How many Bohra’s do you know? If you are a Mumbaikar, that number might run into the late single digits, but in Bangalore it would be a rarity. I have one Bohra friend and I’m still waiting for him to get married so that I can sample a Bohri Dawat. I know that’s very shallow, but I need to stay honest! Luckily for me and you – Cubbon Pavilion brings this cuisine that is relished in elite circles to us, this Ramzaan season. The fabulous Bohri Thaal makes its appearance thanks to Chef Zohair, who is from the Bohra community and has personally designed the menu to mirror feasts served at his house.
If you thought Farzi was already twisted, wait till you see the new additions to the menu! I love how this restaurant always manages to have fun with its food and not be bogged down by ‘authentic’ or ‘traditional’ combinations. Molecular Gastronomy, Modern Indian food, Artistic Plating and Gimmicky cutlery – not everything might work right off the bat, but it definitely gives your brain and your palate something to chew on. Ready for the Farzi Twist? I sure am and lip-smackingly so! Drinks are served in funky glasses with even funkier concoctions, but I always gravitate towards the Chai-Pani for it’s drama and surprisingly balanced taste. Literally translating to Tea-Water, this drink gives you a smoking drink in a glass kettle with Coffee Liquer, Tea decoction, Apple juice, Earl Grey Smoke and Vodka. The orange peels in your little chai glass make it even more refreshing! Definitely one of my favourite cocktails in Bangalore. The other drink on the table was a Bottle Ka Gin, served in … wait for it…. a bottle shaped …
It’s been a while since I dined at a Dhaba. After Bobby Da Dhaba moved from Ulsoor, I haven’t even ventured to any place with the name ‘dhaba’ attached to it! Having the iconic Delhi restaurant – Dhaba by Claridges opening on 12th Main in Indiranagar, was definitely a sign to flex my memory. We walked up the stairs that day and were bemused to see milestone markers on the walls, up to the restaurant on the second floor. Bangalore was missing a casual North Indian restaurant that serves up some delhi-style cuisine, and Dhaba by Claridges hits the spot!
There are many reasons I will always love ITC Windsor, one of them is the white, bright and beautiful Raj Pavilion. Built to emulate the 100-year-old Glass House in Lalbagh, just walking into it lifts my spirits! The décor makes me feel like I am in a sophisticated English Tea Party and for once colonial hangovers are never more welcome! I was invited to try the new menus being launched across the ITC Pavilion’s in the country (#trendingatpavilion) and was truly chuffed that Raj Pavilion was my calling. In keeping with the ‘Responsible Luxury’ theme of the ITC properties, the new menu focuses on locally and responsibly sourced ingredients fashioned into delicious and stunning entrees, appetizers and desserts.
It’s time to indulge! Karavalli’s famed Aquafest is back and is going to leave you in raptures till the end of this month. A veritable feast from the sea, Bangalore’s most esteemed dining institution brings to you sublime flavours of the southern coasts. Like every year, the menu is a careful composition of recipes gleaned from homemakers with a deep love for their cuisine, perfected in the rustic kitchens of Karavalli over 26 years. Chef Naren and team have an outstanding menu this November and I for one am always surprised on how they keep pushing the perfection envelope!
She carefully inspects the thickness of the pastry that encases the succulent chicken filling. A cross between a samosa and a gujia, the Kozhi Ada is a Moplah specialty that is actually served as a tea time snack. She laughs when I ask her about the equally enticing Ulliyada which has a caramelized onion filling. ‘Moplah cuisine is not high on vegetarian delicacies’ she says smiling, but she improvised to please the vegetarian guests. She signals to the ITC staff that the Ada is up to the mark and then settles down to regale us with tales from Moplah land. After two hours of abject gluttony and childhood stories, I’m floored by this 80-year-old diminutive food adventurer called Ummi Abdulla. Her first love – traditional Moplah cuisine, is being showcased by Dakshin, ITC Windsor till the 12th of September. Right off the bat, let’s just say you need to experience it!
Online ordering portals that promise a great, well packaged meal, for a competitive price are a dime a dozen these days. The food startup business has spawned many me-too’s and has given an already lazy populace more excuses to stop cooking and just order in. If earlier the fear of preservatives, MSG and unhealthy food deterred most people from ordering in, the current trend of food startups offering Fresh, Homemade, Healthy meals is changed that paradigm. EatFresh seems to have taken a page (or two) out of its immediate competitor’s business model and hopes to get a leg up by offering meals cooked by a network of five-star chefs with an emphasis on Indian Cuisine.
Round and round we go, but we always come back to where we started. After world cuisine and exotic eats became hot topics, we are all running back to our roots now. Local produce and regional dishes are gaining prominence over everything ‘phoren’. Cooking with local ingredients is the new sustainability mantra, because, God forbid! we rake up the carbon miles. While some may attribute it to being a fad, I for one am thankful to be getting closer home. Nothing can be more comforting and soul satisfying than a home cooked meal of dal, rice and some stir fried veggies. A papad on the side, some pickle to liven things up and you have all round bliss handed to you on a plate. Cubbon Pavilion goes one step further and brings you Sattva – a plethora of vegetarian, no onion, no garlic recipes in a wholesome Thali focusing on foods abundant in Prana (the universal life force).