Under the Mango Tree
3, Laurel Lane, Richmond Town, Bangalore 560025
Meal for two: Rs 1,500
Setting up an eatery sans air-conditioning would be a death-wish everywhere in India. Except Bangalore. The terrace eateries at UB City, the mid-town Med place, the South Bangalore Oriental hub all dress up their al fresco settings with low lights, super service and mosquito repellents, making for a quintessentially Bangalore experience. To that club, welcome Under the Mango Tree, located, yes, under a towering mango tree that shoots up from the backyard of a b&b. The atmosphere is laidback, the waitstaff off-your-face.
The menu is eclectic, featuring classic pizzas, mezze platters and Thai curries. The iced teas (Rs 70) are well-made—none of the separate lemon juice and sugar syrup business (if I’ve to mix my iced tea myself, why am I in a restaurant?)—and we decide on the rest while nibbling on crispy falafels (Rs 190) and an insipid cold mezze platter (Rs 300). Khau suey, the endlessly customisable Burmese party favourite, has just started appearing on Bangalore menus, but utmt’s version (veg: Rs 320; chicken: Rs 350; seafood: Rs 380) is thick, cloyingly creamy and in desperate need of layers of spice and texture. My pork spare ribs (Rs 300), too, are a flop: The juices coat the surface generously but the meat is tough and stringy. I’d been luckier with the pan-fried basa (Rs 310) on an earlier visit: The inexpensive bekti substitute had had its innate blandness well-disguised by sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Desserts (Rs 140 each)—brownie sizzler and blueberry cheesecake—are a hit. Like so many new restaurants, the UTMT menu promises more than it delivers on the food front. Head there for a lazy afternoon, not a memorable meal.
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