Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review - Eatouts in Mangalore

With the City growing there are many new restaurants opening up every now and then. As a diehard foodie... I am always tempted to check out these places.. Here is a list of places which i have been a few are good, a few falling from good to bad...

Maharaja: This is a quite an old Mangalore’s restaurant which servers some quality and authentic Manglorean food. Try out the “Chicken Ghee Roast” which is one among the best dish I have eaten here. This was a regular place which I and my gang would go during the one year I spent in St. Aloysius campus near light house. Also the Non Veg Thali here is quite a classic here and must haves. The staff is quite mature and experienced so you can accept pretty good service and courtesy from them.
Food: 8/10 (Loses on the Chinese dishes, as they are mediocre and not worth trying. As this place is more famous for its Mangalore Cuisine)
Ambience & Privacy: 5/10 (It’s a bar and restaurant so you will find a few uncles sipping there drinks & jeering at gals passing around.)

Hao-Ming: If you are in Mangalore & a diehard Chinese food lover, this is the place u have to go. Went here first with my dear & best friend and still remember the Shin-Min Rice & Pork in Black Chili we had that day. But off recent the quality here sucks... The last time one of my friends had been they served rotten and stinking prawns. This was confirmed by one more friend who had been there the same day. And another time a little earlier too i had a bad experience with food at this place. This place has gone from good to crap and is still progressing down the drains... Hope the review the quality soon and come back to being the best Chinese Resto in Mangalore.
Food: 2/10 (Would have rated it a minimum 8, but after a past few experiences don’t find it worth going for quite some time in the future.)
Ambience & Privacy: 4/10 (The ambience is pretty much decent for a Chinese Resto, but the waiter keeps bugging you to finish your order and order more so that he gets you to vacate the table so the people in queue can occupy it.)

Sizzler Ranch: A place tucked in a small corner next to the MCC building along the MG Road in Mangalore. This is the place you have to visit if you are a foodie & a barbeque\sizzler fan. They serve some of the, best quality sizzlers in town. These taste not just heavenly but are good on the pockets too. Try out the Rack of Lamb, Chicken Satellite and Kids Special. A regular non-veg sizzler may cost you around 180-220 bucks which is a decent price as you have a lot of meat (atleast 250gms in a sizzler) on a rich bed of veggies & French fries. Total paisa wassoul as one sizzler can fill your stomach to the brim.
Food: 9/10 (The best sizzlers I had till date, use fresh meat & proper sauces.)
Ambience & Privacy: 7/10 (Needs a little good ventilation as all the smoke from the sizzler tends to be indoors due to the lack of windows or exhaust fans and get a bit hotter inside. And as the sizzlers are freshly made the waiting time is around 15-20 Mins on Average, so it’s better to order food sometime in advance.)
A word of advice: They even serve traditional starters, it’s better not to go for it as it’s known for sizzlers eating anything other than a sizzler may not be worth. Also as the seating capacity is limited it’s better to book your table in advance on weekends.

Kismis: A new addition to Mangalore’s list of restaurants, situated in Bejai near Kadri Park. It’s got very good ambience, with a menu which is rich with food from all over the world and priced moderately. Have been there just once hence can’t comment much as the first experience was good, got to go a few more times to judge the overall quality of the place. Overall decent and ambient place for quite dinner with your family or romantic escape with your girlfriend. Try out the dish with Black Fungus (A type of flat mushroom).
Food: 9/10 (The food was presented very well, and was tasty enough)
Ambience & Privacy: 8/10 (The ambience was good, but the DJ had only a few Arabic Instrumental Tracks, unless you a fan it gets pretty irritating.)

La Oasis: another new restaurant in which opened up in Pio Mall located at Jail Road. This is quite an expensive restaurant; the average price of a dish is above 100 INR. The quantity of food served was pretty good and inspite of being expensive the bill I got after having stomach full lunch was less than 500 INR.
Food: 9/10 (A bit expensive, but decent quantity.)
Ambience & Privacy: 9.5/10 (Good Interiors, Good Music, Good Privacy overall I guess it deserve a 10, but as I have been here only once got to see how they maintain the place.)

Cherry Square: Looks like a small shack and a favorite among the young crowd, especially hot college babes; this place isn’t great for the food as its plain and mediocre. But if you want a place where you want to sit and chat with your friends or celebrate a birthday or some other great achievement of yours then this is the place you have to go, as people mind their own business & none bother to look at what you doing.
Food: 4/10 (Nothing special, just the regular fare of a few Chinese dishes.)
Ambience & Privacy: 9.5/10 (Simple & Plain thatched roof with tables & chairs and a fish tank embedded in a wall.)

