When fellow food blogger Sid Khullar of Chef At Large recently came across a Facebook ad for “the classiest butter chicken on earth”, he couldn’t resist. A couple of clicks later, he discovered that the product, Anaarkali Butter Chicken, also appeared to be the most expensive butter chicken on earth, at a whopping Rs. 6000 per 650gm dual serving. “Splutter… chicken,” I managed, when he shared this, er, chicken nugget with me.
Out on my monthly book-trawl, reluctant Spouse in tow, we decided to step into a restaurant for a quick bite. I ordered a paapdi chaat. He ordered this:
I’ve had several emails recently complaining that The FTB Blog focuses on firang food, and asking whether I eat or cook desi khaana at all. I will admit that I prefer the subtle flavors of Western cuisines over Indian; however, I cut my teeth cooking non-vegetarian curries in our tiny kitchen in Banashankari II Stage.
I dish out a mean mutton curry; a kori gassi that even my Keep reading…year-old mother-in-law approves of; lace-thin neer dosas; and a couple of pretty decent, basic dals and vegetable side dishes (I don’t hide the fact that my vegetarian repertoire is somewhat limited).
Note: I lost all my photos for this article when someone stole my phone… waaah 😦
After my disappointing rendezvous with chicken ghee roast at Kanua (a mishap that, I am assured has been rectified), I’d been craving the stuff. I needed a fix, and needed it bad. Good friend and fellow food-lover Dilip Mendens sensed my desperation and dragged me off to Anupam’s Coast II Coast in Shrungar Complex on MG Road. As we climbed the stairs, I could hear The Bangles, Tina Turner, Phil Collins and other Eighties stalwarts playing in my head… this restaurant, was, after all, sitting on the grave of the erstwhile Blue Fox, where we’d frequently eschewed Accountancy and Taxation classes in favor of clandestine day parties. Keep reading
When I was first introduced to Rajesh Pai a few years ago, all he had was a notebook filled with notes and drawings in black ink. That, and a dream. Flipping through his book, he excitedly explained to me that he was going to open a restaurant that served only traditional Konkani food. His mission, he said, was to “rediscover, recreate, and revive” the cultural and culinary history of Dakshina Kannada, aka South Kanara. He was going to call it Kanua, after a variety of rice that has, over the years, been replaced by easier-to-grow hybrid varieties. Keep reading…
I finally made it to bon South for lunch this afternoon. On entering, my first impression is that it’s small and intimate. I’m wrong about the “small” and right about the “intimate”. As you enter, a foyer separates two modest and tastefully designed dining areas. The one on the right contains the buffet island, so if you like being seated close to the food, head there; the one on the left is a little quieter, but you have to head across the foyer each time you want to refill your plate. Not a problem, just a piece of information. An elevator leads to the upper floor, where there’s a live appam counter, indoor and terrace dining areas, a small and well-stocked bar, and a private dining room. All told, the restaurant can seat a total of 165 people. Keep reading…
Overcoming my customary disdain of vegetarian food, I agreed to meet Chef Venkatesh Bhat for lunch at South Indies, a restaurant that is his personal ode to South Indian vegetarian cuisine. I warn him over the phone that I don’t really care for veggies; he feigns distress, but promises (like a zillion worthies before him) to change my mind.
I walk into the restaurant at 1.30pm, to find it packed to the gills with lunching professionals and a couple of families. I stride smugly past the people waiting patiently on the wooden benches in the outdoor courtyard and ask to meet the chef. Barely a minute later, a man wearing a loose cotton shirt and trousers approaches me inquiringly. “Full restaurant, busy afternoon. No toque. No white coat. Can’t be the chef,” I think. “Wonder what he wants?”
“Hi, I’m Venkatesh,” he says. “Welcome.” Keep reading…