices in, to complement the meat’s strong flavours is definitely difficult but when done right results in something magical. This was not the case with the burger. The lamb patty was cooked in bland spices, and was then coated in a batter and some semolina before it was deep fried (why burger patties are batter fried, I will never understand). All this just took away the beauty of the meat, leaving it drab and unappetizing.

IMG_9538

 

Chicken Steak

Priced at Rs. 210 (way too expensive!), the Chicken Steak was dry, overcooked and edged towards boring. The chicken breast cooked in a mushroom and garlic sauce spiked with lots of paprika, didn’t play well on my taste buds one bit. I enjoyed the fries and the buttery sauteed vegetables much more that I did the chicken. A thumbs down from me.

IMG_9533

 

Grilled Prawns

The boyfriend went with the Grilled Prawns and my were they delicious! They had this smokey hot flavour coming through which worked spectacularly for the sweet meat of the prawns. And the best bit, the amazing seafood-ness of the prawn that all us seafood lovers crave, was only amplified by the marinade. And the dish was reasonably priced at Rs. 210 as well!

IMG_9517

So, here’s the deal about the main course at Brio Cafe. All three dishes that we ordered tasted somewhat similar, if not the same. While the marinade worked splendidly for the prawns, it didn’t work for the chicken one bit. And, that both the prawns and the chicken were cooked in the same marinade was a huge disappointment.

 

Desserts

The desserts at Brio Cafe, were the biggest letdown. The three of us are huge fans of dessert and what we had at the cafe was extremely unpalatable, to put it lightly. The Nutella Cheesecake was the most edible from the lot but was a huge disappointment in itself. The base layer of oreos was gluggy and lacked the crackle of the biscuit layer, the cheesecake layer lacked that wow factor and the Nutella topping was just not Nutella. It was a thin layer of simple chocolate that really took away the draw factor of delicious Nutella. To pass that off as Nutella is a crime in the dessert world!

The Fudge Brownie was hard, and crispy, lacked the gooeyness of a brownie, had a weird cookie layer at the bottom and the aftertaste was soapy and unsavoury. The Red Velvet cupcake was really bad. It was not red enough, not velvety enough and the frosting was crisp and hard (obviously made with shortening) and had an incredibly distasteful flavour to it. Probably the worst end to a meal I’ve ever had. Here’s hoping they really step up their dessert game!

 

All in all, we didn’t really enjoy our experience at Brio Cafe. We went in with high expectations and came out feeling really letdown. There were way too many negatives and just too few positives to counter them. There is room for some serious improvement and I only hope they work harder to please the evolved taste buds of foodies, both young and old. If I had to give my experience an overall rating, I would give it 2 stars out 5.  Would I dine here again? Quite simply, no.

Meal of the Month: Shiro, Mumbai

With this post, I hereby launch my new blogging series – ‘Meal of the Month’. While dining out was quite the usual back in Oman, the experimenting-delicacies-from-every-restaurant-in-town-run has experienced a few hurdles in our new life in Mumbai. For starters, eating out can be pretty expensive (and that really isn’t pretty when you’re living off your savings). Couple that with being generally lethargic and copping out at the thought of travelling by buses and trains, and you have two very lazy, crabby foodies, who’d rather just cook at home! It really is for the best, you know. Well, that’s how we save money, anyway! 😛

So the boyfriend and I decided to treat ourselves to a fancy meal once every month. That way we get to quench our never-dying hunger for good food, and we get to explore the many wonderful restaurants Mumbai has to offer. And what better way to kick this blogging series off than with a food review of Shiro, Mumbai. 😀

IMG_20151109_132338

Shiro exudes the charm of the Orient rather perfectly. As you walk in, while your eyes do a double-blink to adjust to the warm lighting, you can’t help but notice – in awe, may I add – the dramatic high ceiling and the gigantic Buddhism inspired statues welcoming you. In an instant the first word that comes to mind is ‘classy’ and that in itself sets the tone for a gorgeous experience.

IMG_20151109_131620

For our first course, we ordered the Chicken, Prawn and Shiitake Mushroom Siu Mai and California Maki. They do have an unlimited Sushi and Dimsum Lunch that comes at a premium, but we decided to go a la carte. The Siu Mai was moist and succulent with the paper thin outer coating giving way to a well-seasoned filling. But what took the show was the California Maki. I love me some Sushi and this Maki filled with crab-sticks, cucumber and Japanese spicy mayonnaise was just incredible! The different flavours and textures dancing a tango on your tongue is an experience I will never forget. Sweet, spicy and fresh, it was everything I want in Sushi! 😀

IMG_20151109_133650

IMG_20151109_132719

For the entree, we ordered the Korean Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Clay Pot Japanese Rice with Chicken. Both were spectacular. The stir-fried chicken was a little too spicy to my liking, yet I enjoyed having it set my tongue on fire (weird, but true!). And the clay pot Japanese rice was a total win! With a smoked soy flavour coming through and some much needed tang and sweetness complementing it amazingly, it was one of those dishes that left me with a mental note to myself to try recreating it at home. So delish!

