In Cambridge Layout, a sunny, yellow house with a bright red door keeps calling out to us. On closer inspection, a board announces the space as the Bengaluru Oota Company (BOC). The BOC recreates the feeling of home and home-cooked food, but in a swanky studio type space. Only two tables (one an eight-seater and the other meant for four people) is placed in two rooms. Dining here is community style with guests sitting together at the table and sharing the food, all laid out. Started by friends Divya Prabhakar (she brings the Gowda flavours) and Vishal Shetty (her contributions are her mother’s fiery Mangalorean recipes), the BOC also does catering (they can even send parcels for as small a number as two people), along with their latest venture, the Tasting Room.
We made it to a BOC lunch at the Tasting Room one hot afternoon, and were welcomed with chilled glasses of Majjige (spiced buttermilk) and crunchy happlas (papad). First came the Kosambi (a light salad with cucumber, coconut and moong dal, tempered with mustard seeds), this was followed by the Goli Baji, deep fried Mangalorean fritters made with flour and yoghurt. Then came the rather sublime fish cutlets (a Mangalorean Catholic special) with delicate minced Seer fish breaded and deep fried.
Lovers of Ragi Mudde, you will be pleased that they serve the famed Karnataka staple with a delicious coconutty chicken (the Gowda-style Koli Sarru) curry. For those partial to Mangalorean cuisine (like this writer) there was an insanely good, slow-cooked Mutton Sukka (made with Vishal’s mother’s recipe) to be mopped up with rice or Savige (string hoppers). There were also light, summery curries such as the Potatoes and Peas Gassi and a Cabbage Palya, and finally Rasam and Curd Rice. Special mentions go out to the grape Mensakai, a spicy summer curry usually made with sweet fruits. Don’t forget to have the very-good filter coffee here (a coffee you will get only in a South Indian home).