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The modern city of Bangalore has numerous restaurants offering lip-smacking foods. Explore best restaurants in Bangalore, India.
India Guide : India Guide : Bangalore : Restaurants in Bangalore

Restaurants in Bangalore

Restaurants in Bangalore - Bangaluru's food scene is quite different from that of the other metros. In this city, there isn't a tradition of stand-alone fine dining restaurants that can challenge hose in luxury hotels whether in terms of looks, ambience, style or price. On the one end of the dining spectrum, you have the specialty restaurants in five-star hotels, the Rim Naams and the Blue Gingers, the Dakshins and the Jamavars, which peg their prices high but guarantee experiences to match. But no stand-alone restaurant in this price range has so far made a significant mark. On the other end of the spectrum are the very reasonably priced, very popular restaurants that serve excellent food. These restaurants are where Bangaluruans enjoy eating, because these are the places that meet their most important criterion: Value for money. Of course, restaurants between these two extremes in Bangaluru (eating out has always been big here and it is only getting bigger), of a range, variety and class that is probably difficult to find in any other city. Regional Indian cuisine is suddenly big, indicating a marked departure from the ubiquitous 'multi-cuisine' restaurants of five years ago. The huge influx of expats into the city has brought in its wake a different kind of gastronomic revolution - Korean restaurants now jostle for space with Japanese ones, and Caribbean food is as familiar as Vietnamese.

Bangaluruans are eating out with a vengeance, and restaurateurs are struggling to keep up. To do justice to the largest number, we have compiled the listings as three large sections - one which is indicative of just how many different world cuisines there are on the best local cuisine available outside a Kannadiga home, and where to find it.

Fine Dining in Leele Palace, BangaloreLet's start with a feast of India, from its southern tip and progress upwards from there. For some truly delicious and authentic food from God's own country, look no further than Coconut Grove. With branches in Church Street, Koramangala, and Marathahalli, this eatery features spongy appams hot off the chetti and a host of wonderful curries based o coconut milk. If we are talking Kerala food, which is essentially coastal, we must, willy nilly, head further up the Konkan coast and onto Karavalli, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city. Part of the Taj Gateway Hotel, Karavalli, whose founder chefs traveled the length of the Karnataka coast (and a little more besides), teasing jealously-guarded recipes from curmudgeonly matriarchs of all faiths, serves delicacies like the signature Kori Kempu Bejule, Kerala fish curry, and Lobster Balchao, which you are expected to mop up with a variety of sannas, neer dosa and idiappams. Food from the Coorg (Kodagu) region of Karnataka is also part of Karvalli's menu, but if you want to do as the hard-drinking, pork-eating, martial Coorgis do, go to the Windsor Pub and feat on some authentic Pandi Curry (pork curry), redolent with black pepper and Coorg Vinegar, a sweating glass of draught on the side. Further up the west coast is Goa, and there is no Bangaluru restaurant more synonymous with India's fun capital than Opus. Surrounded by swaying palm trees and with plenty of beach sand underfoot, Opus is an easy outdoor restaurant that manages to serve up the Goan spirit of sussegado as competently as it does its fiery vindaloos and its delectable, high-calorie layered dessert called the bebinca. There is usually live music here as well, which makes it a great choice if you are going to dinner with friends or a sweetheart.

Up the Coramandel coast now and into the heart of Tamil Nadu, to a dry, barren region called Chettiand, where the enterprising merchants and bankers called Chettairs make their homes. In Annachi, the interiors of a Chettainad home, and their typically spicy cuisine, tempered with pepper, cumin and ginger are recreated to perfection. Unlike the Brahmin communities of Tamil Nadu, the Chettairs enjoy their meat, so look out for unusual fare like shark, silverfish, and quail. The legendary Ponnusamy from Chennai, another Chettinad stalwart, made its debut here last year. Here the meats are even more exotic - rabbit masala and pigeon curry!!

