Monday, March 18, 2013

A Food Festival Breezes Into Bangalore

It is spring in many parts of the country (though summer here in Bangalore) and is just the right time for a spell of good food.  Last year it was Citibank and the BBC Good Food magazine and this year it is the Food Lover's Club that has brought a food festival spread throughout the city, lasting 17 days.  This year's festival seems to me the best coordinated so far, with an easily accessible and informative website describing the 31 participating restaurants.

Each of the chefs has designed a set of their specialties that are served at a fixed price.  The prices vary a little, depending on the place and the specific menu (one has an option of 3 or 4 kinds of menus).  They are not very low but not extravagant either; for the kind of gourmet spread on offer, this is really a very good deal.  I particularly enjoy these kinds of festivals because I can visit new places and try a variety of foods that I might normally not be able to do within a fixed budget.  I also like to encourage talented chefs in general!

Last night we visited Jashn, a restaurant serving tandoori and other food from the north west frontier.  It was a very pleasant experience, sitting by the quiet poolside (I had expected a lot of people to come for the festival offer but in fact there were very few occupied tables), sipping a complimentary glass of wine and slowly trying everything the menu offered (we could only do justice to their 2 course menu and not even that - we stopped two thirds of the way as we were so full!).  Each course was a set of multiple dishes and there were various delicious freebies thrown in, like the papads and chutneys (hung curd with mango, hung curd with garlic, green chutney and pineapple chutney), shorba (a light yet creamy soup of lamb and lentils), their kali dal (black lentils), roghan josh (a Kashmiri meat curry) and assorted rotis.

This restaurant was extremely flexible about the menu (as we wanted a mix of vegetarian and meat kebabs) and the portions were generous.  It was a good meal, especially as they were able to make the tandoori food without chillies for us (something we always have trouble getting in most Indian restaurants).

An almost half-moon made an appearance, a balmy breeze blew over the pool as we sipped and savoured each bit leisurely.  Here are pictures of some of our food (plates - and fingers getting messier with each course)!

lamb shorba -tastes better with a squeeze of lime
fish tikka in a green masala, grilled stuffed mushrooms

the ubiquitous naan

chef's special 'dhuandar (smoked) mutton kebab' and sauteed potatoes
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