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Hot culinary spots in Bangalore
Zunder L |
November 23, 2005
We continue with our reader-driven series on the must-sample restaurants/ eating place in India.
Here, Zunder L tells you why you cannot give Bangalore a miss on this culinary journey.
This article is dedicated to people like me -- who 'live to eat' rather than 'eat to live'. I'd like to share my thought on eating out in 'namma Bangaloru' ('Our Bangalore' in Kannada).
I can't recollect when I acquired this relentless passion for chasing tasty food. I guess I was born that way; my parents say I was born overweight and I guess I remained that way except for a very brief period during my early career days when I was abnormally 'normal'.
What follows is what I have relished over the years in no particular order, grammar or structure, and is probably heavily biased, based on my personal preferences.
I also apologise for not bringing out the north Indian specials in this edition. I am still a novice when it come to north Indian food and I will reserve it for a later article, if I am allowed to write one! My profound apologies to non-vegetarians as well. I remain a vegetarian by choice.
Enjoy madi ('Do enjoy' in Kannada)!
Is there a better way to start or end the day than with steaming hot idlis served with steaming hot sambar and chutney? I have trouble figuring out whether I eat idlis for the sambar or gulp sambar for the idlis.
They are available anywhere in Bangalore in any fast food restaurant, but the idlis served in two places really stand out -- Veena Stores on Margosa Road, Malleswaram (though you could forgo the sambar here); and in a narrow lane in VV Puram, located in between Lalbargh West Gate and Minerva circle and adjacent to Sajan Rao Circle, where it is served in carts.
If you are a food connoisseur, you could try the Kanchipuram Idli in Kadambam (Manipal Centre, Dickenson Road), the Rice Kadabu at Woody's (on Commercial Street), or the Mini Sambar Idly, Rasam Idly and Green Idly in Sri Krishna Bhavan (Malleswaram I Cross).
Believe it or not, we tried to register a domain called www.idly.com to compile a list of best haunts for idlis but, to our utter disappointment, found it taken.
I guess size does matter and nothing can beat Bangalore when it comes to sheer size of the vadas.
I presume vadas will remain a monopoly of Bangalore for quite some time to come.
I especially recommend the Maddur and Masala vada in Woody's.
When it comes to dosas, I have to give it to the lesser known mortals or the 'unsung warriors'.
I have not seen anything like the Benne (ghee) Dosa and the Benne Masala Dosa served in a restaurant in Malleswaram, 7th Cross, off Margosa road (I have to blame my aging memory for not remembering the restaurant's name).
If you are looking at variety, you got to give it to the Dosa Corner in Jayanagar, Fourth Block. Remain forewarned, however; you are in danger of losing yourself in the mad rush there.
If you are looking for the typical Madras style dosa and, particularly, the onion dosa; you have to try Brindavan at MG Road and Krishna Cafe in Koramangla.
I think the Jowar Dosa served in Sri Krishna Bhavan and the Andhra Pesarattu served in Woody's (I think it's the Friday special) deserves a mention under the non-conventional dosa category.
~ Kerala Sevai, Vegetable Kharabath, Rava Pongal, Mangalore Pathrade (Sri Krishna Bhavan)
~ Malabar Adai (Woody's Thursday evening special) and Mango Rice (Woody's Sunday morning special)
~ Curd rice (Woody's)
~ Menshinkhai (chilli) Bajjis (Malleswaram, 8th Cross)
~ Mangalore Baji (Janata Cafe, Malleswaram)
~ Puliyathorai/ Tamarind Rice (Kadambham)
~ Drumstick Soup, Kuzha Puttu Kadalai Curry, Masala Vada Pulusu, Appam, Vegetable Stew (Malgudi, off Marthahalli Ring Road)
~ Phulkas (Queen's, Church Street); you have to eat a minimum of 15 and tire the waiter. It is a matter of sheer perseverance or a case of 'mind over matter'
I have always cherished the Andhra meal over the traditional Madras meals served by the lesser known but popular Iyer Mess in Malleswaram I Cross behind the Citibank office.
I guess it is more to do with the 'Number Game' played up by the Andhra restaurants. I would have to say it is spice and food unlimited.
The Nagarjuna Group of Hotels, especially the Nagurjana Savoy off MG Road, tops my list closely followed by the rejuvenated Amaravathis and Bheemas.
But, of late, I find my scale tilting towards the meal served during weekend afternoons at Krishna Cafe.
For Rs 60 rupees, I am yet to find something that matches it in quality, quantity and variety.
Along with three of my friends, I recently celebrated a decade of out stay in Bangalore. We debated on what kept us together through all this years and this is the conclusion we reached: It was simply our ability to remain shameless about what we eat, where we eat and how much we eat.
Let me end on a philosophical note. A famous Tamil poet, who I follow closely said -- Food for living (indulgence) shall be taken up only if the food for soul (mind) is complete.
But I am sure I might have convinced him, if the noble soul was alive, that it is the other way around.
Zunder L, lives in Bangalore and works as a software engineer.
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