Next, up into Andhra Pradesh. Tongue-searing Andhra cuisine has always held a special place in Bangaluruan heart, and there are several chains serving quick, no-fuss vegetarian and non-vegetarian 'meals', as well as Hyderabadi biryanis (chicken, mutton, vegetarian), all over the city. The most popular include the Nandhini and Nagarjuna outlets, with the old RR restaurants on Church Street being a particular favourite for reason both nostalgic and otherwise.

If you have only one day and want to sample dishes from all over South India in the course of one meal, the legendary Dakshin at the ITC Windsor Sheraton Hotel and Towers is the place to hit. Wonderful ambience, truly satisfying food, a vast menu representative of the best the south has to officer, and great service make a Dakshin mean an unbeatable experience.

Further up in the easterly direction to Sonar Bangla, and the first thing that comes to mind is KC Das. From its nook at the corner of Church Street and St Mark's Road, KC Das introduced Bengali mishti to Bangaluru some three decades ago. Apart from mishti, however, it also serves up singadas, kachoris, chops, and wonderful luchi-cholar dal-aloo dum in two daily sessions. You may have to return disappointed a few times before figuring out the best time to visit - sweets and savouries fly off the shelves very quickly. Recently, however, there has been a lip-smacking new addition to the Bangla presence in the city with 6, Ballygunge Place. Serving a proper sit down Bengali mean in a cheerful ambience, the restaurants is best known for its elish paturi (boneless hilsa fish in mustard sauce), chingri malai curry (prawns in coconut milk), and the vegetarian posto. A cheaper, more homely restaurant for good east-Indian food is the no-frills Bangaliana, which serves Manipuri, Bihari, and Oriya food in addition to Bengali.

Both the street food of Mumbai (frankies, game ka ras, kalkhatta, baida roti) and the burra khana of the Raj-era Mumbai Presidency are showcased in the wonderful menu of Bombay Post, and the atmosphere of sixties and seventies Bollywood in invoked through charcoal sketches of legends like Raj Kapoor and Nargis on the walls and old Hindi melodies playing in the background. For an authentic Gujarati thali, the only place to go is Thali Ben in the food court at the Garuda Mall, and for good old Rajasthani daal-baati-choorma and gate ka saag, the wittily-named rooftop restaurant Roomali with A View.

On to the dusty plains of north India and the choices are enormous. Of course most restaurants that purport to serve 'North Indian' are really serving unrecognizable south Indian versions of the aforesaid cuisine, but there are several others - and they are the ones with the largest following - that serve up the real McCoy. The Royal Afghan at the ITC Windsor Sheraton, The Poolside Barbeque at the Taj West End, and The Legend of Sikandar, the fine dining restaurant at the Garuda Mall, concentrate on the north-west frontier, and their melt-in-the-mouth specialty kebabs - kakori, galouti, chandni, et alare to die for. Northern Gate at the Taj Gateway is more catholic in its approach, and includes food from all over the north (its famous lunch buffet feature as many as 84 items), while the ever-popular Tandoor on M.G.Road and Tiger Trail at the Royal Orchid Harsha concentrate on the famed Nawabi cuisine of Awadh.

If you want to dine on Indian food in a seven-star ambience, then Jamavar at the Leela Palace ought to fit the bill. With a décor consisting almost entirely of antique Jamavar shawls, the luxurious restaurant serves food culled from the royal kitchens of India. Which means you could be ordering Jeera Rasam Chicken Jehangiri, tandoorij jumbo prawns, and khuban-ka-meetha as part of the same meal.

