A year of non stop eating
I did not know I'd be compiling a list of the best restaurants in Bangalore in a years time, much to be updated, much to be seen.
About a year ago, I packed my bags and left the capital for Bangalore. Having grown up in a Bengali family, with a more than willing palate to experiment, my biggest concern was if I would now have to settle for dosa-idli for the rest of my life (well at least for as long as I stayed!) As a little kid at barely three, I remember visiting the city once when Father was posted there on a work assignment. All I managed to secure in my memory of Bangalore over the years, was its abundant greenery and exquisite weather! Twenty four years later, I return to the same city; they say it has changed drastically, but I begin anew.
The inconsequential quest called best restaurants in Bangalore
I have always been a food enthusiast and over the last ten years I have transitioned into an avid food researcher. One of the main strategies of my game are busting stereotypical food routines like going to the same restaurants again and again, 'favourites' as people call them, ordering the same or safe dishes, and picking settings that are comfortable for culinary experiences- a fine dine equivalent to an urban city dweller from the mainland. I could never associate myself with these habits. For me, what does it, is the explosion of flavours upon tasting an absolutely unheard of, or alternatively much raved about dish, and almost amputating my fingers with joy! That is the energy and passion that food should bring me. Every time I go out to eat, it feels like going on a blind date. I do not know what is in store for me today and I thoroughly enjoy that suspense. What good would it be if it were the same butter chicken or keema parantha that I know who makes best in Delhi, or a Mangalore fish curry that Harry's mother fed me in 2015 which is unbeatable by any standards! To have to make constant comparisons in your head about whether this dish is better today or if you tasted a better version last week is unwarranted pressure and complete injustice to the food. Not that I am not loyal and do not go back to my weaknesses- some eateries are of course your favourite and hold sentimental significance!
I recall I was talking about Bangalore when I got sidetracked by this rant.. Let’s begin! The energy and openness of the people in Bangalore is enthralling. Note very carefully my use of people in and not of Bangalore. This is a highly contestable subject of discussion and perhaps for another day. Not that the natives have all disappeared, but it is only because the city has become so hugely cosmopolitan and interspersed with various cultures is why foodologers like me find an outstanding variety.
Maria's Goan Kitchen
My first tryst with food was by accident, in a quaint little restaurant called Maria's Goan Kitchen, in Koramangala. The pork chorizo blew my mind! It was a rich mix of spices and textures, owing to the handmade sausages, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and chillis, that forced their way into my mouth and how! Oh that oil, one kilo worth of fat alone. I was so enamored by the menu that I had spent a good half hour shortlisting and then picking by lottery on what I would eat that afternoon. If you ever go and can't decide, just pick the platter- they have pork, mutton, beef, and prawn. This spot is probably the best goan food banglaore can offer.
Look across the road and there's Elongo's (their Mangalore fish curry and Coorgi pork are my favourites), Zingron (the best Naga eatery in town so far), Axomi (another North Eastern eatery), and so on. I felt like I had hit the jackpot with this chance encounter. Soon, I started to flock to Koramangala from where I lived, in the deep dark alleys near Electronic City. While Koramangala is a food lover and pub goer's paradise with enormous variety of cuisines all nestled in the same locality, not far away are Indiranagar and Ulsoor. Here too, one may find hidden gems apart from the much talked about breweries and night clubs. Green Pepper offers one such experience. It is an authentic Malayali hotel (that's what tiny restaurants in Bangalore are called), that displays an array of seafood at very affordable prices. If you're in town, do not forget to hit another amazing eatery called Nasi and Mee, a delicious Malay, Singaporean and Thai restaurant. Here, I will not make a suggestion- go ahead and order whatever you like and let it marvel your taste buds!
Why is Bangalore rated as the best places
What I like most about the city though, is its cafe culture. This encourages open spaces and thought partnering, where different people come together to co-create! What an infectious idea and so healthy for a community which looks onward. There is also Ejipura, a suburb skirting eastern Koramangala, which has a vast community of North Easterners, resulting in numerous Tibetan and Naga food outlets sprouting in the city! And of course, not to forget the many geniuses like Saagar Fast Foods and other dosa hotels whose speedy services and on point consistency will always be a hit with north-south-east-west people alike. If you are a lover of food, you must come down to Bangalore. It offers some of the most authentic, sincere and diverse culinary experiences under the soft, shady boulevards of its cool trees and light sprinkles. It is not flashy like other big cities and is very welcoming of its visitors. Through its food, Bangalore offers deep insights into its culture, and envelops you in its warmth and hospitality.
The wishlist that'll update periodically for the best restaurants in Bangalore
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If you are in the city and would like to go on a food trail, or want company to eat and/or document your experiences with me, do write in to me thru the form below