Who'd have thought that upside down kettles could function as a greeting? At Likethatonly in Bangalore's suburb of Whitefield, they do a fine job welcoming visitors into a wonderful, whimsical interior. You enter only to find your curiosity piqued again by a water fountain concocted out of a old bathtub and repurposed gramophone machine; highly-recommended for a long, informal lunch with co-workers. The fixed price bento box lunches offer vegetarian, seafood and meat options. These also make for an attractive proposition for office lunches, given that this part of Whitefield has a spate of new IT companies. My dining companions who work in the vicinity were impressed enough to want to return for their own office lunch the following week.
The innovative Bloody Mary
To begin with, the Bloody Mary felt just right on the sun-kissed Friday afternoon I was there. Their version comes in a jar full of smoke (from their smoke machine, I was told). Flavours of Indonesian clove cigarette gutan garam and earl grey tea conspired to give it a smoky twist. A few sips in and it won me over with its cheekiness.
The steamed dimsum arrived next. The pork and duck dimsum was roundly praised, but the prawn dimsum, although passable, didn't hold together well enough and started to fall apart. The spinach and corn couldn't be faulted though, and the accompanying sauces were excellent. The salad of sake-soaked pear and blue cheese with almond slivers and aragula was exquisite twist on a thoroughly enjoyable classic.
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Meal for two (without alcohol) Rs 2,500 plus taxes .. +(080) 6547-5610
- Sake-poached pear, blue cheese salad
- Asparagus tempura roll
The woktossed soft shell crab could have been more meaty, but my two co-diners swore that the pork ribs were outstanding. As with the salad, the asparagus tempura roll hit a perfect pitch, juxtaposing a crispy tempura coating with cream cheese, seaweed and sushi rice.
My Asian-style tacos, stuffed with greens, mung beans, peanuts and silken tofu packed a refreshing, mustardy punch. I would definitely order it again. Finally, the avocado parfait and lemon tarts made for a lovely, light landing after this gastronomical flight. Chef Manu Chandra described the food as "mashup, and not fusion". Each dish has one or two elements that sets it apart from its traditional counterpart. It's Likethatonly!