IMG_20151109_134630

IMG_20151109_134457

IMG_20151109_141101About now, our tummies were stuffed, and happily at that. But a meal is never complete without dessert! So, we ordered the Molten Chocolate Sesame Pops with a Philadelphia Cheese Sauce. And my, was it a treat! That smokey bitterness of the crispy white sesame paired with molten dark chocolate centres and the tangy cheese sauce was a combination made in heaven! I don’t like too much chocolate, but I couldn’t resist indulging! Just WOWW! 🙂

In all, as you can tell, Shiro was a hit with us two! The food was fabulous, the ambience warm and welcoming and the service, amazing! A big shoutout to our server Rupesh who managed to maintain the perfect balance of friendliness and professionalism, a quality that is hard to find. We had a blast, and we will definitely go back. Maybe for another meal another month… 🙂

The Foodscape’s Quick Take 

Food: 4.5/5    Ambience: 4/5    Service: 4/5    Pricing: Quite pricey, but worth it.

Food Review – The Yellow Chilli, Muscat

The Yellow Chilli_original

On August 30, (clearly, this review has been a long time coming!) I had the pleasure of attending a bloggers’ food tasting at The Yellow Chilli in Muscat. Located at Al Mouj, Muscat (previously called The Wave), this newly opened restaurant serving Indian cuisine is a branch of The Yellow Chilli chain set up by one of the most famous Indian chefs and TV hosts – Sanjeev Kapoor.

IMG_6997-001
Peru Pyaala

Growing up, I watched a lot of Khana Khazana. On the show, Sanjeev Kapoor whipped up one delicacy after another; blending cuisines and creating fusion dishes which looked pretty simple to replicate in the home kitchen. While I watched in wonder when he cooked up dishes that I thought back then were the kind that were only served in restaurants and couldn’t be made at home (yea, silly me), I sometimes cringed when a food combination he came up with didn’t appeal to my senses. I must be honest though, I was far too young to try out any of his recipes back then; and when the cooking bug bit me in my late teens, I had long since grown out of my enthusiasm to watch Khana Khazana.

My evening at The Yellow Chilli was quite delightful. Simple ambiences, casual atmospheres and fun company always make my foodie adventures so fun. But of course, the most important part is the food… 😉

IMG_7013-001
Peru Pyaala in a mason jar

First up, we were served the signature Peru Pyaala – a sweet and tangy guava drink with a hit of red chilli on the rim of the tumbler. I must tell you, this was the perfect welcome. The flavours were aptly blended, and the real hero was the kick of the chilli powder complementing the drink! It was pure bliss to my very Indian taste buds. Simply refreshing!

Warning: If your palate is not accustomed to high levels of spice, please be informed that the chilli in the Peru Pyaala brings with it quite a distinct punch.

When ordered off the menu, the Peru Pyaala is served in mason jars. I would have loved it if we were served a regular serving  (yes, I could drink all of that!) but I think, with the chilli on the rim, it is incredibly hard to drink directly out of a mason jar and if you use a straw, you would miss out on the chilli kick! Dilemma! :-/

IMG_7049-001
Dahi Puri

We were then served two kinds of soups – a Coconut and Shrimp Shorba and Tomato Basil Shorba. While the former was creamy and coconuty with a succulent shrimp on a stick, the latter is among the most loved dishes on the menu. Light and healthy, the Tomato Basil Shorba is bursting with flavour. Definitely a must-try!

Next up was the Dahi Puri. A less messy take on the Mumbai street-food classic, these little crispy puris were filled with mashed potatoes, yogurt and a minty and sweet chutney. A great combination of flavours and textures.

And then came my favourite dish of the evening. The Palak Pattha Chaat! This was simply amazing. An appetizer of crispy fried spinach topped with a yogurt sauce, mint chutney, date chutney and garnished with pomegranate seeds, the Palak Pattha Chaat was out-of-this-world-delicious. The crackly crunch of the spinach paired with the the creaminess and tang of the yogurt and the sweet and spicy chutneys not to mention the little pomegranate pearls was a mesmerising dance of flavours and textures on my taste buds – an experience I very much enjoyed! 😀

IMG_7057-001
Palak Pattha Chaat

Here’s another look at my favourite dish at The Yellow Chilli… 🙂

IMG_20150830_201947

We were then served a host of other appetisers. Here are a few that I enjoyed. 🙂

Chana Jor Garam Tikki – Mildly spiced yet flavourful, these tikkis were crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside. Quite yum!

