Posts tagged “Dosa

Brantos – veggie Indian canteen. Quick and tasty.

Review:

So I found myself on the Dark Side yesterday at a tailor on Hankow Road around suppertime and it struck me that I hadn’t been to Brantos for bloomin ages. My partner and I both felt we could do with laying off the meat for a day, and so a veggie Indian was the perfect solution.

Food: Brantos is awesome for fast food style snacks. They serve all sorts of puri, idli and wada, as well as having a list of Dosa as long as your arm, which when they arrive are also as long as your arm.

I could fill my boots purely from this left hand side of the menu, but then I’d miss out on the curries, which are really very good. Yesterday we had a yellow dahl which was really intensely flavoured, and a jalfrezi whose vegetables maintained a good bite on them, (which was a delightful change to some of the mush I have been served in many curry houses). Everything was very tasty and satisfying.

You can order thalis and set menus for well under $100, and after I’d stuffed myself to bursting was wishing I’d ordered one of them instead.

Drinks: Non-alcoholic drinks only here, usual sodas, lassi’s and tea.

Service: Service is pretty informal and not particularly attentive, levels of English vary by waiter, but if you need any dishes explained they are very friendly and helpful.

Ambience: Canteen style, rough around the edges, packing in as many tables as possible. It’s about the food here and nothing else. Usually pretty bustling and at weekends you can expect to wait for a table if you hit at rush hour. Caters very much to families and office workers.

Price: It would be almost impossible to spend even $200 per person no matter how large your group or your appetite.  Yesterday the two of us had four dishes, a bunch of chapatis and three soft drinks for $278 before service. We were stuffed to the gills and could easily have done without any one of those dishes. Good value for money.

Location: 1F, 9-11 Lock Road, TST. Lock Road is off Peking Road about 50m from TST MTR exit C1. Look for the more obvious signs of the Red Lion Pub and Branto’s is in the building next door. It looks like you are going into a set of old flats, you have to ring the buzzer for them to let you in – so don’t be confused, you are at the right place. Tel: 2366 8171

Open: Branto’s is open for lunch (11-3) and dinner (6-10:30) 7 days a week.

Curry Buffet Lunch – Conrad takes top marks for food.

Review:

There are many options for curry buffet lunch on Hong Kong Island, I must have tried at least 10, but there are old favourites that I go back to time and again.

After a truly good meal yesterday at the Conrad my trusty companion, and long-time Indian restaurant guide (originally from Bangalore), and I have decided that it’s hands down the best for food.

conrad lobby hk

Phot from the Conrad's website (at night...)

Food: Winning factor numero un, is that they have a dosa chef at the head of the buffet constantly primed to take your order.

Winning factor numero deux, is that the head chef at the moment is from Kerala, so the food has a definite southern India bent, but this also means that the dishes are generally lighter in texture than those made by North Indian chefs, so you feel more than able to continue your work day afterwards.

It’s easy to go veggie or carnivorous, there are lots of salads and fresh made pickles and chutneys and you get the added bonus of the Conrad’s pastry chefs whipping up dessert.

Yesterday, amongst other things including 2 dosa, I had the most mouth-watering lemon pilau rice flavoured with kaffir lime leaves, and a beautiful dhal, which on the face of it you would think is easy to master, but the flavours and textures were perfect. It’s not often that simple dishes of rice and lentils make you actually stop eating and discuss the food.

Drinks: What you’d predict at a 5* hotel, plus they do really good chai.

Service:  5* Conrad, so exactly what you’d expect from such an establishment.

Ambience: The buffet takes place in the Lobby Lounge which is a very pleasant, light-filled environment. Mind-bogglingly, the buffet is rarely very busy, so it’s a very good place to go for business lunch, especially as the tables are wide apart.

Only marginal inconvenience for me is eating from coffee table height. Not being able to get your legs under the table makes for slightly uncomfortable dining for girls as you can’t really sit there legs akimbo, so you are always twisting slightly to eat.