Royal Treat\Royal Durbar: Will summarize both of these restaurants as both are Mughlai\ Hyderabadi Cuisine restaurant, Royal Treat being a bit expensive and having better ambience than the other. Serves traditional Mughlai Dishes; including various kebabs & biryanis.
Food: 8/10 (Both serve similar food which also taste the same, Royal Durbar being bit more cheap than Royal Treat)
Ambience & Privacy: 8/10 (Royal Treat) 7/10(Royal Durbar)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Saying farewell to a faithful pal - By John Grogan

A beautiful Eulogy written by John Grogan dedicated to his dog.. Marley.. This was published in a newspaper where the author was working as a reporter. And due to the overwhelming response came the book Marley & Me and also a movie with the same name....

In the gray of dawn, I found the shovel in the garage and walked down the hill to where the lawn meets the woods. There, beneath a wild cherry tree, I began to dig.
The earth was loose and blessedly unfrozen, and the work went fast. It was odd being out in the backyard without Marley, the Labrador retriever who for 13 years made it his business to be tight by my side for every excursion out the door, whether to pick a tomato, pull a weed, or fetch the mail. And now here I was alone, digging him this hole.

"There will never be another dog like Marley," my father said when I told him the news, that I finally had to put the old guy down. It was as close to a compliment as our pet ever received.
No one ever called him a great dog - or even a good dog. He was as wild as a banshee and as strong as a bull. He crashed joyously through life with a gusto most often associated with natural disasters.
He's the only dog I've ever known to get expelled from obedience school.
Marley was a chewer of couches, a slasher of screens, a slinger of drool, a tipper of trash cans. He was so big he could eat off the kitchen table with all four paws planted on the floor - and did so whenever we weren't looking.
Marley shredded more mattresses and dug through more drywall than I care to remember, almost always out of sheer terror brought on by his mortal enemy, thunder.
Cute but dumb

He was a majestic animal, nearly 100 pounds of quivering muscle wrapped in a luxurious fur coat the color of straw. As for brains, let me just say he chased his tail till the day he died, apparently convinced he was on the verge of a major canine breakthrough.
That tail could clear a coffee table in one swipe. We lost track of the things he swallowed, including my wife's gold necklace, which we eventually recovered, shinier than ever. We took him with us once to a chi-chi outdoor caf and tied him to the heavy wrought-iron table. Big mistake. Marley spotted a cute poodle and off he bounded, table in tow.
But his heart was pure.

When I brought my wife home from the doctor after our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, that wild beast gently rested his blocky head in her lap and just whimpered. And when babies finally arrived, he somehow understood they were something special and let them climb all over him, tugging his ears and pulling out little fistfuls of fur. One day when a stranger tried to hold one of the children, our jolly giant showed a ferocity we never imagined was inside him.
As the years passed, Marley mellowed, and sleeping became his favorite pastime. By the end, his hearing was shot, his teeth were gone, his hips so riddled with arthritis he barely could stand. Despite the infirmities, he greeted each day with the mischievous glee that was his hallmark. Just days before his death, I caught him with his head stuck in the garbage pail.
Life lessons learned

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours.
Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.

Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
When his time came last week, I knelt beside him on the floor of the animal hospital, rubbing his gray snout as the veterinarian discussed cremation with me. No, I told her, I would be taking him home with me.
The next morning, our family would stand over the hole I had dug and say goodbye. The kids would tuck drawings in beside him. My wife would speak for us all when she'd say: "God, I'm going to miss that big, dumb lug."

But now I had a few minutes with him before the doctor returned. I thought back over his 13 years - the destroyed furniture and goofy antics; the sloppy kisses and utter devotion. All in all, not a bad run.
I didn't want him to leave this world believing all his bad press. I rested my forehead against his and said: "Marley, you are a great dog."

Inquirer Columnist

Loved it hence sharing the same with you....

Monday, November 15, 2010

What to Write...

Its been quite some time since a blog post... Have been a bit held up due to work and related deadlines. But the main reason for not writing a post is due to a lot of confusions on what topic to pen down. Have been thinking of writing something Technical related to some technology.. or my favorite topic Neural Networks where a lot of work is going in. But not yet clear on what to write up.. A few things i was into in the recent past...

At the same time got chance to network with a lot of new folks @ office. And at times cant help but judge people, in-spite of knowing its bad couldn't form a opinion on whether to classify them as sheer geniuses or total fools... For instance met a person who thinks a lot of RAM memory (around 4GB) with a latest chipset equipped with a high end processor (like i3 or i5) can render any top end graphic games.. including resource hog games like Crysis, BioShock etc which even my laptop with 2Gb ram and a Core2 processor and dedicated 128MB GFX card fails rendering at high resolutions... Have asked him to prove it running the same on his newly configured PC with a i3.. Remembered the blog post by Short Circuit Engineer...

