10 August 2015

Giri Manja's

Part 2 of http://cutesmilealways.blogspot.in/2015/08/want-to-try-authentic-mangalorean.html 

Another recommendation goes to Hotel Giri Manja's which is near Car Street. Similar to Hotel Narayana, this was my recent find providing authentic seafood cuisine. The place is not a fine dine types but the food goes on to taste better than what you get from the five stars.

Restaurant Name:
Giri Manja's

Behind Indian Overseas Bank,
Near Badrai College,
Mukhyaprana Temple Rd,
Karnataka 575001

Timings: 11:00 – 3:00 (lunch only) - Sunday Holiday
Average Waiting Time: 10 to 20 Minutes
Cost for 2: 500 (depends on what kind of fish you opt)
Specialty: Sea food

They provide authentic GSB type food along with the season specific fish cuisine. I have tried most of the fish fries here and my all time favorite is the crab roast. The restaurant is a little dificult to find even for a Mangalorean but every Auto driver will know this place and you can always rely on Google Map and this restaurant is listed on Google Map.

What to order:
Like Narayana, this hotel comes which a template of meals (GSB style) which includes Boiled or White rice, fish gravy (mostly sardine curry), pickle, vegetable sabjis or curry. And the fish fries which you have ordered. Pricing and variety of fishes depends on the season. don't forget to try their cocum juice.

These are the 2 restaurants I suggest you not skip while you are on a Mangalore trip. You can refer the following website for best Mangalorean restaurants: http://www.the3hungrymen.com/  

Want to try authentic Mangalorean seafood at Mangalore?

I always want to try the local cuisines while I travel. But I never thought of finding an authentic Mangalorean cuisine restaurants in Mangalore while I was staying here. Long after I shifted to Bangalore, I found this small hotel, which was very famous by the time I could make a visit. That’s Hotel Narayana in Bunder, which is very close to Dakke (Fishing Dock of Mangalore).

One more reason for not trying out this place was, we usually have home cooked food and when we go out for lunch/dinner we always preferred chicken or fine dine restaurants. But all this while I did not have an idea what I had missed.

So here comes my 2 recommendations for authentic Mangalorean food, when it comes to Mangalore its Seafood. One is Hotel Narayana at Bunder and the second one is Giri Manja’s near Car street. (I have provided the details in the next post)

First recommendation:
Hotel Narayana

Near Kalikamba Temple, 
Gopalkrishna Temple Road, 
Mangaluru - 575001

Timings: 12:30 – 3:30 and 07:00 – 09:30
Average Waiting Time: 20 to 30 Minutes
Cost for 2: 500 (depends on what kind of fish you opt)
Specialty: Sea food
Directions: Google lists this restaurant 'Hotel Narayana, Mangalore'

My mouth started watering while I’m filling in the above details. This is not a fancy or fine dining place. It’s a mess kind of place but the food served here will beat the quality and taste of a five star hotel. Always try to be there by 12:30 in the afternoon or be prepared to wait for at least 20 to 30 minutes and to share your table with others. I have always been here for lunch and believed this place was closed for dinner but the google listing displays the timing 12:30 – 3:30 and 07:00 – 09:30

What to order:
This hotel comes which a template of meals which includes Boiled or White rice, fish gravy (mostly sardine curry), pickle, one vegetable sabji or curry. Once the waiter gets the thali, he will come with a thali filled with variety of fish fries and you chose whatever fish you would like to have. Pricing and variety of fishes depends on the season. Don’t forget to try the special powder which is the fried remains of fish fry. Yummy..! Also, the special butter milk.

The quality and taste of the cuisine is no doubt. No one can replicate the taste of the fishes at Narayana. Yummy, mouthwatering. This place is a must try when you are in Mangalore.

August 15th is a holiday at Hotel Narayana. I remember driving all the way to Hotel Narayana during Independence Day to find the restaurant closed. Imagine our hungry stomach craving for the fish fries of Narayana. :)

Sadly, I do not have any photographs of this place or the cuisine as I was always into hogging whenever I was at this place.

6 August 2015

Flowers, flowers, and FLOweRS

I wonder how many varieties of flowers we have in this universe. Unlike animal or human species, flowers are the beautiful creations of nature. Today while I was going through some of my archives and found these flowers, so many, colorful flowers. They made my day today. 

Enjoy the freshness of flowers and have a cheerful day!

These pictures are from the garden of Pallavi (Thotadahalli Homestay). Blessed is their home to have such a beautiful garden. There were so many, so I created a collage with all the flowers. :)

Some closeups:


P.S: Image is copyright protected to Prashant Bhandare. Anyone who wants to publish or use these images for any purpose, please contact the concerned for permission.

5 August 2015

Azulejo Art and the man behind reviving this art in Goa

Thank you for this artwork and a very happy birthday to you!

What is Azulejo art? I too did not know about this art until I visited Goa a few years ago. While roaming around North Goa, I found most of the houses with creative name plates. When I was back home, I started researching about the name plates which I had seen in Goa and got to know about this particular art and the art form is called Azulejo art, and the roots are from Portugal.

