Monthly Archives: May 2014

Summer Break at Coorg – Part 1- Kushalnagar

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We wanted to take a short summer break and since Coorg is so close to Bangalore we decided to go down there for a couple of days.  Thought I’d share details about places to stay and things to do there. It takes about 4 and a half hours from Bangalore and may take even longer depending on where you’re going in Coorg and also of course traffic at that time.

We were there for 5 days and visited two different resorts one at Kushalnagar and the other at Madikere.

First we went to Amanvana Spa at Kusalnagar. Amanvana was a bit of a bitter-sweet experience for me. The tag line for this resort spa is ‘Rabbit Hole for the Soul’. So you’l see loads of Alice in Wonderland quotes and pictures all over the place, interspersed here and there with Buddha images and carvings too!

The cottages are large and spacious; the bathrooms uniquely designed with an open to sky bathtub which is quite nice. But try to fill it with hot water and you’ll be waiting all day. Each cottage opens out to a  small courtyard and garden with chairs and a table- ideal to laze with a book and sip some locally brewed coffee.

They have an activity centre for kids, a large pool and  other stuff like river trekking, plantation visits etc. which are fun to do. They screen movies at the amphitheatre every evening and I got to see a bit of Shaadi ke Side effects on my second night there.

I tried a massage at the spa and it was ok. I wouldn’t say great but not bad either.

Amanvana is conveniently located very close to some must-see tourist spots like Bylakuppe and Dubare. Bylakuppe the Tibetian Monastery/settlement is just 10 mins drive from Amanvana while Dubare Elephant Camp is about 20 minutes away.

Food is ok, could have been better, though the pandi curry we had on the first day was pretty good. But for the rest of it the food was a bit too greasy and not very high on taste. People there are nice and staff is helpful and courteous.

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New Monkey In Town

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A second Monkey Bar has recently opened at Bangalore’s food and beverage hub, 100 feet road, Indranagar. All the hallmarks of the chain are present – exciting and innovative twists on the food, a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere and affordable prices.

It is bigger than its Wood Street counterpart, so don’t be surprised if you’re hit by larger doses of irreverence and quirkiness here! Exposed brick walls, soft wood floors and comfortable booths make up the interiors of the place. There are two levels with a dramatic spiral staircase leading to the upper floor.

Chef Manu Chandra shared with us that ‘There are a couple things on the menu which are a bit different here. Though the overall refrain is the same there would definitely be some dishes that are unique to each place.’  Some of the unique offerings at Indranagar include Pirogies( Polish Dumplings),  Crab Rangoon, Roasted beat and orange salad, Pork belly sliders, and Lemon Cake. Others like the Chocolate Pot de Creme, interestingly teamed up with Salted Caramel Popcorn, is available only at the Indranagar and Delhi outlets but not at Wood Street.

There were an array of small plates and starters to choose from while we sipped our drinks. My favourites were the Crab Rangoon(crab and cream cheese filled wontons served with a sweet chilli sauce) and the Tempura Calamari which was served with wasabi mayo. The Sauteed Seer fish was also pretty good and carried heavenly aromas of ginger, galangal and lemon grass.

For main course I tried the Berry Pulao – fragrant Iranian pulao with Chicken kebabs, shredded chicken and potato salli.  The Pandi Curry and Pita was also a hot favourite.

We ended the afternoon on scrumptious dessert ( Chocolate Pot De Creme) and a fun quiz that tested our knowledge on all things Monkey Bar!