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George Bernard Shaw said that ‘there is no love more sincere than the love of food’, and to a large extent, that is true. With the plethora of restaurants that Bengaluru has showered upon us, it’s proof enough to say that we all have a little bit of a ‘foodie’ in us.

Whether it’s to find your favourite ‘pani puri wala’ or go to high-end restaurants for a European meal, we have quite a number of restaurants to choose from. And each year, the chefs work day in and out to churn something innovative and delicious for one to try. This year, the trend seems to continue, but with a healthier twist.

Nikhil Hegde, the owner of ‘Smally’s Restocafe’, says that he is working to bring out healthier versions of burgers for his customers.

 The burger expert explains, “People love their cheesy, greasy burgers and that’s one of the reasons why burgers taste so good as well. But many are moving away from that and opting for healthier versions of food. So we give options to choose like brown bread instead of whites, use olive oil and also smoke and grill the burgers. Using wood fire, apple wood fire and wood chip burgers are also some of the healthy versions that we are looking out for.” To inaugurate the healthy burgers, Nikhil came up with ‘Beet burgers’ which is a wholewheat bread that’s been dipped in beetroot juice.

While chefs are bringing out delicious dishes for the food lovers each year, it’s also the use of local produce that’s making a buzz this year.

The Executive Chef of The Oberoi, Bengaluru, Chef Amit Wadhawan, says that they are going back to the basic routes with greater emphasis on using local, fresh produce and healthy ingredients while creating dishes; indigenous or foreign.

 He says, “Chefs have already begun thinking globally when approaching new dishes. This not only adds immense freshness to the dish, but also cuts down percolated costs on heavily imported ingredients.” He also feels like creating seasonal menus for guests are in trend right now. As it’s already a trend in Europe, India will also been seen making unique dishes with seasonal fresh produce.

One of the advantages of food is that it can be interpreted in any way the consumer wants it to be. There are a large number of ingredients available for one to play around with and to keep up with the trend, the experimentation is spreading out to use local ingredients to create modern dishes. Chef Suvarnjan Banerjee, the Executive Chef of The Lalit Ashok, says that 2016 is going to be a year where food is everybody’s best friend.

“Though molecular gastronomy and deconstructed dishes are still popular, it’s slowly taking a backseat by allowing new ones to enjoy the limelight. People want to see and understand the texture of the food as they enjoy it. So the trend is moving on for chefs to make sure that the texture of the dish compliment the way it looks and tastes,” he says.

The food industry is also exploring options on using local ingredients like jaggery and pumpkin for desserts. Chef Suvaranjan says, “Creating dishes using local ingredients with a modern twist is what everyone wants these days. That’s why we’ve created a jaggery baked yoghurt with fresh nolen gur dessert.”

Amidst all the flavours and textures that are taking over our palates this year, it’s also the importance of one cuisine that’s taking food lovers by storm. Restaurateur Ravindra Nahappan of ‘Nasi and Mee’ feels the trend of restaurants focussing on one particular cuisine is becoming popular.

He sheds light on it by saying, “I’m from Malaysia and from what I’ve observed in the past one year that I’ve been here, is how a lot of restaurants are choosing to specialise only in one cuisine. The restauranteurs are pushing boundaries to introduce the cuisines to the guests. It has also become easier to find the ingredients one wants here, and also can be imported to the City.” Nasi and Mee has pushed those boundaries and are creating a dish called ‘Roti Jalal’, which is known as a fishnet pancake. This year sure has a lot to offer in terms of interesting dishes for everyone to dwell into. As experts are
experimenting to keep up with the trend, customers are also embracing this change with open arms.

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