Monday, November 12, 2007

South Indies

Seekers of authentic South Indian vegetarian fare must usually make do with the many udupi joints that can be found. While these places serve great food, service leaves much to be desired and conversation must be at high decibels in order to be heard.

South Indies is a south Indian restaurant with class and style. Beautiful interiors of glass and wood give it a understated elegance. Soft south Indian classical music is piped through out. To enjoy Bangalore’s great weather, there are seating options outdoors on the ground floor as well as on the upper floor.

The upper floor has a small open kitchen where you can watch the chefs masterfully turn out great tasting appams. Seating is comfortable and spacious.

We have had both lunch and breakfast here and both are equally good. The lunch is usually a buffet. (We have never had the opportunity to have ala carte)

The buffet lunch always has a fair spread consisting of 2 dry vegetable curries, an excellent sambar and rasam. A mildly spiced vegetable curry in coconut milk is always present as well. A curry with ground coconut gravy with seasonal vegetables ends the set of curries on offer.

In addition to plain rice, there is a flavoured rice or a south Indian style biryani. Delicious keral style appams are served hot at the table as is the rasam which is served in a small glass. We also had the masala buttermilk which was delicious but a bit overpriced.

There is usually a selection of fresh cut fruit in addition to 2 south Indian sweets and an ice cream for dessert. The wheat payasam we had was superb.

The breakfast buffet is available between 7 and 10 in the morning. The spread is quite large and varied. We started with plain rice idlis and excellent sambar, moving on to rava idlis with assorted chutneys and a very delicious upma.
Served hot at the table were soft golden pooris with a potato bhaji (which was ok but could have been better). Also served at the table was golden brown crisp dosas, not too big and not too papery. Finally we tried the Medu Vadas, which were very good – crispy on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.

There was an assortment of fresh cut fruit and two varieties of freshly squeezed fruit juices, as well as tea and coffee to those who requested it.

Service is prompt and courteous and very attentive. All the waiting staff use little handheld PDAs to take your order (a nice high-tech touch).

I noticed that some customers who had small children were provided with children’s books to keep the children occupied and out of trouble.

Valet parking is available, though they will park your car on the road since they have no parking lot. Reservations must be done before hand, as the place is usually packed.

Located on Indranagar’s 100 ft road opposite Domino's Pizza, it is easily locatable and the green of Indranagar adds to its appeal.

As can be expected, class, elegance and hot towels on arrival, do not come cheap. South Indies is not for those on a budget. Breakfast was 175 per head and lunch was around 250 perhead.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Jalsa is a restaurant that looks like a sand castle on the dusty dry outer Ring Road, and almost as soon as you approach, you are treated like royalty. Never before has someone bothered to hold open the car door for us!

The interiors are cool and inviting, resembling a set of Mughal-e-aazam. We were led in by a lady dressed in the garb of the period, a tad garish, but still in keeping with the theme.

The staff are most courteous, and wait on you constantly. Each table has its own little space, with glittering glass bead curtains, for a intimate feel.

The food was excellent, save for the Fish Curry which was a bit over poweringly cinnamon flavoured. I especially liked the Sheekh Kabab, moist and succulent.

Half way through our meal, the gentle ambiance was broken as a projector screen came down from the ceiling and a video of Devdas was screened. The volume increased as well, replacing softly played old numbers with their louder modern cousins.

At the end of our meal the maƮtre d', dressed like a nawab, checked in on us and enquired in Urdu as to how we enjoyed the food.

For dessert we decided to try the Flambe-ed Jamoon. The jamoon was drowning in a small cup filled with rum and set alight. Sadly, the rum and the jamoon were not on talking terms and the combo was a failure.

Before we left, we were offered pa'an, which did not come up to the standard of the food. On the way out, we got to pick a small scroll each from a basket of Shaeries.
I was delighted until they were opened to reveal rather silly poems in English.

Overall a very delightful experience. The food is great, provided you make a choice that suits your taste buds. Ambience is the main attraction. We would recommend every connoisseur of food to visit this place at least once.

For us, it was one of the better places in Bangalore.

Rating: 4/5

Cost: Though a bit on the costlier side, we feel the money is worth spending for some reasonable occassions or when you are in mood to be pampered like Royalty. A meal for two may set you back by around 1000 to 1200 Rs.
They do not have a buffet menu, hence the place is to be ruled out for those who relish great places on company/team budgets. :)


For those coming from Airport road side:

Airport Road -> Marathalli -> Take left connecting lane at Marathalli overbridge signal -> go around 2 kms on the outer Ring road towards K.R. Puram, beyond the Dhaba(another well known restaurant). It will be on your left hand side.

For those coming from Sharjahpur Road side:

Continue past Innovative multiplex-> Go below the Marathalli overbrigde ->go around 2 kms on the outer Ring road towards K.R. Puram, beyond the Dhaba(another well known restaurant). It will be on your left hand side.

For those coming from K.R. Puram side:

K.R.Puram railway station-> Take the over bridge connecting Whitefield main road to Outer ring Road towards Marathalli-> go around 5 kms on the outer Ring road towards Marathalli-> Once you see a cluster of upcoming apartments, slow down -> Look for a sand castle like place on your right. It is right opposite a popular South Indian dhaba chain Bhagini. Keep in mind not to miss the connector on the road few feet before the restaurant Bhagini, else you'd need to go another 2 km to take a U turn.