Bangalore restaurant reviews budget eating

Nati Mane

Thursday, October 25, 2012Me! In words

Nati Mane falls into that category of places which has been on the list a really long time and we happen to be in its vicinity several times, but just plain forget about it when are actually making the decision on where to eat. One weekend, we happened to be heading towards Koramangala and suddenly it came to us - why not head to Nati Mane like we have been meaning to. And so, a little discovery-of-Koramangala's-inner-roads later, we found Nati Mane tucked away in a little nook. Nothing much to look at from the outside except for a few Warli paintings around to create an ambiance. Inside too, the ambiance is no great shakes - a few attempts at making it ethnic with woven baskets for lamp shades, wooden furniture and tables with a inbuilt spice box that kept Anoushka occupied for a few minutes. But what you must appreciate is how clean the place is. Puts any inhibitions that parents with kids will have. 

When the menu came, there was a mental war with the tummy on what should be ordered. When tummy heard what we intended to put in it, it pleaded its case (something it often does) about its limited capacity and its ability to take in only so much goodness. And that's why we toned it down a but and settled on what you see below. 

Liver fry

As rustic as it can get - this little plate of liver fry was tossed up in some great pounded masalas, was spicy (not really meant for children spicy) and would have paired so much better with a cold bottle of beer. The texture of the liver was not overly done or downright chewy - somewhere in between. It makes you want to dive into the plate for the next bite before the taste wears off and throw all table etiquette to the wind by finger licking it clean. 

Coin Paratha??

We checked with the staff on the spice levels of the Nati Koli Saaru and were assured that it was not made spicy. To go with that were some coin parathas - I was banking on the small size of the parathas to keep junior occupied with her food - turns out the folks at Nati Mane have a unique mint from where their coins come from - the size was in between a full fledged paratha and the biggest size coin paratha you have seen. But the combination was great - am not one for green masala based chicken curries, but this one can be one of those opinion changers.

Nati Koli Saaru

Donne Biryani

With Donne Biryani being a specialty there is no way we were not ordering this and it was definitely not a mistake doing so. The biryani is on the slightly spicier side, its the kind the builds up gradually and you only realize your tongue is sizzling when you are about 3/4th the way through. The raita on the side and the mild gravy does a help a bit. But the biryani was worth every bit. 

A look at our well laden table

By now we were able to convince tummy about its expansion capabilities and had to round off the meal with a rice rasam and man were we glad to have made the choice. The pepper rasam was steaming hot as was the rice and after drowning my rice in it, there was still a bit left to drink up and that's what we done.

While on the topic of pepper rasam - we were recently told that in the small liquor shops of Davangere, pepper rasam is placed on the tables of those who order beers - you take a swig of the rasam and then a few seconds later the beer. Since we happened to have pepper rasam and beer around us when we were told this, we gave it a shot. What the rasam does is open out your taste buds with its spice and when its washed over with the cold beer it gives you a tingly feeling and a completely different perspective on beer. Definitely a combo we are going to be trying often.

Pepper rasam and rice

And I rounded it off with a masala buttermilk - touch of onion, garlic and a tadka made it a perfect accompaniment.
Masala Buttermilk

Service is quick and the food brilliant. Definitely something worth going back for many times over. Amazingly this bill was a few rupees shy of Rs 600 which honestly in this day and age for such great food is a steal. The place does not have any desserts at all, but that works fine for me since I prefer ending on spice than on sweet. Did not visit the loo and actually not too sure it exists but if it does, judging from the cleanliness of the restaurant am sure that it will not be a problem at all. 

Address: 334, 17th C Main, KHB Colony, 5th block, Koramangala, Bangalore. 
Phone: 40986161
Cuisine: South Indian Non-vegetarian
Wallet factor: Rs 500
Parking: Need to hunt around

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