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Forget new year resolutions – the only thing I seem to be able to plan at the beginning of each year is my food list. January brings a lot of anxiety as far as I am concerned. What if I miss out eating something that I will not be interested in in the following year? So here is my list of ‘must-eat soon’. Some of them are new, and some, well, are those that I want to eat again, in no particular order. Feel free to add to it.
The Banoffee Cronut: Yes, I know cronuts are out of fashion, and yes, I know that this decadent treat comes with free calories. But there is something absolutely sinful about the banoffee cronut at Church Street Social. The toffee sauce and the whipped cream is a quick ride to heaven.
Beetroot Cured Salmon: This one is an easy target. Available at Olive Beach, fresh salmon cured with beetroot and sea salt is a divine idea. Plus, this dish comes with sumac aioli, cannellini beans, and even some orange for some added zest. I am just surprised that I have not managed to eat this one yet.
Mutton Paya Soup: Rayaru’s Kitchen in Indiranagar serves absolutely delicious mutton paya soup for breakfast, or so I have been told. You just have to get there early, and I have not managed to do that yet. They open at 7am, and that is the best time to get a bowl of the hot paya.
Dinner at Grasshopper: I cannot even remember the last time I went to Grasshopper. And while the seriously long drive could be a deterrent, I am adamant about going back soon this year. I love the concept of a flexible menu, and you eat what they cook. Most of the ingredients are fresh from their farm, and while you do not really have to go through too many courses, and the food is quite simple, there is something quite magical about the experience.
Crab Curry: As this is one of my biggest weaknesses, I am extremely fussy about how crabs are cooked. And I have been craving the crab curry at Coringa for a while. This Andhra restaurant really does know how to pull off one. And despite the fact that my threshold for tolerating spices is quite low, I am totally willing to brave it.
Sushi: Sushi has to feature on my list, irrelevant of how many times a year I go to a Japanese restaurant. So there is going to be more of that this year. I love Yataii, the new Japanese restaurant at Shangri-La, and Matsuri at The Chancery Hotel on Lavelle Road. Both these places serve good food, and yet their approach to the cuisine is quite different. Harima, of course, remains my go-to place.
Hilsa: I have been deprived of good hilsa this year. And even though Oh! Calcutta does manage to source good-quality hilsa during its season, I simply could not make my way to the restaurant enough number of times. So this year, my eyes are on their hilsa festival. If they host one, I am there. And it really does not matter how one eats it, as long as it is cooked with mustard!
Pandi Curry: I ate some exquisite pandi curry in 2015, but that was mostly home-made. Windsor Pub at Vasanth Nagar is one of my favourite places to find pandi curry. In fact, Wild Spice on Residency Road is famous for their spicy curry. That and some ghee rice, and I am sorted. In February, perhaps...
Sattvic Food: It might look a little odd, given that my list speaks of little else but fish and meat, but a meal at Sattvam cannot be missed this year. In fact, even Higher Taste at ISKCON serves exemplary sattvic food. What I really like about both these restaurants is that they focus on fresh ingredients more than anything else. And while I might not like everything on their menu, I do appreciate the effort they take to bring innovation to the table. Plus, it is super healthy – well, some of it at least is.
Vegan Food: I have never eaten vegan food at a restaurant. Not that I have anything against vegans, but it does not come to me naturally. However, I intend to fix it this year. I hear Carrots, in Koramangala, serves good vegan food, so perhaps this is one trip I ought to make soon. Or maybe slightly later.
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Priyadarshini is an independent journalist from Bengaluru whose life pretty much revolves around food, good music, literature, and cinema. She’s worked with different publications over the past 10 years, and has written about travel, theatre, films, books, music, food and lots of food! She’s travelled wherever her feet and budget would allow, discovering cultures through local palates and social behaviour, and in an ideal world would probably resort to using food and music to resolve any dispute.