Wednesday, April 2, 2014


What do you do if you are spending a weekend in Bangalore? Where do you go to eat or for drinks and have a good time? Here are my top picks for breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner inspired by a recent trip to Bangalore.

For breakfast, Smoke House Deli on Lavelle road is a good option. The day I visited Smoke house deli, it was buzzing with women runners who had just completed their pink run in aid of Breast Cancer in the nearby Kanteerava Stadium. They serve breakfast all day and their granola with yogurt and omelettes come highly recommended. I must say that I have not seen a more enticing-looking glass of granola with yogurt anywhere else! The black and white theme is funky and will set you in the right mood for the rest of the day to follow. There is also a selection of freshly baked breads for one to take home.

Granola with yogurt and fruits & Omelette with Smoked Salmon

For a relaxed and laid-back lunch head to the Karavalli restaurant at the Taj Gateway on Residency road which serves coastal cuisine from the west coast of India. This restaurant has been a long-time favorite in my family and no trip to Bangalore is complete without a meal here. Some of the old favorites are not featured in the menu any longer but the chefs are happy to whip up the dishes on request. The complimentary rasam served at the start of the meal is delicious, even on a hot day I found myself enjoying the rasam. For starters try the Ladyfish fry and Meen Pollichathu. For mains, the appams are outstanding along with Prawn Balchow and Karavalli Mutton curry. There is usually only enough room for paan and not for dessert, after a spectacular meal here. The only downside to this restaurant is the slow service. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable but they lack in efficiency and speed. A quick snooze after a satisfying meal in Karavalli will help you get adequate rest to take on the evening with enthusiasm and eagerness.

Karavalli Mutton curry, Fish Moilee, Mutton Fry and Paan

Toit in Indira Nagar is a fun place for a few drinks. I visited Toit in the afternoon on a Sunday. Although it was sparsely occupied, the music and ambiance was very relaxed and enjoyable. I hear that they have a live band playing and occasionally stand-up comedians performing on weekend evenings. The Irish brew master did not disappoint the beer lovers and for the non-beer drinkers, there was a good selection of wines and cocktails on offer. Another place that came highly recommended was the Arbor Brewing Co. I did not get the opportunity to visit ABC but many of my friends recommend it both for their brews and for their grub. 

Monkey Bar is a fun and happening place to hang out in the evenings, especially for the younger lot. The drinks and food menu was eclectic and added to the young vibe of the place. In both the drinks and food menu, there seemed to be subtle twists to well-known classics and it came across so effortlessly that you get the feeling that they are not trying too hard. This in turn sets the mood for one to relax and enjoy the concoctions while soaking in the atmosphere. But be warned, the place seemed to be very popular with the college crowd. 

Clockwise from top left: Quirky coasters at Monkey bar, Prosecco at The Glasshouse, Drinks at Toit and finally the stunning ceiling at The Glasshouse

Another place, I stopped by with a great vibe was The Glasshouse on Lavelle road. It is a relatively new place and I don't remember seeing it from my previous trip to Bangalore which was in mid-2013. It had an outdoor lounge and an indoor restaurant area. The lounge had a spectacular roof and I caught myself gawking at it every now and then. The restaurant area was filled with diners who were visibly enjoying their dinner. Another interesting element at The Glasshouse was the bakery section. There were freshly baked breads, tarts and crackers for sale. I picked up the sunflower seed loaf to take back home and I was not disappointed.

It is no news that I enjoy Asian cuisine, particularly authentic Asian cuisine which is becoming popular in India. There is a growing shift from Desi-Chinese to authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese and other regional Asian cuisines. The Zen at Leela Palace and Blue Ginger at the Taj Westend have been catering to a loyal and discerning clientele for many years. The New Kid on the Block is Yauatcha at #1 MG Mall, at the Eastern end of MG road, right across from Vivanta by Taj. Yauatcha is a Michelin-starred Asian restaurant chain from London currently in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in India. They have a fantastic selection of dimsums on their menu. The stand-outs were steamed prawn dimsum wrapped in spinach leaves and dumplings filled with pureed Edamame and Truffle. Prosecco and Thea martinis were great accompaniments to the meal.

I hope this post has given you some new and interesting options to try out while in Bangalore next time. The dining and bar scene in Bangalore is changing frequently and I enjoy trying out a few new places while revisiting some of my old favorites. No matter what, a weekend in Bangalore is always fun especially if you are in the company of some good friends.