For the oneth of June

Beanism of the day: Dada’s birthday is on the oneth of June.

Yes, it was yesterday. We got him a gift, hand painted some cards and cut some Mango Mascarpone Cheesecake – I highly recommend the deli at the Fortune Select Excalibur. The cakes are delicious –  I’ve had friends bring them over for tea and so I finally made the effort to get the OA’s cake from there. Creamy, just the right texture, and being mango season it was a dream come true. They even had a fresh mango cake! The service was brilliant. I stopped there for a few minutes to pick up the cake and they bent backwards getting me water, offering me a chair and the newspaper.

After we put the kids to bed we went out to dinner to a little known place called The Banyan Grill at O Palacio. It’s got the worst location possible. Some MCD work going on and no parking so we parked far down the road and walked. A little crack between some asbestos sheets bang opposite the Hard Rock Cafe sign at DLF Place, Saket.  There were fuit vendors sitting around in the dark and flower pot sellers stacking their wares for the night. It was my idea and I checked twice with the OA if we should change our plans but he said we should learn to live on the edge. Right. I teetered in on high heels and a light cotton dress. And once we got past the worst a guard showed up, insisted on taking our keys and parking us in a safer, closer spot.

It’s one of those contemporary joints where art meets fashion meets food as we might have discovered had we come earlier than we did, at 11pm. Thank you, Gurgaon! The place opened up magically in the midst of the dust and dirt and the cliched but immediate image is of a lotus in a scum filled pond. A very Med feel with white washed walls, pebbled paths, fairy lights twinkling and tall palms waving majestically in the breeze. A tiny patch of  lawn and then high walls that open into a courtyard, a rickshaw full of potted plants parked in the middle of the greens. Steps lead down into the courtyard and the massive banyan tree  holding centrestage catches your attention. Tables scattered at many levels, windchimes ringing in the breeze, candles lighting up nooks, stairs leading off from the main area and an airconditioned room for those who choose to sit indoors. For a moment I wondered if it was haunted because it was deserted. And then suddenly the place came to light and staff rushed out.

The service was really fast and our crisp cool feta, rocket and pear salad was just right for a hot summer night. Actually, strike that, they had this huge pedestal fan in a corner and it kept everything cool and rather romantic with the leaves all fluttering in the breeze. I told the OA we needed one of those in the house. While waiting around we looked around and spied the boutique area – I’m told there are also sculptures by Yusuf Arakkal among others but by the time we got there it was really too dark and we were too hungry to feed our minds.

They had no alcohol other than wine. No sangrias unless they have a party, they said. Well, there goes my chance at imbibing, I shrugged. The OA who isn’t the type to get stewed to the gills unless there is scotch didn’t bother. I think we got high simply on the ambience and the  fact that we were the only patrons there. I don’t think it’s doing too well and if I had to find something to pin the blame on I’d say it’s the location. Haven’t they heard the rule of location, location, location?  I’m told it’s run by a designer, so maybe not.

The two girls serving us didn’t know much about the food but smiled sweetly and served fast so that they could head home, no doubt. The OA messed up my order while I wandered around taking pictures and instead of a Chicken in Veloute sauce I ended up with a Jamaican Jerk Chicken that I was just not in the mood for. The chicken was slightly undercooked but adequate once I got past the first bite.  The OA’s Rogan Josh (the man kills me!) was aromatic, delicious, juicy and served creatively. Portions were generous. My favourite naturally, was dessert –  Marilyn’s Lava Pear. A stewed pear drizzled with Belgian chocolate sauce  flavoured with star anise and decorated with walnuts, served with ice cream. Very nice. It does seem rather fitting that our birthdays are getting less boisterous and tastier!  I’d love to come back here on a winter afternoon and enjoy a relaxed lazy lunch in the dappled sunshine. There is a red snapper and a prawn in peanut butter sauce that has my name written on it. A meal for two should come to Rs 2500 without alcohol.

This review is the OA’s return gift to all of you. He believes that I write about everything except what he loves the most – food! And so since this is the family blog I’m going to make an effort to write more about everyone’s interests. And no, that does not mean there will be a dinosaur section.

PS: The pictures don’t do the place any justice.



41 thoughts on “For the oneth of June

  1. Like the Oneders.

    Hey so on this new site you can’t subscribe to comments by email, is it? Could you ask Sraikh how she managed to enable that option on her self-hosted site and implement here? kthx.

