The whole city is waiting, albeit slightly impatiently for Farzi Café to open in the city at the end of the week. After all, its ‘desi menu with a modern twist’ is talked about even in cities it does not exist. We call that supremely good marketing. After all, having something called dal chawal aranchini can be quite an interesting thing.
And, Bengaluru always loves a good experiment, even if it is brief. People will throng these restaurants for days before going back to their good old steaks, pandi curry, or pasta, or whatever floats their boat.
But let us not take anything away from these new age bars and restaurants. They are trying hard – to reinvent what is rarely experimented with, to give the cities something new and yet familiar, and most importantly, to change opinion. And, their vote comes from the number of people who go back the second time. With Farzi, I see that happening a lot. Zorawar Kalra knows his business, and he knows what to play with.
And then, there is Glocal Junction in Indiranagar; it is popped up right across the street from Monkey Bar, and it is trying hard to give the city’s favourite gastro-pub a run for its money. It may not succeed because chef Manu Chandra is quite clever after all. However, with dishes that are called ‘LGBT prawns’, and I am yet to try that, and ‘disco anda pav’, and the ‘biryani risotto’, it will definitely pique interest for a while.
The city has its fair share of so called ‘modern Indian food’, some of which take the word modern far too seriously. Remember The Open Box on St Mark’s Road. It takes Indian food and fuses it with non-Indian flavours, serving them in rather quirky plates and bowls and glasses. For instance, you can eat papdi chaat nachos here, and a rajma galouti burger. Most of the dishes are fun in the beginning, but the chances of them getting boring too soon are also quite high.
Social on the other hand figured it out – their food is a bit of this and that, but it is affordable, and therefore no one complains much. Is it always kind to the palate? Not really. But it does not move away from the simplicity of food too much. The butter chicken biryani for instance is not always consistent, but I have good memories of it.
I have zero opinion on modern Indian food. If it is good, I will eat it. If it takes a few steps too far, I will disown it. As long as these restaurants do not change the whole concept of what is considered comforting and familiar, bring it on.
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