Seventy in 13
In a city where it takes a minimum of five days (if I am lucky) to get anything done -- and I do mean anything -- I am super impressed with seventymm.
July 2007: Random musings about trying to find a DVD rental service. Hemming hawing, telling Mathew to find out from his friends -- considering he is the one who loves this city!
August 2007: Forget about DVD rentals because we'll never get to watch one considering the schedule we have. Unless I finish my dose of hahas at 12:30 and then pop the corn and slip in a DVD at 1 a.m.
September 2007: Doubts about DVD rentals resurface because it might be a nice thing to do after a Saturday night out. You heard me -- Bangalore loves to sleep; we shut everything down at 11 p.m. thank you.
October 2, 2007. 7 p.m.: Tired of subbing half-assed, retarded copies (one day I'll post some choice pieces here, for general humour and the like)
Dry day. So have to find another way to cheer myself up. Googled DVD rentals + Bangalore. Find a blog that has a pizza-delivery-cheerfulness kinda diagram with seventymm's link.
7:03 p.m.: Click on link. Seems interesting (being the complete film-illiterate I am, I don't know it's kinda famous) so I start to sign up, if only to check out how much less I get to spend at Landmark or MAC (make-up, not burger. No S, see?).
7:07 p.m.: Registeration in process. I move to page 2 where they tell me the various plans on offer. This is a BIG road block, see? Cuz it's got numbers and columns and all kinds of things that will fry my circuits and have me twitching and moaning if I don't switch screens.
7:08 p.m.: My phone rings. Unknown number. I am in a good mood so I take the call.
"Good evening, Ma'am. I am Yashwant from...."
"Hi Yashwant. Whatever you've got that's good news for me, I am not interested."
"But Ma'am, you just signed up!"
"Sorry? I didn't sign up for anything, thank you!"
"Ma'am, I am calling from seventymm."
"Oh! That was quick. Yes, what is it, Yashwant?"
SO then he politely asks me if my registeration process is going well, do I have any doubts, can he help me in anyway.
At this point I am grinning from ear to ear and also falling off my chair due to shock and surprise. I am very impressed.
So Yashwant kindly explains the plan to me, says I can pay by credit card, and I can start watching movies by tomorrow night. The credit card's a hitch -- all mine are maxed out. So he says no problem, he'll send someone over to collect a cheque in half an hour.
7:20 p.m.: My reception calls me to come to ... well...the reception. And Yashwant is standing there -- all bright eyed and earnest. Hands me a receipt to sign and asks me for my cheque. I hand it over to him with that huge grin -- never mind that I've just flushed some money down the drain to watch movies that won't fund my education or my trip to Zanzibar.
7:35 p.m.: Three emails that confirm various stages of my signing up and informing me about their policies. Also a follow-up call from Y telling me due to Gji's birthday today, everything's shut so my account will only be active tomorrow. Which is dandy with me, really. Tonight I'll just watch Mr Holland's Opus (again) on Star Movies or something.
Mathew turned 41 yesterday.
It's very hard to believe, and not just because he looks 21.
So he got a really good birthday gift, which I shall not talk about. Suffice it to say it brings peace of mind and cheer :).
Of course, to him it doesn't make any difference because he says he has felt the same every birthday since 17.
We did Bengali dinner as Mathew hadn't had traditional Bengali food and I totally love it.
6 Ballygunge Place.
12th main, Indiranagar, Above Cafe Coffee Day.
For some odd reason, the place likes to position itself as a Bengali and Continental Restaurant. It would get all my points even if it didn't have the dubious Continental tag attached to it.
I walked in half an hour after the time at which I had asked for a reservation. I apologized for it, to my credit, although I feel junior captain Prasanta didn't deserve it.
You see, he kept me waiting to lead me to my table while he finished a personal conversation on his phone.
One point down already.
I next asked if he could arrange for a small cake at the end of he meal. He says no. I say ok, there's a Cafe Coffee Day downstairs, could he get me a slice of pastry from there. He says no. I ask him why, he says no reason but he won't.
Long conversation where he got ruder, and I got more adamant, followed. Suffice it to say, after a long, polite and terribly calming phone call to the delightful owner of 6 Ballygunge Place, I got sinfully rich pastry for Mathew to cut. Replete with candle.
Oh, this only happened because I got to the restaurant before Mathew did.
The good news is, however, Somnath is a regular boy scout of a waiter who is quick with ready suggestions and has the sweetest cauliflower ears ever. Earnest and attentive, friendly without being servile, you can see he'll go far. May be Prasanta should learn from him.
The better news, folks, is the food. 6 Ballygunge Place has no pretensions of being fine dining. It's regular Bengali fare and very good at that.
To start with, I ordered a mango drink. Dried, spiced mango made into a drink. Very like the aampanna that you find north of here but a little thicker.
We decided to be greedy and order fried things for starters. So mango fish batter fried was our choice. I was little overwhelmed because I have a serious problem with deep fried things. My stomach, and my brain, cannot eat it without receiving shocks of some kind. This was spiced and spruced to perfection -- crisp, warm and yet letting the fish be -- but it was a bit much for two people to finish.
The main course is a bit of a task to order. For those not familiar with Bengali and its cuisine, the choice may seem like fish, fish and more fish -- fried, curried, baked, steamed, roasted, grilled.
On closer look you'll find pabda, rui and a few others that you can choose from. My eyes rested on machher jhol and I decided Mathew had to have this overrated Bengali classic and being even more open to experience than I am, he said if it was famous he had to know why.
This was to go with the loochi, of which I have never seen the point. To go with steamed rice was this dish that oozed itself from food heaven into the kitches of 6 Ballygunge Place.
Prawn cooked in tender coconut spiced with mustard oil. See, I am Malayali -- so coconut milk and prawn mean near orgasm for me. (Yes, sometimes that's all it takes.)
Conversation kept us alive till they decided it was time to feed us. And when they brought the prawn curry, I had to do more than just stamp my own foot down to keep me from climbing on the chair and whistling shrilly.
It came in a serene green coconut shell!!!
To say that it was the best thing since fish molly would be an understatement. Like the menu promises, it melts in your mouth. The prawn is cooked to perfection -- succulent, retaining the prawn flavour and just sweet enough to keep you wanting more.
The jhol was a disappointment. Watery, completely vapid and with the rohu being drowned out completely. But Mathew liked it, perhaps because it was his first taste of it. I've had better.
Dessert is always a problem. Mathew has an incorrigible sweet tooth. I need something mild while he needs something that shoots crackers in my head when I take a bite.
Somnath, my lovely boy scout, suggested the baked sandesh and I risked a chhenna malpua. It must be said that I dislike malpuas greatly. What can I say? It was Mathew's birthday.
The malpua turned out just like I expected. Sweet, sweet, sweet with that lovely chhenna taking away the cloying a little. Served with vanilla icecream it was the perfect end to the meal.
The baked sandesh? I can sing paens about it. I haven't tasted anything that perfect since strawberry cheese cake gelato at Amore. Warm, slightly burnt (which is so interestin) and with a texture and flavour that can easily lead to sex.
Verdict: Try and steal the chef from them. It's worth it.