Bangalore restaurant reviews budget eating

North East Diner

Friday, February 25, 2011Me! In words

All of a sudden there are quite a few North-Eastern restaurants springing up in town. I think that's a good thing considering that they have a sizable population in Bangalore. Also because you never really hear of North Eastern restaurants in most other cities or for that matter outside of their region. I completely enjoyed the food when we were first introduced to it at the Ants Cafe. We followed that up The Naga Kitchen that we absolutely loved as well. Their King Chilli Chutney was to die for (or from, depending on how you take it). And now closer to home we had the North East Diner and Zingron (which I will tell you about in a later review) 

North East Diner is opposite Raheja Arcade and up a really steep flight of stairs that goes up from Print Express. Once you are up the steps you will find a small restaurant with around 5 tables seating 4 each, a cash counter and a door that leads to a semi outdoor seating area with a bar stools kind of arrangement. Was filled with the bachelor looking kinds who seemed right at home. The decor is plain and simple - glass tables, armless chairs and a small flat screen with playing John Myers videos. We grabbed a menu each and began to order. 

Simple and functional decor

 We began with a starter called Pork Safale, which was like a huge fried pork stuffed pastry shell. The shell was nice and crisp and was stuffed silly with minced pork. With the red chilli sauce and chutney served on the side, we were setting the base for a large home delivery of ice cubes for us to sit on. With this we ordered a salad Singju Veg Salad with fermented fish. This was a crisp cabbage salad with fermented fish of course and a generous helping of powdered herbs that I couldn't recognize. Overall the tasty was a bit salty-spicy and for those not used to it, the fermented fish can take some getting used to.

Pork Safale

Singju Veg Salad with fermented fish

The safale was pretty filling, but we were not about to leave there without have some rice and pork. We asked for a Smoked Pork in Bamboo shoots gravy (you can order half plates here) that was non-spicy, some steam rice and some King Chilli Chutney with fermented fish and herbs (this kinda sealed the order on those ice cubes). As far as the pork gravy goes, you can ask for your proportions of fat and meat and they will be brought. We did a 50-50. Like the Naga Kitchen the smoked pork here was a bit tough for my liking, but the gravy otherwise with the bamboo shoots went brilliantly with the steam rice. The King Chilli Chutney did not pack the punch of The Naga Kitchen one, but was still spicy as a pepper farm harvest on your tongue. Though I liked the fermented fish version, I prefer the tomato, garlic, king chilli one better. 

Our whole meal - L to R - Singju salad, steam rice, king chilli chutney with
fermented fish, smoked pork curry with bamboo shoots

Half portion of smoked pork curry with bamboo shoots

King Chilli Chutney with fermented fish

The North East Diner gives you a nice introduction to the North East cuisine. Didn't get the name of the guy in charge, but you can make out when you get there. He is good with suggestions. The diner also sells interesting North eastern fare like the Bhoot Jholokia chillis for Rs 10 a chilli, bamboo shoot pickle, passion fruit juice concentrate and range of other pickles and spices that I am so far unfamiliar with. Except for the vertigo inducing steps the place is decent for the family. The loo is clean enough. This meal came to around Rs 500 (I love the reasonable prices at these Northeastern restos)

Address: #404, Opposite Raheja Arcade, 7th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore - 560034
Phone: 8861446753
Cuisine: Northeastern (Manipuri, Naga, Assamese and the customary Indo-chinese)
Cards Accepted: No 
Parking: Nothing exclusive and can get extremely irritating

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