December 11, 2006

Ramanas, a vegetarian restaurant named in honour of Sri Ramana Maharishi, specializes in North Indian cuisine. It was highly recommended by family and friends for its home-style taste and low oil cooking, but I must say that my experience there was sorely disappointing.

A food festival, Rangilo Rajasthan, is currently on in Ramanas until December 25th , and since, amongst vegetarian cuisines, Rajasthani food is one of my favourites, I thought this would be a good time to visit. A special menu has been created for this, and maybe part of our disappointment had to do with ordering from this, rather than the regular menu.

We started off with beverages from the regular menu and they were all excellent. The chaas and the jal jeera were refreshing and the pudina nimbu paani was delicious. The rest of the items we ordered were from the special menu. For starters, we tried dahi vadas, kurkure papad and kanji vadas (moong dal vadas in a mustard sauce). The papads and the kanji vadas were passable, the dahi vadas were reasonably good.

For the main course, we ordered the bread basket, which consisted of a missi rotis and bajra rotis, which though tasty, were dripping with ghee. The pachmele ki dal was good, but the missi batti, a fried dumpling which is to be eaten with the dal, was terrible. It was soaking in oil and was not even fried well. The ghatte ki sabzi, dumplings in a yogurt gravy, was also bad. At the end of this meal, I felt like I had drunk a gallon of oil and needed a detox session.

To make matters worse, the power kept going off, and instead of generators, we had to dine for quite a while under emergency lights. All in all, not a great weekend 😦. However, since so many people have spoken so highly of Ramanas, I will check them out again and, this time, I will order from the regular menu.

The décor in Ramanas is neat, simple and bright with some interesting Marwari art on the walls. Decorated matkas, colourful wooden puppets and gorgeous tie-and-dye odhinis enhanced the Rajashthani festival theme.

Ramanas is located at H.M. Geneva House, Cunningham Road, Bangalore, ph: 22263200. Free parking is available on Miller Tank Bund Road, the side road after Wockhardt hospital, though you may find you have to walk a bit. A meal for two costs approximately Rs.600.