Wazwan: Stay Far Off From This Restaurant!

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After reading few flattering reviews on Zomato about Wazwan, I thought of visiting this restaurant located at HSR Layout. ¬†So off I went with a friend and ordered for two buffet lunches. First thing that disappointed me was there was nothing Kashmiri in their entire palette. The service took a long time. There were hardly any customers in the restaurant even on a Sunday afternoon. After every starter I had to wait for 20 mins to get the next set of starters. Most of the items had less salt and they made it up by adding a lot of salt to the Mutton curry ūüė¶

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The buffet for the money we paid was not extensive. There were 3 non-veg and 3 veg starters which included two chicken starters, one fish starter, roasted cauliflower, paneer tikka and baby corn chinese style. The soup was bad.

For the main course I thought of trying Chicken Biriyani. Apart from the name tag I did not find any chicken in the serving vessel. When I asked the attendant he said he will get me some pieces and got me one elusive piece. I had to pick one more piece from the chicken curry.

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I ordered for some butter naan which was soft and as the Mutton gravy was too salty I thought of having panchmeal dal or something which I must say was good (if I have to compare it with the other food items on display).

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The dessert was again a disaster. The ice-cream was nothing spectacular. The gulab jamun looked as if it just jumped of a 10 floor building and the gajar halwa was less said the better.

Now coming to the ambiance. It is very dingy looking and I felt as if I had entered a Spooky House.

On the whole I was totally disappointed with their service, food, ambiance and the quality of food!

Ambiance: 0/5
VFM: 0/5
Taste: 0.5/5
Quality: 0.5/5
Service: 0/5

My Verdict: Run as FAAAAAR as you can the moment you hear WAZWAN

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App Review: Momoe – Roam cashless in Bangalore

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I love experimenting with apps and the latest app that caught my fancy is MOMOE. I being a person who hates carrying bulging wallets in the back pocket of my jeans, found it amazing to make payments through my mobile phone. Once I downloaded the app I browsed around and found some amazing features;

Instant checkout without waiting for the bill – That’s such a relief right?
View your order live when you dine – Again something nice for the impatient person like me ūüôā
Split bills with friends – This is totally my zone, now I do not have to remind my friends to pay me back for using my wallet ūüėõ
Get loyalty rewards – I love this feature especially getting Rs.500 cashback on your first transaction
Get referral credits when you refer a friend – Great however, you get Rs.100 credits only if your friend makes his first payment using Momoe ūüė¶
Enjoy exclusive offers at places you visit often – This is a great feature for businesses to attract repeat footfalls and customer loyalty
Book events and gigs at participating outlets – I have not used this feature yet, but totally recommend it

I used Momoe to pay my bill at my favorite restaurant two days back. It was quite hassle free as I just had to give my number to the waiter and then click on the restaurant name in the app. Punch in your bill amount and make payment after attaching your cards to the app. If you are concerned about security then let me tell you the payment system is totally secure with the two factor authentication used by every other known e-commerce app.

Apart from restaurants you can also use this app to make payments at your local grocery shops, apparel stores, electronic shops, salons and medical stores, etc. You can also get 10% cashback up to Rs. 500 per day on your purchases. Although this service is only available in Bangalore, I am sure in the coming days it will expand all over India.

The UI is clean and you can navigate the app with ease. For me this is one app that has to be there on my smartphone.

My Verdict: 4/5

Review: All Is [Not] Well!

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This week saw the release of two movies Maajhi directed by Ketan Mehta and All Is Well by Umesh Shukla.¬†Compared to Maajhi, Shukla’s directorial offering held more promise because of the his last Blockbuster Hit movie¬†Oh My God! (2012) starring Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal. The movie was¬†also remade in other languages where again the concept worked well with the audience and¬†the Box Office. However, I have to sadly say that apart from the title of the movie, there is nothing “Well” about this movie.

The movie starts with Jr. Bhalla (Abhishek Bachchan), a performing rock artist in Bangkok, whose shows supposedly sells out like hot cakes approaching a shady producer (Tiku Talsania) to get a Bhangra record out. However, he has to rush back to India to be with his family struggling with financial issues.

