We continue with our reader-driven series on must-sample restaurants and eating places in India. Siddhartha S from Bangalore took us on a Saturday's culinary yatra. Now, he has a gastronomic intinerary for a lazy Sunday in the city.
While working on Part One, I didn't realise that I had already included all my favourites. So, planning an eating out trip for Sunday was much tougher.
Then I remembered having breakfast at the Victoria Hotel -- and when most residents of new-age Bangalore express ignorance about this legendary place, it just reiterates how young Bangalore is (or how old I am!).
First off, I recommend Koshy's. Its Appam and Stew is renowned, but the Mince on Toast is equally satisfying. Beware of the smoke though, as it has the highest concentration of smokers outside any pub in Bangalore.
I have been to various branches of Kairali often and it was always on my list. But, you are often served appams here that are not really hot off the pan, and the Mutta-Curry, though good, is always the second best alternative to stew. Add to this the fact that I am not a fan of Kadala Curry (Bengal grams).
Mishti, on the 80ft. Road in Koramangala, is a nice place to have Luchi-Aloor Duman, an all-time Bengali favourite. Luchi is the Bengali version of puri made of flour, aloor dum consists of boiled potatoes.
Aloor dum if cooked with onions and garlic is considered non-vegetarian but if cooked with jeera and dhania, it is vegetarian.
Bangaloreans, please don't kill me for this, but I considered MTR and decided it was not worth all that waiting time.
What about a meal from the west -- a continental lunch, anyone? I still don't know what 'continental food' means, but I assume it is everything that is not Indian or Oriental. Around the world, one hears of a continental breakfast -- just a croissant and coffee -- as against an English breakfast -- sausages, bacon, eggs and more -- on a platter. But a 'continental restaurant'?
Grasshopper is good, but expensive and exclusive. I am not sure if Civet in ITPL is open on Sundays, and even on other days the lure of the dessert trolley makes you spend that extra 100 bucks, making a meal expensive.
Herbs and Spice in Indira Nagar is my kind of place. It is small, the focus is on the food, the menu is on a blackboard and it doesn't leave a big hole in one's pocket. It has Italian fare, quiche and pies.
Again, I will not get into the 'authentic' debate. Is the pasta here the same as the pasta in Italy? Sorry, I'll pass. The food is good and dessert, great. You have Pavlovas (a traditional Austrian cheesecake with a crisp exterior and a fruity, creamy filling), Apple Tarts, Chocolate Roulades, Pear Mascarpone Tarts (mascarpone is a soft, creamy cheese) and Walnut Meringues to choose from. That's enough to visit a place, isn't it?
Enough of penny pinching. Dinner has to be a proper sit-down affair, with the right ambience.
Samarkand, with a Afghan name and menu, serves really good Mughlai-Punjabi food. It's a bit like Tandoor, with a different ambience.
Dahlia, possibly the only Japanese restaurant in town, is also worth a try. I have eaten sushi, tempura and yaki-tori in Japan and, believe me, Dahlia is more expensive than many places in Tokyo -- the most expensive city in the world. It was an impression that a Japanese client of mine shared as well. But, if you have the money and don't intend to go to Japan anytime soon, check this out.
I used to like Sigri, because it was possibly the only place that served haleem, but they had some change of ownership and location, losing the punch in the process. A very popular Mughlai dish, haleem is something like a porridge made out of wheat and lamb mince, commonly found in Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad etc and very popular in Pakistan. In fact all Pakistani restaurants in London and New York have it on their menu.
Now that I am running out of ideas, I will let you in on a secret. While I visit Bangalore often, it would be presumptuous of me to claim that I have accounted for all the places that have opened recently. I will let readers decide what the last stop on this culinary yatra should be.
Part I: A culinary yatra in Bangalore
Siddhartha S works as a Business Manager with a leading Indian IT firm in London.
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