The yum in the tum of the year gone by

Tuesday, January 01, 2013Me! In words

A Happy New Year to all of you... May this year bring good health, cheer and all that you wish on your table each day. Last year, I began the first post for 2012 with a recap of some of the our personal favorites of the year before... I thought of making it a tradition of sorts and so following on the same lines, here is a look at some of our top picks from all our food exploring for 2012. This is a very personal list and based solely on us enjoying the food and the experience. I do not have any criteria other than these for the choices you see below. They are also in random order.

We are constantly in search of good breakfast places and sometimes nothing can beat a good south Indian breakfast. And we found that, close to home in Athithyam. It has your standard fare of South Indian delicacies and then has an array of specials, such as the MLA Pesarittu, Manchurian Dosas if you are so inclined and more. A dish that will go down in history for us here was the Guntur Idly. Idlies dipped in ghee and then slathered with the fiery Guntur chutney powder. While Sudhakar got through half of one idly, I braved a little more... I of course had the rest of the day to repent. The place is very family friendly, the service quick and I really love the bowls of sambar and the coffee cups here... 

The Guntur Idly at Athityam

Bow Barracks opened its doors with the promise of authentic Anglo-Indian food. While I cannot claim to know what authentic Anglo-Indian food is, I can vouch for really loving the offerings here. The beef jalfrezie was an absolute killer and that too with the tamarind water that takes you all the way back to high school, where we used to pass around the lone tamarind screwing up our faces with each bite. Everything else we had during our visit here was absolutely spot on in taste.

Beef Jalfrezie and tamarind water at Bow Barracks

We belong to the coast and we love our fish. And so Ocea was a great discovery, with a really vast menu when it comes to bounties from the sea and the manner in which it is prepared. Also what worked really well for us is that the pricing is not something that will have you play the miser for the rest of the month. We have been there quite a few times and particularly like the squid, anjal and the fish based meals that are served here. Sit in the AC section and you can give yourself quite a treat any time of the week.

The anjal fry at Ocea

Bringing blackboard menus to the scene in style has been Red Fork. Its one of those places that has a limited set of offerings with each dish begging you to try it out. Thankfully we visited with a sizable number at the table and were able to have a good number of the dishes between us. What stood out for me was the Garlic Prawn Fettucine and I could have that over and over again and then some more. The ambiance is cozy and Zarine ensures that service is very personal while Xerxes will have you savouring each morsel in front of you.

Garlic Prawn Fettucine at the Red Fork

Republic of Noodles is not a review I have done yet, simply because the photos I took that day were pretty bad. But this is one of those places that really touched a chord. The service is what took the cake, with it being prompt and very child-friendly... I mean how many places actually have the chef send out word with their staff that they are ready to whip up anything that will suit the little one at the table. We had a lot that day with grilled beef tenderloin standing out as well as the wasabi and tamarind ice-creams.

Grilled beef tenderloin at Republic of Noodles

Kamanahalli seems to be the epicenter of Korean restaurants and we heard a lot about Arirang before we hiked all the way there. But the experience was so good, that the following weekend, we were back there at their table. The Samgyeopsal moksal with deonjang jjigae or the pork belly grill and the Nakji bokkeum, the octopus stir fry were complete standouts among the other great dishes around. 

Samgyeopsal moksal with deonjang jjigae  at Arirang

There are times when something small reminds you of a really good memory. And that is what happened when we entered Chianti Ristorante and Wine Bar. When the bruschetta platter was placed before us, it reminded us of Fiorano and Jeson who had explained to us how to put it all together. Few seconds later, actually seeing Jeson walk up to us all smiles was something really nice. Needless to say that the meal was brilliant especially after we placed ourselves in his hands and really reminds me that we need to pay a visit there soon enough. 

Bread platter at Chianti

We stepped into Teppan after a lot of should-we-should-we-not. And I am glad we did. The service during both our visits was friendly and the staff actually took the trouble to keep the children at every table entertained. Besides all the acrobatics that takes place at the Teppanyaki table, the staff have several tricks up their sleeves to keep children entertained. For parents like us who can truly appreciate having a peaceful meal out, this can be a huge blessing. The food at Teppan too has been quite nice at both our visits and while Edo cannot be a monthly indulgence for us, Teppan certainly can fill the void on occasion.

Chef working the grill at Teppan

This was a year when we happened to try all three of Chef Manu Chandra's restaurants and really enjoyed all of them. Olive Beach which was on our list for a long time, we finally visited for mom's 60th birthday, Monkey Bar was a quick lunch visit and a couple of more visits are needed for us to really appreciate all it has. And finally Likethatonly we visited as part of a small reunion we had with our Manipal classmates. A brilliant experience this was. The dishes are all with a touch of the Oriental in them, but in a superlative manner. While all the dishes we had were worth writing about, it was the pork belly on skewers that ruled supreme.

Pork Belly skewers at Likethatonly

While these were some of the best experiences we have had at restaurants this year, there are a few other experiences that deserve a mention. With the help of chefs at ITC Gardenia's West View, I was able to create an exclusive 3 course dinner menu paired with international wines for Sudhakar's surprise birthday celebrations this year. To say it was a brilliant experience would truly be an understatement.

Street food at its best was at our annual Iftaar raid and this year was bigger and better with us visiting Tilaknagar and Mosque Road. The sheer number of delicacies can leave your full to the seams and we were well armed this year to get through many of them on offer. Hopefully this year we will hit other specials like the Durga Puja stalls, the avarekai and the kadelekai festivals and also the Ganesh Chaturthi specials.

And of course the absolute highlight was to be invited to a sit down dinner by Michelin Star Chef Baptiste Fournier.

These are some of the food experiences of 2012 that I am so glad to have been able to chronicle on Bangalore's Restaurants. Here's to another year filled with all things yum in the tum.

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