Foraging through the dense and hipster-beard carpeted jungle of Indiranagar makes us think of noodles made with guitar strings and margaritas rimmed with the salt of start-up founders’ tears. Freegans, urban hunters (and you too, lonely start-up hearts) may relax, however: the neighbourhood’s new Forage is not in fanciful hands. Its partner and chef is Himanshu Dimri of Grasshopper, perhaps Banerghatta’s favourite date night restaurant. We’d happily travel the distance again for that seven-course European meal served outdoors, with friendly Labradors keeping us company – but boy, are we glad that chef Dimri headed our way this time around.
The bar here offers only beer and wine, as well as a brief food menu that ensures you know you’re eating clean, even if you missed the indications in the restaurant’s name and decor.
Forage nicely balances out these competing feelings of comfort and freshness in all its dishes.
We sit down to a glass of wine with the quinoa salad and petite lamb chops. It’s hard to sing high praises of quinoa – and not just because it may be hurting tribal food security– but an unusual pairing with tabbouleh, chickpeas and arugula in an olive oil dressing is a good argument for changing our tune. Lamb chops with roasted baby potatoes look and taste like they came out of an especially nice British cookbook, perhaps written by Nigella Lawson’s less flamboyant younger sister.
Meat and Greet
Forage’s charming co-founder Mayura Kuttapa wanders past just as we realise the menu has no chicken dishes on it whatsoever. When we ask, she talks of unhealthy homogenized breeding but says mostly that it’s just a boring protein. Chicken-hating minorities, we hear your hallelujah but must confess we were ready to protest.
On cue, the kitchen sends out pork stew on a bed of black beans, shutting us up immediately: it’s the best comfort food we’ve eaten in a while. Pea fusilli with rice pasta is perhaps the healthiest a pasta meal can get in Bangalore: in the absence of cheese, texture and earthiness both come from crunchy broccoli and zucchini.
Forage nicely balances out these competing feelings of comfort and freshness in all its dishes. With the food the kitchen sends along rock salt, pepper and chili flakes in case the restrained seasoning is not to diners’ tastes, which you’ll appreciate if you want quicker feedback from palate to synapse.
No such intervention is required for desserts, as it turns out. With no artificial sweetener whatsoever, the essence of chocolate shines through an airy mousse, a staff recommendation. Coffee panna cotta is served combined, unusually, with coconut, balancing the bitter bracing effect of one with the dry, rich warmth of the other.
The best end of all, though, is getting up from all this overeating and feeling unusually refreshed and light. We came in expecting to discover a cheat day meal, but leave feeling ready for leg day. Indiranagar, put those guitar strings away and hunt this one up.
Getting there: 318, 6th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, call 080 48525250. A meal for two with drinks costs approximately Rs 4300.
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