Archive for November 14th, 2011


Food Review: Narthaki (Bangalore)

Among the many Bangalore restaurants that specialize in Andhra cuisine, Narthaki takes great pride in serving cheap meals. The Andhra food here (and everywhere else) is pathetic. Everything has coconut in it. Vegetable dishes have a coconut base. Chicken, mutton and fish swim in coconut gravy. The coconut flavour is unbearable and it’s everywhere… it’s enough to make sure you never go near food cooked in coconut oil.

But this is where we can have a fantastic meal. Banana leaves folded in half on the tables. We’re supposed to unfold the banana leaf in front of us, ignore the menu and ask for a meal. The ‘meal’ is a chapatti, dal, rasam, a dish of two or three vegetables, another vegetable that’s more like a pickle, a slightly regular vegetable preparation, rice, a strange kind of papad and dahi.

The kind young lad who brought us the meal walks around with a pickle, the special vegetable dish of the day and ghee, serving portions of the first two so big that you never have to call him again, and pouring so much ghee on your rice that you might not wake up the next day. It’s simple, but fantastic. And it’s free of the coconut crap.

You don’t have to go to Narthaki in Gandhi Nagar, Bengaluru; you have to find a restaurant near where you are that serves cheap meals you can eat this way. As much as it’s about the simple food, it’s about having to eat it all from a banana leaf with your hands.

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November 2011
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