Of places that are lovely, and some others not so much – 1

The OH and I have been exploring quite a bit of Bangalore of late, and it has been a great learning experience. We visited some places that had long been on our list of to-visit places, to which we had never made it thus far. We visited some places at the recommendations of friends, and found them amazing. And then, we came across some places in the unlikeliest of nooks and crannies, never-expected places that charmed us to no end. It gives me great pleasure to tell you of these places.

The APD Nursery

Thanks to the recommendations of some of our friends, we visited the nursery run by the Association of People with Disability at Jeevan Bima Nagar. We went in search of some herbs and other plants for our home garden, and were thrilled by the place. I was so excited to find some plants that I had been looking for since ages, and hadn’t been able to find them anywhere. We got back home a carload of plants. Both of us went overboard on seeing the huge variety of plants on display. We got lavender, chrysanthemum, daisies, lemon, strawberry, marigold and some other decorative plants for our garden. I was literally jumping with joy and excitement by the time we were done shopping here, and now, I am eagerly looking forward to arrange the plants in the garden the way we want to!

The best part about this nursery is that all the plants here are managed by differently-abled people, and the proceeds from their sales directly benefits them. The plants are extremely well-maintained, and the nursery is very customer-friendly. The prices are very, very reasonable, and most of the plants are available for within the price range of Rs. 15-150! You can even choose to sponsor meals for the differently-abled people working for the association.

See some pictures of the nursery here.

Huckleberry

We had passed by Huckleberry at Indira Nagar quite a few times, and it always looked appealing. Finally, we decided to try it out some time, and quite loved the experience. The OH and I split an jalapeno and sweet corn pizza, penne arrabiata and fresh lime juice between us. The wood-fired pizza was utterly delectable and lovely, with the ingredients tasting extremely fresh. We didn’t find the same freshness in the pasta, but the taste of that too was good, nonetheless.

The very limited space available inside the restaurant is tastefully decorated. The ambience of the restaurant is quaint, and we fell in love with it. I had already fallen for the name of the restaurant, long before we even tried out the place. Service was quite prompt, and there were no hassles. The good thing about this place is that it tries to be as environment-friendly as possible. They source their materials from local sources as far as possible, and their pizza delivery boxes are made of recyclable material. With the permission of the diners, a small amount is added to the bill for charity purposes.

The food is quite exorbitantly priced though, we felt. It is a lovely place to relax and have some yummy food once in a while.

Sutradhar

Thanks to this lovely lady, I came to know of Sutradhar in Indira Nagar. It is an NGO that sells educational books, toys and games which have been prepared by economically deprived/handicapped people or those who have no means to earn a livelihood. Both the OH and I were totally charmed by this place. The range of toys and games is amazing, and it gives a great satisfaction to be able to contribute to the society in a little way. The prices are very, very, very reasonable.

I ended up buying a few gifts for friends and our nephews, and I even got a rag doll and a fabric elephant for….. *gasp* myself. Just couldn’t resist it – the fabric toys are oh-so-cute, a far cry from the synthetic soft toys available everywhere. The lady at the counter was amused to see me unable to choose between two rag dolls and asking the OH: ‘Tell me na, which one should I take?’ I noticed her looking at me, smiling amusedly, and I smiled back, and she nodded her head indulgently. Says much about the lovely toys available at the store.

I would highly recommend this place to anyone who is looking to buy educational, unique, environment-friendly toys that do not cost a bomb, and contribute to the society simultaneously.

Oh! Calcutta

After several recommendations from friends, we finally visited Oh! Calcutta on St. Marks Road. I had always wanted to sample Bengali food, and this seemed like the nearest I would get to it at the earliest. So, we visited the restaurant the last weekend for lunch. We loved the experience!

The place is tastefully decorated and spacious. Seating is comfortable, and lighting is dim but not gloomy, if you get what I mean. Service was a tad slow, but the food more than made up for that. We loved the luchi, cauliflower and peas in a tangy red gravy, baby potatoes steamed in a mustard gravy as well as their sandesh. The prices are quite steep, we felt.

Spoonful of Sugar

This is, once again, a place I fell in love with on hearing its quaint name. Tucked away in a quiet lane in Indira Nagar, the little cafe is quite difficult to locate. We hunted the place down, and found that it is extremely tiny and is more suited to take-aways than dining in. We ordered a mud pie, Baileys and raspberry pastry, and a walnut pastry. The pastries are good, but way too overpriced. We didn’t exactly like the Baileys and raspberry pastry, but the walnut pastry and mud pie were lovely.

