Finishing Dinner in India
In Mumbai we stayed in the Pakistani ghetto. Probably not the best area, but it was inexpensive and relatively close to everything we wanted to see. Only difficulty is a lot of taxis don’t want to go there at night. The best food we had here was not Indian food.
We did go to Leopold’s and Cafe Mondegar; think an Indian version of Applebee’s and Chili’s. The food wasn’t great, but it’s interesting to see the restaurants people will wait in line for. Also the heavy Chinese influence on the menu akin to the Mexican influence of chips & salsa and quesadillas in American restaurants. (Side note: At Leopold’s you can still see bullet holes from the 2008 attacks.)
If you’re looking for a place with well-executed food and a fully stocked bar with people that know how to mix drinks, check out Ellipsis. It’s not Indian, but it’s very well done.
Bangalore is very different from the rest of India. It’s much more modern and Westernized. It seems to be a wealthier city. Although the sites to see here are limited, the opportunities for good Indian food are better. The first night we ate at Karavelli. It’s listed in S. Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant’s and it’s traditional Indian fare so I was kind of looking forward to it.
A complete let down and the list should simply be shortened. After that meal I had given up on finding great Indian food in India. The next day we went to Monkey Bar. I didn’t expect much and was looking forward to leaving India, but was shocked. Everything was done very well and still very Indian. Definitely worth checking out; the food is creative, but rooted in traditional flavor combinations. We were eating Indian food that could actually compete with a nice restaurant. I can finally leave India with a good taste in my mouth.
If you come to India for food you’ll most likely get sick, occasionally get moderately good food, and if you’re lucky enough you might actually have a meal you like. Go to India for the monuments, temples and the experience.