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Monday, March 16, 2015

Explore Bangalore and its local cuisine

Few years back, when I moved to Bangalore, my knowledge of south Indian food was limited to Dosas, Idlis and filter coffee. After a few months of settling down, me and hubby started exploring the city. I firmly believe that one hasn't explored a city until one eats the local cuisine. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do and when in Bangalore, eat as the Bangloreans eat' has been my mantra since then.
As I explored the city more, I realized how much more of the variety the city had to offer. Right from the street side Darshinis and Tiffin centers to the classy fine dining restaurants, the city never stops amazing one. Now if you are used to paying 250 bucks for a Dosa, you will be surprised how some of the traditional places here serve food at a very low price. One can't fail but notice how their focus is on the taste and the quality of food and not on the decor or marketing tactics. With places serving Biryani at 8 o'clock in the morning to hot wholesome meals served on banana leaf, the city holds in a lot of surprises.
Well, my foodie friends here I have tried to compile a list of 4 of my best local places to eat in Bangalore. Of course these are my personal favorites so far and I am sure I will discover many more in the future.

1. MTR - Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
MTR aka Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
MTR aka Mavalli Tiffin Rooms
The list cannot begin without the mention of MTR. MTR is famous for it's crispy dosas, khara bhat, idlis etc. Yes, there are a lot of places that serve dosa in the city. But anyone who's had Dosas at MTR will agree with me that those dosas are nowhere close to the ones from MTR. There are many branches of this restaurant in the city; but the original one in Lalbagh still stands out for it's quality and popularity. Hot crispy dosas with a generous amount of ghee on the side, khara bhat and steaming hot bisibele bhat are some of my favorites here.

2. Kamat
Kamat North Karnataka meal
Kamat's North Karnataka meal

Kamat serves a home style North Karnataka wholesome meal on a banana leaf. Being a Maharshtrian, the taste of the food at this place is very close to the Maharashtrian cuisine.
What more can you ask when you get a scallion, a few sprigs of fenugreek leaves, roasted papad, tomato cucumber raita, lentil cucumber pachhadi, 3 varieties of curries and chutneys and hot jowar rotis straight from the kitchen with a glass of spiced buttermilk. Now, if that's not enough, all of these keep coming to your plate, oops! I mean leaf, until you cry 'NO! STOP, I am full.' This one's my favorite place to go to especially when I am missing my mom. And of course a great place for those with a big appetite!

3. Shivaji Military Hotel
Shivaji Military Hotel
Shivaji Military Hotel

Shivaji Military hotel is a small humble food joint with hardly any seating area, a small food menu, yet a clean open kitchen where you can peek through while you are waiting for your order. The place can get flooded during lunch time and you can see people from all walks of life. The specialties here are chicken legs, donne biryani, lamb chops and dry mutton.There are many more places that serve the famous donne biryani in Bangalore, but this one's my favorite....and if you are guessing that being a Marathi girl, I might be biased here because of it's name...well, I can't deny that either.

4. Koshy's

Unique sugar dispenser at Koshy's
This is Bangalore's iconic restaurant and hangout with an old world charm. Even though it is not a place that serves the local cuisine, it has and still is a favorite among the locals. Be it Spanish omelet and Koshy's special coffee for breakfast or Appam mutton stew, fish and chips or pork chops for lunch, the place never fails you.