Meet Shiva Hatti, the foodie from Bangalore who moonlights as an advocate. While not updating his Facebook group he tackles civil litigation in the city. I caught up with him online to see what he thinks of the food in Bangalore and the rest of the country.
1. Since when have you been a foodie?
I have been a foodie since my early school days. Back in the early '90s, it was a tradition of sorts in our family to eat out during the weekends. Restaurants such as Tandoor, Ceasar's and Berry's used to be our usual spots for dinner (the last two restaurants shut years ago). That's when probably the foodie in me woke up. I was born and brought up in Bangalore.
2. What do you look for in exceptional food, and what role does ambience play?
Presentation and taste. If it is a fine dining restaurant, then Ambience is definitely the most important thing follows by taste. For street food, cleanliness is what matters the most.
Ambience is like one of those factors which if not good can turn you off. If the ambience is good, you feel all the more welcomed.
3. What influence does nostalgia play in your selection of food and scouting food places?
I grew up eating a lot of North Indian food and chaat. More often than not I crave this kind of food. Chaat, in my opinion, is best eaten as street food. More so since I am a South Indian who has his roots from North Karnataka, I get a lot of South Indian food at home and don't usually prefer this food outside.
4. This might be controversial - which city in Karnataka has the best food. Also which state in the country has the best food.
Bangalore definitely has the best food in Karnataka. After which you can probably say Mysore, Hubli, and Belgaum. Delhi certainly has the best food in India. Closely followed by Mumbai and Bangalore!
5. Can you name 2 of the best dishes from each city Also the best restaurant/hotel in each of these cities. Also, Top 5 Dishes in Delhi and the best places to get them.
Two best dishes in
Bangalore - Masala Dose and Tikki Puri.
Delhi - Chole Bathure and Gol Gappa,
Mumbai - Pizzas and Bhel Puri.
Best restaurant in
Bangalore - Tandoori Taal.
Delhi - Sita Ram Diwan Chand.
Mumbai - Pizza by the bay
Top 5 dishes in Delhi
Chole Bathura at Sita Ram Diwan Chand.
Paneer tikka at Naresh Paneer tikka,
Chole Kulche (street food) near Aggarwal Bhavan at Old Rajinder Nagar,
Dahi Balla - UPSC chaat aka Prabhu Chaat.
North Indian food at Have More and Gol Gappa at Prabhu Chaat.
6. The US has McDonald's, and KFC, and Dominos Pizza which people all over the world have embraced. What franchise do you think India can offer on the same lines?
My money is on the Darshinis. They are the best fast food we have and their quality is more or less uniform throughout Bangalore despite them being under different managements.
However, the Darshini owners should also step up their game and look to get bigger.
I once saw a video of the proprietor of Dry Gobi in Mysore saying "life is short, let's stick to the basic and do our best" when he was asked if there are other branches. Guess many think similarly. They don't want to involve others in their business model. But there are many who started giving franchisees, like Chetty's Corner and Eat Raja.
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