Greens get a contemporary twist at this new cafe
Everyone seems to be donning the role of either a MasterChef judge or participant. There’s no shying away from it, at least for those who love food. While most fine dining restaurants in Bengaluru are happy to play the participant’s role, trying to create and present innovative dishes, patrons are seeking such unusual dining options. No wonder that on a Diwali afternoon, when we expected people to be enjoying elaborate home-cooked meals, a packed London Curry House with a long waiting list left us surprised.
While we waited, a bit of conversation with the staff revealed that this new entrant is part of the Shiv Sagar Group — known to dole out Indianised versions of continental dishes across its restaurants. While true-blue foodies may be appalled by such fusion food, something ought to have worked in the restaurant chain’s favour, a reassuring thought, while we trooped to our table after a wait of nearly 25 minutes.
Following the ritual, we started with mocktails… and, oh dear, only in India can a restaurant with an English-Vinglish kind of name get away with a menu that lists Desi Vanaspati as one of its best mocktails. Though skeptical, we went ahead and ordered it with a Maza Ma Life. Both the mocktails had no connection to their names. There was not even a hint (thankfully) of vanaspati, instead this was a refreshing concoction of orange, ginger and ground green chillies – on the rocks, perfect for the warm afternoon.
The Maza Ma Life was a mix of peanut butter and ice cream topped with chocolate chips and garnished with walnuts — creamy, smooth and chocolaty, highly recommended for those with a big sweet tooth.
We played it safe with our first starter and chose Mushroom Galouti. Just like its namesake — the non-vegetarian Galouti Kebabs, the mushroom version melts in your mouth. The buttery mash-up makes these tiny patties taste like succulent kebabs. With such an impressive start, we tried to pick an unconventional preparation — the Shakarkand Chaat. If you aren’t a sweet potato fan, this one is sure to convert you. A base of pounded sweet potato, layered with fried chunks of the same is topped with yoghurt, tamarind syrup, pomegranate pearls and chaat masala. It creates an interesting medley of flavours, and you won’t be disappointed.
For main course, we opted for The London Curry House Special sizzler and the Bamboo Biryani. The sizzler seemed promising with a vegetable croquette taking centrestage, and complementing it were the paneer fingers made with minced cottage cheese. The USP of the sizzler is the spicy preparation of Maggi noodles served on the side. Of all the dishes we tried, the Bamboo Biryani was the hero. A creamy, butter-based preparation with long grain Basmati rice, this one sealed our main course!
Finally, completely satiated with our meal, we chose the tiniest dessert on the menu — a Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote — this was closest to the Italian original. All-in-all, we were totally blown away by the burst of flavours and the presentation, truly a unique experience.
`1,500++ for two. At Race Course Road.
— Ayesha Tabassum