My favourite eating joints

Need to put this down somewhere – and what better place than here?

Here are some of my favourite eating places in Bangalore:

Windsor Pub

Windsor Pub is located on Vasanthnagar Main Road, just before the circle, on the left side. It isn’t the regular kind of Bangalore pub – its more of a family joint where you get great food and of course beer (sadly something I gave up decades ago). They have a well-filled menu, and each food item includes a drink (beer, coke) in the price. So you can go, order yourself a meal, and the drink is included.

Food is largely Kerala and Mangalorean, but they also serve up some great continental dishes. Their snacks are worth trying – I love the Masala Prawns, the Malabar Chicken and of course their assorted beef and pork dishes. For the main meal I usually have one of the curries with either Kerala parathas or Uppams.

The atmosphere ranges from intellectual to freak-out. Getting a seat after 7pm demands great patience and sometimes great pull – the owner knows which side of his bread is buttered, and when I walk in, I always seem to find a table just being billed and vacated, with some rather startled patrons wondering what happened. I love that kind of attention – which is why I often take my friends and family there. They, in turn, take *their* friends there, and the chain reaction goes on. ;-)

Prices are now moderately high – when I started going there, it was outright student friendly, though I suspect that these days the 80-100 bucks a dish (including a drink) could put off the younger crowd.

Music is varied, and they clearly look at the who is in the house. When I or Gopi walk in, the music quickly changes to Beatles, CCR and sometimes Jazz. But be prepared for the occasional Britney Spears. No Hindi music at all. You can, if you wish, bring your own music, but they will quickly ditch it if they see bad crowd reaction.

A TV on the counter is permanently tuned to sports, but with sound turned off.

The layout is simple, lots of wood decor, easy-to-sit on chairs, and despite the crowds and the music, conversations are both possible and encouraged.

It is ironic that Windsor Pub has now completely replaced my previous favourite haunt – Windsor Manor. More so because it appears that the Windsor Pub people are ex-Windsor Manor! ;-)

St.John’s Hospital Canteen

In absolute contrast to Windsor Pub, the main canteen at St.John’s Hospital and Medical College (behind the main road canteens opposite to the Outpatient department on the left of the main entrance – ask for the “non-veg canteen”) is about as unlikely a place you’d find me recommending as an eating joint, but trust me on this – I know what I am talking about.

First of all, the food quality is incredibly good. You have a decent list of dishes to choose from – I prefer the Butter Chicken, Naans, fried Fish and a banana milkshake – but whatever you decide on, you are guaranteed a good time. Portions are HUGE, and quality and taste simply rock.

And it is cheap. Like “low cost”, “economical”. Like “wallet-friendly”.

Picture this – Shubha, Anjali and I go there each Friday for my checkup. We then head for lunch. Here is what we ordered today:

  • Small Butter Chicken (Boneless) (note – dont order the large one unless at least three adults are eating)
  • Kadai Mutton
  • 3 x Fried Fish
  • 4 x Naans
  • 2 x Fish Curry (take-away, for dinner ;)
  • 2 x Mountain Dew
  • 1 x Banana Milkshake

Total bill – Rs.216

Shubha and I have eaten there alone, stuffed ourselves to groaning point, and had a bill of less than 100 bucks.

But forget the price – the quality of food is amazing. And so are the portions and the taste.

This place (along with the really thorough treatment I get from the docors there), makes me actually look forward to my weekly hospital visit!

No ambience whatsoever – this is a hospital canteen. ;-)

Sadly, I am told that this canteen won’t be around for much longer – apparently their contract is up. That is such a shame, but I intend to track them and see if the next place they open up in is equally good!

If you are a “Poor Starving Student(tm)”, check this place out. Or just go there for great food. In either case, you won’t regret it.