Bangalore for me had always been either an official pitstop or a gateway into the magical ruins of Hampi. I had no particular memories of this IT city apart from Koshy’s and Blossom Bookshop, which satiated my fascination for the old-world. In contrast this trip lived upto my expectations as a traveler, old-world connoisseur and pseudo South Indian. For all you people who love to travel and feel that “tourist” is a swear word, here is a list of things that made Bangalore a city to remember:
Staying with the locals – Nikhil’s home in Bangalore became home for two days. And in India, feeling at home at someone else’s home involves a lot of food. Prepared by the extremely warm Kumar couple (Nikhil’s parents), the food made me cheat on my diet for two days. Everything from upma, bisi bele bath and dosas, to the good old sambhar-chawal made me a happy stuffed soul. This apart, stories from the past about how the city transformed from being a pensioners’ paradise to an IT hub; the local market which has more jewelry stores than cows and MTR restaurants; the local school where Nikhil played cricket and after the game looked forward to resting his tired bones with a Frederick Forsyth.
Terrace diaries – For a person who has grown up in suburban Delhi where open spaces like a balcony and a terrace is not a luxury but hygiene, getting used to Mumbai’s pigeon holes was a task. This trip made me re-live the feeling of abundance; every heavy meal was followed by filter coffee and cigarette on the terrace.
Food at the old city – Next up is the classic local cuisine that can be best experienced in the old parts of the city rather than restaurants claiming to serve the authentic. Malleshwaram is one such cocoon nestled in the north-western district of Bangalore city, which has a large Hindu population due to the number of temples. So here is a round-up all things tasty and divine in the good old city of Bangalore:
Raghvendra Stores, outside Malleshwaram Railway Station – Go for crunchy vadas and spicy coconut chutney. Be ready to push your way through the early morning breakfast crowd. The best part is you will not have to wait for a table because there are none.
CTR Shri Sagar, Margosa Road – Crispy Benne Masala dosa and filter coffee that will leave your mouth with crunchy unadulterated butter. While we waited for our orders we were busy checking out pooris and upma floating on other tables
Varriar bakery, Rajajinagar – If you are the kind who loves desserts that are not overdone with cream and decorations, but are simple and full of rich taste, then this is the place to be. For a “Charlie and the chocolate factory” experience, sneak in from the back and you will see trolleys full of baked eateries. The bakery has a range of egg and eggless cakes with exotic flavors from blueberry to orange chocolate to vanilla Bavarian. After all the sweetness, spice-up your taste with spicy snacks like chicken rolls, sandwiches, burger and biscuits.
Chai Point – Cross the road from Varriar and digest all the food with the milky masala tea at Chai Point
In another post, sometime, I am going to write what is it about Bangalore that changed my life and unlike food, this will stay with me “till the end of time”. Stay tuned. 🙂