Desi khana in South Bangalore

Some options for dining out at JP Nagar and BTM Layout; Plus what was the wine festival at Lalbagh all about?

Gud Dhani

The flyer says ‘desi khana’ and ‘gaon ka ambience’, which should prepare you. Even then, the rustic appearance of Gud Dhani takes you by surprise. A rough textured pink building; it’s a sudden splash of vivid colour in a sedate by lane within BTM layout. Inside, the rustic theme is completed by bamboo furniture and simulated mud walls with chalk drawings. A small eatery that opened in end 2008, this place offers pure vegetarian Rajasthani fare. So if you happen to be in the vicinity and are looking for a meal that’s different, head for Gud Dhani.

Gud Dhani 170, 16th Main, BTM Layout, 2nd Stage Tel: 65323663
Meal for one: Rs 135 to Rs 200 Food: Good, Service: Very Good

You could have a thali meal or choose a la carte. Interestingly, the thali comes in different price ranges and combinations. While the Shahi Bhoj is priced at Rs. 135, there’s also a rice, roti, kadi, dal and papad offer at Rs. 55. And in between there is a whole range, which is good news for the picky or sparse eater. However, if you are a hearty soul, the kind used to at least five or six bowls of curry in a thali, be well aware that this is not the kind of place where you will have to loosen your belt mid-meal.  The Shahi Bhoj has just katoris of Paneer Butter Masala and Dal with two Aloo Parathas, a helping of Veg Pulao with papad, and a katori of Kheer as dessert. Considering the price, that’s poor pickings.

The food is wholesome, the kind you would have in a home – the rotis soft and flaky, the curries well seasoned and without too much oil. What’s missing is the wow factor.  You’ll eat here and enjoy it but the food’s not really the kind that will make you pine for it.

If you’re planning a visit, perhaps the weekend – when there is the Rajasthani favourite Dal Bati Churma – would be a good time.

 ammie's briyani

Ammi’s Biryani (pic: Theresa Verghese)

Ammi’s Biryani

After tasting success in Koramangala, Ammi’s Biryani has opened one more branch, this time in BTM Layout. It is a small place, not too far from the Jayadeva Hospital circle, and you would miss it were it not for the striking green and yellow hues that seem to be the colour co-ordinates of this brand.

You get four varieties of biryani here – mutton, chicken, vegetable and egg. The fare is tasty and the portions large. Though each serving is said to be for one person, there’s actually enough to fill you up and still have a little left over. There’s also two kinds of kebab on the menu – mutton and chicken, beautifully flavoured and extremely light.

Ammies Biryani 29, NS Palya, Banerghatta Rd, Tel: 42047777
Approx cost of meal for one: Rs 75 to Rs 165
Food: Very good, Service: Good

The biggest selling point of Ammi’s is probably the fact that the food is easy on your stomach. If you hate greasy biryanis, which is what most biryani joints dish out, then this is a good place to go to.

No grapes in sight

The recently held three-day Wine Fest and Seminar at Lalbagh is a good example of all that a food/ drink festival ought not to be.  While the first day saw a seminar attended by experts, resulting in glowing media reports, the second and third days left the public wondering why this festival had received so much publicity.

A few stalls – precisely three for wineries selling their products, one exhibiting wine making machinery and one selling grape saplings – do not make a festival. As for the much touted wine tasting, which was held on the cramped veranda of the exhibition hall, to say that it was ill planned would be an understatement.

Should people be forced to crowd around two tables to purchase coupons and should they have no alternative but to sit on the steps, leading to the hall, once they have procured the 60 ml? What happened to savouring the drink? Enjoying the experience? And wasn’t there anybody at all, on the planning committee of this fest, who thought of having some cheese to go with the wine? 

Before going on to set up wine parks, as media reports say, the Karnataka Wine Board should look for help. Assistance from people in the hospitality industry, or the Bangalore Wine Club, wouldn’t be a bad idea. And there’s definitely no harm in understanding how places like London’s Vinopolis works.

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