Meanwhile, Sr. Bhalla (Rishi Kapoor) runs a bakery in Chandigarh. For some strange reason, instead of baking, throughout the movie  we see Sr. Bhalla always yelling and shouting at his wife (Supriya Pathak) suffering from Alzheimer’s and Jr. Bhalla.

In between the father-son tension add Nimmi (Asin) who is Jr. Bhalla’s college-mate who nurses feelings for him and pursues him only to be rejected time and again. To add some more excitement and to thicken the plot there is also¬†a long-haired goon called Cheema (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) from whom Sr. Bhalla has borrowed a huge sum of money.

The movie turns into a cat and mouse chase when the Bhalla family along with Nimmi is on the run with Cheema and his goons, Nimmi’s family and Police hot on their trail.

The makers thought of revolving the plot around an agonizing son and a father with bladder issues but it fails to connect the way Piku did few months back. The story, screenplay and dialogues are a big downer. Umesh Shukla tries to rise above the script but falls flat with a weak plot.

The performances are average. Rishi Kapoor is the best in the lot. Supriya Pathak is wasted. Abhishek Bachchan and Asin misses the plot. The songs are not chartbusters and you hardly hum them even after you leave the theater.

On the whole, I would like to say Umesh Shukla – Better Luck Next Time!

My Verdict: 1/5

Pizza Stop: One Stop Shop for Pizzas

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After a heavy brainstorming session over an upcoming campaign, my colleagues and I thought of taking a break over some Pizzas and coke. Being a hardcore non-vegetarian I could never imagine having any food without a dash of meat / sea food thrown in.

Sicilian Pizza
Pizza Assorted

However, after a lot of coaxing from my colleagues combined with a growling stomach eager to digest anything edible, I thought of doing the unheard – having an all veggie Pizza at Pizza Stop, an Italian joint in Koramangala.

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Pasta All Broccoli

We ordered for four large Pizzas viz. Pizza Assorted, Spinichi, Sicilian and Zen, along with Garlic Bread. We also ordered for Pasta All Broccoli and Aglio Olio E Peperoncino.

Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread

The handmade thin crust pizzas were quite delectable and had the right amount of cheese, vegetables, Italian spices, herbs and tomato sauce. I not only finished my share but also digged into my colleagues plates too. Not even for a minute did I miss my share of non-vegetarian food.

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Spinichi

The pastas and the garlic bread were equally tasty and grabbed my taste buds. Overall it was a great lunch outing for me and I would recommend Pizza Stop to anyone and everyone in Bangalore.

Ambiance: 3/5
VFM: 5/5
Taste: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Service: 4/5

Sicilian Pizza
Sicilian Pizza

Looking Back in Time – Dil Se…

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I was a teenager when Mani Rathnam’s touted classic Dil Se… released. Being a huge Manisha Koirala, A.R. Rahman and Mani Rathnam fan I was looking forward to the movie. The songs by Music Maestro AR Rahman coupled with Gulzar saab’s lyrics were already a rage ¬†– Chaiyya Chaiyya made everyone dance with joy, Satrangi Re and Ae Ajnabi conveyed the seven stages of love and pathos of a longing heart beautifully, Jiya Jale was sweet and Dil Se Re quite poetic and visual. The performance by Manisha, fresh after Bombay, Khamoshi and Agnisakshi was one of her career highs. For a welcome change I loved Shah Rukh after a long time (maybe Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was the last movie where he actually impressed me and later in Chak De India and Swades).

The movie released and I was one of the eager fans to¬†stand in a long queue 3 hours prior to the screening time to collect my tickets for the¬†first day first show¬†. The movie was like a painting in motion. The introductory shot of Manisha sitting on the platform covered in a blanket that is ripped of by a strong gush of wind revealing her beautiful makeup-free¬†face was sheer poetry. I feel again in love with this timeless beauty while Shah Rukh sang Chaiya Chaiya in her praise ūüôā

Most of the sequences in the movie were quite grim and realistic and to compliment the mood it was shot in various locations like Ladakh, North Eastern parts of India, Kerala, Delhi etc. Cameraman Santosh Sivan captured the rustic locales of Ladakh, wintry Delhi and backwaters of Kerala beautifully.

The performances by the lead pair as I mentioned earlier, were class apart. In this grim love story to bring freshness and spunk, Mani Rathnam added a tinge of debutant Priety Zinta who¬†even¬†with her limited screen presence, stood ‘pretty’ tall¬†with her performance in¬†front of Manisha and Shah Rukh.

