While Delhi and Mumbai have become hubs for international cuisine, Bangalore quietly retains its charming food culture – open, airy spaces, and unfussy, good food. For sure, this was where that abstract art of food, and molecular gastronomy first raised its pretty head in the country but, at the core, Bangalore’s food culture remains simple yet cool. Here’s a look at the city’s latest cafés, restaurants and bars that promise to offer you an ambience as tempting as their dishes.
Om Made Café
Popping colours add energy to a laidback décor at the rooftop Om Made Café where you can get organic food as you rest your gaze on Bangalore’s greenery. Lunch is the time to go here, when, under the mild sun, you can truly admire the loveliness of Bangalore – or well, what is still left of it at any rate. An immediate sense of relaxation embraces you as you step out of the rickety elevator and on to the open terrace. Take a table around the edges and you’ll almost forget to order as you gaze into the trees and thank heavens that you are in Bangalore again. Some French, some Italian, some Greek and all organic is food on the menu – crepes, wraps and pastas make the main course. For sides, the rocket and blue cheese salad with green tomato chutney is particularly memorable.
Where: 1st Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala
The Fatty Bao
As the name suggests, The Fatty Bao is where you go for the traditional bao, a steamed bun filled with goodies, but this is also where you will find quite a few variations of the bao. Take the fried fish bao for instance, which is shaped like a taco and has crispy fish and salad folded into a bao-sandwich. It is yummy! But not as yummy as the star of the menu, the PB & J, which is not peanut butter and jelly, but pork belly and miso jelly, perhaps the most tender meat dish I’ve had all year. There’s gyoza, meats, dumplings and a whole range of cocktails. Everything here comes in small and manageable portions but get to The Fatty Bao early or reserve a table if you want to linger over your meal.
Where: 12th Main, Off 80 Feet Road, Indiranagar
In a string of rooftop places that have cropped up in the city, Bang – that opened in November 2014 – definitely has the best views of Bangalore. The lounge bar has a design that affords sweeping views of the city so wonderful that till you actually step out on to the rooftop, you will hardly believe that such a view is possible in any metropolis today. Though this is a place to hang out after hours, I highly recommend that you start early just to get a bird’s-eye-view of Bangalore. There will be celeb DJ nights, signature cocktails, and a live fire for those two-and-a-half nights that Bangalore gets cold. Oh, and it helps that you are bang in the middle of the city.
Where: At Ritz-Carlton hotel, No. 99 Residency Road
DYU Art Café
An art gallery and café, DYU is an old bungalow in a quiet leafy area you wouldn’t believe still exists in Koramangala. The bungalow’s open courtyard has a few tables where you can sit and nibble on sandwiches or omelettes, and discuss art and ideas over coffee. The walls serve as an informal art gallery, so you are surrounded by shady trees and lovely artwork the whole time. It’s also the perfect place to sit and work alone, or catch up with someone you actually want to talk to.
Where: KHB Colony, Near Mangala Kalyana Mantapa, 8th Block, Koramangala