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How offbeat cuisines like Scandinavian, Taiwanese are taking over the culinary scene in Bengaluru



BENGALURU: At a high-profile Diwali party in Bengaluru on the weekend, the crew of chefs created sand pits at the venue. The idea was to recreate a Rajasthani dish called khad-lamb for the guests. Pieces of marinated lamb were wrapped in layers of rotis, banana leaves, muslin cloth and finally wet jute bags before being placed into charcoal embers.

“The showstopper dish was traditionally made by soldiers bunked in the deserts of Rajasthan. We also dished out atta-chicken from pre-Independent Afghanistan that later gained popularity in Kotkapura village of Punjab,” said chef Vikas Seth of the BLVD Club who did the outdoor catering.

Novelty seems to be the flavour of the season as much less-known cuisines are showing up on menus in Bengaluru. Restaurants are banking on unknown dishes to keep the diners coming. An array of new cuisines like Scandinavian, Bangladeshi and Taiwanese and the regional Khasi and Mizo have entered the culinary spaces.

Chinese tea and local snacks of cakes and dried plums.


The Sunday brunch at Hyatt Centric has dedicated counters of Bangladeshi, Persian and Scandinavian cuisines. The spread includes a cold Scandinavian salmon buffet, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s favourite Qabooli or buttermilk flavoured rice, Bangladeshi duck curry which was popular among the dock workers in Chittagong, to offbeat Carilla or Puerto Rican barbecue.

Chef Manish Uniyal, head chef at Hyatt Centric MG Road, said, “Brunches had become routine with standard Asian, Indian and Italian counters. Novelty keeps a brunch exciting in today’s competitive times.”

While Bengaluru has already seen the Asian cuisine onslaught, dedicated chefs are digging deeper into South-East Asia now. The Fatty Bao has put the spotlight on Taiwanese and Filipino cuisines. Offbeat dishes like gua bao or Taiwanese hamburger, three-cup chicken with soy, rice wine and sesame oil, and halo-halo or the national dessert of Philippines are on the menu.

“New names excite diners now. Social-media crazy youngsters love indulging in offbeat food to later share on platforms like Instagram,” said chef Prashanth Puttaswamy, adding, “After one’s profession, it is food that people want to talk about today. So, we have to keep our culinary game strong.”

Besides new global cuisines, Bengaluru is serving cuisines from the seven sisters of the North East, including Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya’s Khasi food.

Food blogger Nikhilesh Murthy said that Korean is the number-one offbeat cuisine trending in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, dishes like Burmese khow suey and Singaporean laksa are becoming mainstream. Taiyvans in RT Nagar apparently gets its Taiwanese food spot on.

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