The climax is one of the high points ever seen in a Hindi movie and today even after 17 years gives me goosebumps. The movie was complete in itself however, humongous expectations backed with lesser knowledge of the terrorism issue in the North-Eastern part of India gave the movie away at the Indian Box Office.

Like Guru Dutt’s Kagaz Ke Phool, Dil Se… is¬†regarded today as a¬†classic which was way ahead of its time!

Dazo Food Delivery Service – A Review

Dazo-Brand

I have been a regular user of Dazo App before it got its rebranded avatar from being Tapcibo. Earlier they used serve food cooked in their kitchen which I felt was thousand times better than the now sourced food from various other food joints viz. Beat-D-Hunger, Bhukkad, Momoz, Mast Kalander, Cup-O-Joe etc.

The menu is not quite extensive however, it has something or the other catering to every person. I am a major fan of the sandwiches sourced from Bhukkad, quite tasty and the complimentary juice is something I look forward to on most of the days. However, I am hugely disappointed with the rotis / paranthas provided by them with the meals sourced from Beat-D-Hunger or Mast Kalandar. The rotis / paranthas are mostly half-cooked or as hard as rock. Wouldn’t recommend them to you.

The food sourced from Momoz (which is one of my favorite dining outlets in Koramangala) is good, but the portions are small.  The Mast Kalandar food combos minus the rotis / paranthas are also good. The dosas sourced from Adigas get soggy by the time it reaches its destination. Khan Saheb rolls are not worth the money you pay as the wheat rotis they use as the outer cover gets really messy when they get delivered to you and the filling portion is very less.

On the plus side I would say the food is delivered mostly within the stipulated time however, I have a major problem with the app. They have the option to recharge their wallets which automatically pays out while you place an order without asking if the customer wants to pay by cash / by wallet. I find it quite uncomfortable because there have been times when I had to order for my colleagues in office and the money is taken from my wallet for the order. And there have been times when my colleagues have forgotten to pay me back. If they work on the option it would be a major advantage for app users like me.

Overall the app is good. There is some nice variety in the menu. However, I would definitely advice Dazo to reconsider cooking food in their kitchen like before or look at the quality of the rotis / paranthas they serve if they want to keep customers like me happy.

Buff Buffet Buff – Blu Petal Hotel

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BBB was on my list for a long time and yesterday I got the opportunity to visit them for a lunch buffet. The staff was over courteous to irritating as every few seconds someone from the staff kept on asking if we were enjoying the food. I was tired giving them the same answer. More of their service in the later part.

The ambiance was good and the spread was lavish. The starters followed one after another and few of them were low on sodium especially pepper fish and sheekh kebab. I had to tell the manager about the same who got it fixed later by the time I had already moved onto main course. The Chef at the Mongolian live counter was confused. It took him four attempts to get the order right whereas I had clearly told him that I wanted quail and prawns with rice. He kept on sending noodles with squid, rice with squid, rice with mushroom etc. And the portion was very small with just two prawns and two bones of quail which was disappointing after a long wait. By the way I have had quail in other restaurants and I know how it looks and tastes. The nalli paaya was one of the best stuff available. The desserts were disappointing especially some choco toffee and beetroot halwa. I bet I can make better beetroot halwa myself.

The most irritating part in the whole dinning experience was in the end. The waiter got me a feedback form. He hovered around me as I filled it and kept on asking me why I rated couple of items low and tried to manipulate me to put higher scores which I felt it was not appropriate. If they want honest feedback then they better shooo off when I am putting my comments or write the feedback for me themselves. None of the restaurants I have been till date has tried to question or manipulate the scores while someone is filling the form.

Ambiance: 3/5
VFM: 3/5
Taste: 2/5
Quality: 3/5
Service: 0/5 only because of the Mongolian counter goof up and the waiter trying to manipulate my feedback.

 

Sigree Global Grill – Whitefield

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Sigree Global Grill has been my favorite buffet place while I was in Pune. When I shifted to Bangalore I missed the food there. However I was pleasantly surprised to see one tucked away in Whitefield. So I along with my friends I made a visit to Sigree.

