People love Karavalli, “Our latest employee joined us seven years ago. He’s our new boy,” Chef Naren Thimmaiah jokes. Karavalli at The Gateway hotel is an institution. Over the years celebrities, gourmets critics and of course travellers from across the globe have dined here. The best of coastal cuisine from Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra feature on the menu.
Chef’s reputation is synonymous with the restaurant, “This was my first job. Straight after college I joined the Taj group and have been here ever since.” The restaurant has been a landmark and a favourite of Bangaloreans. “We had Deepika Padukone here the other day, she has been coming here since she was a little girl. I always joke it is the Karavalli food that is responsible for what she is today.”
Getting down to business, for the celebrations the menu features 25 classics from the menu. Some new, some old, but all of them loved. The appetizers include Tiger Prawns Roast from Kerala, the Banana Leaf Wrapped Black Pomfret from Malabar and chef’s mother’s recipe of Koli Barthad Chicken. The steamed rice dumplings Aritha Pundi, stole our hearts.
“We always go into the community and learn from the housewives. We want to cook how they cook.” Being in a business hotel, chef knows that frequent travellers love a bit of nostalgia on their plates. The main course includes the traditional dishes of the Havyakas from Mangalore, like preserved Mango Curry, Maavinnakai Mensukkai. Or the Travancore dish of Lamb Cubes, Attirachy Ularthu.
The desserts included Bebinca from Goa, rice cake Dodol and the classic Elaneer Payasam. The restaurant feels like home away from home where the servers always urging you to have a little bit more rice saying, “The curry is still hot.”
Reminiscing with Chef Naren Thimmaiah at the restaurant is the perfect way to spend an evening.
Karavalli, The Gateway Hotel, Residency Road, Bangalore