In the 21st century, Bangaluru is on the travel itinerary of the world. Small wonder, then, the city has geared up to make every one of her visitors feel at home. So, let's go on a journey of the flavours of the world. First stop, South-east Asia, and the Far East. A slew of great restaurants specialize in cuisine from this part of the world. If Rim Naam, the sophisticated garden restaurant at the Oberoi, takes care of the luxury Thai restaurant segment, and Zen at the Leela the high-end sushi and sashimi, besides a large selection of pan-Asian, Blue Ginger at the Taj West End does the same for Vietnamese cuisine, being the only restaurant in the entire country to serve it, and that too in an ethereal, island setting. The stand-alone restaurants in similar cuisine categories are significantly cheaper, but probably attract more footfalls, like the stylish Civet in the International Tech Park (packed with techies at every mealtime, who love the Thai, Chinese, Burmese and Malaysian selection, and the fact that the menu - and the décor - changes so often, a good strategy to ensure that your captive market keeps coming back), Magnolia, a house-turned-restaurant in a residential part of Koramangala, and the chef-owned Shiok, which compensates the indifferent décor and cramped space with some wonderful Thai and Indonesian food.

Indo-Japanese hybrid Mako Ravindran is the moving spirit behind Harima, a true-blue-Japanese restaurant that aims to educate Bangaluruans that there is more to Japanese food than sushi and sake. Dahila on Church Street is the other Japanese restaurant, which you know has to be good, going by the large numbers of homesick Japanese who frequent it. Korean restaurants are new on the Bangaluru scene, usually functioning out of home kitchens to cater exclusively to the large Korean community here. Soo Ra Sang (which translates as 'the King's dinner table'), however, is a proper sit-down restaurant in Koramangala, serving up unfamiliar delicacies cooked right at your table.

As far as Chinese restaurants go, a couple, like Schezwan Court at the Oberoi and Mahjong Room at the ITC Windsor Sheraton, keep the 'authentic Chinese' flag flying. The rest, including the very popular stand-alone Mainland China and Aromas of China and old Favourite Mandarin at the Grand Ashok, have retained their loyal customers precisely because they serve delicious 'Indian Chinese', although they stop short of putting the irresistible and hugely popular Sino-Bangaluruan fusion dish, Gobi Manchurian, on their menus.

Set off from India in the opposite direction, towards the west, and you will come up against the quirky magnetism of Sufi, India's only Persian restaurant. Sit cross-legged at your table, leaning against the rough bolsters, and order a pitcher of refreshing Doogh (the Persian equivalent of lassi but a completely different animal from the Indian version), cvhelo kebabs (rice and broiled meat), and Fesenjaan (meatballs in a sweet and sour walnut and pomegranate gravy). After you visit the Persian art gallery and boutique (attached) you will have to pinch yourself to make sure you haven't left India.

Some of the best restaurants in Bangaluru are those that serve Mediterranean food, and there are plenty of those. Characterized by fresh, light salads, flavourful pastas, and delightfully authentic wood-fired pizzas, their menus exert a strong and sustained appeal over the populace. Don't leave the city without eating at Sunny's, which has held the number one spot forever. Olive Beach, from the same people who run Mumbai's famous Olive Bar and Kitchen, has finally opened in Bangaluru. It has the white, rough-plaster, candlelit interiors so typical of Olive and the same great menu; remember to ask for the table under the cherry tree when you make reservations. For the best Italian food in the city, visit it-ALIA at The Park, where even the chairs wear pinstripes and everything tastes wonderful. Close competitors include the chef-owned Fiorano (where the chef is himself authentic Italian). And the all-veg Little Italy.

If you are a steak and potatoes kind of person, old Banglauru favourite The only Place is a must-do. Make sure you order the apple pie a la mode and you will not be sorry. For steak and potatoes, and a whole lot else besides, in more elegant surroundings, choose The Jockey Club at the Taj Residency. With its atmosphere of smoky, sophisticated luxury and its great four piece jazz band, this is a place where you can bring both business associates and a very special date.

But by far Bangaluru's most unique restaurant is a little place in Indiranagar called Sue's Food Place, after it diminutive owner. Serving Caribbean food - Jamai-can Jerk Chicken, crab curry, cocorico - in a kitschy grandmother's house ambience, which includes lace curtains in the windows and plastic flowers on the tables, Sue's has, over the years, collected a bunch of loyal patrons. Giving credence to the theory that Bangaluruan palates are among the most adventurous in the country.

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