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A culinary yatra of Bangalore
Siddhartha S |
January 05, 2006
We continue with our reader-driven series on must-sample restaurants and eating places in India. This time around, Siddhartha S takes us on a culinary yatra of Bangalore.
Bangalore is a young city. Young at heart too. What this means is there aren't too many eateries with signs like 'Since 1850' or 'Founded in 1908' in the city. Being young at heart, however, means that people here love to eat out and try different kind of cuisines. This paradox distinguishes it from other metros. Over the past decade, a lot of new specialty restaurants have cropped up to shrink this demand-supply gap.
I decided to plan a culinary weekend -- breakfast, lunch and dinner on a Saturday and Sunday. Six meals to explore all things gastronomic in Bangalore. I am, however, leaving out most restaurants in 5-star hotels.
Day 1: Saturday
Breakfast: There are choices here, which suits me fine on days I plan to miss lunch. Breakfast buffet at Richmond Hotel on Richmond Road (opposite Netkraft) for Rs 120 is worth every penny and I usually make it count for more. Chicken sausages, eggs to order, pancakes, croissants, muffins and a pudding form part of the Continental spread. There are also parathas, as well as our regular Idli, Dosas, Uttappam, Masala Dosas etc. to complete the spread. Juices, milk shakes, coffee and tea as beverages, and cornflakes for children and health freaks. Keep in mind that buffet timings are 8:30 am to 10:30 am though, difficult for those who had better things to drink the night before.
Other picks: India Coffee House on MG Road (Scrambled Egg Toast, Masala Dosa) and Bangalore Bistro (pancakes, Minced Meat on Toast, and salads if you time it to be a late brunch).
Lunch: After a heavy breakfast, you need a light lunch. And my choice is Bobby's Dhaba, on the slope next to Ulsoor Gurudwara. Five years ago, I used to get a dabba dinner from there. You had to sit in Bobby's bedroom for your food. Now, it has basic furniture, but the prices have more than doubled.
Egg and Paneer Bhurji, Dal Makhani and parathas with all kinds of fillings are recommended.
You may want to finish your meal with a bowl of Kheer. The only problem is, by this time your lunch is no longer 'light'. The best part -- lunch for two rarely goes beyond Rs 100.
100 FT (the owner insists it be pronounced 100 'F' 'T' and not 100 feet) in Indira Nagar on 100 FT Road was another choice, but I wanted a light meal that would be economical too.
If a light lunch were not the starting point to make a choice, I would have considered Spice Garden in Marathahalli (authentic Kakori Kababs and sublime Firni -- you can trust a resident of Awadh on this), Nagarjuna on Residency Road (Andhra meals and biryani) and Sue's Kitchen off 100 FT Road in Indira Nagar (Caribbean food). For hungry souls who have missed breakfast, try the Rs 65-buffet at Canopy in Utility building. But remember, the cost is its only USP.
For those who still want snacks and care a damn about their weight, check out Rajavardhan in 9th block Jayanagar for Vada-Pav, Misal-Pav, Sabudana-Vada, etc.
Dinner: I decided to loosen my wallet a bit for dinner. I tried to exclude the obvious choices, but had to include Karavalli, irrespective of the criteria. It served, in the words of its executive chef, 'coastal cuisine from South India'. While rasam is on the house, seafood is what you visit this place for. Karimeen Pollachitu (fish marinated in spices, wrapped in plantain leaf and fried) is my favourite. The crab, lobster and prawns are extremely expensive, but absolutely divine. Vegetarians should try the Button Onion Curry or the Masala Vada. Even the ubiquitous Appam and stew taste different. I forget about a banana dessert I experimented with, but can recommend Adhapradman with some confidence.
Tandoor on MG Road lost out as I didn't want another Punjabi meal. Its kebabs are recommended though, as is its Badami-Kheer. Shamiana near Richmond Circle is also good, but not in the same league as Tandoor, while Sheesh Mahal on Lavelle Road is too expensive. Moksha at The Chancery, conceived by Jiggs Kalra who has also planned the menu, works on the theme that Punjabi and Mughlai food can be great even in their vegetarian form. Mainland China, now on Church Street, is a good choice if you are keen on Chinese -- though, believe me, there is nothing like authentic Chinese outside China and hence no shame in eating Indian Chinese.
Next: Culinary tips for Sunday
Siddhartha S works as a Business Manager for an IT company in London.
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