Gina Braganza: Farewell

The Queen of Good Times :)

The Queen of Good Times ūüôā

By the time I first met them, I’d heard so much about Gina and Carlton Braganza that I felt I already knew them. I’d visited Opus, their rocking little Goa-themed restaurant on Palace Road Cross a couple of times. My take at that time: decent food, inadequate service, bad sound system, great vibe.

In my role as editorial and copy consultant for the newly launched Food Lovers magazine, I contributed a column called “Inside Story”, in which we dined at the homes of various Bangaloreans to explore their attitudes to food and hospitality. The Inside Story written for the magazine’s second issue took place at the Braganza home.
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Caf√© Thulp: Burgers, Sandwiches, Milkshakes, More

Ever since the sad and sudden decline of the Indiana Burger (if you’ve been in Bangalore for more than 10 years, you know what I’m referring to), I’ve been trying to find a suitable equivalent. The Ice and Spice burger comes close, but really, who wants to squish themselves into a 2’x2′ space, or wait half an hour to grab one of three tables?¬† And then share the ketchup and mayo squeeze bottles between tables, because there aren’t enough to go around?

Go Thulp!

Go Thulp!

For those of you who share my idea of the perfect burger, I am happy to inform you that I have discovered a kickass post-Indiana burger that surpasses its predecessor in size, flavor, and succulence (and, I must warn you, price). Best of all, it’s available right here in my backyard – Koramangala – and comes to you from the kitchen of Gautam Krishnankutty, the man who gave us Tai Tai and the hugely popular Asia in a Box. Appropriately, he’s called his latest venture Caf√© Thulp! (such a Bangalore word – I’m lovin’ it!)

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Daddy’s Deli, Indiranagar: Parsi Cuisine in Bangalore

Daddy's Deli, Indiranagar

Daddy's Deli, Indiranagar

I’ve been hoarding this one for ages.

I first encountered Daddy’s Deli in 2002. At that time, friend-of-many-years Rajesh Nair was subsisting on their egg and chutney sandwiches and chicken subs – to the point where the delivery boy would arrive with a garland and agarbathis and perform a brief pooja prior to handing over the food. Um, yes – of course I’m joking, but only just.

At that time, the Parsi owners, Zarine and Nozer Daroga intended Daddy’s Deli to be just that – a deli that dished out sandwiches, subs, and burgers. When they outgrew the Richmond Town property, they shifted to Koramangala, and after a brief and unsuccessful stint there, to their current location in Indiranagar. Along the way, Daddy’s Deli morphed into a full-fledged restaurant serving home-style Parsi food. Continue reading

The Great Haleem Quest

Ramzan... time of prayer

Ramzan... time of prayer

The holy month of Ramzan – a time for piety, self-purification, and introspection. For devotion, prayer, and discipline. And, at the end of the day, a just reward for it all: haleem.

This dish of pounded wheat and meat has become a Ramzan specialty, prepared for Iftaar, the breaking of the fast. Aside from providing hearty  nourishment  at the end of an arduous day of abstinence, haleem can be delicious Рif prepared well. Join me in The Great Haleem Quest as I hunt down the best haleem in Bangalore.

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Wild Spice: Pandi Curry and More

Wild Spice: A taste of Coorg

Wild Spice: A taste of Coorg

Call a native of Coorg a “Coorgi” and you’re asking for trouble. “I’m Kodava”, you’ll be told haughtily, “or, if you must, a Coorg. There’s no such thing as a ‘Coorgi’.” Make the same mistake twice, and you’ll be excommunicated from the Kodava party schedule for life – and that, my friend, is a hard-drinking, heavy-eating scene you really do not want to miss for anything in the world.

Yet an inconspicuous little eatery on the junction of Museum Road and Residency Road proudly proclaims that it serves “Authentic Coorgi Restaurant.” Far from having the place shut down, Kodavas actually recommend it. If, that is, you are particularly skilled at extracting information in, ahem, somewhat unconventional ways (think Hitler’s storm troopers). Keep reading…

Benjarong Gets Thai Food Wrong

Okay, so you all know I don’t really bitch, whine, or complain much. (‘Scuse me a minute while I cover my ears to shut out the vehement dissent of The Spouse and my children, the derisive laughter of my friends, and the collective gasp of disbelief from everyone else who knows me). Right now though, if I had a pen instead of a keyboard, I’d be dipping it in acid. This restaurant should change its name to Benja-wrong.

Oriental decor...

Vaguely Oriental decor...

Last week, Giant Vacuum Cleaner and I had two hours to kill between buying him a “light grey zip-up hoodie with fleece lining” and dropping him off for a movie (yes, he has a busier social schedule than I do). I thought Benjarong would be an good choice for a quick meal in a nice ambience. Given the chilly weather, we were both craving the spice and flavors of Thai cuisine. Keep reading…

Teppanyaki and More: Beyond Sushi #3

Trying to look beyond  the sushi on Harima's menu

Trying to look beyond the sushi on Harima's menu

So Mr. Small won his first inter-school quiz contest on Thursday – and requested a celebratory dinner for Saturday evening. Now do my kids want to eat Happy Meals at Mickey D’s? Of course not (I’d disown them if they did). KFC? Nah. Erroneously assuming that his parents stash piles of money under the mattress, he wondered whether we could fly back to Bangkok to eat some of the delicious street food we’d sampled there. Keep reading…