When it comes to entertainment in Bangalore many might voice out that munching a grub at a café or fine dining restaurant or even at a food court just before a movie show is the most preferred option. But are most of these people happy with this option of eating out or do they want more options? With a city that has truly adapted different cultures, lifestyles and various cuisines, is entertainment defined in terms of merely to fill hunger pangs or can more options be explored in the city.
For Priya Sebastian, an illustrator living in the city finds most of the entertainment options suited for the younger generation. Nevertheless she finds eating out as one of the most convenient and apt options to go out with her small set of close friends as she finds good food and great conversations a great combination.
While some may find fine dining or ‘eating out’ as a convenient option there are a few who find this more overrated and suited for those who dare not try newer options or interests. Says Mallika Balu, corporate trainer, “I generally look forward to my weekend trekking outings. And if it is not for a trek then I am game anytime for watching movies or browsing at various book stores. Though I do indulge in going out to eateries once or twice a month by itself dining out has never has really fancied me too much as an entertainment option.”
While Priya finds the dire need of people to visit art galleries and cultivate it as a regular leisure outing she thinks that cultural activites like those interested in western classical music should have scope and to be staged accessible venues in many areas of the city rather than one major cultural venue like Chowdiah Memorial Hall. On the other hand Mallika opines that time restriction not only hampers eating out entertainment options but production houses that stage theatre plays start early and end early while the ideal thing would be to let people attend a play even late in the evening and catch up with friends post a play.
Time restrictions seem to be a great matter of concern for a sizeable number who find the very base of entertainment in a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore gets a beating due to this issue. Says Gauri Kapur, make up artist and stylist, “Thinking of going out on a weekend seems too very painful, due to traffic and lack of good happening parties. Also people seem to get concentrated in one happening party which can get irritable. Another major problem in Bangalore is the time restriction that seems to work adverse with someone like me who want a good night life.” She further reasons out that as other than star hotels almost all eating joints are closed by 11.30pm which makes one wonder what kind of entertainment does the city offer?
Increased spending power, lifestyle changes and need to utilize time in varied interests are making people to look for different kinds of entertainment sources. While youngsters are content with the existing ones those who are exposed to art music or late night parties want the city to change its fabric to cater to wider audiences. Like for someone like Swapna S, an engineering student, Bangalore has definitely become one of the most happening places with so many malls and eat out joints coming up very fortnight.
Not to forget many opine that it is high time Bangalore gets out of the tag of being a pub city or eat out city to more entertainment options showcased at accessible venues that promise to cater not only the teeny weenie’s but also 30 plus generation.
So if one thought it’s all about dining and dancing is all that people of Bangalore want to spend their leisure hours then one is sure to be mistaken as most Bangaloreans want different interests to be explored
It is going to be two months since I have attended this live in concert with Manna Dey and Ameen Sayani but the experience is still fresh. To be honest had attended the concert for one strong reason to see and listen to one person’s voice. The voice that had swooned listeners one and all across the nation. No, I am not talking of Manna Dey (with due respect and after seeing him perform even at 87, I was bowled over) but I had actually gone to see Ameen Sayani.
Being a movie buff and a RJ by profession, passion towards retro Hindi tracks is obvious. I guess I am more inclined towards these songs because I host Meethi Yaadein( in addition to the 2’o clock show and the request hour) on FM Rainbow on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Coming to the concert, the auditorium- Chowdiah Memorial Hall was packed filled with lot of Bengali enthusiasts and quite a number of other people. A co – RJ who had interviewed Manna Dey had mentioned to me earlier that he is short tempered. Had how artists can rise theri temper in front of a live audience during a Jagjith Singh concert. However was expecting Manna Dey to flare up just in case a mobile rings in the concert or if the audience asks him to sing for long. But Manna Dey went with the flow and though he ws strict in asking his musicians to get the ‘sur’ right, he was just magical. He made me wonder if I would speak continously the lenght he sang at his age.
Coming to Amen Sayani, had heard of India’s first RJ who had seen fame that no one else had seen, when I heard him speak on stage in conversation with Manna Dey, I thought is it luck god’s gift or sheer magic of the voice that got him adulation. In the tea break Manna Dey went to take some rest while people were rushing to talk to Ameen Sayani. I could not miss the opportunity and even I rushed to catch a glimpse of him. Mentally feeling like a young teenager I was in complete awe looking at him. Am attaching two snaps, one Manna Da performing and the other where Ameen Sayani is signing an autograph for me with my lucky green pen. Do I sound like a little girl (maybe I am!!).
When I mentioned that I am an RJ, he stared at me and smiled. I added saying no RJ or announcer in the country has seen the kind of popularity he has seen, he commented humbly, “You see at that time All India Radio had banned film songs, and I was on Radio Ceylon, people had no choice but to listen to Binaca Geet Mala.” Another point, which hit me because once I had mentioned it on radio on air, was when a couple of listeners had sent SMSes as though I was a diva and they thanked me profusely for making their day. I mentioned on air that I am not doing much, I am playing songs which someone else has sung, someone else has composed, acted, some one penned. Similar kind of thread with of course with great humility Ameen Saab mentioned that he wouldn’t be where he is if singers, music directors or lyricists didn’t exist and he is because of them.
Does ambience count when it comes to eating for a lunch or dinner especially if it is a planned outing? It very much counts for me. I have found myself to be lenient towards not so appreciative cuisine if the ambience of the restaurant makes me feel good.
Thought of listing down few places that makes for a great evening if you are going out for dinner. Please note this is not in order of rating or preference.
Aura, on Cunningham road – Had visited this joint a few years ago and the ambience made me feel quite comfortable after a hectic day. The ambience is almost outdoor and relaxed in the evening.
Second on my list would be Sahib Sindh Sultan at Forum mall. Have visited this place quite often and the first time I saw the train set-up with the royal finish to the ambience I was overwhelmed. If you have some money to put in for a relaxed & expensive dinner book your table right away.
Next the restaurant that comes to my mind is Trivoli Gardens, the roof top restaurant of Capitol hotel on Rajbhavan road, right next to my radio station – All India Radio. It has a great outdoor ambience. Good to go for lunch or dinner but I think one would enjoy the ambience better when gone for a dinner. The service and luckily the North Indian cuisine too is excellent. Definitely worth a try.
A recent article that I wrote on the current generation not minding spending excessively on entertainment revealed to me that a lot of people prefer going to Grasshopper, a restaurant situated in a farm house on Bannerghatta Road. Am yet to check it out, but the feedback has been good. Have written about it too in the feature, but can confirm on its excellent ambience only when I check it out myself.
As of now this is what that comes on my mind regarding excellent ambience oriented restaurants in Bangalore. Obviously over here I am not talking of star hotels.