The Great Kabab Factory

We dropped by at The Great Kabab Factory on one of our visits to Mantri Square Mall, for dinner. We went for the buffet, which is quite overpriced, and didn’t like the food at all. Service was prompt, but the portions served were so small that they were not even fit for kids! The waiters seemed to growl at us each time we asked for one more helping. We left hungry and disappointed. This is not a place we will be visiting often.

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33 thoughts on “Of places that are lovely, and some others not so much – 1

  1. Have been to Sutradhar and Spoonful of Sugar and completely agree with you on both. The pastries in SoS are over-priced, but the tiramisu I tried there was totally worth it 🙂

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  2. Wow thats quite a reco for those wishing to visit Bangalore! I will certainly keep all these places in mind when I am planning a trip there :). My father-in-law is in BLR at present visiting his relatives..I think i will tell him about the places you have mentioned..he’d love to visit Sutradhar for sure :).

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  3. Knew you’d love Sutradhar. We’re die hard fans, more so after kids. I love their rag dolls (that thankfully are as un-barbie like as I would like!) with pavadais in block print, the rope ladder, the parrot to hang on the ceiling….have an eye on their puppet theatre before the kids grow too old for it. The person who set it up, Mandira Kumar has some vision, huh?

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    1. @Sangitha

      Some vision, indeed! Sutradhar is a lovely place. Can’t thank you enough for recommending it.

      And, yes, do visit the APD nursery at Jeevan Bima Nagar if you haven’t already. I am so sure you will adore it.

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  4. I have always been a fan of Bangalore. You make me want to plan another trip. Didn’t know most of these places. Thanks! I’ll use this post as a reference..

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  5. I’ve bookmarked this post:) You make me want to get to Bangslore in a hurry. I am certainly going to that nursery within a week of landing. Plants can make a house a home in minutes 🙂

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  6. Loved reading this 🙂 sutradhar is something I would strongly recommend everyone as well. Amazing collection, great colours and age-less and timeless 🙂
    Reading your plant shopping and nursery trip made me so happy :)) I look forward to seeing pics of your garden space now :))
    Next time I come to B’lore,I will definitely check out as many places as possible 🙂

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      1. Ya one of my mentors at uni had told me of this place when I expressed a desire to collect some nice toys and li’l sweet things to give as reinforcements for paediatrics 🙂 That’s how I was introduced and got hooked 🙂 and the way it is run is also very very admirable 🙂

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  7. Wow!! I am looking forward to going to Sutradhar. Are there any special timings to visit??
    And if i may add, for buffet, in case you havent, you can try Sultans Of Spice in Koramangala and Flame and Grill at MG Road..At least I had a nice experience at these places.

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  8. Wow!!! you got so many plants!!! I’ve been trying to grow a tulsi but every time i get one it dies 😦
    though 1 aloe vera & Kadhi patta plants are surviving at our home!!!!

    you seem to be on trying new things spree, Enjoy!!!!

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  9. Hey!!
    Haven’t commented on your posts for a long time now, but I have been reading every single one of them! And each one seems to be about trying out new things! Way to go with that! 🙂

    It’s so easy to get lost in everyday life that we forget to take out time for things we love to do! And your post seems to speak exactly about that! 🙂 To make an effort to visit that jaunt that you’ve always wanted to but never found the time! Next time I’m in Bangalore, will make it a point to go to at least one of these places! Great post! 🙂

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    1. @Dreamer

      Thank you so much for that comment. It means a lot to me to get out of the mundane every now and then and explore new places, cuisines, people and ways of life. I consciously try to incorporate that into my lifestyle.

      I am glad you liked the post. Do try out these places whenever you are in Bangalore next.

      BTW, I am unable to access your blog. Any chance I could get an invite? 🙂

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  10. st.marks road brought me back my memories of b’lore days.. u can try buffet at canopy on MG road, casapicola at residency road.. they are all good places.. in case u like street food, then nothing can beat kulfi and capsicum bajji at gandhi bazaar..
    reading the name b’lore is making me Nostalgic .. 🙂

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    1. @Ashreya Mom

      Oh, I didn’t know you have been in Bangalore! 🙂

      I have eaten at Casa Picola once, but have totally forgotten the experience now. Should visit again.

      I haven’t tried out Canopy and mirchi bajjis at Gandhi Bazaar. Thanks so much for the recos. 🙂 And, yes, I LOVE street food like anything.

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      1. ya ya.. worked there at st.marks road for 2 years.. almost have tried all the restaurants on those all connecting roads.. nxt make a list for shopping.. i will help u .. 🙂

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  11. Wah! now I HAVE to make a trip to Bangalore eh?

    loved that sutradhar description…I find oh Calcutta rates steep as well..especially when I go to Calcutta every year and get stuff for like 1/10th the price 🙂

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