Cool breeze, Rajasthani ambience, Roomali rotis

There are a few cuisines that are so endemic to India that they get projected on the World scene whenever we talk about Indian cuisine. Thankfully, India being a melting pot of cultures, tastes and culinary skills, there is no single cuisine that can claim to represent India completely. If it is Indian, then it is Chettinad, Andhra, Hyderbadi, Mangalorean, Malabar, Coorgi, Dharwad, Maharashtrian, Goan, Odiya, Bengali, Manipuri, Rajasthani, Gujarathi, Marwari, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Mughlai and I know I have missed quite a few in that list. So many dynasties that came and ruled India, so many empires and countries that came and colonised Indian Territory, so many cultures that came to India and interacted with the local communities – everything contributed to what we know today as the Indian Cuisine. These cuisines are widely different at times and somewhat similar at other. Regardless of the similarities and differences, each of them surely are a subject to themselves.

Restaurants that serve specialised fare and therefore claim to be authentic restaurants of a chosen cuisine have to justify themselves being called a cuisine restaurant. If it is a Gujarathi restaurant, they should know to serve authentic Thali stuff, and things like that. Many who claim to specialise in a certain cuisine barely match up to the levels expected. However, there are those who not only match but set standards for others to match. Such restaurants become places that celebrate the essence of a cuisine.

Bangalore is one place where you can treat yourselves to a range of cuisines. It is a true hearted foodie’s haven! If it is MTR for authentic South Indian food and Mainland China or Bamboo Shoots for authentic Chinese and Oriental fare, then we can surely say “Roomali With A View” is for Marwari, Awadhi, Kashmiri and Rajasthani Cuisine.

The name is probably the first thing that appeals to you about this restaurant. A take on the English movie “A Room With A View“, this restaurant takes its name from the fact that it is one of the best places to have Roomali Rotis and it is located at the roof-top of the building surrounded by shady trees and overlooking the busy 100 Ft Road in Indiranagar. I bet this description is enough for you to go over to the restaurant to experience all that I am writing from this point onwards. :-)

Once you step into the restaurant, you cannot miss these – cool breeze blowing through the space, ample lighting, decor reminiscent of Rajasthani, Punjabi and Marwari cultures. The wooden seating chairs and tables are typical Marwari-Gujarathi style. However, a seat on the road side is the choicest as you get a lovely breeze and the setting is almost dream-like. If you visit this place in the evenings, the mellow lighting can add to your mood and appetite. If you are visiting the place with your spouse or romantic partner, they are really going to love the experience.

Before you get started, you are given the soup of the day. All the times that I have visited, I have had Palak Shorba, which is a light, clear soup. I believe there are other soups also that they serve. Then, you have a choice of going a-la-carte or going for the buffet. Either is a good choice. The a la carte menu has a listing of the choicest recipes from Kashmiri, Awadhi, Rajasthani and Marwari cuisines. The description of each dish is as tempting as any other. It is quite possible that you get lost trying to decide what to order. If you are new to these cuisines, take my word, request the assistance of the man who waits on your table. He can guide you on delectable combinations of dishes.

The Chef in action at Roomali With A View

You should not miss the Roomali Rotis here. It is a speciality here. You get them in flavors too – Pudina (Mint), Palak (Spinach), Lasun (Garlic) and Plain. I personally loved the garlic and mint versions because of their aroma.

If you request, the rotis would be made on a makeshift Tandoor right near your table. And it is fun watching the chef spin the dough in the air and putting it on the heated upturned kadai to sekofy it.

The buffet selection at Roomali With A View

Dal Bhaati Choorma

The buffet selection is always grand. You cannot afford to miss the most special of the one’s on the table. The Rajasthani dish – Dal Bhati Churma. Quite heavy on the calories, you may need to run for 15 mins on the treadmill to work off the calorific addition. But it is quite justified once you taste the heavenly preparation. It is a Rajasthani speciality made of wheat flour balls fried in ghee, and served with daal (boiled pulses with seasoning) and choorma, which is a jaggery based powdery preparation. I cannot just stop at 3 or even 4 of those yummy tasting balls. The other dishes that should be a definite show on your platter would be Ghatte Ka Saag, Kashmiri Rajma Masala with Kashmiri Pulav, Gobi Gulistan, Bharwan Baingan and Pindi Chana. I have not tried the Non-Veg foods there, but I am told that they are among the best served anywhere. You should definitely give it a try.

With all the adventures that am sure that your tongue is going to have, your stomach will complain about heaviness. Despair not, Kashmiri Tea a.k.a Kahwa comes to your rescue. One serving of Kahwa can leave you feeling so much better and lighter – just like having Irani Chaai after Biryani.

Location: Above Fabmall on 100 Ft Road, Indiranagar.
Phone: 25203007 / 98450-72633. Good idea to have a reservation before you go, esp. on Fridays and Weekends.
Wallet factor: About Rs. 200 for Veg buffet. a la carte version could be just as much.
Parking: In the same building basement.

Media reviews: 1, 2, 3 and 4

bon appetit!

PS: Credit for the pics go to The Hindu online edition, The Hindu Images gallery and another page elsewhere on the WWW.

5 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

    Nice post, RC. I deserve it for not writing about it earlier though its just 2 steps, 3 hops, 4 skips to this restaurant. Will check it out one of these days, though! Cheers!

  2. Shruthi (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 5:44 pm

    RC, thanks a ton for this review! If I call my dad and tell him about this place, and also tell him about “Dal Bhati Choorma”, the next thing you’ll see is him sitting at that restaurant. Am going to call him now :)

  3. Shruthi (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

    The only thing is that, sigh… it is too, too, far off from either my place or my parents’… I guess we really need to have a detailed plan to visit this place.

  4. F e r r a r i (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

    This post makes me really hungry! Good one RC!

  5. rubic_cube (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 12:48 am

    @ Ravi: Hahahaha.. I got here first. Tinga!!

    @ Shruthi: Be there with your dad when he experiences the bliss. I can tell you it is worth it.

    @ Ferrari: Thanks da!

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