E: Eating out

April 6, 2015

Growing up in your typical Middle-class South Indian family, eating out was rare. It was a treat. Of course, there were fewer restaurans around then as well, and there was no Zomato or a Justeat to dial for home-delivery either. 

As I grew older, that began to change. During the final year of school, and probably pre-uni days, there were two places that we would frequent fairly often. Eat Out (haha) was your darshini-style joint and I recall loving the cutlets and samosas there. Around the same corner was Miami, a continental fast food joint. I think that was where I tasted my first slice of pizza and burgers and hot chocolate fudge. 

And the came Engineering college – that probably when I began to eat out a little more frequently. The college canteen. The hangout places of yore – Cool Joint, Ice Thunder, UK, and Roti Ghar, occasionally. 

Then I landed a job, graduated, and found myself with money to call my own, for the very first time. Throw in a couple of colleagues who liked to eat, one of them who answers to the name Pizzadude (but I suspect will run a mile away at the sight of one now), and there began my real journey of exploring food. 

This was 2003-2005. Koramangala was just about starting to become the food hub that it is now. We’d eat the office cafeteria food four days a week. And decided Fridays would be set aside to explore new restaurants in the area. And so we discovered places like Magnolia, Friends, the salad bar at Namdhari’s (HI Chinnu!), Hungry Buddha, Subway, the food court at Forum mall in general, Lemon grass and the haunts closer to the office that we frequented – Mars and Sharma’s and Little Home. By the time 2005 came around, one thing was clear, Pizzadude and I shared a love for food, and any kind of food. 

The same year, I moved to Singapore, and there began my education in more authentic world food. Pizzadude and I would exchange notes. Ooh there’s a new Middle Eastern restaurant  I ate at, he’d say. ‘This Mexican place I went to?  We should totally go there when you visit!’ My Singapore food memories revolve around one tiny paratha place in Dover where I first met Sayesha. Cafe Iguana, El Patio and its FANTASTIC jalapeno poppers. Thai Express, Bali Thai, Lemongrass, Joe’s Kitchen (oh man). The Coffee Bean and Tea leaf at Boat quay that we visited when Pizzadude visited me in Singapore – we ordered an apple cinnamon cheesecake and we were blown away. The middle eastern restaurants on Arab street (which one was it where we did the bday brunch, N?) The Ya Kun Kaya toast places. Blooie’s. 

And of course, the kaya toast place at Bukit Batok’s West mall. So many breakfast dates with S. And more for the memories, the music and partly the pizzas – Timbre. And of course, Wala Wala’s – again, the music and the mood, and my first taste of fresh mozzarella and a caprese salad (yes, in a bar!) Talking of Holland village, how can I forget Original Sin? And of course, Pastamania, The Soup Spoon, my first lava cake at Bakerzin. Botak Jones. Marché. 

And then I moved back to Bangalore, now with a husband who was even more adventurous when it came to food. And we found a house in….Koramangala. 

(To be continued)


One comment

  1. OMG! This sounds just like how I would have written it! Eat Out’s set dosas and UK’s crispy masala dosas, the grilled sandwiches and gourmet ice creams at CoolJoint were pretty much what I grew up on. The b’day brunch place was called Urban bites. Yum yum.

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