Pics courtesy: Nithin Rao Kumblekar
Indians, especially Mangaloreans are gastronomically rich in their habits. For those who watched cowboy movies in the Sixties and the Seventies, authentic American food is not new. Of course globalization has brought little bit of the West to the East.
We have watched Chinese food catching up in the Seventies with a big bang, Italian food invading the palates of younger generations in the Eighties and now, American way is catching up on discerning connoisseurs of Mangalore.
A short walk of two minutes from The Mangalore City Corporation building in Lalbagh on MG Road, through Nehru Avenue Road before reaching Hindi Prachar Samithi, brings us to a cozy, clean and tastefully decorated A/C and Garden ambiance of the only place in Mangalore serving authentic Sizzlers at most competitive rates, Sizzler Ranch. Cool Country music by Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson or Kenny Rogers may greet you and lead you through swinging glass door to a ground level lounge and elevated seating deck with matt finish wooden Tables and spacious Cane chairs with plush cushion work. Once you settle down there, you feel like just lazing and munching on some tit bits, sipping a tall refreshing mocktail in your hand.
Sizzler Ranch has a seating capacity of around 65, 35 inside and 30 outside. The interiors are pleasantly designed and the garden is too homely and comfortable to relax and eat with your family and friends. Every evening is a crowded evening and at the weekends, one may have to wait for at least an hour to get seat.
The name itself suggests that this is THE place for authentic sizzlers. It was started by a local young enthusiastic Hotel Management Degree holder from HIT Mumbai, Balakrishna who studied the pattern in which similar restaurants are run in the USA. He has 10 years of experience in running restaurants.
Sizzler Ranch was opened in the year 2008. Initially they had a few sizzlers, a few Chinese dishes and beverages on their menu. Within six months, the response from the customers was so overwhelming, they introduced many more sizzlers and snacks to suit the taste and budget of every class of people frequenting there. Today, most of the visitors are students, IT experts, businessmen, doctors and other professionals and of course local families.
I have tasted couple of sizzlers there like Chicken with veggies, French fries and mushrooms and lamb pepper steak with mushroom and cheese. The meat literally dances in your mouth and the smell of sizzling butter is divine!
As for starters, they have Chicken Wings (Lollypop) with hot garlic, dry Garlic Chicken balls coated with crumbs or Chicken Nuggets, favourite with the kids or boneless Pepper Chicken and Lamp Pepper. Lamb used here is very tender and juicy. For bigger portions of meat or chicken, try their Grilled diced lamb, Grilled Chicken with chips or Crispy Chicken legs.
For seafood lovers, Butter fried Squid is a heavenly dish with amazingly tender squid shallow fried with herbs, spices and butter to perfection. Squid rings melt in your mouth, as you wash it down with a beverage such as fresh lime with soda, Ginger Ale or Ice Cream soda. Grilled fish and prawns are available and are seasonally priced. Fish fingers with mayonnaise dip is too good.
For vegetarians, they have Baby corn and Mushroom pepper/ginger, Veg/Paneer/Mushroom chilly or Manchurian.
Soups range from Roasted Tomato and cream soup to Meat Scotch Broth. Of the soups, Tom Yum Soup is a bit spicy and goes well with South Indian taste buds. However, Manchow soup seems to be hot favourite with Mangaloereans.
For kids, they have a special package called “Bounty in a Basket”. It has Chicken breasts stuffed with cheese, served on Noodles veggies and fries. Desserta and Sundaes range from Sizzling Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Ranch Delight, Black Forest Ice Freeze,Black Currant Punch and Vanilla with Chocolate Sauce and Nuts.
“We use pure spices and authentic ingredients that are mostly available in the local market but we have to get some special ingredients from Mumbai or even import them from the USA. Taste and quality of sizzlers here is uncompromisable”, says the owner.
Making sizzlers is an art, and they have well trained cooks and helpers arranging the food on the platter and well mannered waiters serving them as fast as possible, so that most of the food is consumed by the customers while it is still hot and sizzling.
All said and done, Mangalore is fast growing and the demand of Mangaloreans as far as good food is concerned, is endless. From road side eateries to 5 Star facilities, Mangalore has something to offer to all sections of people.
Of all the sections, the middle and the higher middle class people prefer Sizzlers Ranch for the cool atmosphere, good food, value for money and most of all, friendly and efficient staff. A casual visit to this cozy place is just the beginning in one’s life. You will feel like having more and more!