Have been researching quite a lot on a Android Mobile phone.. as was planning to buy one. But for my budget couldn't find anything. So dropped the idea of buying one for the time being. Had zeroed on Xperia X10 Mini Pro.. got a bargain of 12K for the device @ National Market, Bangalore. But dropped the plan last minute. Also found iPhone 3G for 19K and iPhone 2G for 12K the prices were before bargain. Good bargainers can drop the price another 2-3K.

Planning to learn Android Platform but haven't got any interesting idea worth implementing. If you have any ground breaking ideas do let me know. We may make history, you never know.

With deepavali the series of long weekends came to end, now waiting for the furlough in December. Watched quite a lot of movies released this year. Other than Khichdi a adaptation of the TV Series dint find any movie watching twice. And i did watch Khichdi twice that too on consecutive weekends.

Well that's all the updates for now.. for daily updates keep checking FB Statuses..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Useful Tips for Room Hunting in Bangalore... A Few Points out of my Experience

Very recently shifted to a 1BHK paying a monthly rent of 2500Rs. Initially the owner was very sweet and did promise the “heavens on earth” in his building. The room was pretty decent with vitrified tiled floor, clean walls and in a pretty decent locality (decent doesn’t mean clean and good, nor safe). And the room was hardly 20-30 minutes from office and a ten minute decent walk from the bus stop. Moreover the owner when asked about water had quoted “Whenever you want water, you tell this man (referred to a neighbor who had the keys to the water pump) he will pump it for you” this were it exact word and I remember them well as I just had a recent spat with this guy and he did repeat his dialogue all over again.
From my experience and also speaking to a few veterans who stay in rented apartments in Bangalore outskirts have derived the following steps. I may be wrong and if I am do correct me.

  1. Don’t go on the Ad’s posted on the net. Half of the places I checked where priced exorbitantly and wasn’t a penny’s worth. It was just that they were in some good areas like BTM, Koramangala but not in the heart of them. One place which was put up as 10mins walk from the bus stop was at least 3Kms away from the nearest bus stop.
  2. On the day you check the place check if there is water flowing in the taps and do verify the quality of the water. As a few places get water via water tankers which mine water from some lakes and they tend to be highly polluted. See if the water is crystal clear, a little brownish or muddish means the water aint good.
  3. If the owner says he pumps water 2 times a day, check the capacity of the tank and how many people share the tank. As where I stayed had two 1000 liters tank capacity shared among 12 flats. And if there are any families then the usage of water will be pretty high.
  4. If the owner asks you to store water and keep so that in any case the tanks gets empty you have water for emergency purpose implies that the water will be pumped only once in two days or in such huge intervals.
  5. Check the surroundings; it’s pretty difficult to find decent places with good surroundings’ in Bangalore. Yet there are a few exceptions.
  6. Ask the notice period which the owner needs and how much of a deposit will be deducted if you want to quit the place before completing the period mentioned in the agreement. As most of the agreements are made for 11 months, and you want to quit the place in between, not just the owner will throw tantrums but also tend to gulp down a major portion of your deposit amount. The only way out later will b e get yourself kicked out and that takes a lot of effort and knack.  If you need any idea on this mail me, have experience on doing it with one owner.
  7. Have a bigger budget then you can search for rooms in societies or in apartments and share the same among a few people. Had checked a 3BHK in one uptown society. The total rent plus maintenance came to 13500.00, but as 3 people were sharing it would be divided equally among the three. Didn’t go there owing to some personal reasons.
  8. If you have friends who are staying in somewhere in rented apartments or flats it’s good to ask them and go in the same building if your budget and convenience permits.
Well a few tips for you. This aint a bible, moreover these are just a few tips. You can add more or feel free to criticize the above tips. Can have a discussion any time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My College Days as an Alumnus of AIMIT- Aloysius Institute of Management and Technology

