First appeared in Bangalore Mirror.
For those unfamiliar with mythology, Bakasur appears in the Mahabharata as a glutton who pioneered home delivery, bless his soul. Not only did he force a village to send him enormous quantities of food, he also ate the person who brought it – an extreme version of ‘bite the hand that feeds’. That was until the Pandavas arrived on the scene and Bhima decided to help the village. One day he took the food for Bakasur and not finding him, began eating it. Bakasur finally arrived, saw that there was hardly any food left and questioned Bhima. Bhima said something to the extent of ‘first-come first-served’ and in the fight that ensued, killed Bakasur. But in the annals of gluttony, the legend of Bakasur lived on. The current version of Bakasur, on Outer Ring Road (just before the IBP Petrol Pump on the Service Road when coming from Koramangala – map) has its soul right going by the quotes “Now serving in L, XL and Bakasur” size. Spread over two floors, with the one above offering semi-open seating, the quirky theme carries across the menu, coasters, and other messaging, including the ‘toilet club’. On one corner, I could see a cart wheel. If it was a hat tip by design, it was a stellar job – the village in the myth was called Ekachakra. Speaking of wheels, there’s valet parking.
The menu is not really Bakasur size; it literally fits into a plate, but the options are quite unique. There’s also a liquor menu. We started with the Malai-wala Lassi, Zeera Chaach and a Virgin Bakasur! The Lassi and the Chaach were served in slightly larger-than-normal earthen mugs. The Chaach was particularly refreshing and the Lassi got the sweetness just right. The mocktail turned out to be just the standard Virgin Mojito and not the best we’ve had.
The first starter to arrive was the Top Secret Gosht Kastoori Tikka – the meat was cooked well and the subtle fenugreek flavours did a reasonably good job, though it would’ve been better if it were served hot. The Mushroom Galauti, served on an ulta tawa paratha, had a smoky flavour that might not find favour with many. From greenery, we shifted to aquatic life – the Tandoori Panja Prawns was mildly spicy, succulent and had a tasty ginger garlic flavour. But the pick of the starters was the Beera Murg, 4 chunky pieces of spicy chicken that we couldn’t get enough of. The wind kept us company throughout and often sent tissues flying. Also present were flies, which seemed to take our frantic waving as a sign of friendliness!
The main course took its time to arrive, but the good news was that the flies became tired of waiting and left. The dishes arrived in huge vessels, as though meant for bottomless appetites, but appearances were deceiving – they turned out to have false bottoms. We started with the Paneer Saag, Doodh Kalimiri Murg and the Palak Puri. Combined, there was enough oil to warrant a WMD search. The Paneer Saag, in particular, was a heavy dish and was tasty enough to make us just pile it on! The chicken dish was more subtle, with mild explosions of pepper. The Palak Puri was another oil factory but well worth the calories. The Tandoori Ragi Roti was a unique bread that turned out to be surprisingly good, a chocolate hero look helped. The Taash Gosht was a bit of a disappointment – though the masala was spicy and well appreciated, the meat itself was tough and we were in no mood to wrestle. The other let down was the Keema Naan that turned out to be more bland than expected. Though we had also asked for a Dum Apricot Pulao, we were told much later, when we asked for its whereabouts, that it was over. Probably there’s a Bakasur in the kitchen?
Though we expected the Ghee Jalebi with Doodh Kurchan to be the dessert star, it was the Pista Kulfi that actually stole the show. The crisp, cloyingly sweet jalebis were no match for the subtler, creamy kulfis.
Bakasur is definitely a unique experience – large tables, an open, relaxed feel and an ambiance that’s enjoyable despite the strong wind and the flies. For about Rs.1600, you could share a non-alcoholic drink, a non veg starter, a couple of rotis, a non-veg gravy, and end with a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and charges) The food, except for a few items, was quite good. The pricing though, is debatable, and though it isn’t the “bakwasur” it was made out to be on review sites, it probably needs to figure out a better price-quantity proposition before laying on the Bakasurcharge!
Bakasur, Surami Plaza, Outer Ring Road, Next to Shobha Hibiscus, Bellandur, Ph: 9916076720, 8095501980