From home food to fusion

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When you don’t have the time to cook or are not in the mood, yet want to have ghar ka khana, go to Potluck. Of course, Potluck fans know this very well…but so far, only those in the vicinity of Bannerghatta have had the good luck of being able to pop into a homey eatery like this. Now, with an outlet having opened at BTM Layout, Potluck has extended its reach.

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At Potluck Restaurant. Pic: Theresa Varghese.

If you know nothing about Potluck, the brand was launched by five people, all in the software industry, who felt the need to provide wholesome food for working people eating out on a regular basis. So they started a place that offered the kind of food they themselves were familiar with – the earthy vegetarian fare of UP and Rajasthan, with a bit of Punjab and Bihar thrown in.

For those unfamiliar with the vegetarian cuisines of central and western India, Potluck will be a revelation. Of course, there are familiar names like Chole Masala and Paneer Butter Masala on the menu. But there are also not so well known ones like Besan ke Gatte, Bharva Karela, Papad ki Sabji and Kadhi Pakoda, dishes you would otherwise only get to taste if you were invited to a home. There’s also a range of rotis and parathas that includes regional favourites like Thepla and Sattu Paratha. The only area where there seems to be a lack of variety is the desserts section, notwithstanding specialities like Moong Dal Halwa and Shahi Toast.

Potluck
770, 2nd Floor, 16th Main, BTM 2nd Stage
Tel: 32411888, 32472057

Meal for one: Rs 80
Food: ****
Service: ***

Potluck’s USP lies in offering food that you would eat at home – simple fare, lightly spiced and cooked in less oil. There is an emphasis on healthy cooking.

All the rotis are made with whole wheat flour; there is even a choice of oil free phulkas. Besides, the portions are smaller so you have the freedom of ordering more than one dish and being able to finish everything without feeling stuffed.

Really good value for money. And great taste. Do you need anything more?

Infusion

As you drive through the largely desolate landscape of what is Outer Ring Road, the one bright spot lies in the profusion of eateries along the way, usually bunched together in clusters. The newest arrival on this scene is Infusion, located about half a kilometre from Marathahalli junction. Opened just a couple of months ago, the official launch is still to take place – in mid September.

The name is spot on. Even without the apt tag line ‘Indian food redefined’, you have no difficulty in understanding that this place is all about fusion food. According to the management, Infusion intends to change people’s perceptions of Indian food by preparing and presenting it in a global manner.

Does that mean a bland, westernised avatar of your favourites? No. It simply translates into aesthetic appeal, the ability to appreciate delicate flavours, and a high level of creativity, which is evident in every dish. Such as the Pasta, Mutter and Asparagus Chaat – an interesting combination that includes sun dried tomato and chaat masala! Or the Smoked Salmon Wrap starter which is tandoori fish wrapped with smoked salmon and served with a sour cream that has a hint of mint. Or the Infusion Shorba – a thick lentil soup tempered with cumin and garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Yes, the only oil they use here is olive which has proved to be a big draw for the health conscious.

Infusion
95/3, 1st Floor, Kote MR Plaza,
Marathahalli-KR Puram Ring Road Tel: 30208899

Meal for one: Rs 600 to 700
(for a three course meal)
Food: ***
Service: ***

Besides the a la carte menu, Infusion offers a set three course tasting menu which includes soup, main course and dessert at Rs 350 for vegetarian and Rs 450 for non vegetarian (plus taxes). There is also a lunch buffet on week days at Rs 225 (plus taxes) where the spread is more a variety of global cuisines than strictly fusion fare.

This fine dining restaurant cum lounge is definitely the place for the adventurous. Where else would you get a Carrot Halwa Tart or Blueberry Shahi Tukra? Go to Infusion to get an idea of the unfamiliar in the familiar. And applaud the chefs for their creativity and knowledge of food.

Festivals mean regional specialities

The best way to savour regional food is when festivals come by and restaurants offer special spreads. Such as the recent one at Halli Mane in Malleswaram on the occasion of Gowri Ganesha.  With a variety of specialities that included Oli Kadubu, Aarunde, Parade Paayasa and Timare Tambli, it was a steal at Rs 150.

Now that Onam is coming up on 2nd September, gear up for a sumptuous sadya. Most Kerala eateries have a special lunch on the day and there’s one to suit all budgets, such as the Rs 400 one at Coconut Grove on Church Street as well as the Rs 140 one at Kairali in Madivala. In my experience, it’s usually the lower end places that serve more authentic fare. Check with your Malayali friends on where to go and take time off to enjoy this lip-smacking vegetarian feast that heralds the arrival of King Mahabali.

With the season of festivities just starting – Id, Dassera, Diwali – foodies are in for a good time!

Ratings:
* Average   ** Good   *** Very good   **** Excellent   ***** Superlative

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About Theresa Varghese 20 Articles
Theresa Varghese is a independent writer and ardent baker who loves all things to do with food.

1 Comment

  1. Please post places where the whole Kerala authentic menu is available as Onam complete offering menu meal etc…price also

    thx
    SriGuru

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