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Give us, the people of Bengaluru, the opportunity to eat out, and we will never say no. And, if that opportunity rises in the middle of a working day, it is even better. And, that is why set menus, or rather prix-fixe meals (if you want to get posh) work so well in the city. You can walk in and out in less than an hour, unless you have more time to kill during the week.
From Indian food, which will not put you to sleep right away, to delicious dim sums, or soups and salads, here are five set menus you can check out.
Riwaz has introduced something called the ‘Ayurvedic Indian Bento Box Lunch’. Yes, it sounds a bit odd – Indian, and Bento in the same line – but it offers a balanced meal of flavours, and nutrition. This one emphasises on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, with practically no added artificial salts, colours, flavours, or preservatives. Check out dishes such as the soya palak ke kabab, tandoori tofu, corn masala, lehsuni machli and bharwan murgh ke soweta, kaddu ka bharta, brown rice, and gluten-free breads. Yes, it sounds too healthy perhaps, but that is probably good for you.
The Olive Beach prix-fixe meals are one of the personal favourites. A three course meal that includes salads such as barbecue chicken salad (with avocados, poached egg and more), baked brie (stuffed with caramelised onion and orange marmalade, with pickled grapes and beet), mushroom filo cigars (with herbed aioli, onion, olive slaw, and more), mains that include the Moorish veg lunch board (falafel, warm grilled pita with hummus, vegetable tagine with couscous and chickpea salad), pearl barley risotto, or the mustard crusted fish or chicken sliders – there is a lot to choose from. And, when you have something such as the black forest pavlova in the dessert menu, life is nothing short of good.
Mezzaluna, at the Mövenpick Hotel, which has a new menu too, has a simple and yet wholesome set menu to choose from. It includes soups such as the minestrone, or the stracciatella di pollo (chicken soup with egg and parmesan). From the main course section, choose salads (if you are feeling healthy) such as insalata caprese, or go all out with the spaghetti al pomodoro fresco, penne alfredo, risotto alla Milanese (saffron risotto). Finish the meal with the chef’s dessert of the day.
Harima, one of my favourite places to get Japanese food has simple, flavoursome bento boxes to choose from. You could get a tempura, salad, pork cutlets, sticky rice, and a dipping sauce in it. The portions are medium-sized, so if you are famished, order two! On the other hand, Edo Restaurant & Bar at the ITC Gardenia has a rather tasteful bento box, or set-meal. Divided into three sections – Nara, Kyoto, and Tokyo – the dishes include zensai, sashimi, yakimono, nimono, sushi, syokuji, and so on. And, the meal is divided for vegetarians and meat eaters, which is a good news.
100 Ft. Boutique Bar has a five course set menu for lunch that we would really like to take our time with. From salads, soups and appetizers such as the kibbeh or chicken wings, mains including grilled fish, pasta or risotto, and desserts – the menu does not run into pages, but includes dishes that will make you want to skip dinner. The soup and dessert however, are left to the chef’s discretion. Do not forget to try the warm pita and hummus – they make it rather well here.
If you like dim sums, the dim sum lunch at Szechwan Court at The Oberoi is definitely worth a shot. And, it is not just for the fact that the dim sums come to you in a cart, a la street style. They are quick, easy, and super tasty. Check out the char sui bao (with sweet barbecued pork in the centre), chicken and prawn is mai, shrimp and asparagus, and Thai asparagus. Actually, try all of them. And, order some Chinese tea on the side to wash it down with.
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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.