To Bangalore: On an eating spree...

Being a veggie is sinful in Kerala. After being brought up in places where there is no dearth of Vegetarian food, living in Kerala has been a painful experience till date. During my Mumbai/Bangalore days, eating out usually had long drawn menus, with a huge variety of eating options suiting all flavours from spicy to sweet to sour to bland.

I am one person who loves experimenting with tastes (to a limited extent though) and love eating food enjoying its taste to the hilt. No wonder my mom says its difficult to satisfy me (I take it a complement). My tastes usually vary with time, and I often prefer eating spicy food. My food choices are unique as well - I love Bitter-gourd (I love eating when they are half cooked). Oh! Thats enough of talking about me...

After moving to Kerala, eating out has dropped badly, and we rarely go out for dinner (I think, we've never gone out dedicatedly for eating out). The main reason being choice - the maximum choice a veggie would get in a hotel in Kerala would be an array of dosas, chappati/porotta with "kuruma curry" (mixed vegetable dish, usually with pepper "powered" gravy) or veg biryani or pulao. This compares with menus that used to have 100s of items in veg hotels in Mumbai or Bangalore.

We usually have "Eating out" parties in College - but the menu my classmates usually have is fixed - Chicken Biryani or some rice/chappati with Chicken curry. Sadly, many non-veggies in Kerala have only Chicken on the menu (before you jump on me for this comment - chicken, fish and beef taste the same for me - for I don't eat them). A recent programme on a famous FM radio network in Kerala (yes - the one that has its name after a fruit) brought out some astonishing figure on the amount of chicken meeting fate each day - the consumption is in tens of thousands of kilograms on a normal day. Keralites would celebrate any festival (harthals included) with Chicken, it seems! The age old morning alarm is now the king of plates!

Cutting short the crap, to conclude: It is difficult to survive in Kerala if you are veggie. Fed with the lack of options, I decided to make a journey to Bangalore exclusively to eat. And the journey was no desperation as well! I started off the eating parade with Fried rice and Noodles with Manchurian (all veg, of course!). This was topped with an ice-cream from the famous "Naturals" (guys who've lived in Mumbai will understand what "Naturals" is), who recently opened shop in Bangalore.

The second day had Andhra Meals (veg, of course) on the menu for lunch. If you love eating conventional meals for lunch and have a likening to good taste, you must try eating Tamil Nadu and Andhra Meals - they have a huge variety, and will satisfy most people. (Sorry! Have not tried Karnataka meals for lunch till date). Kerala meals are totally different from all these. Back to the story: Dinner had Pizzas on the menu, topped with ice cream from Baskin Robbins.

The third day had lunch from home (one opportunity missed!). At evening, had some amazing Vada-Pavs from Goli (yes! The same chain that sells "packed" Vada-Pavs in Mumbai. They've opened in Bangalore now). The Vada-Pavs had the same lip-smacking taste as in Mumbai. The only spoiler was a very sour tasting tomato sauce that they had generously dumped into each pav. Dinner had Punjabi on the menu! Naan and Roti with a vegetable curry and one dish made with Paneer (Cottage Cheese) in a tomato based gravy.

All this was topped with the famous "Death By Chocolate" from Corner House. Corner House is a famous ice-cream joint (joints, they have branches in most parts of Bangalore) in Bangalore. One of their very famous product is "Death By Chocolate" or "DBC" as they call it. Each serving would have no less than 3 dollops of ice cream, topped Chocolate brownie and generous amounts of chocolate sauce. This serving is garnished with lots of crushed nuts. The serving is usually big enough to fill an average adults' stomach.

Had enough of food during the trip that the fourth day was reserved for mild eating, all from home. With enough calories to make a health-conscious to go into a tizzy, I returned to Kerala with satisfied taste buds. But, its sad that I need to travel 500kms just to eat good food. I don't intend to claim that hotels in Kerala do not serve good food - but for veggies, its a sad scene. I was once questioned by a classmate: "What option do you veggies have in hotel, other than rice and sambhar?" - the question gains importance considering the scene in Kerala.

After the first bite of chinese in Bangalore, my only response - finally Manchurian not prepared in coconut oil, without curry leaves and mustard seeds! You would've got how chinese tastes in most hotels in Kerala, now! I had lots more to write - but the description above has made me hungry yet again - dinner, here I come. But, my pursuit for good food would continue in Kerala - hope some hoteliers are reading this, and a solution for good-food-starved veggies come soon.


Chandrika said…
Join with you sinfully!
mumbai paused said…
Vada Pav, finally in Bangalore. Lovely. :) They never used to get the Pav right. Too bad about the tomato soup.
Sunup said…
Binai, try Bharat hotel near Ernakulam Law College. They serve good veggie dishes. Then towards Ravipuram-Atlantis side on MG Road, you will find a good veg-punjabi hotel and a decent chinese one (non-coconut oil cooking). Sorry its been 3 years since I left Kochi, so forgot the names. Hope they are still in biz. Then the hotels on MG Road like Avenue Grand, The Grand Hotel, Abad Plaza etc too serve good veggie food. The Oberio Restaurant on MG Road (north end), serve decent veggie dishes, but has lost its nice ambiance nowadays. Its more of a standard mallu-ambiance bar hotel now.
Karthik said…
Nice pics on picasa. I like your pics a lot especially of BMTC/KaSRTC buses. Now since your in Kerala it is very rare. Any way nice pics of your recent trip to Bangalore. I only wish you had taken more pics but still hats off! Have you tried CTR in Malleswaram, Bangalore. It's that best place for Masala Dosa and Idli's.