  2. arre waah !! Happy Belated Birthday to the OA. Its my best friend’s birthday tomorrow 🙂 These geminis are not too bad are they? 🙂 But nothing in the post made any sense to me after the words “Mango Mascarpone Cheesecake” …sigh !!! you should have a pic of the cake alone. That would make an entire post by itself. Bliss !!

  3. Happy Birthday OA! This sounds like my type of birthday night, although the cake looks like throw-up. Sorry, I’m an unimaginative chocolate person. Your food review is very nice. I don’t even eat meat but I was all I wanna prawn in a peanut!

    • *blech* did you have to say that? I am a very visual person and half that cake is still in my fridge.
      Ps: what you been feeding that child if that is what the throw up looks like?

      • Haha, my mother thinks my child lives in a bubble. I am MM part II – she doesn’t know what chips, ice cream, juice etc are. Her throw up is carrots and dal which when combined into throw-up is not far from your cake…ok ok sorry, not true. Thing is I’m sure I would love the cake when I eat it but I am also visual and I need to see rich gooey chocolate to drool.

  4. Happy Birthday to the OA!! What a lovely concept but poor execution on the resto. Oh well, who cares where you are when you are with the one you lurrrve?
    WHAT??? NO DINO POSTS. Wait, let me tell the Brat, this is discrimination OK! And now I want Rogan Josh…and Jerk Chicken!

  5. Happy Happpy B’day to the OA!

    and ya..sounds like a fun idea to indulge all the family members!.. n ya…pics of Brat with dinosaur is good enough 🙂

  6. Yayy! I always felt just konjam sad, that you weren’t as much of a foodie. But OA makes up for it. Btw, new discovery in Madras, Dewberry’s, totally worth a visit. That’s where we’ll meet for lunch, when you visit. 🙂

  7. Yumm — I would have loved to sample the Mango Mascarpone Cheesecake. But tell me what kind of restaurant was it? I’m a little confused by a place that offers Jerk Chicken, Rogan Josh and French-sounding dishes on the same menu. And belated birthday wishes to the OA.

  8. yummy cake, gifts,handmade cards and dinner at this cosy restaurant..OA is getting spoiled:)
    God bless you OA ( and your lovely mad wife and B&Bs!)

  9. wow, the OA is a gemini? Now, I am happy my son is a gemini 🙂 if he turns anything like the OA I am sure my daughter in law will have a lot to thank me 😉

    BTW, a belated Happy Birthday to the OA

  10. Happy bday OA..hope u have many many more such happy bdays to celeb and cherish….. the cake looks delicious.. Can I have some??

  11. A very happy birthday to the OA!

    On an aside, have you discovered Pinterest yet? In all likelihood you would’ve, but just in case you haven’t, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

      • I am no guru, but AFAIK tumblr is basically a blogging platform. Pinterest on the other hand is a heavily image based site where you can organize anything pretty you find on the internet. You can “pin” looks that you see somewhere, or recipes that you want to try out. Just take my word and try out Pinterest. You will thank me later. 🙂 Am sending you an invite in any case.

  12. A belated happy birthday to the OA. That cake looks scrummy! I should make the effort and get the husband something like that next time for his, instead of the gooey chocolate stuff that I usually get him and then end up eating most of coz of my chocoholism.

  13. wish the hubby a very happy (belated) birthday from my end.
    wow! that restaurant sure sounds good… 🙂
    I’ve never tried mango cake.. and it sounds like a great idea.. should be available in Sweet Chariot here… will check it out sometime..

    handmade cards, a gift and fine dining.. wow 🙂 super cute 🙂

    LOL @ no dinosaur section. it would be fun, though, if you did have one. seriously. 🙂

  14. Hey MM,

    I have devoured, absolutely devoured all of your writing this past week, staying up until 2 AM to do so on most days… (not a good idea, I have a 6 year old that has to leave home by 8 AM for school) and I leave right behind her to go to work. I live in the US and haven’t been able to go home for 3 years now for a variety of reasons. Reading your blog has made the pain a little easier to bear. Its also inspired me to start a blog of my own. So, I owe you big. If ever I am in Gurgaon, I will give you a shout out…

    I have to meet Bean and the Brat and all the other people that flit in and out of your life. I do not want another kid (my daughter makes my family feel complete) but after reading you wax eloquent about B & B, I am seriously reconsidering much to my OA’s delight.

    Keep up the good work and don’t mind the trolls 🙂

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