IMG_7062-001
Chana Jor Garam Tikki

Lemon Grass Chicken Tikka – Succulent cubes of chicken marinated in fragrant lemon grass and yogurt; reminded me of a comforting Thai curry. 🙂

IMG_7081-001
Lemon Grass Chicken Tikka

Papaya Peanut Kachumber – Sweet, tangy and crunchy, this salad was heartening! 🙂

IMG_7092-001
Papaya Peanut Kachumber

Khastha Kaju Chicken – This was another appetizer that I really loved. These little chicken patties were coated with crushed cashews and tossed in Indo-Chinese spices; sweet, zesty and delicious! 🙂

IMG_7096-001
Khastha Kaju Chicken

Raan Buzzkazi – This dish tasted wonderful – slices of lamb leg cooked well until tender and bursting with flavours. The downside, I felt it was too heavy for a starter.

IMG_7120-001
Raan Buzzkazi

By the end of the starters, I was near full and I could barely stomach the idea of eating main course. But I tried my best to get a taste of everything. We had the Mangalorean Fish Curry that I did not enjoy very much owing to the fact that I’ve had plenty of that over the years, thanks to my Mangalorean roots. The Lalla Mussa Dal (black lentil gravy) was just okay; a little too sweet and overly creamy for my liking. While the Mushroom Mutter Hara Pyaaz (mixed vegetables cooked in spices) was quite nice, I found the Shaam Savera (spinach koftas stuffed with creamed cottage cheese in a buttery gravy) to be a little odd tasting. Being a The Yellow Chilli signature, I expected to love it, but I didn’t enjoy it; the texture of the koftas didn’t appeal to me and the gravy was too sweet. The Murgh Noormahal Biryani (chicken biryani) was okay; the saffron was a tad bit overpowering and since I love myself a good spicy biryani, I was not very pleased by it.

IMG_7127-001
Shaam Savera

While I did have a great time at The Yellow Chilli, I was a little disappointed by how uninspired the main course seemed as compared to the appetizers. While the first course was an array of innovative takes on Indian classics, the main course didn’t wow me. As for dessert, well, I missed out. By the end of main course, we had already been two-and-a-half hours into the dinner and it was late, hence I couldn’t stay. I will be back though, hopefully…

The Foodscape’s quick take…

Location: Al Mouj – since I live all the way in Wadi Kabir, it’s much too far. But for those living around Seeb, it’s great.

Cuisine: Indian   Food:3.5/5   Ambience: 3/5

Recommended: Peru pyala, palak pattha chaat, khasta kaju chicken, lemon grass chicken and raan buzzkazi.

TheFoodscape Review: Nestle Toll House Cafe, Muscat

Being a baker, the Nestle Toll House Cookie holds a very special place in my heart. In my journey towards baking the perfectly chewy chocolate-chip cookie, the original Nestle Toll House Cookie has lent me tons of inspiration. Needless to say, the cookie holds unparalleled historical importance.

So you can imagine my joy when one evening as the boyfriend and I drove past the Al Khuwair service road, I spotted the newly opened Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip standing tall in its neon yellow and chocolate glory. I remember letting out a shriek and announcing out loud – like a kid on sugar rush – that the Nestle Toll House Cafe is now in Muscat and that I’ve been waiting to try their stuff out my entire life! (In retrospect, I was exaggerating; but I was excited, okay?!)

Flash forward to last night. After about a month of deciding to visit the Cafe and then changing our plans due to one reason or another, the boyfriend and I finally reached the doorstep of Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip, Muscat. My, was I excited! I could barely contain myself.

download_20150707_130915

The Cafe is super elegant. Playing with hues of yellow and black, the decor is chic and contemporary. It’s the kind of place you would like to hang out with your friends at or chill by yourself with a good book, a cup of coffee and a delicious slice of cake or cookie. But since we wanted to head home at the earliest, we decided to take some baked goodies to go.

download_20150707_130903

We browsed through an array of Cookies (Classic Chocolate-Chip, Triple Chocolate-Chip, Rainbow Chocolate-Chip, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate-Chip with walnuts and others with pecans), Brownies (Cookies ‘n’ Cream, KitKat, Button, Butterfinger and Cream Cheese), Coconut Macaroons and Cookie Sandwiches. The boyfriend settled on the KitKat Brownie while I chose to have the Cookies ‘n’ Cream one and we decided to take two Coconut Macaroons for the parents.