Price: $250 +10% service.  Now, this is a good deal more expensive than a lot of the other curry lunches in town, but it is well worth treating yourself once in a while.

Location: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Tel: 852-2521-3838

Chungking Mansions – The Secret Curry House.

Review

Want to freak out your friends with a really dodgy journey into the abyss that is CKM and then feed them a meal that will blow their socks off?  Take them the wild way into the maze and get thee down to the  Southern India Club Mess.

Most of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong have some kind of experience to go along with the meal itself.  I like an element of surprise or laughter to treat my friends.

Southern India Club Mess is one such restaurant, mainly because people think I’m leading them into hell on the way there.  It’s super low key, back to basics –  homestyle food for Indian expats and visiting traders in CKM. However, it has the most sublime curry in the whole of Hong Kong – Ginger Chilli Chicken Tikka Marsala, and it serves huge dosas. Bring it on.

Food: We are talking as homestyle southern Indian as it comes. You HAVE to order the Ginger CTM – you may even have to order a portion per person as you just can’t stop yourself. Foot long dosas and lots of veggie dishes, thalis etc

Drinks: It’s a club and therefore doesn’t have a license to sell alcohol. If you have to have beer with your curry then ask nicely if you can go and buy your own.  They have always been really accommodating, even putting us in a separate room when it was Ramadan so that we could still have a beer (they insisted when we said we didn’t need beer, in case you think I’m a complete cultural pig).

Ambience:  Sits a max of 20. Basic (especially since they removed the super kitsch 70s wall photos of alpine meadows and tulip carpeted woodlands), don’t take anyone who’s too precious about their surroundings (unless it’s someone you want to torture), or in fact anyone claustrophobic (unless they really, really like curry and you are using this trip as therapy).

Cost:  Soooopa cheap.  Difficult to spend more than $100 a head.  Frankly, the best value curry in the territory I reckons.

Location: D1, 3/F Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, TST. Tel: 2366–1834.

Now here comes the tricky bit. I have only been here by what I would call the back way, so bear with me.

Enter Chungking Mansions and immediately turn right, walk to end of corridor and turn left, walk about 20m and you will come to the first fire escape stairs on your right (grey doors), walk to the third floor up the barely lit stairwell covered in bettlenut juice splashings, force your way through the really narrow doors on the 3rd floor and lo and behold Southern Indian club is opposite the Everest Club.

Of course if you don’t want to freak your visitors out, you can always get one of the PRs to take you to the Everest Club and then hop across the corridor (and if you are taking claustrophobic guests, using the terrifyingly tiny lifts will just add to the therapy).

Open: every day, lunch (11:30-15:00) and dinner (6:30-23:00).

Khana Khazana – Veggie Indian

Review

Very good Veggie Indian on the Island opp Delaney’s in Wanchai.  Good Thali’s and a very reasonably priced buffet lunch, usually with free flowing dosas which really rocks my boat.

If I ever open a lunch restaurant it is going to be a hole in the wall called Dosa to Go, because I just can’t believe that more people don’t go potty for these fab “pankcakes” either in London or Hong Kong.

Since this place was taken over from the guys who used to own it (ie Brantos) you can even have a beer.

This is definitely a good food at good prices kind of a venue.

khana khazana

Food: Real mix of southern indian cuisine, as well as bombay style snacks etc.  Do have the dhal Makani, the masala dosa, and the bagan batha, and I also love the different puris and idlis. Yum, Yum, Yum.

Ambience: Nothing special, but clean with dark wooden pillars and panelling, comfy chairs, big TVs on the wall so usually you can watch what’s going on in the cricket if there’s a big match on.

Service: swift and friendly

Price: Very decent price. Full dinner with drinks and so much food they have to roll you out the door, is about $200 per head inc service. Buffet lunch not much more than half that.

Location:1F, Dannies House, 20 Luard Road, Wanchai. Entrance is on Jaffe Road though.  2520 5308

Open: 7 days a week, lunch and dinner.

Website: www.khanakhazana.hk