After my Bachelors in Computer Application and a brief stint in an IT company in Udupi, it dawned upon me that a Bachelors degree will lead me nowhere in the Job Market. So began my R ‘n’ D on the Master degree option I had. Realized very soon joining any Indian Ivy League colleges, as the IIT’s and NIT’s were good only in my dreams. As I dint have the enough determination and will power to study and crack the entrance exams. Hence began my search for a good college that wasn’t so tough to get admitted. And the best of all was St. Aloysius then affiliated to the Mangalore University and which was very soon going to be Autonomous. After completing the necessary admission formalities of writing a test and giving a face to face interview to the principal got admitted into the great institute sharing a Legacy of more than hundred years.
My first semester started on 4th of August 2008. Saw the people with who I will be sharing the next 2 years of my college that day. Also got familiar with a few lectures and got to know the subjects handled by them. It was pretty difficult to have a first impression as it not just was my dream college but wanting to be a part of it was something I cherished from quite a long time. The classes then set in pace in the next few days and as it was autonomous institute more emphasis was given on continuous learning. Hence there were a lot of regular class tests which were conducted only after being postponed for more than a few times and weekly assignments. The universal rule of “Better Late than Never” implied at first submitting them late due to my laziness and in the final few months not submitting them at all. Lost a few marks due to this, but was nothing compared to the blissful lazy days of doing nothing. And thus ended my first year mostly which was spent devising ways on how to prepare for the class test in less than 30 minutes and yet scoring enough marks, writing technical papers and attending as many IT fests as possible to make up for the attendance shortage I had by getting grace attendance.
The campus moved to a nearby village called Beeri on the outskirts of Mangalore. This campus which was supposed to be of international repute was under construction when we first went there. Still recall the first day to the new campus and all the heavy activity around us the din created by the construction workers was nearly unbearable. And yet again got set to the regular routine of college life in an altogether new campus.
The most memorable moments spent in my college life would be the regular fights for the 2 extra piece of chicken in a plate of chicken chilly with 6 pieces shared among four of us. The quality of it was totally pathetic yet there was a hunger which was never satisfied. Getting an extra share would make each of us feel like a King or Queen with respect to my lunch mates and best buddies in college. Also the time spent around goofing in the campus with the gang was something that no money or wealth can get back. As many say College Life is the golden period even though I did enjoy it to the hilt, yet feel why the hilt wasn’t a little higher, so I would have had more fun than what I really did have.
The quality of education, the assistance and guidance which we got from our lectures was something that really helped most. The lectures professionalism in the class and the attitude outside the class is as a good friend something which I experienced for the very first time in total 17 years of my educational life. Truly the institute overall is a cut above the rest and the feeling of being an alumnus of such a institute makes me real proud. Even though many of my college mates totally disagree on this, being a die hard cynic is something that’s good for them as its not one of my quality I can never see the other side which a lot of other cynical and pessimists do. As I truly had the best days of my life in AIMIT and I really miss my college day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Cook in Me

The early ambition in my life was to be a Chef. But education ruined me and I am a Software Engineer. Yet the kitchen never stops attracting me, and occasionally come up with some or the other recipe. Mix and match Chinese with Indian or Continental with some garam masala and fix up something new to simulate my taste buds. A few stuff I cooked last weekend in my room where I do lack a stove and other accessories this is the best I could do to keep my taste buds stimulated and stomach full.

Bhel Sandwich:
Came up with this as I had a few slices of bread, cheese, loads of kurkure and lays in every flavor of it.
Ingredients to make one Sandwich:

  • 1 cup Lays, 1 cup Kurkure (I used a little from each of the flavors available), crush it.
  • Chopped and Diced Onions (1), Tomato(1), Coriander (5 Tender Stems), Green Chili (Small)
  • Lemon Juice (8-10  drops), Salt
  • Bread lightly toasted
  • Cheese Spread
How to Fix the Sandwich:

  • Mix the chopped veggies, lemon juice, salt
  • Cheese one side of the bread
  • Spread the vegetables on it.
  • Keep another slice of toasted bread which is cheesed
  • Speared the mixture of lays and kurkure on the upper side and cover it with another slice of cheesed bread.
And you are done with your sandwich; all you need is a good book or a movie to go along with it.

Will come up with some more recipes soon. Keep Looking Out for Them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Technology Is Bad... Is It Really?

Every day we get to read of a new research findings on how usage of cell phones, computers and other gadgets leads to some or the other medical ailments. Not just this a lot of authors have found out that writing articles criticizing about technology as a best chance to get published. But how many of you dint buy a mobile as it may cause cancer in your brain or reduce your sperm count or stopped using a computer as it may lead you to having carpal tunnel syndrome. Even with my limited biological knowledge what I know and believe is that we are a species which rapidly evolve. As put by a great mind “Survival of the Fittest”. There were many a species which couldn’t evolve and have long been lost in dust. And many of the species which by their sheer determination to survive have been evolving according to the needs of the time.
I have been using a cell phone from the last 5+ years. And feel no effect of the same. My brain power has in fact increased as it gets continuous and more exercise by thinking of reasons for missing call by someone special and everyone not so special. The only place that effected is my wallet that is due to the non quenching need for the top up by my service provider.
In short any advancement we make has certain limitations. Always considering the negative side of any development is the sign of a pessimist. A researcher must have a positive attitude towards life and his research. All the time spent in researching the side-effects of technology if was spent on something more creative and beneficiary, it would have benefited the whole mankind. All these genius never thought was how many people are really bothered of their reduced sperm count using a mobile and thus don’t buy one.