It all started with my fetish for cast iron pots and pans. A friend mentioned in passing that cast iron cookware – usually elusive and expensive – was available cheap, and in abundance, at a place called Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu. Within a week, I was headed to Karaikudi with a single-minded mission: to buy a cast iron soup pot. Or two. Or maybe even three.
The first time I visited Medici was a couple of years ago, when I was invited as a guest of the Bangalore Mirror review team. At that time, I thought it had a lot of promise, but for one reason or another (so many restaurants, so little time!), I never returned. I was recently invited, with a bunch of other people, to sample Medici’s new Franco-Italian menu, ostensibly so that they could receive feedback on it (in other words, I did not pay for this meal). Having attended the very low-key sit down dinner, I was intrigued (and impressed) enough to return, several times, on my own dime.
The Bangalore leg of the European Art of Taste (EAT) program has just concluded. As EAT’s Bangalore consultant, I had the pleasure of helping to put together a series of food-focused events.
The first, at Caperberry, was an art-themed event that explored the connection between art and food. Art historian Annapurna Garimella presented several great works of art that featured food – and chef Abhijit Saha created an extraordinary menu consisting of dishes (a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian for each course) inspired by the art.
Tapas, tapas everywhere – excessive, don’t you think? Seems to me that every Tom, Vik, and Hari thinks he can plop down a minuscule amount of food on a teeny tiny plate and charge a premium for it by calling “tapas”. Was that what El Tablao, this new, supposedly Spanish restaurant in Koramangala, was going to be about?
Thankfully not. In my opinion, there are very few restaurant owners or chefs in this city who understand what tapas are supposed to be – you can count them on the fingers of one hand, even if a couple of your fingers have been amputated. To that very short list, I am happy to be able to add new kid on the block Sachin Nair of El Tablao.