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    This new modern Indian restaurant experiments with local ingredients and gourmet food

    Kria in Koramangala 5th Block is easy to miss. The street is chock full of new restaurants, each trying to do something different, but
    that’s where Kria has the upper hand. Their menu is a usual mix of Indian and a few continental dishes, but with the use of regional and humble Indian ingredients that you would not expect. Think Stingray meatballs with mango chutney, and Biriyanichini — fried fritters stuffed with, yes you guessed it, biryani. We headed down to investigate further.

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    The restaurant has old-school and charming interiors in wooden accents. Ujwal Shetty, the owner and Chef Avinash Acharya are from the town of Manipal, where they run a few other restaurants. This is their first venture in Bengaluru.
    We started with a warm and comforting Winter radish soup. It is made with radish leaves, blended with dal and garnished with sweet phool makhanas, puffed lotus seeds. For starters, we opted for the Kasuri chicken, which is marinated in kasuri methi and spicy bhawana chilli sauce. The Jackfruit sheek, sounded promising, but did not deliver as we could hardly taste the jackfruit. But the Chicken wings bhel was the clear winner, with a sweet and spicy marinade and garnished with sev, boondi, pumpkin seeds and more.

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    For the mains, the chef sent us the Pot stew. It is the usual, but a very well made version of Kerala style stew (in vegetarian and prawn options). It is elevated to another level by being served with a puff pastry, instead of appams. The texture of the stew and the crunchy pastry complement each other well. We also tried the homemade Rigatoni pasta, served with a salad. The pasta was a little too chewy, but the sauce was fresh and fiery.

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    The other dishes which caught our eye on the menu were the Khichdi three ways (bisibele, multi grains and shahi khichdi), the Arbi rogan (colocasia fritters with a Kashmiri gravy), the Pork biryani, and the Clam and fondant potato (a Penang-style laksa).
    The dessert section is equally innovative. A Fruit focaccia might sound like an unusual choice, but the presentation, with grapes and figs and a scoop of homemade chikoo ice cream, make it a hit. The Beet cake, made with jowar grain and chocolate, is served with tamarind créme fraîche.
    Although we are impressed with the innovation and creativity, the service still needs to be improved upon. The restaurant has the potential to offer a fine dine gourmet experience, but some elements are still lacking.
    Rs 1,000 for two. At Koramangala. Details: 49652653
    — Anagha M

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