I must say the Specialty Group maintains their standard in every outlet of theirs and the same applied in Whitefield Sigree too. We started with welcome drink which was Aam Panna which was okay as I do not have a taste for this drink. There were 7 veg & 7 Non Veg starters from mushrooms to paneer, chiken tikka to lamb kabebs, prawns and fish to barbequed aloos. Each one of them were tasty and satisfying. Then the next round was of Risotto and Pasta which I must say was wonderful too.

The main course had mutton biriyani however I saw no mutton pieces but couple of bones here and there which was a disappointment. Fish curry, chicken curry, roasted chicken with barbeque sauce, veg biryani, sigree dal etc were good ūüôā

The dessert was again a heavy affair with gajar halwa, jalebi rabdi (the jalebis were a downer as they were very hard), ice creams, varities of pastries, phirni etc.

On the whole the experience was wonderful. The staff were extra courteous and the time and money spent were worth it.

Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 5/5
VFM: 5/5
Taste: 3/5 (becoz of the mutton biriyani and jalebis)

Furniture Renting‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚ÄäA New Way of Life!

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Why should you rent furniture?
After you have finished reading this article, you’ll be wondering why you never did!

The only thing constant in life is change and its impact on lives. What if you shift to a new city for work or studies? After you rent a place, the biggest challenge is to either shift your furniture from your hometown or buy new furniture. In both cases, you end up spending a lot of money. Towards the end of your stint at the city, finding buyers for your used furniture or costs involved in transporting them to your home/another city is such a pain!

Have you ever thought how convenient it would be to rent furniture in such cases? This would make the entire process of moving to another place so simple and smooth. No worries about assembling or damaging the furniture during transportation. Furniture renting companies make your lives easier ­- once your tenure is nearing the end in a city, they come and collect the furniture, leaving you with only few bags of clothes and other easy movables.

Or are you a person who would get bored of the same furniture? With renting of residential furniture, you can change the look of your house frequently, and that too without worrying about financing or disposing the old furniture.

In India, not many people are aware of the concept of renting or leasing residential furniture, while some feel that renting or leasing of residential furniture is a waste of money as they do not acquire ownership. Moreover, they end up paying more than the value of the furniture through monthly subscription plans. Here are some indicators, which would help understand why renting or leasing residential furniture is the best financially-sound decision.

1) Save Money: Why should you invest a huge amount of money in purchasing furniture when you have an option to use the best and most desirable furniture in the market at cheaper monthly subscription? You can save a considerable amount of money by renting furniture and this money can be invested in assets that give good returns.

2) Be Hassle Free: The most expensive and stylish furniture today might not always remain in vogue. Selling them off at low prices to upgrade in a few years is not a great idea! Moreover, if your stay in a city is not too long, selling/transporting furniture will be at a loss/cost. Make your life easier by simply renting furniture!

3) Speedy Delivery: Once you select your furniture and monthly subscription, the dealer ensures that the furniture is delivered at your doorstep within 24 hours. What more can you ask for to set up a new home with all the comforts you need!

4) Easy Availability: What you see is what you get! Your choice of furniture is just few clicks away. Only readily available furniture are posted on the website, and hence you need not worry about the availability.

5) Convenient and Pocket Friendly: You can select and rent from a range of furniture within your budget. Once you have your home set up and if you feel that a furniture is of no use, you may just contact the dealer and he will pick it up at your convenient time at no added expense.

6) Zero Wear and Tear Expense: You do not have to worry about the wear and tear of the furniture, as the cost is included in the monthly rental plan.

There are few residential furniture leasing or renting companies in the Indian market, and FURLENCO beats them all in their game with its pocket friendly monthly plans. They have monthly subscription plans ranging from Rs. 1,500/- to Rs. 7,500/- per month, wherein you can get your 1BHK house to a 3BHK house fully furnished. For more details, visit www.furlenco.com. You can pick and choose your plan as per your need and budget, and make furniture rental a way of life!

10 Startups That Have Made Life Easy!

Pretty young woman using a digital tablet while her boyfriend is workin with laptop

Life has never been better! A few years back, when you were standing in a long queue to book tickets in a movie theatre or a railway station, could you have imagined that you would one day be able to book tickets in the comfort of your home, on your mobile phone? Could you have imagined purchasing clothes, food items and groceries without venturing out to a shopping mall? Have you ever thought of getting medical services at home?

