Bangalore - Eating
Bangalore is a gourmand’s paradise. The local cuisine takes in influences from Andhra, Chettinad, Hyderabadi, Tamil, Mangalorean and Keralan dishes with a big emphasis on rice, sambar and rasam (vegetable stew and soup) dishes. However being a global capital you can find a great variety of international cuisine here from sushi to pizza. But the real delight of Bangalore is to indulge fully in its delicious local cuisine. There is something for everyone!
You should start the day with a plate of unbeatable masala dosa – a crepe stuffed with spiced potatoes, and known as “food of the gods” and chai tea. Many of the best Indian restaurants are to be found in the top Bangalore hotels. If you are on a budget a basic meal for one can be found easily for under under Rs 500. A typical meal consists of steamed rice, flavoured rice, curries, vegetable dishes, pickles, one or two sweet dishes, poppadoms, buttermilk, curd and ghee. It is traditional to start your meal with a sweet dish and finish with curd rice. Meals are served on a well-rinsed Banana leaf. Bangalore’s cuisine is a rich blend of recipes from all over the Karnataka region. The well-known pandi (pork curry) is delicious with rotis (unleavened bread). India is a vegetarians’ paradise and typical dishes include gourds and brinjals that also incorporate many typically English ones such as cauliflower, carrot and cabbage.
Outside Bangalore closer to the coast seafood, such as prawns and mackerel, forms the basis for many dishes. Bangalore has its own version of Mughlai cuisine, which is a perfect blend of regional cuisine and Persian culinary influences. Choose from various biriyanis, chappatis, kebabs, grilled chicken and meat. High tea and tiffin are popular throughout India, and Bangalore is no exception.
Indian and western businessmen head to this restaurant for its variety of food from Indian to Thai to French. Try the Manan’s pepper mutton that comes from the temple town of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. Vegetarians should sample the paneer kairi dopiaza, made from paneer, mangoes, onions and fresh coriander. Ebony is an elevator ride up to the 13th floor and boasts a terrace with tables overlooking the city. It also serves a choice of cocktails.
Jamavar at the Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel is one of Bangalore’s chicest restaurants. From North India are succulent kebabs and fragrant biryanis while the southern cuisines are spoken for by some delectable curries. It serves the best tandoor dishes in the city.
Set in a wonderfully evocative location that calls to mind an old, royal Mangalorean home complete with antique furniture and an open-air courtyard where you can dine on wrought-iron furniture, Karavalli dishes are the tastiest in the city. Try the Goan baby lobster, Alleppey fish curry and Mangalorean black pomfret, courtesy of Chef Jose Thomas.
A much loved and revered Bangalore institution! The Mavalli Tiffin Rooms serves some of the best Indian food in town, particularly the masala dosa, a rice pancake with a meat or vegetable filling.
Part of a chain with branches in Delhi and Mumbai, Olive Beach is popular with Bangalore’s in-crowd and serves Indian food with real gusto. But the best is for last with the unforgettable desert of Affogato, coffee beans and Kahlua ice cream with amaretti bitter almond cookies.
The best Italian restaurant in Bangalore does not disappoint. Abhijit Saha and Mandaar Sukhtankar’s i-t.ALIA is characterised by a deep love of the best Italian regional cuisine. Exquisitely prepared dishes from the gnocci arrostite sedano e gorgonzola, green apple and rocket lettuce salad with walnuts and Gorgonzola dressing to the gamberoni grigliati conpatate arrosto, carciofi e pomodoro, king prawns with artichokes, roasted potatoes, and tomato, are delicious and as authentic as anything you would find in the old country.
The Taj West End’s Vietnamese restaurant has lush tropical foliage and a serene lotus pond to match the fine dining. Chefs work in their open kitchen creating mouthwatering dishes including coconut-based Vietnamese caris (curry), braised fish with pepper and garlic and crunchy stir-fried greens with garlic.
One of Bangalore’s new breed of sophisticated restaurants, Sunny’s has spacious outdoor and indoor seating area as well as a relaxed lounge bar. The menur is inspired with tasty dishes from baked brie with toasted almonds to stir-fried calamari and spicy lamb lasagna.
The name of the restaurant means "yum-yum" in Malay and the food here certainly is that. A fine-dining restaurant and cocktail-lounge that serves a selection of authentic and delicious cuisine from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Affable owner-chef Madhu Menon’s dishes include tasty lemon grass chili prawns and tangy spiced fish grilled in banana leaves and divine Singapore black-pepper crab.
If you want a break from Indian food and are on the budget, then Casa Piccola is the place for you. It is clean, airy and serves good quality European food from pizzas and pasta to casseroles. A relaxed upstairs lounge, Casa del Sol, serves tapas.