We met up with the dynamic Ruth D’ Souza Prabhu, the author of the famous Bangalore restaurant experience blog, called bangaloresrestaurants.com and had a quick chat with her about her extensive knowledge of Bangalore’s food scene. We had a lovely conversation and were totally bowled over by Ruth’s quick wit and friendly demeanour. When she’s not out eating at a restaurant in Bangalore, she is a doting mom to her daughter Anoushka.
Read on to see what she had to say.
What sparked the start to blogging about food?
“Being a content writer and journalist by profession, blogging was the natural next step. As a journalist you often have to work within the constraints of a style sheet created by a publication. With blogging, I was my own boss. I started out with a blog on my personal thoughts on everyday life, which is the way most people start.
My husband and I love trying out new places to eat out. One day, around 6 years ago, I thought, why not just blog about restaurants I visit? I started out by taking photos on my phone and writing about my experiences. Things took off from there and the blog has grown to be what it is today – a collection of eating out experiences, primarily in Bangalore, ranging from hole-in-the-wall, street food kind of eateries to the elegant 5 star experiences and everything in between!”
A place where I could always find you, eating your heart away?
“I have a lot of favourites and you may find me at any of these depending on my mood – Gorging on Andhra meals at Nagarjuna, indulging in kheema ball curry and mutton pulao at Ranganna Military Hotel, Sushi at Hae Kum Gang (despite it being Korean, it has fabulously innovative sushi), and also at Church Street Social with my head deep in a breakfast platter!”
Your favourite cuisine?
“Japanese – and not only for the sushi and sashimi, but also for the udon, the ramen and the tempura and the drama that goes with a Teppanyaki experience.”
Which dish do you love making at home?
“I love cooking a mutton or beef biryani and whipping up pastas. I like to incorporate small elements to my cooking that I pick up when visiting restaurants. For example, to go with the biryani, I began to make a mint chutney in which I mix thinly sliced onion that has been soaked in some lemon juice. I picked this up from a restaurant called Ta’aam on Queens Road. I also sometimes add in a dash of rose essence, courtesy Kebabs and Kurries at ITC Gardenia. My current favourite in pasta is a Jamie Oliver recipe which uses prawns and lemon rind. I like to serve this with a platter of bread, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and garlic a la Chianti, an Italian restaurant. You rub the bread with each of these ingredients and you have a fabulous accompaniment to your meal.”
A food that takes you down memory lane?
“Chicken Kolhapuri – When we were still living on a tight budget – my then boyfriend, now husband, and I used to frequent a restaurant called Alankar. The staff there knew us so well that as soon as we sat down, we were served two portions of plain rice, three bowls of rasam, one Chicken Kolhapuri, boneless and one Coke. Our bill used to be Rs 79 and we would have just enough at the end of the meal to pay this and a little more as a tip. Good memories!”
A chef/quote that inspires you?
“I can’t really say inspire me because I don’t plan to get into the restaurant business. But I love the dedication of old timers like Muniranganna, the current owner of Ranganna Military Hotel, who to this day handpicks every piece of mutton at the butcher’s shop. I am so happy we pick our mutton from the same shop. I love the work of Chef Vittorio Greco of Ottimo in ITC Gardenia. His ability to experiment with classic Italian cooking is brilliant. You should have his version of the aubergine parmigiana to know what I am talking about. And my complete respect to Chef Sanjay Tyagi of Umerkot who really knows how to treat his meats. “
What do you think about the food scene in Bangalore?
“The food scene in Bangalore is such that there is something for every kind of palate. The competition is quite strong, considering how social media is used extensively to promote places. The range of ancillary services that have sprouted to create experiences have brought in a whole new dimension to eating out. There is a lot happening and it is quite interesting to observe. “
How would you say the fine dining scene is in Bangalore?
“The fine dining scene in Bangalore is gradually moving towards making a meal experiential. From wine-paired meals to visiting chefs cooking up a storm for a short festival, there is a lot happening. Festivals like Restaurant Week and the Food Lovers Gourmet City make more restaurants accessible to folks who may be hesitating to try something new. All of this works towards making fine dining a really interesting sphere to follow.”
What do you think is the best thing about food?
“The best thing about food is its ability to connect two souls.”
What does the future look like for Ruth Prabhu – the food blogger?
“When I started blogging about restaurants, it was only with the idea of having an online diary of my eating out experiments. Today, the blog is an adventure of sorts. With the way the food industry is exploding right now, there are so many unique experiences to choose from. The blog will always remain a hobby though and my refuge when I want to write things my way.”