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Jake John Is A Smoker

Before you approach him in the street asking him for shade grown indoor plants, know that Jake John (nee Jacob) has a keen interest in smoking meats. He started this on a whim two years ago and has since seen an organic growth in this niche.
In conversation with Explocity, Jake talks about food and how being brought up eating four cuisines led him to be interested of the cultural aspect of food, more than taste. That’s being a foodie to him.


Are you a foodie?

What does that mean? I like cooking, I enjoy the process, I like the chemistry of food, presentation and talking about food. I enjoy stories of food and it’s culture that each person carries through food. Also being a foodie to me is also about being able to cook everyday food. So I am foodie who likes to make everyday stuff popular.


What’s your favourite cuisine?

Mallu food, of course. I like traditional food that’s cooked well. The interesting thing to me is people associate mallu food with one thing. My four grandparents came from four areas of Kerala so the food is completely different. There is a dish with tubers and pork. Like tapioca and yam that comes from Trissur. Another grandparent is from a place where a lot of river fish is eaten, another is from a drier part so they eat red rice because of the drought. Then there is the central Travancore belt which is where the popular Appams and Fish Moilee come from. That also varies but. All my relatives eat different variations.


What’s the last place that you went to in Bangalore that you really enjoyed? What did you eat there that stood out?

I went to Kanua on Sarjapur Road. It’s a Mangalorean place. I really enjoyed it. Very close to what I associate with Mangalorean food and also verified as home style cooking by Mangaloreans. The fish pulimunchi was so well cooked. The fish was still soft and while not being underdone. The Chicken Ghee Roast was also amazing. The flavours of chicken and coconut are still lingering. I’d write off the Prawn Biryani and Mutton.


What’s your favourite dish of all time and where did you eat it?

I didn’t like Kanni. It’s a porridge. But when I went to Singapore, they took the Kanni and made it a Congee. The Chinese took it from us and added fish and prawns. One of my favourite things is the Congee with Fish and Black Bean Sauce and topped with Fried Shrimp. It’s comfort food that is very fulfilling.


What is your least favourite dish?

Dhokla. Never liked it. Even though it is similar to Idli and I love Idli. Maybe because the first time I had it it was very sour and leaked.


If you have to recommend a place to our readers what will it be?

Yauatcha. Wait. I’ll change that to Toast & Tonic.