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May 5, 2006 04:13 PM

Bangalore, India recs?

  • b

Hubby just found out that he is being sent to Bangalore TONIGHT for work. Any food recs? He'll be staying at the La Meridien -- how are the restaurants there? Any places nearby that he should try? He'll be there for one week. Thanks!

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    Peter Cherches

    Only general contours, since I was there 15 years ago:

    There's very good Chinese food to be found if you do your research. I believe Chung Wah is one of the most highly regarded.

    Mavalli Tiffin Rooms is famous for Udipi vegetarian fare, especially for breakfast.

    There is also a long-standing Anglo-Indian pub tradition, unlike anywhere else in India.

    Bangalore is very prosperous. I'm sure there will be lots of great choices. In India, unlike many other places, the best food is often found in the restaurants of top hotels.

    If he has time, he must try to get to Mysore, a delightful town (though less so 6 years ago than 15 years ago--growing too fast). Read the novels of R.K. Narayan, which take place in a fictionalized Mysore called Malgudi.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Peter Cherches

      "In India, unlike many other places, the best food is often found in the restaurants of top hotels."

      no, no.

      the best food is in peoples homes. thats where the cuisine lives in all its glory. the five star shtick is about entertainment, being seen, spending your black money etc. you eat there once a month, max. the foods got NOTHING to do with how people eat. think about it - we'd be all dead by 40 if we ate restaurant punjabi food daily.

      1. re: howler
        Peter Cherches

        I should have said best restaurant food. How many visitors get invited to homes? Also, in the south at least, there are great restaurants in top hotels serving cuisines other than "Punjabi restaurant fare"--Hyderabadi, Chettinad, Keralan, multi-southern (the amazing Dakshin at one of the Sheratons in Chennai), "Northwest frontier cuisine (Peshawari)", etc. Outside of hotels there are Gujarati veg thali places all over India. These are all very distinct cuisines, but most non-Indians think of "Indian food" as Mughlai or Punjabi restaurant fare.

        For a westerner a lavish dinner at a 5-star hotel is an amazing bargain, about 1/4 (or less) the price of a similar meal in NY or London.

        1. re: Peter Cherches

          i (gently) disagree.

          five star hotels very rarely are hyper-delicious fare. they are at best competent, but never state of the art. to be fair, they rarely try to be ... their game is to serve up stuff that the locals might think exotic.

          think of india like europe: why bother going to a five star hotel serving english food in italy? the trick is to scope out where the local food is happening. for example, there's the cuisine thats evolved from the tamil influx into karnataka (bangalores home state); i've attached an article you might find interesting.


          1. re: howler

            I guess I should mention that we are Indian, so we eat plenty of home cooked indian food. LOL

            The thing with hotel/restaurant indian food is that they tend to prepare items that the average home cook doesn't make. So it's good because it's different, if that makes sense.

            1. re: boogiebaby

              "The thing with hotel/restaurant indian food is that they tend to prepare items that the average home cook doesn't make. So it's good because it's different, if that makes sense."


              out of curiosity, which part of india are you from? i'm a maharastrian.

    2. Ok, this is too late for your husband, but might be useful to others. These are the places, in no particular order, that stand out in the past few months I've been here:
      1) Koshy's, an old-school restaurant that reminds me a little of diners in NYC. Not earth-stopping food, but really good and a fun place to people-watch. For best results, take the dining room on the left and not the AC, overly fancy room on the right.
      2) Coconut Grove on Church St.
      3) Sikander, in the Garuda Mall, has a good, non-cheesy lunch buffet.
      4) Samarkand, a northern India/Afghan place that's good for a group.
      5) Ramana's on Cunningham Road (nearish the Meridian) is a northern Indian vegetarian. They have a dish of paneer in a sauce of raw mangoes that I think about more than is healthy. Maybe I should go get some right now.
      6) A dosa at just about any hole-in-the-wall place. Still checking this out.


      1. i just got back from bangalore myself, and wld reccomend koshys on church street. there are two entrances: one to the smoking section which has far more atmosphere and ambiance--and amazing desserts. the other side is the air conditioned and fancier place with pretty good food. apparently, the big thing is the sunday brunch of appam and stew. it has a good range of south indian/ north indian food. i don't think one can go wrong by going to koshys--and its also very centrally located.

        the other place to go to--and it is with the hype--is the MTR on lalbagh road. i've grown up hearing about it, and it has the best masala dosa i've had in my life. just be careful when getting autos there, b/c its such a tourist destination that auto drivers try to insist on flat fares which are way higher than they ought to be.

        good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodierant

          It is three years since I have been to Bangalone.
          We eat mainly at the hotels, and the food for westerners is quite good (everywhere we have been in India).
          While the food at the Oberoi, wasn't up to the standard of Delhi, we were happy with all of the various restaurants.
          I hesitate to go to restaurants alone, as I am not sure of the water.
          We go to outside restaurants, only when taken there by Indian hosts who are aware of the problems, and know exactly where to take us.
          As for Indian homes, we are always invited for Sunday's, but never any other day, no matter where we are in India.
          I would suggest that you do not eat street food.
          A friend of ours who lives in Bombay, stopped to buy some street food, as it reminded him of something their old cook had made when he was a child.
          The next day we visited him in the hospital.

        2. I would definately second Marvalli Tiffin House. I was there 2 years ago and had a WONDERFUL lunch for 75 ruppees. We had about 20 different items. ALL were wonderful. I can not wait to visit Marvalli Tiffin House again.