What is a hearty meal? A low diet, cholesterol free food that keeps your heart beat in normal pace or a heartbeat racing recipe with everything in excess. While minimalism seems to dictate the terms and conditions of most of the silhouettes; we also have our frenzies for dollops of full cream on our hot chocolate fudge; fetish for picking up a full cream milk for that lavish payesh garnished with dry fruits or for that chocolate excess. Excess meals are globally acclaimed to curb and aid depressed patients. They are supposed to be instant tonics for bringing a smile across old age groups. “Excess” in meals has always been associated with eating out. And multinational food chains across the globe has managed to cash onto people’s fetish for “excess” to introduce a category of customers always in constant search for excess through those “add on” options to our pizza, burger and even fried chicken. But are “add-on”s a way to define “hearty meal”?
Personally a hearty meal would be one where I enjoy the food in a social gathering. A social recluse for instance would call himself/ herself a social animal when he/she goes dining out and enjoys a hearty meal with dollops of meaty conversations with that perfect punch of pepper, salt and sugar to finish it off. So a hearty meal has to be with likeminded people who share your appetite beyond the table that is laid out. The hearty meal is bonding and rebounding of lost souls, lost friends and unexpected encounters. The unexpected encounters with new cuisines in hearty meals can be excess. But excess of laughter can satiate the extra calories we gulp in every bite of the hearty meal. Hearty meals are successful in small groups when you do not have to strain your ear to hear the person at the far end of the table. While I have enjoyed hearty meals with friends in most of the metroes in India my favourite hearty meals of late has been in Bangalore thanks to my cousin, her husband and my friends. My top picks of hearty meals places in Bangalore are :-
Breakfast: When you want to treat yourself to a hearty weekday breakfast away from home and hotel buffet try out the delicacies @ Koshy’s. If you are bored of breads and eggs and for all my vegetarian friends you can have a lazy breakfast of luchi, alur dam and cholar dal at K.C Das, St. Marks Road from 9.30 am onwards. On Sunday please ensure you reach early.
Lunch : Bheema’s on Church Street truly represents “excess”. Specialising in Andhra Cuisine this place offers carrier meals which can serve up to three people. A great place if you have a mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian friends.
Coffee : Indian Coffee Home, Church Street. Simple, great filter coffee to keep you awake in the pleasant weather of Bangalore
Dinner: Sorry this section is dedicated to all the meat eaters. My two picks are steak places tucked away in two busy parts of the town but you will love the ambience and food once you hit there. First and foremost, I would recommend The Only Place, tucked away in Museum Road. Please try out the section on fish and for all those who are brave enough and really hungry can head straight for the steak by the name “A hearty meal”. One great thing about this place is that it is at a walking distance from St. Marks road and yet enjoys a quite ambience. The place is not pretentious and fancy. Even on a weekday you might have to wait but it is worth the wait. Love their steaks, and their desserts are worth a try.
My second pick under this section is Millers 46, near Cunningham Road. The restaurant is for the brave and prosperous souls who are willing to dig into steaks. It is a popular joint and it is a beef lover’s paradise and when we say “well done” they do it really well. The beef is cooked to perfection and for the frail hearted please avoid this place. Please book a table in advance to avoid the rush and enjoy steak to the fullest.