Delightful surprise!

Indian, Chinese, Tandoori or Punjabi - take your pick. Theresa Varghese visits Raasilas and Oye Amritsar.

Raasilas

Despite the tag ‘fine dining’, Rasilaas is the kind of place you enter with some trepidation, given its location and general ambience. Your hopes sink further on scanning the menu which runs into many pages and covers the popular Indian trio. How can this non-descript place manage a gamut of Indian, Chinese and Tandoori dishes is the question hovering on your lips. But you’ve thrown in your lot, so to speak, so you order and resign yourself to whatever’s coming.

Raasilas

Pic: Theresa Varghese

And what comes is a delightful surprise.  Beautifully seasoned, well cooked and nicely presented; every dish here makes you want to taste yet another. Whether it’s Vegetable Sheekh Kabab or Chinese Pakoda (yes!), Mutton Biryani or Curd Rice, the cooks at Rasilaas know how to wield their ladles. Starters such as the restaurant’s own Special Cheese Delight and Crispy Pepper Corn are excellent. The kitchen’s fondness for inventions is evident even in main dishes like Yang Chow Rice – rice in a green coriander base combined with crispy noodles and pieces of chicken, which has become popular with regulars. Purists may shudder at this but what matters is the taste and this definitely tastes good!

Rasilaas
Next to Syndicate Bank,
Near Brigade Millennium,
Gauravnagar, Kothnoor Dinne Main Road,
JP Nagar 7th Phase
Ph: 26851268/ 69
Meal for one: Rs 200 – Rs 250
Food: ***
Service: ***

The one drawback to Rasilaas is that it does not offer desserts, except for various kinds of ice cream, on weekdays. But if you go on a weekend, you can ask for something special like the fusion Sizzler Brownie.

Rasilaas also undertakes party catering for up to 200 people.

Oye  Amritsar

If you count calories or worry about heavy masala, do not visit Oye Amritsar. On the other hand, if you are a hearty eater who enjoys unpretentious food, then head for this place without hesitation. The popularity of Oye’s weekday buffet, with office goers and the college crowd, is testimony to the value for money it offers.

Earthy fare with a pronounced spiciness that declares its Punjabi-ness proudly is what you’ll get at Oye Amritsar. So you’ll see favourites like Sarson da Saag and Makki ki Roti on the menu and also not so well known dishes like Kukkad Patialawala. While there are a variety of vegetarian offerings, there is a definite leaning towards chicken and mutton, including some fare in the tandoori section that will delight spare parts lovers. Some of the starters like Dhuanwali Lahori Seekh and Pathankot ke Mashoor Tange are excellent.

In the desserts section, the Jalebi – which is served piping hot with cool Rabri – is beyond compare. As is the lassi – richly creamy, and served Patiala peg style in a huge steel glass. Extremely addictive.

Oye Amritsar
3rd Floor, Asha Enclave,
Church StreetTel: 41122866
Meal for one: Rs 350 and above (without drinks), Buffet – Rs 250 (incl tax)
Food: ***
Service:  **

In the liquor section, there’s also Rum Shum, Vodka Shodka, etc. If you’re looking for something unusual in this department, try the combination of pani puri and vodka. Pepper Vodka Pani Puri, the restaurant’s creation, is recommended.

Portions here are large but you have the option of ordering a ‘half’ or a ‘full’ dish. However, given the hearty-sharty outlook of Oye Amritsar, this is a place where you must linger and eat slowly. Loosen your belt as the meal progresses, look around and take heed. ‘Do not drive and drink’ one sign warns you. ‘Fighting in Prohibit’ declares another, even as ‘Lovely Travels and Visa’ exhorts you to visit ‘Amrika, Lundun and Cannada’.

For those stuck south of town and thinking oye lucky people in central Bangalore, ficker not. Oye Amritsar is opening a branch in Koramangala in a couple of months.

Tea and environmental consciousness

I was walking, not too far from Cantonment station, when I saw an interesting sign. ‘Paani kum chai’ it said. Needless to say, I stopped. The tea was milkier than normal but oh so heavenly…with just the right amount of sweetness. And the best part was that it was served in a glass.

Is this so unusual? Yes, because we urbanites have become so used to having roadside chai in plastic containers. Even some of the darshinis have stopped giving tea and coffee in steel glasses. What’s so bad about this, some may ask. Shouldn’t convenience take precedence over tradition? Well…just look around-by the roadside, inside drains and on footpaths – where holes for water seepage are clogged by small plastic cups. And think of the thousands of such containers that are discarded on a daily basis in this city.

We underestimate our collective strength as consumers. If enough people protest, or boycott places that use plastic cups, eateries will be forced to change. It is possible to have a positive impact on the environment in the smallest of ways. How one drinks tea would be a good way to start.

As for the quaintly named water-less-tea place, it is close to the mosque on MM Road in Frazer Town.

Guide to rating:
* Average   ** Good   *** Very good   **** Excellent   ***** Superlative

References
  

Comments:

  1. Sri Guru says:

    Dear Theresa Varghese

    Nice writeup. Can you please post more on old and new Bangalore restaurants, including authentic Kerala, TamilNadu, Andhra, Bengali, UP etc….

    Since your name announces you’re from Kerala, can you post a place where you can find some authentic Kerala menu?

    Thanks
    SriGuru

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