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Zen and the art of serving food


For a good meal and a pleasant ambience.

AS YOU rise above the grime and dirt of the C.M.H. Road, 100-ft junction, you reach a peaceful Zen ambience, one that has been incorporated into an exclusive North Indian restaurant.

Chezaliyah (pronounced "Shay aliyah''. is another experiment in the fusion style, that serves North Indian delicacies in a spartan, dim-lit ambience.

For French enthusiasts trying to crack the meaning of the name, "chez'' translates to "at my place'' while "Aliyah'' is a dear friend of Jay and Roshni Singh, the proprietors of the place.

Different in style as compared to the other two eating places run by the establishment, Rasta and Thaliwala, what strikes you about Chezaliyah is the calm and soothing atmosphere. One large candle at the entrance welcomes you.

Walls in dull brick demarcate some tables from the other.

A papery-thin curtain separates the roofed area from the open space. The curtain itself is quite a sight as it billows from the wind, and is kept down by rings.

If you question the manager, you learn that this material is what Versace uses on the ramp.

The furniture is done in the Zen style, using dark wood, and is designed at a lower level, using geometric shapes.

There is one area of tables, bordering the restaurant, that is rather interesting.

The seats are about 12 inches above the ground, the table juts out from the railing, and there is a depression for leg space. This area overlooks the bustle of the City, and is ideal for people who walk in later in the night when the noise levels are lower.Dim and concealed lighting infuse a calm energy into the place. Unlike other roof-top restaurants towering high above the City, this one takes you to the right level, where you are among thick green foliage and a few artistic leafless branches.

Decor and ambience apart, the food is, as earlier said, traditional North Indian.

For starters, the aloo bharwan is a pretty sight, cut in half, and stuffed with panner.

The chicken tikka hariyali, although unusually green, tastes quite good.

The main course offers the typical curries: paneer pasanda, bhindi do pyaaza, aloo gobi, and baigan bharta. The mutter methi malai, an excellent blend of all three, is a dish that does not feature on too many other North Indian menus. The chicken and mutton dishes form an extravagant spread.

For dessert, you have a choice between gulab jamoon, rossogulla, rasmalai, and ice-cream.

However, one gets the feeling that the quality of food does not match the decor of the restaurant. meal for two could cost upto Rs. 500. A. Jai Singh, partner Uralia Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., parent company of Chezaliyah, says: "The idea behind Chezaliyah was to meet the growing and changing culinary demands of customers in Bangalore.

In doing so, it was not enough to just have a restaurant, serving a la carte North Indian food.''

The restaurant also offers a tempting lunch buffet at Rs. 150 per head.

The restaurant caters to customers between 12 p.m. and 3.30 p.m and 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. for lunch and dinner, respectively.

MONISHA VARADAN

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