El Tablao: Spanish Tapas in Koramangala

El tablao

From Spain with love

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.

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Phobidden Fruit: Vietnamese Phở in Indiranagar

Phobidden Fruit, Indiranagar

Phobidden Fruit: Vietnamese in Indiranagar

About a decade ago, The Spouse and I discovered the delights of phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup that’s better described as manna from heaven. It would be an understatement to say that we both love phở. Up until last year, The Spouse kept trying to convince me that “we” should open a phở kitchen in Bangalore. Having been met with my polite and steadfast refusal for several years, he gave up. When I told him about Phobidden Fruit, a Vietnamese restaurant in Indiranagar, he was understandably ecstatic. …Keep reading

Zingron: Naga Cuisine in Koramangala

Note: I am travelling at the moment and don’t seem to be able to upload my photos. Until I get back to namma Bengaluru, you’ll just have to make do with your imagination!

In one of the many Naga dialects, “Zingron” means “blessings of the morning sun”.  And it seems that the sun has indeed risen on Naga cuisine in Bangalore, blessing food lovers with three restaurants opening around the city in the space of as many months. Two of them are located in Koramangala, my favorite stomping ground: Zingron and The N.E. Diner. The toss of a coin decreed that Zingron be the first one I checked out. Reviews of the other two will follow – in the fullness of time, of course  🙂

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Naati Manae in Koramangala: Cuisine of Karnataka

Naati Manae in Koramangala

Naati Manae's rustic theme

Once in a way, a dining experience makes an impression. If you are well-traveled and eat out more often than not, that kind of experience becomes especially elusive. That’s why I am happy to report that I recently discovered an experience of that sort – pretty much on my own doorstep. It’s called Naati Manae (naati = rustic/country-style; manae = house), serves only typical Karnataka cuisine, and (this was a surprise) as of now, only non-vegetarian dishes. K. Girish and B. Ravi Shankar, Koramangala-based friends and real estate developers, got so tired of having to schlep off to Cubbonpet or Malleswaram every time they needed a fix of honest-to-goodness local oota (meal) that they decided to go the DIY route. The result is an unpretentious little eatery that dishes out specialties like raagi mudde (raagi = finger millet; mudde = balls), donne biriyani (biriyani served in a cup made of dry leaves), naati koli saaru (naati koli = free range chicken; saaru = a thin, soupy curry), and more. Disclaimer: In a break with my standard policy, I have only dined at this restaurant ONCE. It was good enough to share.

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Aroy in JP Nagar: Compliments to the Chef

Aroy in JP Nagar

Very classy...

When Favorite Niece (of Mezze review fame) gushed about this “cool new restaurant” in J.P. Nagar that served “Thai, Chinese, and Burmese cuisine” I was skeptical. Very skeptical. For one thing, having lived most of my life in South Bangalore, I know that the J.P. Nagar-Jayanagar demographic is rather conservative when it comes to experimenting with new cuisines and paying for the fine dining experience. For another, I break out in hives whenever I hear of a restaurant serving Thai and Chinese on the same menu, because in my experience, it often implies the addition of coconut milk and lemon grass to over-seasoned desi-Chinese dishes. …Keep reading

Full Kee: Dining in DC #2

Chinatown in DC: as authentic as...

This October, the Giant Vacuum Cleaner had to take his 10th grade board exams. The Spouse felt it would be a great idea to whisk me away as far as possible in order to prevent mother-son meltdown. We ended up spending a couple of days in my favorite American city – Washington, DC. Despite having lived in the area for several years, we had never ventured into the District’s Chinatown neighborhood, other than to drive through it on our way to someplace else. Despite knowing that DC’s Chinatown is kitschy and about as authentic as an Elvis impersonator, I thought it would be fun to make like a tourist and eat Chinese food in a Chinatown restaurant. … Keep reading

Tunday Kababi, Koramangala

Lucknow's Chowk area: unbridled chaos

The esrtwhile Kingdom of Avadh (or Lucknow, as it is now called), boasts a rich cultural history. The Nawabs, Muslim noblemen who governed the province for the Mughal rulers, were connoisseurs of  the arts. Avadh’s history is replete with poetry, literature, art, music… and, of course, good food. In acknowledgement of its opulent past, Lucknow is known as The City of Nawabs. Thanks to its culinary legacy, however, I have come to think of it as The City of Nawabs and Kebabs. And no kababi in Lucknow is more beloved than Tunday Kababi, located amidst the chaos of Chowk, the walled Old City.

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