Douglas Adams writes in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,
“The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?”
And that is precisely the question I was left with when I was faced with the prospect of having to fend for myself for five consecutive lunches. Thankfully, I had the power of the Internet with me, and a bunch of amazing people who recommended their favorite places, an lo and behold, a crowdsourced list of some forty-odd restaurants, along with what to eat in them, was at my disposal.
Here, I present the list in its entirety for your reading pleasure, and hope you find it useful. I’ve also made notes about the places I ended up eating in.
Hardcore non-vegetarian eatery with a selection of beef kebabs and rolls. The portion sizes are called Regular, Jumbo, Mumbo, Rambo, Sambo and Mogambo! Delicious kebabs and very basic rolls. They do have a biryani on the menu, but I steered clear and stuck to the kebabs and rolls. Highly recommended if you’re a beef fanatic. Not so much if you’re not. Under no circumstances take a vegetarian here – you will earn their wrath forever!
This is a typical Bangalore south indian vegetarian stand and eat place churning out staples on the lines of idli, dosai and vadai. The coffee here is authentic South Indian filter coffee in small doses costing a mere ten rupees a pop. Fantastic to drop in for a quick bite. Doesn’t work if you want to sit around and talk.
Koshy’s Jewel Box
An old Bangalore favorite, Koshy’s is a rather faded version of itself (I’m guessing). The pork chop, which was recommended to me, was half-decent – tasty but tough. The dessert, a caramel custard, left everything to be desired and was a bit of a fail. I was quite taken with the atmosphere – it had a certain old-world, faded-glory charm that I cannot quite explain. The service was quite okay, and overall I felt happy having gone there. I would not go back on my own though.
A micro-brewery with a good selection of food. The in-house beers are half-good, strictly middle of the road beers with little to no character. They also have an extensive bar menu, but very few items on it are actually available. The place is open, large, noisy and fun. The service is fine. Good if you are going in a large group, not so much if you’re by yourself or just a couple.
This place was bang opposite my hotel, and would have been a travesty to miss. Though an Andhra place, it is a Bangalore food destination, as I found out to my detriment when I turned up slightly more than hungry. There was a large crowd of waiting folks with more arriving by the minute. I almost left, but was held back by the enticing aromas wafting my way from inside. A chap was very efficiently managing the queue – and it was moving quite rapidly. Though he told me I’d have to wait for about fifteen minutes, I was seated in the eighth minute. Two floors of air-conditioned dining, but in a rushed, eat-and-get-out setting. You will have to share your table with total strangers during rush hour. Delicious food cooked the traditional way is served on banana leaves by uniformed waiters at the speed of light. I had their special biryani (for which I received an earful later) which was quite brilliant. It was light, well balanced and did not leave any traces of oil on my fingers. I would definitely go back and try out the non-biryani delicacies.
This is right at the hotel where we stayed, so we ended up there for dinner. It is a fine dining place specializing in coastal cuisine. They have a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. If you are suffering the consequences of having taken your vegetarian friend to Fanoos, bringing them here might make up for it!
The food is delicious, and the portions are generous. The service is spectacularly good and the waiters are very knowledgeable, and can recommend based on your preferences. Though half-portions are not on the menu, you can ask for them so that you can try out a variety of food. There’s also a selection of cocktails that are quite unique and go with the theme of the restaurant.
A definite two thumbs up, both for the food and the experience.
Banjara Melting Pot
This is a run-of-the-mill multi-cuisine restaurant where the food is good. Two things stood out for me. One: it’s a former residence of M. F. Hussain, and the decor is a nod to that with prints of his paintings on the walls, and a statue of him at an easel on the roof. Two: a brilliantly made curd rice, with tiny bits of onion and cucumber mixed in. Good food and ambiance and decent service. I’m definitely going back there for the curd rice!
Eat Street @ Sajjan Rao Circle
A maddening rush engulfed us as we entered this place – we had stumbled into the Avarabele Mela, or Avarakkai Festival, where the shops on the street were selling practically every dish cooked with avarakkai (hyacinth beans). The charm of the street is in the fact that it is lined with eateries serving up everything from idli and dosai to chaat and noodles and chopsuey, and ended with a shop serving fancy fruit salad with gulkand. Soft fluffy tasty idlis, crunchy alu bondas, ghee-dripping holige (puran poli) stuffed with coconut and a Japanese cake from the historic VB Bakery made our dinner for that night. A variety of food at very cheap prices. A definite must-go.
A veritable feast for non-vegetarians with a selection of Arabic lamb, chicken and seafood dishes. Go there with a large group (at least 8) and order the Ran Biryani, which is biryani with a leg of lamb. Since I was with just one other fellow, I had to be content with ordering their mutton biryani and a couple of plates of kebabs. A nicely decorated place with no frills dining, the food is bursting with flavour. I want to go back with eight people and eat that Ran biryani!
Apart from these, here is the full list, along with the recommendations in each place:
- Kentacky – Non veg food, open in the evenings
- Pecos – Yes, for its food
- Toast and Tonic – New, but great
- Egg Factory
- Coconut Grove
- Queens – An old school place
- SGS Non Veg Gundu Pulav
- Samarkand – For the biryani
- Green Onion
- Ebony – Spectacular dinner view
- Hole in the Wall Cafe
- Kund Indian Barbeque – Butter chicken and lassi
- Vidyarthi Bhavan – An institution, best known for dosas
- Chin Lung Resto Bar
- Kabab Korner on St. Marks Road
- Mangalore Pearl on Coles Road – Mangalorean seafood, brinjal fry and sol kadi
- Zaks – Arab food, Musakal Ma rice
- Smoke House Deli – Sunday brunch
- Green Theory – pure veg
- Olive Bistro – continental food
- A2B – Dosa
- Shri Sagar aka CTR – dosa
- Veena Stores – idli
- Amma’s – pastries
- Anupam’s Coast II Coast – Neer dosa and ghee roast chicken
- Ranganna Military Hotel
- Khazana Food Paradise – beef biryani
- Meghana’s – Special chicken biryani
- Palate Corner
- Taj Hotel
- Rahham’s – everyday non-veg food
- The Grill House – good grilled meat
- Church Street Social – breakfast
If you have more places to recommend, leave it in the comments – I will try and get to them over the next few times in Bangalore!