Lets start with saying that multicuisine restaurants don’t often feature on our lists of favourite places to eat at. Menus that run to pages, covering a whole plethora of dishes from different cuisines that really have nothing in common, just leave us confused and wary. We would be more at home with a choice of 3-4 chef’s specials scrawled on a chalkboard. That said, when we received an invitation to review the new Banjara Melting Pot at Koramangala, we were tempted to go because, one, there were several good reviews floating around about the food, and two, we were intrigued that the restaurant had opened in what had been MF Husain’s former Bengaluru home!
The restaurant is located right on the bustling 80 feet road in Koramangala, in a stand-alone building with a bit of greenery outside. Once the stained glass door closed behind us, it was pretty quiet inside, and there’s a little patio in the back too, if one wants to venture outside. A large bar kind of closes things up a bit, but the floor to ceiling windows balance it out by bringing in generous amounts of light. The ambiance inside is cool and classy. There’s a lot of exposed brick, stone and wood in the decor, and most of the structural elements in the house have been retained from the artist’s time.
A painting of the artist and prints of some of his signature creations reminded us that we’re dining in what used to be his home. Other memorabilia included a red letter box that he had placed outside his home, confusing neighbors and residents who would mistakenly post their letters in it!
We started our meal by selecting our drinks and appetizers from a menu on a tablet. This was a nice touch and quite convenient, though our server was on hand to explain and help. Contrary to our expectations, the menu wasn’t too elaborate. We found a lot of tandoori and classic north Indian dishes, with some southern specialties, and a section devoted to Asian cuisine.
Since both of us were driving that afternoon, we opted for mocktails. The drink on the left was a ginger-ale based cooler that was missing some sweetness and the touch of lychee that had been promised in the menu. The other beverage, a minty virgin mojito was pleasant and both drinks were light enough to whet our appetite without filling us up.
For the appetizers we mostly went with the suggestions from the restaurant folks. The vegetarian dishes – Asian-style, were Cottage Cheese with Three Peppers and Kung Pao Potato. We weren’t bowled out by either of these – the texture of the paneer was on the chewy side and the potatoes were a trifle over-sweet.
The non-vegetarian plates were both very good, though. The Murgh Lalwari Kabab (on the left, above) was smoky tandoori grilling at its best, perfectly spiced and terrifically succulent on the inside because of a deliciously creamy minced spinach and cheese filling.
The Lucknowi Seekh Kabab (above, right) was done pretty well..the meat was fork-tender and assertively flavoured with green chillies and coriander.
For the main course we decided to experiment with Kori Rotti (above, left) – a Mangalorean dish which consisted of a red fish curry and the rotti – brittle cracker-like bread. The rotti was to be soaked in the curry and eaten. This was truly delicious – the crisp rotti softened and absorbed the thick curry, resulting in a melange of textures and spicy flavours in each bite. This dish can be ordered with chicken too, if you prefer that to fish.
The other combo that we tried was Spicy Corn Balls in Sauce with some Panfried Noodles (above, right) to go with them. The noodles were pretty colourful, with lots of shredded peppers and other vegetables, and both these dishes had the typical Indo-Chinese flavours.
And then, it was time for dessert. The Tiramisu looked perfect but lacked flavour. We’d recommend that you go with the Chocolate Mousse, which was richly creamy and high on chocolaty-ness.
When we do visit multi-cuisine restaurants, we usually find that it is safe to order Indian food, and we’d recommend that you do that here too. All the Indian dishes we tried were really nice and we’d love to go back and try more of the tandoori and seafood menu at Banjara Melting Pot. But, if you are with a large group or with kids and would like to add on some noodles or Chinese starters to your order, then this place would work pretty well for that. A special mention for the service..quick, unobtrusive and helpful!