A long time back I’d cribbed that in places like Bangalore where not too many people are willing to experiment with food, non-standard cuisines end up being insanely expensive. This was perhaps during my first trip to New York last year, when I’d been amazed to find extremely high quality food at nondescript places for very reasonable rates, and was cursing my own city for making me pay up exorbitant amounts every time I wanted to have something “special”.
Given that background, the new Veekes and Thomas outlet in Jayanagar 4th block (I believe they have outlets elsewhere in the city also) comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s a small place, situated across the road from the more famous Maiya’s. The whole establishment is less than 100 sq ft, with a large part of it taken by a massive machine to make sugarcane juice. The two times I’ve visited, there have been two guys there, one to make sugarcane juice and the other to make pasta. The seating area is limited, and you’re served in disposable (areca bark) plates and glass glasses.
They mostly make pastas and some other european dishes (their subtitle is “fine European cuisine” though I’m not sure how “fine” they are), and represent really awesome value for money. The average pasta there costs Rs. 60, and a soup I had on my last visit (wasn’t too great) was Rs. 15. And perhaps to go with the fact that they’re situated in the heavily-vegetarian Jayanagar, they don’t serve meat.
The wife says that it’s among the best pasta she’s eaten in Bangalore. While I disagree with that, I do think the food is really good given the price point. Also, given that they have only one cook, the waiting time can get a little long. The other thing with Pasta is that it is a slow-cooking dish, which is why it doesn’t lend itself too well to the darshini format – which is more suited for made-to-order or assemble-to-order dishes.
Nevertheless this is a good start. It’s hopefully a harbinger (sorry for using such a lofty word here; nothing simpler came to mind) for cheap “non-standard cuisine” in Bangalore. The next logical setup, I guess, would be a falafel-hummus stall. The advantages there are that the dishes are either quick-cooking or can be made to stock , ingredients to make them are easily available here, not much is lost by having a vegetarian-only place (I think there are easier to set up in terms of licensing than places that serve meat; and easier to cook as well) and the taste isn’t very different from Indian (yesterday I was describing the falafel as “AmboDe made out of chickpeas”).
Again, I can help someone set this up, though I’m not particularly interested in running the business since I think it involves a lot of hassles.