Rasa, the chain of restaurants in London, is now in Bangalore as Rasa India. Chef and food writer Das Sreedharan is excited about his new experiment that launched quietly on CMH Road, Indiranagar, less than a month ago. “I have so many plans, but it will all have to roll out slowly,” says Sreedharan, who opened his first restaurant, Rasa, in London in 1994. The author of four cookbooks who has featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, sources all his vegetables from organic farmers around Bangalore.
The good stuff
Although the present menu (vegetarian only) suggests a bias towards Kerala food (Sreedharan lived in Kerala until he was 19), the cuisine is Indian, says the chef, pointing out that the menu will change every eight weeks. Our meal began with a basket of poppadams, murukku and banana chips and an assortment of pickles, all made in Sreedharan’s kitchen. We got puli inji, a tamarind chutney with ginger, coriander and garlic chutney. These change as per season and availability of vegetables. Sreedharan plans to jar these and sell them at the restaurant starting next month. We ordered a Quick Lunch and Yam Sear with red rice from the a la carte menu. Quick lunch includes a salad, two vegetables curries (we got avial and olan), rasam, rice and payasam. My dining companion, who hails from Kerala, gave the Quick Lunch a thumbs-up for authenticity. What was missing was a banana leaf, but if you remove that association from your mind, the meal is well presented. The Yam Sear was low on spice, which suited us well. The must-order from the menu is the tea. Sreedharan grew up helping his father run a tea stall in Kerala, which he brings to the Rasa menu. The tea is brewed in Kerala style with a layer of froth on top.
The restaurant will obtain a licence to serve wine soon.
We were piqued at the presence of Aubergine Tikkis on the menu and wondered how they fit in amid all that Kerala food. They turned out to be brinjal bhajiyas. The co-diner found a stone in his red rice. If you drop by during lunch, go with the set lunch. While we did order partially from the a la carte menu, not everything was available.
The Quick Lunch costs Rs.250 while the Super Set lunch is Rs.300. A meal for two, if you choose to order a la carte, comes to Rs.1,000.
Rasa India, CMH road, Indiranagar, Bangalore, will host Onam meals from 14-16 September. For reservations, call 8041518237.
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