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Features

Small is Byg in 2019

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All things must come to an end and as 2018 winds to a close, we look back on a year of learning and minimalism, where small plates won the day. Healthy, socially responsible offerings came laden with gifts from farm to fork. It’s also been a year of old flavours in new avatars and spectacular rises. We’ve won some and lost some and in our year ender, we take a walk through Bengaluru’s swanky, Soho-esque neighbourhoods and the surprises they brought us through the year. We also speak to master chefs of the profession, to give you an idea of what 2019 looks like, through the eyes of the maestros and their gourmet aspirations.

On our list are the stars of 2018, the new hubs that sprang up and made their mark:
Byg Brewski

The Nordic village in Hennur is going to spout its craft soon. Beautiful and expansive, this is the answer to all tipple and hunger urgings, with its able team led by Pravesh Pandey. And its partners, too, Ajay Gowda, Rolf Marren, Pandey, Bharat Ram and Premumar Sundaramurthy, who decided to turn hospitality around with their village of all good things. The food is by Sabyasachi Gorai and the environment is one of fun and revelry; Byg has set a new benchmark in hospitality this year and has already won itself a host of awards for its wholesome portions of fun, frolic and feasting. The sheer thought and vision are by far the best that the city has seen…

Arena 
A brewery with a gourmet swirl. Much needed in a city where the brew is good but the food needs a punch of originality, Sharath Gowda and Vijay Simha contemplated the conundrum as Sharath wanted to start a brewery, not just a run-of-the-mill glugger’s paradise. Get to Arena, a destination where a pyramid peeks through the gulmohars of Defence Colony, and consultant chef Rohan Dsouza has turned to local produce with a flair to satiates.  Taste their Scallops, baked crab and much more. The artisanal brew kitchen has a menu of small plates that are not just delicious, but very well thought out.

Bob’s Bar
If you miss Old Bangalore, its laidback ways and easy-on-the-pocket  haunts, this is the place into which to saunter, leaving all frills and pretensions at the door. The cantonment inspired this band of buddies, Rolf Marren, Ajay Gowda and Premkumar Sundaramurthy who were glugging beer at their already-raging Byg Brewski, shooting ideas, complaining (about this new ‘not-so-nice’ Bengaluru) and arrived at a consensus – to bring Old Bangalore back, in pub form, masala emanating, Bob-spurting, very easy on the pocket and tummy. The new homely neighbourhood pub is expansive, with wooden antique chairs and tables, tiled in black and white, with bits and BOBs of yellow and orange and simplistic interiors. On Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road, it lets the city’s “climate” do the talking with its terraced, open spaces, balconies framed by overhanging gulmohars. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is their culinary strongman, along with an able team serving South Indian faves like donne biryani, mudde and chops, in the most welcome and homely tenets found at a bar for all “Bobs” (and babes)!

Misu
Amit Ahuja takes his Pan Asian pickings to more uber quarters with Misu, the second edition in Indiranagar. The food has its eclectic and signature taste and flavours. And the place turns copper hued to give you a taste of a cuisine everyone loves with some ramen bowls added into the mix. And some buns and Baos for added flavour.

Mikusu at the Conrad
The Tsukuji Market came to town and turned to make this a place for some delicious food. Mikusu, the new Jap-influenced simplistic Pan Asian restaurant at the new luxury hotel Conrad Bengaluru has executive Chef Praveen Shetty taking Jap leanings to plates with an exclusive menu and top-class ingredients. Mikusu, which in Japanese means a blend, brings the akami tuna, Hokaido scallops, macha ice cream, flounder fish, and so much more from those perfectionist-seeking Japanese.

Mimansa 
The labour love of Malika Suri, it serves the best of health to all fitness seekers, and has slowly become a wellness hub with a menu that is non gluten, all protein, no sugar and more, and delicious. Azure Hospitality ventured into an day cafe with its new urban wellbeing space in Koramangala. Located within Foxtrot – House of Subculture aims to provide multi-dimensional experiences to the health seeking foodie. Have their red rice khichadi or their amaranth pizza or non fat chocolate cake!

What’s great about 2019
Gylt at Byg 
A premium, golden hued, gilded mirrored and oomph filled space for a Picasso-ish meal with all the trappings of a fine dine. This is the Byg bandwagon’s new and stupour inducing space where bar meet bites in such exuberance, it will be hard to resist… add the handsome bar that boasts the highest number of tipples and a team that promises to lay out a feast and fiesta that makes even hospitality take a double take, we hear it will be opening in early 2019.

Sunnys at a new location 
The oldest Continental restaurant that gives every Bengalurean a chance to revisit the olden day splendour of the city, Arjun Sajnani is in the thick of menu curations, tastings, and taking the much loved Sunny’s food to Indiranagar, again. This time in an old bungalow that gives the harassed city slicker a breather  –  delicious, langurous, smart and swanky, all at the same time.

Olive in Goa
The Manu Chandra wand has swirled its goodness in Goa. Dressed in pristine dreamy gear Olive in Goa is creating waves with its delecable portions. It’s gourmet and fine dine like no other… and now it’s getting a sunny haven to revel in. The menu is perfect for a romantic meal with the sea breeze in your hair.

What the maestros predict
Manu Chandra, chef partner and man behind Fatty Bao, Toast and Tonic and Monkey bar — “The trend is towards embracing sustainability with produce and products from smaller sources featured on menus, going forward. It’s an admirable trend that took its time to come around. The generic menus with a mediocre mush of everything crowd pleasing will slowly fade away. Because pulling it out with competence is a task!”

Abhijit Saha, founding director and Chef of Avant Garde Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., Caperberry and Fava— “I think the most important trend for 2019 is the growth of the conscious diner… with healthy food being the need of the hour. It is a big growth area. Not just food that is good in taste but also healthy. This wellness seeking populace will grow. Also, unlike what people think of molecular gastronomy being passe, which is a misconception, such tenets have now been integrated in our menus. It is after all the science of food, and instead of singularly highlighting it, it has entered the mainstream now. What I think is passe is the very premium fine dining, especially in India where people prefer smart casual restaurants and dining experiences.”

Chef Akshraj Jodha, Executive Chef, ITC Windsor Manor— “In food trends 2019, the culinary influence will be health focused with comfort based and healthier food. Gluten free meals are the rage, and the use of natural sweeteners, plant-based food menus will also be in vogue. There will also be an increased inclination towards meat free and reduced dairy intake is expected. There will be more use of vegetables.”

Sandip Narang, Executive Chef, Taj West End— “I think this New Year the one thing that will be passé are multi-cuisine restaurants with 10-page menus.”

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