download_20150707_130943

When the cashier handed us the bill, we were shocked – two brownies and two little macaroons cost us RO 6.400 in total! (That’s RO 1.400 per macaroon and RO 1.800 per brownie.) At this point I would like for you to know that none of the prices are mentioned on the name tags of each goody. I have to admit that I found the goodies steeply overpriced. Knowing what goes into baking brownies and selling them, I just couldn’t fathom why the brownies cost so much more than they should have. And coconut macaroons of that puny size are simply not worth RO 1.200! As we walked out of the cafe, we only hoped that each goody tasted so good that the hole in our pockets would seem less deep.

download_20150707_131005

Sadly, this was not the case. The brownies were way too cakey, sickly sweet owing to the added toppings and the base brownie itself felt like the ones made with a store-bought mix. Nothing special or wow-worthy. The coconut macaroons were too sweet and lacked the crispy crunch that macaroons normally have. All in all, a huge disappointment.

download_20150707_131015

The Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip holds a long-standing reputation for being one of the greatest confectioneries in the world producing some absolutely lip-smacking delicacies. I really hope the branch in Muscat does step up to the international standards and that soon we’ll have scrumptious goodies that are of complete value for our money served up at the Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip, Muscat. There is room for a lot of improvement, and being a dessert-freak myself, I certainly hope to see some soon!

Flashback to the 80s – Moza Wa Khamis

IMG_20150205_144414~2

If you have been through my blog, you already know that I absolutely LOVE indulging in new and varied dining experiences. While I do enjoy cooking and trying out recipes from different cuisines as often as I can, I have to admit that a sizable part of my monthly pay is kept aside solely for dining out! I take pleasure in dining out, and much to my delight, I’ve been blessed with a man who loves food and dining out as much as I do, if not more! (Yes, if you must know, getting fatter is among the many things we enjoy doing together!) 😛

Though I do have a reputation for being not-too-easy to please, relishing food that has been created with much thought, love and passion makes me very happy and the restaurants that serve such food instantly join my list of favorite haunts. Moza Wa Khamis, the newly opened casual dining restaurant at the Best Western Premier Muscat, is one such place!

IMG_20150205_144430~2

When you walk in to Moza Wa Khamis, at first glance, you are sure to think that the cafe/restaurant caters to kids – painted in vibrant hues of pinks, blues, orange and purple, the interiors feature casual white furniture laced with traditional Arabian lamps placed on tables and a small Majlis style seating in one corner of the restaurant.  While the interiors are soothing and snug, the menu boasts of a wide spread of wraps, sandwiches, platters, steaks and kebabs that are derived from both Omani and International cuisines, but with a twist. In true essence, the menu is an ode to the unofficial Omani culture of having Chips Oman (spicy chilly flavored chips available in Oman) with almost everything – most of the dishes have Chips Oman either as an ingredient used during the preparation of the dish or as a side served with the dish! As I skimmed through the menu, I wanted to try it all!

IMG_20150205_150039~2
Shuwa Salad

First up, we ordered the Moza’s Healthy Choice – a turkey, cheese and Chips Oman sandwich. Turkey is one of my favorite meats and I must say that I really savored the delicately put together sandwich – the delish turkey meat, creamy cheese and the crisp and spice from the chips was a wonderful combination. While I browsed through the drinks menu, I was beyond intrigued; on there was a Rose Frappe and a Kahwa Frappe as options! Though I’m not a fan of rose flavored milk or drinks, I decided to try the Rose Frappe, and I’m so glad I did. The drink was simply blissful and refreshing and the sweet scent of rose wafting around us was pure aromatherapy.

IMG_20150205_145221~3
Iranian Kebabs

For main course, we ordered an array of splendid dishes – Iranian Kebabs, Shuwa Salad, Steak, Grilled Chicken cooked in Omani Spices and a platter which served Hummus, Labneh, Chickpeas, Ful Medames, Pita Bread, Falafels and Omani Halwa. While the steak was tender and succulent with a decadent side of steamed broccoli and a signature Moza Wa Khamis sauce made with Omani spices, the grilled chicken was lip-smacking. The platter too was a delightful blend of fresh ingredients; if you have a soft corner for Arab food, sampling this platter is a must for you! The Shuwa Salad was something new and innovative; the fresh flavors of the veggies, the crunch from the walnuts and the tender aromatic Shuwa (lamb meat cooked in a traditional Omani way) made for a toothsome eat. What I enjoyed most though, were the Iranian Kebabs served with rice, chips and a tangy chutney. Oh that soft, perfectly seasoned, juicy meat, paired with rice, the crisp chips and the sour yet invigorating sauce was an absolute treat to my palate! (I savored every bite with a smile plastered across my face) 😀

IMG_20150205_150021~2
Platter serving Hummus, Labneh, Chickpeas and Ful Medames
IMG_20150205_150052~2
Platter serving Pita bread, Falafel and Omani Halwa

The highlight of my meal was dessert, as it always is! We had the Spring Rolls filled with Omani Halwa! (I know right, that sounds AWESOME!) It was the wackiest yet amazingly scrumptious dessert I’ve had! The cracking spring roll coating filled with warm Omani Halwa oozing out was so delicious, I couldn’t stop myself, and within minutes I had polished it all off! That was one super-duper dessert!

