Fritters, chicken casserole, mashed potatoes… I love everything to do with Euro food. The creamy butter swirled into steaming mashed potatoes, topped with parsley and served with a portion of garlic bread straight out of the oven, is good enough reason for me to be on the constant look-out for that inexpensive, generous with portions, and sinfully delicious Euro restaurant. Before we go into the fine details of the concept of European food in India, one experience with ‘authentic European food’ made me realize one thing: I would never survive abroad.
Having lived in India all my life and never having travelled abroad, my exposure to foreign cuisine remains highly Indianised. Chinese food means the famous ‘Gobi Manchurian’ followed by Paneer or Chicken fried rice. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that ‘Gobi Manchurian’ practically is non-existent in China, as the word ‘Gobi’ is Cauliflower in Hindi. Almost all the ‘Arabian’ restaurants I have visited serve the famous ‘Quabsa’, which comprises of different types of meat, served on a bed of steaming, spiced-up, and buttered long grain rice; I absolutely love it. Although I am curious to know if the dish is served in the same manner in the Arab countries! I suppose it’s the same for foreigners visiting India. The popular Chicken Tikka Masala and the Rogan Josh that has made its way into almost every Indian eatery there is in Britain, is sure to take any non-Indian trying the same dishes in India by surprise. The blend of strong garam-masalas with generous helpings of desi ghee is something we have all taken for granted. Perhaps this is why, when I visited a famous French restaurant in Pondicherry and tried the quiche, followed by Tuna and mayonnaise salad, I was caught by surprise at the bland taste. Most people swear by it. Not me. Somehow I have never been a big fan of food that looks like a beautiful painting. The artful proportion of colors and portions, decorated tastefully before being served, makes me a tad uncomfortable. To each his own I suppose. I know many people who would disagree with me.
Anyway, coming back to my quest for a not-so-heavy-on-the-pocket Euro restaurant finally ended last Saturday when I stumbled across this little, college-goers hang out in Koramangala, Bangalore. The menu seemed appetizing, albeit simple and uncluttered. Too much choice often leaves me confused. I wisely decided to stay away from the Chinese section and stuck to Euro food; and I was not disappointed. A meal for two at a very reasonable Rs.421 included starters, which comprised of baby-corn fritters, served with a portion of salad and French fries. The main course was a simple Chicken burger (American I know!..but who cares, when it was this delicious), again served with French fries, lots of mayo and salad. I decided to go for the Italian Chicken, which had small but several pieces of chicken in a creamy mushroom and baby corn gravy. This was also served with a portion of garlic bread, salad and French fries. The generous portions sizes had me struggling half-way through the meal. But the promise of perfectly garnished chicken and mushrooms, polished off with a slice of garlic bread was too tempting. I knew, I would regret this later, but that’s what weekends are for right? Over-indulging. Having paid the bill, which didn’t make by wallet feel deprived, the only thing that remained was satisfying that annoying sweet tooth. Sometimes though, I think I have more than one sweet tooth…such is the craving. What would be better than to top it off with our very own Malai, Kesar Kulfi. After all, how can Desi-style Euro food be complete without a traditional Indian dessert?
P.S: When you know you’re going in for a heavy meal, try not wearing jeans. Sweat pants or pajamas are a good idea, if you’re planning to stretch that meal just a little bit, minus the feeling that your buttons will pop-out any minute!