From China to Mexico

Passing Fad

In the past decade, Bangalore’s food scenario has witnessed a revolution; eateries specialising in different international cuisines have mushroomed across the City, and with them has come a world of opportunities in terms of flavours, spices and textures.

Different flavours : Mexican dishes have become a hot favourite in the City.

The once-popular burger took a backseat as Bangaloreans began to flirt with a line-up of dishes from around the world — the Sichuanese cooking of China, delicate Thai curries and even Spanish rices.

Over the years, however, it seems that cuisines have developed into fads of a sort, remaining popular for a while before giving room to the next infatuation. Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to find out more about trends in food.

Vibhuthi Bane, a chef, believes that Chinese — one of the first loves of the City in terms of international cuisine — became popular among the masses about seven years back. “It became more easily accessible, with small joints specialising in Chinese food too,” he says, adding that one of the main reasons for this popularity was that local chefs began to ‘Indianise’ Chinese dishes by adding plenty of spice to them.

The other cuisine which he pegs as becoming a hot favourite overnight is Thai. “Thai flavours are actually very close to Indian ones. They use bird chilli, ginger and galangal in their cooking, which aren’t dissimilar from what we use in ours,” he explains.

However, it’s evident that Bangaloreans have now moved on from their fried rices and green curries. Vrinda, a law student, believes that the latest trend to hit the City is the hot flavour of Mexican cooking. “‘Taco Bell’ opened here over a year back, and we have plenty of restaurants specialising in Tex-Mex cuisine.

The important thing is that these outlets are extremely affordable for the masses. What’s more, Mexican cuisine is growing beyond just nachos and tacos — people are beginning to discover dishes like fajitas and piri piri as well,” she says.

Vibhuthi believes that Mexican food lends itself easily to the Indian palate.

“Traditionally, their dishes have a lot of pork. But chefs here have catered to Indian tastes by dispensing with that and instead using plenty of beans and paprika spice,” he explains.

Middle-Eastern cuisine isn’t far behind. Sushil Unni, who works in the food and hospitality industry, points out that it’s becoming quite the rage in the City.

“Lebanese food is definitely becoming popular in the City. There are plenty of Indians who have worked in the Middle East, and they’re the ones who set up counters serving that cuisine here. Now, one can find shawarma almost everywhere” he points out. He’s quick to add that Middle-Eastern food is not only easily accessible, but also affordable in Bangalore. “It’s growing in terms of kiosks and counters, rather than fine-dining restaurants,” he observes.

And what could the next big thing be in the world of food? Vibhuthi believes he has the answer. “Japanese. Sushi and sashimi have already become hits in the west.

They have rice, which is a staple here, and vegetarians can go for dishes which have avocado and asparagus. Besides, there’s a lot of opportunity in terms of seafood, since Japanese cooking uses fish and crab meat. It caters to a variety of people,” he concludes.

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