Earthen Oven - Residency Road, Bangalore

Update: This restaurant has closed down

Located near the Brigade road junction on the left side (moving away from MG Road) of Residency road, Earthen Oven is partially hidden behind a tree. It's easily missed, and of the four of us, only manish and myself had noticed it before. The outside has pictures of fast food and icecreams leading one to believe that it's more of a takeaway place than a restaurant.

Once inside, perspectives change. The place isn't bad looking. No fancy decor or theme or anything. This was just a simple, down to earth, place to get mass produced food. We were greeted by a gentleman who seemed to be the proprietor, but was just as happy taking note of an order. He saw to it that we were comfortably seated.

You'll notice something strange about the windows on the walls. They aren't really windows, but cleverly designed mirrors. I guess it's hard to have real windows on a wall you share with your neighbours - shows some amount of imagination.

The waiter was prompt at our table. We asked for soup - the first item on the menu. He listened to us decide how much we wanted and when we communicated the same to him, declined us saying that there was no soup. Okay.

We then ordered starters - Baby corn manchurian dry. It arrived shortly, and was quite tasty. We'd decided by then on the main course - Mushroom Masala and Paneer Adraki. The Paneer was supposed to be spicy, so we asked for a lot of water - which we had to ask for again. Jace and Balaji had rumali rotis while Mannu and I had plain rotis each. Both dishes were good. I can safely say that this has been one of the better meals I've had out in Bangalore. Jace and Balaji however complained that the rumali rotis were a tad too thick. They were visibly so.

Two dishes weren't sufficient for the four of us, so we ordered another - Gobi Manchurian gravy. This too arrived quickly. Manish ordered a butter naan, and I a plain naan. Jace and Balaji shared a butter naan between them. I've never had Gobi Manchurian before, and I quite liked the way it was prepared.

We left Earthen Oven full and completely satiated.

I've been back once, and tried out their non-vegetarian fare. We tried chicken saagwala, and it was really good.

I have just one complaint - they really should be checking whether our glasses of water are empty or not and refilling them when they are.

Blues rates it:
Food - good
Service - not bad/good
Price - decent
Decor - functional
Overall - Nice place

Recommendadtion - give it a try.

Getting there:
Go down Residency road from MG Road, before Opera house and the Brigade road junction, you'll find a tree on your left. Earthen Oven is behind that tree.


Spiga - Vittal Mallaya Road, Bangalore

I've dined at Spiga thrice since coming to Bangalore, and have enjoyed all three experiences. The first time we ordered a host of dishes - 10 in all, plus soup. The mushroom soup is good.

I tried the Red Wine chicken. There was only a hint of wine, and in only one mouthful. Other dishes included Alfredo chicken, lots of veg pasta stuff, and some tossed salad that no one touched. Some of the guys tried the Fajitas. They're nice, but don't order that as an only dish.

Soft drinks are served in large tumblers, and last through the meal.

Lighting is dim, with certain areas lit only with candle light. It has a kind of charm to it. You're also treated to Worldspace radio, tuned in to some good channels.

Spiga's forté is Italian. Stick with the pastas, steaks and garlic bread. You won't be dissappointed.

All in all, food was good, especially when you have good company. Prices were on the high side, but affordable.

Spiga is on Vittal Mallaya road, just off St. Mark's Road. It's easy to miss, so look for the Ritu Kumar showroom, Spiga's located on the first floor of the house to the right of that.

Blues rates it:
Food - very good
Service - depends on how crowded it is, but generally adequate
Price - On the high side. Don't make it a daily affair.
Decor - Great

Recommendation - Put it on your list of places to visit often.

Update: On a subsequent visit to Spiga, I had my credit card lifted, and several purchases were made off it. The experience has scared me away from visiting this place ever again.