Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eat street for every tastebud

Eat street for every tastebud
Deccan Herald

During the days of the British Raj, a winding pathway led to the St Mark’s Cathedral. Over a period of time it came to be known as Church Street. Today this name is a misnomer because the Church is not visible anymore. Hardly about half a kilometre in length, there is more action per metre than in any other street.

Today Church Street, which runs parallel to M G Road and connects Brigade Road with St Mark’s Road, can be best described as Eat Street. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pan-Asia Kerala, Andhra, North Indian, South Indian, there is every kind of cuisine here. Mac Fast Food, now defunct, was one of the earliest fast food joints on this street.

Queen’s, located in Shringar Shopping Centre is famous for its ethnic food like daal, phulkas, paneer jalfrezi and jal jeera. Dahlia, the Japanese restaurant in Brigade Gardens has Sushi, Sashimi and Teriyaki. Varietas Platter in Brigade Gardens is multi-cuisine.

Oasis is one of the oldest restaurant and has been around since 1981. Kerala cuisine and seafood is its speciality. Upstairs there is Ayda known for its sizzlers, steaks and Persian kababs. Nasa, a pub with the space theme is one of the earliest pubs in Bangalore and Taika opposite it is a spa lounge. RR Hotel is known for its vegetarian thali meals and spicy Andhra cuisine and Hyd Mahal for Hyderabadi and North Indian. Close by is Terrace restaurant and Alibi Pub.

Mainland China’s has Chines specialities, while Hotel Empire is known for its Kerala and Ceylon parotas, ghee rice and kababs. Bheema’s serves hearty vegetarian Andhra meal and for Kerala cuisine Coconut Grove is the place. Ruby Tuesday has American theme and Saigon above it has Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesian cuisines and a Pan-Asian buffet. Mei Ying is Thai and Chinese, Dachi is a multi-cuisine and New Yorker, is a multi-cuisine vegetarian restaurant.

There is a wide choice for nibblers — Bombay House for Bombay chaats (now closed for renovation), Kaati Zone for a variety of rolls, Gangotree for sweets and chaats, Coco-Grove Beer and Cafe Bar for steaks, burgers, sandwich, bakes and rolls. Sri Seshamahal is a friendly neighbourhood restaurant. The Sree Ganesha Fruit Juice Centre serves and a variety of fruit juices. K C Das has the choicest of Bengali sweets.

At Amoeba Leisure Zone you can play a game of bowling and then have a bite at Three quarter Chinese where one quarter of the menu is Indian. Also located at Amoeba is 20 Ft High an open air restaurant 20 feet above road level with ship-deck ambience, open-air setting and wood-panelled floors. It serves continental, Mexican, Italian, French and American food. Prakash Cafe is a traditional restaurant, while Java City, a trendy coffee shop.

Food for mind

But Church Street is not about food for the body alone, there is food for the mind. Blossom Book House, used to be a small 100 sq ft shop inside Brigade Gardens. It has now shifted to a spacious 4,000 sq ft building opposite Ameoba. he Bookshop, retail outlet of English Edition, a Mumbai publisher is located here.

Variety Book House is a pavement book stall operating for several decades. They have now opened another spacious outlet called “Magazines” closer to Brigade Road for magazines (new and old) from India, UK and US. Some foreign magazines are available at an 80 per cent discount. Besides there are at least three pavement book vendors. Habitat stocks audio CDs, VCDs and DVDs which you normally wouldn’t find in other music shops and Glenands next to it is a shop for the requirements of pet dogs and cats.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has its swank office, “Parisara Bhavan.” The KSFC Building accommodates the Bangalore Rural Zonal office of Karnataka State Finance Corporation. The Government of India Tourist Office is located in this building.

Church street was once a quiet laid-back street with a few residential bungalows. One of the last bungalows, “Falnir House” is that of Capt Geo J Feris, MBE, Sardar Bahadur. N V Babu Reddy, a top IPS officer of the earliest batch, used to stay on this road. His bungalow is now demolished an its place stands a building which houses Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Even as this is being written at least two more buildings are under construction.


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