Azulejo is a form of Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile-work. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces, ordinary houses, schools, and nowadays, restaurants, bars and even railways or subway stations. They were not only used as an ornamental art form, but also had a specific functional capacity like temperature control in homes. (Taken from wiki)

I began getting into this art form and about the artists who work on this genre and I could see very few artists in Goa are into this art. Among them, I found Shankar Turi’s art work seemed very impressive and I called and emailed Shankar TuriShankar is one of the artist who went to specialize in Azulejo art in Lisbon Portugal in the year 2002. Until then, Azulejo art was extinct in Goa after the Portugal’s left back. Once back, he started his own business with this genre of art. 

I spoke to Shankar and I did not get any positive commitment about my request. For a while, I forgot about it and thought will think about it when we go to Goa next time.

One monsoon, we visited Goa and while roaming around Panjim, we saw Marcou Artifacts shop. We shopped for Mario Miranda’s artifacts. And my eyes fell on the Azulejo nameplates, though this style was not the one which I was looking for. On talking to the sales representative there, she said they had their workshop in Corlim Industrial Estate-Old Goa, we can check for the varieties there and custom make the name plate. We went to Corlim, found the Marcou Artifacts workshop, and looked for all the art work they were preparing, spoke to the person who does the Azulejo art, still not convinced. We were disappointed and while heading back, again Shankar Turi came into my mind.

We asked for the route to Bicholim, from old Goa, we took 2 ferry’s and mountainous roads to reach Bicholim. The roads were lonely and in between few villages and it was a memorable drive. We reached Bicholim but how to search for Turi's workshop? Internet was hardly working. I tried searching my phone if I had saved Shankar Turi’s number. Luckily, I had saved and immediately called Shankar. He picked and guided the route to his workshop.

Now this was Shankar Turi. A real artist, the calls, or emails did not matter. When we spoke to him and told about our requirement, he agreed to make our name plate. He said it would take minimum 2 weeks’ time to prepare as lot of artwork and luck is involved in glazing the tiles in the furnace. The painted tiles can crack due to the heat, which will be again redone.

That was done, we had 3 days in Goa, and then we would return back. After 2 days, we again made a visit to Turi’s workshop at Bicholim and we were in a surprise to see that he was almost done with our work. Only baking the tiles in the furnace was awaiting. And I was so impressed with the design and work, this was what I wanted and only a true artist can do that. On the other hand, Shankar was very excited with the pattern we chose and he was eager to complete the design. Art mostly depends on the mood of the artist and we were lucky we were able to meet Shankar and get the great piece of work from him.

It was commendable, the way he tried to send the courier of the completed name plate. Sending through any of the courier's it was a little risky and he could convince one of his cousins travelling to Pune to hand over the parcel to us.  

3 August 2015

#FlipkartImageSearch Experience

My #FlipkartImageSearch experience

I rarely give up my Saturday morning sleep. But this Saturday there was the IndiBlogger meet and these meets are always packed with Knowledge, Fun, Entertainment, and Food and this time it's FLIPKART. Since I got the invite after much awaiting for the invitation, I made it a point to be there on time, moreover, the event was scheduled at the happening place "HardRock Cafe".

The event started with the performance by the IndiBlogger team. You guys rocked the stage. Kudos and you guys are always the best.

Now comes the most important part of the event. The Product Head Puneet from Flipkart gives us a brief on how he started with Flipkart and blah-blah. Liked this guys approach in what he is today at Flipkart. He went on to explain Flipkart shopping and Image Search feature and how it'll be useful to each and every Indian, which includes our Rural India. Flipkart aims to make our shopping experience simple so no matter what phone we use, we should be able to shop with ease. 

Will that happen? That's a big question with our Service Provide Network ups and downs, it's really hard. But Flipkart claims 95% of their business comes through Mobile shopping. Maybe, people like me add the products to cart from the laptop and then go to the Mobile App and complete the shopping. 

We were given a demo on the Flipkart image search feature and the demo was quite disappointing, with no proper light and preparation ;) So Flipkart, be well prepared with the demo and presentations next time on.

We had fun-filled question answer session, where in one of our Senior blogger wanted to match with the Priyanka Chopra look alike as an alliance for marriage, if Flipkart would support that option. Well, should Flipkart support this? Apart from that, there were so many concerns about Flipkart moving on to App only support. Flipkart claims this to be revolutionary step and we will all love it, I still do not support this step. For me, shopping through Laptop will be in ease compared to shopping through the App.

The images will be stored on your account for a specific periodic, based on the average time user takes to make a decision, comes back and buys the product. Also, they are yet to revive the privacy policy with this feature update. 

what is it all about the APP, I fail to understand!

The food served was yummy and thanks for the drinks and starters. :)

Now comes the interesting part of the event. Hands on activity on the #FlipkartImageSearch feature. It was much fun trying out the feature, great that I had updated the Flipkart app with the latest update before hand. The feature is in progress which currently applicable on Apparels and Accessories only. When I heard that Flipkart is launching Visual Search feature, I was very excited. And this feature is going to be a BIG HIT in India. 

Our task was to click the image of any Apparel or accessories which we like and then search for the product and add the closest similar product to the wishlist. Our group could collect around 25 products in few minutes time. Though we couldn't be the winners.
Anoop's T-Shirt was in great demand during Point.Shoot.Buy. Demo :D

Here  is the demo of the Visual Search feature. enjoy #FlipkartImageSearch experience. Click on the image to enlarge.

So, how do you like the #FlipkartImageSearch feature. Do let me know your feedback. Way to go #Flipkart. Lot more to work on the Visual Search for this to be a success. All the best!