Navya posted on 30th September

MTR, Toit And Monkey Bar: Restaurants That Put Bangalore On The Map

We didn’t start off as one but Bangalore has sure become one of the best food destinations in the country. And it has not been easy earning this rather hefty title! Restaurants have come and gone, food empires have been raised and razed — all so that the city does not go to bed hungry, craving for a great meal. Of course, our laurels have come because of a handful of restaurants that dared to stand apart from the crowd. LBB celebrates the restaurants that put Bangalore on the map.

LBB’s Loving

Monkey Bar

Reader’s Vote



The original Udupi darshini spawned thousands of copycats, none of which came close to replicating MTR’s success. In 2016, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms still reigns supreme. Started in 1924, MTR {as it is fondly known} is on every local’s and visitor’s must-visit list. Their cult status is all thanks to their crisp Masala Dosas, tumblers of frothy coffee, and their invention — Rava Idli {apparently during World War II it was made to overcome the dearth of rice}. The humble South Indian staples from this joint has everyone from chief ministers to movie stars and the common man queuing up.

The Fatty Bao

Hip, fashionable and delicious — Fatty Bao has everyone from here to Timbuktu going “Bao Wow!”. The Fusion Asian restaurant won our votes {and our hearts} with a menu that’s packed with flavourful combinations that we’ve rarely seen before. You can rarely go wrong here but don’t bother leaving without trying their baos and ramens. If you have trouble narrowing down your choice just go with the Char Sui Bao — where the soft bao comes stuffed with tender pork belly, BBQ sauce, green apple kimchi and scallions. There’s also the Char Su Ramen — a bacony broth that features pork belly, bean sprouts, and a soft boiled egg, to savour.


Want a glimpse of what Bangalore was like in the days of Raj? Make your way past the elegant wood and glass doors of Koshy’s. Reigning supreme since 1940, the chequered tablecloths, the antique ceiling fans and the shuttered windows haven’t changed at all. But since Queen Elizabeth, Jawaharlal Nehru and even Nikita Khrushchev have all made it their business to dine here, there’s no wonder why it’s an iconic establishment. And now, of course, Koshy’s has come to be known as the favourite haunt of the city’s intelligentsia. As you tuck into their Prawn Biryani or their Sunday special — appams and stew — don’t forget to eavesdrop on the hot debate at the next table.

Blue Ginger

The country’s first Vietnamese restaurant — Blue Ginger — is perfect for a posh meal. And with that tag of “first”, comes great responsibility. Luckily, the outdoor setting does its bit to add to the charm {especially if you are here on a breezy night}, and the delicately-prepared food includes the best ingredients from Vietnamese cuisine. Do try their signatures such as the Pho {available in various vegetarian and meat versions}, Wok Tossed Soft Noodles and their Spicy Mushroom & Lemon Grass Soup. We highly recommend their tasting menus that give you the best of what they have to offer.


One of the first restaurants to boldly experiment and innovate with molecular gastronomy — Caperberry has always pushed boundaries. The spiffy restaurant has earned the love of serious food lovers who swing by to sample the world-class Modern European menu. Start your meal with their excellent tapas {think exotic croquet, parfaits and salmon roulades}  before moving on to bestsellers such as Truffle Oil Centred Ravioli, Deconstructed Seafood Paella and the Stuffed Chicken Breast. What we find most interesting about the restaurant is the degustation menu. We’re talking Potato Scale John Dory with orange dill sauce, the Smoked Pork Belly or even Frozen Chocolate Ganache Powder. Did we mention that founder Abhijit Saha’s fame has now spread to Singapore, where he has a restaurant?


Ranked among Asia’s Top 50 restaurants by S Pellegrino Best Restaurant list in 2013, Karavalli showcases all that is good and pure about South India’s many culinary traditions. It was here that the Gateway hotel started the concept of local cuisine and with Chef Naren Thimmaiah at the helm, things haven’t changed since 1990. In fact, Thimmaiah still ensures that the ingredients are actually sourced from the native regions — in this case, the coast. So expect smoked Kachampuli from Kerala, toddy vinegar from Goa and Kundapur coconuts for their firm white flesh. Order up plates of their Neer Dosa or Idiyappams {string hoppers} and pair it with their Kori Gassi or their Allapuzha Meen Curry. For the best of Coorg, order Koli Barthad — chef’s mother’s own recipe! If you prefer not to take such tough decisions, sign up for their thalis that feature the best they have.


If the never-ending crowds at Toit don’t convince you of its awesomeness, nothing will. While it wasn’t the first microbrewery in town, it certainly made the concept cooler — the trendsetters, if you will! Among their ales, the Dark Knight and the Tintin Toit stand out. For maximum happiness, try their thin crust pizza and work your way down their list of appetisers — Cheesy Potato Skins and fondue to Scotch Eggs and Fried Calamari. 

Arbor Brewing Company

Forget the German beer, this chic, industrial-looking microbrewery comes to your straight from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Blending brewery, sports bar and restaurant, these guys changed the game — they blurred lines. Don’t think about ordering anything else first, apart from the Bangalore Bliss. Then Phatt Abbot and The Raging Elephant. Pair it with bestsellers such as Beer Batter Rings, Chilli Cheese Bacon Fries and their Brandied Beef Steak and you’ve got an unforgettable party.

Monkey Bar

Before Monkey Bar could make its mark in other cities, it was Bangalore’s very own — it was our first, and possibly favourite gastropub! It was a slice of New York in Namma Ooru! And still occupying pride of place in the city, despite being part two of the original, this pub knows what memorable drunken nights are made of. Adding a twist to every dish you know — Ricotta and Paneer Kebab, Goan Chorizo Pao, Jackfruit Biryani or perhaps Pandi Curry with Pita. Monkey Sour {a version of Whiskey Sour} and Mangaa {Aampanna and vodka, FTW} are just the surface of cocktails that will blow your mind.


Bangalore may now have a gazillion European cuisine destinations to pick from. But twenty years ago, all we had was Sunny’s. Starting off as a small eatery across three floors on Lavelle Road, thankfully Sunny’s has stood the test of time. Named after the owner, Arjun Sajnani’s dog, the best part of this chic restaurant is that you can take your pooch along! You can even reserve a spot for your furry BFF!