In the last few years with developments in the technological field as well as emergence of start-ups, all those things that seemed impossible once, are now a reality. Here are few start-ups that have made our life easier in the last few years.

1) Myntra: Founded in 2007, Myntra is one of the biggest online retail shops for fashion and casual lifestyle products. Gone are the days when one had to visit a showroom to check out clothes and purchase them. Myntra not only offers you a platform where you can check all your favourite brands but also get heavy discounts on anything you purchase.

2) Just Eat: Ordering food has never been easy until Just Eat raised its head in 2006. Just Eat is an online service acting as a web based intermediary between independent takeaway food outlets and customers. So whenever you want to invite friends over for a small get together or feeling lazy to cook, log onto Just Eat app and order your favourite cuisine, and get it delivered at your doorsteps.

3) Commonfloor: Buying, selling or renting property has become easier and less stressful. You can avoid brokers and directly deal with the property owners or prospects‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚ÄäCommonfloor, an online property portal, has made this possible for you. As a user you get access to all possible property details for over 5 lakhs active property listings across over 200 cities and over 1,10,000 projects. So say bye to brokers and wasted time running around looking for a place to rent, buy or sell.

4) Furlenco: Have you ever thought of renting furniture for your home? Never? Then you should check out Furlenco, which has revolutionized the home furniture rental market. They not only offer furniture but also match it with free soft furnishings and appliances at an affordable price. You can mix and match styles for each room of yours and can also change the look of your house every year with no added charges at the click of a mouse button. In short they offer you an experience to live a better life. There is an exclusive offer for http://www.chaiwithshai.com readers use discount code CHAIWITHSHAI and avail one month rental FREE!

5) Bookmyshow: There was a time when you had to travel all the way to a movie theatre and stand in long queues to book a ticket. Sometimes if you are not lucky then you had to run around to few other nearby theatres to finally get a ticket. With the emergence of bookmyshow, India’s biggest online movie and events ticketing brand, in 2007, you can check out tickets for any movie you want to watch, along with their showtime at any theatre in your city. Bookmyshow has not only made it easy to purchase tickets online but also offer heavy discounts on bookings by the way of tie-ups with leading banks.

6) Big Basket: Have you ever imagined shopping for groceries, food items and vegetables over the net? No? Then Big Basket, India‚Äôs largest online food and grocery store, made it possible. With over 10,000 products and 1000+ brands you will find anything and everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, rice and pulses, spices and seasonings to packaged products, beverages, personal care products, meats‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääthey have it all. If you are not happy with the products delivered to you or are damaged then they replace the products immediately or do a full refund.

7) Portea: With advancement in every field, how can the medical field be behind? Making appointments and undergoing health checks is not only stressful also hectic with busy work schedules. Portea Medical brings medical care at your doorsteps. Portea brings world class doctors, nurses and infrastructure to your home. So you get the one-on-one attention you need. And the peace of mind that you deserve. The services are not only affordable but also accountable.

8) Ola Cabs: In metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore traveling within the city in your own vehicle is something one would not want to consider, due to growing traffic. Also if you decide to take a cab or a rickshaw the thought of haggling with taxi drivers and rickshaw drivers can give you nightmares. This was the case until Ola cabs showed up on the scene. Today you can book from an auto rickshaw to hatchback, sedan to SUV using their app on your phone, as per your need and budget, and travel hassle free.

9) Wassup Laundry: Gone are the days when you had to wash your own clothes or you had to wait for your Dhobi to show up on your doors. WithWassup, you can schedule a pickup using their app as per your convenience and get your clothes laundered and ironed. You can be assured that your clothes get time and attention needed to make them look and feel good when you wear them.

10) Makemytrip: There was a time when one had to break their heads for days to get a good deal for going on a holiday or stand in long queues to book tickets for train, bus or flight, or make rounds of a travel agent’s office. With the emergence of Makemytrip in 2000, you can book your tickets and plan your holiday at your convenience and comfort of your home. Also you can check out some wonderful hotel room deals for your stay.

Above are few of the startups that have made our life easier, there are many more that I would be covering shortly. However, one important point to be noted here, almost all of them have their base in namma Bangalore.