Charms of old Bangalore

Punkah House presents what it calls experimental cuisine

The ambience is intimate with a mix of minimalism and embellishment.

In the last few months or so, I’ve heard a lot of chefs call their cuisine “experimental” and I wondered what they actually meant because I couldn’t see much of that on the plate. I almost concluded that this was a term used when you didn’t know what you were making. 

So, when I heard that ‘Punkah House’ in Indiranagar also has the same concept, I wasn’t too excited. But I’m glad that I was proven wrong. 

Before we get into that, let’s talk about the ambience.

If you have been in Bengaluru long enough and know what ‘old Bangalore’ felt like, coming here will be like opening a door to the past. Be it the wooden wire chairs, pillared architecture or the verandas, it brings a certain nostalgic vibe. 

But my favourite was the small table that the waiters brought when they know that you need more space — maybe to keep your bag or for the dishes that won’t fit on the table. 

The dishes are given fusion names, something commonly done at almost all the new restaurants now. 

I started with the amuse bouche — ‘Wine-aged Drumsticks with whipped Goat Cheese’. Who would even think of serving drumsticks somewhere other than in a sambhar? And ageing it in wine? ‘Impressed’ doesn’t quite capture what I felt. 

I soon moved on to a ‘quarter plate’ dish called ‘Sweet Truffle Cream’ which came with mixed seeds crackers. The truffle cream was layered on a stone slab with sprinklings of pumpkin seeds, crushed crackers, chilli and olive oil. If I was at home, I would lick the stone clean. 

Then came the ‘Citrus Salad’. The peppery flavour from the arugula leaves, the citrus from the pomelo and the sweetness from the tender coconut made this a winner. 

I have a soft corner for beef dishes, so I had to try the ‘Beef Chilli Fry’. There’s nothing to rave about here. It felt like any other beef fry which I know I would order and enjoy. 

The name ‘Ramen Rasam’ itself intrigued me. That excitement stopped as soon as I took a sip of it though. Maybe it was because I have grown up having rasam or that this reminded me so much of a laksa. There was nothing ramen or rasam about this. 

By now, I knew that I had to end with dessert. ‘Kapimisu Brioche’ was just the way to do it. It had the flavours of filter coffee and Baileys with the brioche — all of which ticked the right boxes for me.

As I was recovering from a fever, I couldn’t try the drinks served here. But I shamelessly looked over to the other table who were served their drinks with Absinthe in a perfume bottle. Next time, perhaps! 

With this experience, I can safely say that ‘Punkah House’ is a place to visit for nostalgia’s sake and have some good food. 

‘Punkah House’, I and II floor, 2989/B, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar. For reservations, call 4147 1005.

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