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Eating my way around Bangalore, week one

23 Feb

Eating in Bangalore is definitely one of the main highlights and I admit it seems to take up a good chunk of my time here. Variety in cuisine and budget is great – we’ve paid Rs24 (AU 60c) for a full lunch meal with two curries and roti, and we’ve paid Rs120 (AU$3) for a cup of earl grey tea.

There are already some favourite places, I’m sure there will be more to come:

Infini-tea, Cunningham Rd – India’s first dedicated tea house which has every variety of tea you can imagine, brought to the table in glass tea pots and placed there with a big wooden hour glass to countdown the brew time before the sipping begins.

Infinitea

The lovely tea things at Infinitea

Ramana’s, Cunningham Rd – we enjoyed our very first Indian meal in India here, and we’ve already been back twice! It was recommended by a colleague at Janaagraha and although on the slightly pricier side, it’s amazing. The bonus is that the menu is entirely vegetarian, yay! The head waiter there is lovely and recommends dishes for us to try, along with plenty of naan bread, which I could eat all day long. The only no-go there is the masala coke. Coke, with a whole lot of mixed dry spices floating around. We ordered it on our first visit, feeling pretty adventurous. It is disgusting. A one sip only affair. Couldn’t even manage to make more of an effort just to save face. The head waiter eventually asked us if we were going to drink them and we ‘fessed up. In reply we received lots of head wobbling and ‘not problem, not problem” and he perched them back on his tray and carried it one handed back to the kitchen. A split second of silence followed his exit through the swinging doors to the kitchen followed by an uproar of laughter from the kitchen staff. Us Aussies sure are amusing! A few minutes later he appeared again, straight faced, professional, he returned to the table and placed two non-masala cokes on the table. “At least we gave the kitchen a good laugh” I said, and his eyes twinkled and the corners of his mouth turned up. Breakthrough! Slowly bringing down the formality of the Indian service industry. He’d be shocked to know in Australia it’s all you can do to get waiters to not sit down at your table with you while they take your order. In India they stringently hold on to their social hierarchy; it is all ‘yes ma’am, thank you ma’am’. In the restaurants that is. They’ll plough their motorbike into you on the road no problem. Anyway, getting off topic.

Jain Hospital Canteen – yes, it is in a hospital, no that’s not weird. It’s clean, and cheap, and across the road from work. This is where you’ll get that two curry and roti for 60 cents. It’s a bit of a process to order, but once you’ve figured it out, it’s worth elbowing through the throng to take your turn giving your order to the guy taking the money, getting your bit of paper to take over to the kitchen to hand to one of the staff who’ll dish it up and hand your delicious lunch over. Then you stand around one of the tall tables and eat with your hands. They also serve delicious coffee here in little tiny glass cups. Yum.

Dolce, off Cunningham Rd – a little bit of Europe with yummy light bites and a mouth watering dessert case with pastries, tarts and cakes for well under a $1 each.

Koshys, St Marks Rd – There’s a bit of a weird vibe here, but good for a homey comfort meal, especially if you’re like me and from an English family. This place is clinging on to the colonial days with it’s British table settings and menu with baked beans, cucumber sandwiches and fish and chips. Koshy’s was established pre-independence and apparently hasn’t changed much since then which explains why the decor has a sort of stuffiness to it, but it’s quaint, cosy, and very dignified old chap, jolly good and all that!

Koshys Restaurant
Koshys Restaurant

That’s the round up for week one; no doubt there will be many more new favourite food places discovered in the coming weeks.

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