IMG_20150205_150824
Steak with a side of Broccoli, Chips and signature sauce made with Omani Spices

The food at Moza Wa Khamis is truly phenomenal – an amalgamation of cultures and flavors that take you on a journey through several wonderful cities around the world, all with a touch of Omani heritage to it. If you’re enthusiastic about trying your hand at the new and if you happen to visit Muscat, Oman, don’t miss out on a satiating meal at Moza Wa Khamis. 🙂

IMG_20150205_150935~2
Grilled Chicken Cooked in Omani Spices

P.S: The pictures in this post were taken with my phone. I can’t wait to bring my camera with me on my next visit to Moza Wa Khamis; the post will then be updated with new pictures.

Pizza Perfect- Smoke N’ Oven

IMG_4105

For most part, we remember special occasions and memories by the meals we had on the day. Inversely proportional, we make memories and commemorate occasions by having special meals with the one’s we love. When I think back to the time I dined at Smoke N’ Oven, Mangalore, a rush of emotions overwhelm me…

It was not so long ago; November 9, 2014. I had traveled to India to attend my convocation ceremony. Revisiting favorite haunts had been accomplished, graduation was done, we had shopped all day, and there we were – my two friends, brother and I – parked on picnic chairs in a simple thatched-roof cafe which had a reputation for making the most amazing wood fired Pizzas in town. It was the last day of our short visit to Manipal/Mangalore; the friends were to get on a bus in just a few hours. Upon the recommendation of the brother, we had decided to celebrate what was our last meal of the holiday, and what could possibly be our last meal together for a very long time, at Smoke N’ Oven. A bittersweet feeling hung in the air; that was only until we tried the food.

IMG_4108

To be honest, never before had I eaten a wood fired pizza. All of the experiences I’ve had relishing pizza have been from the highly commercialized brands such as Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and Dominos. While any kind of pizza is almost always super delicious, there is something awesome about eating pizza and thinking it’s just a tad bit healthier than the others despite the fact that dollops of cheese are smiling back at you.  That’s the feel you get when you eat wood fired pizzas. My, was I delighted to find a place which serves them, and in Mangalore of all places!

Smoke N’ Oven is a laid-back pizzeria, hosted within a small shack-like enclosure, situated in Bejai (quite close to Bharath Mall), Mangalore. The folk running the show are friendly and homey, not to mention, incredibly efficient in practicing their pizza magic. What I found really charming was that the menu was handwritten! For someone who has collected empty notebook after empty notebook all her life, scribbling diary entries, recipes, poems and song lyrics across every page, I can’t express how much it means to me when I find something (anything!) written and not typed. The menu had a choice of base sauces and toppings to choose from – basically, you make your own topping combinations and within a half-hour your personalized wood fired pizza is ready and beckoning for you to devour it!

IMG_4107

We ordered two pizzas; one with a sausage, jalapeno and basil leaves topping with a green bell pepper base sauce and the other with a sausage, sweet corn and black olive topping with a green bell pepper base sauce (they were out of both chicken and red base sauce that day). The Sausage, Sweet Corn and Black Olive pizza was really nice – a fine mix of simple ingredients, the sweetness of the corn and the meaty flavor of the sausage well complimented the crispy thin crust and delicious mozzarella. The Sausage, Jalapeno and Basil Leaves topping was delish – meaty, a hit of piquancy from the jalapeno and the smokey, herb-y essence of the basil was a winning combination.

IMG_4109

We simply loved the food at Smoke N’ Oven. The pizza was just perfectly done – not too greasy, subtly seasoned and the enveloping aroma of being baked in a wood-fired oven. We polished off both pizzas with panache, ending up with pleasant memories,  hearty tummies and a bunch of taste buds that were completely satisfied.

If you do happen to visit Mangalore, a meal at Smoke N’ Oven should not be missed! Even as I wrote this post, three months after enjoying that beautiful dinner, my mouth watered and tummy ached for those divine Pizzas! 😛

img_4111 (1)