Uppu Munchi – A Delectable Gourmet Experience !
Uppu Munchi which basically translates to Salt & Chilli ( Uppu refers to salt in most of the South Indian languages while Munchi primarily means Chilli in Tulu) is one restaurant in Bangalore that is indeed a hidden gem ! Expectations were a bare minimum with this being the first visit to the resto on an invite but at the end of it, the experience was sky high !
If you are wondering what is the above pic on, well that is how the restaurant welcomes you ! Ain’t it eye pleasing ? All the antique collectibles that resembles food and South India are on display here. The Ambience at this place is so soothing and beautiful. The decor is perfect and the place resembles an age old yet modern version of a tiled and brick walled house. The lighting with shades of different colours, the Framed Floral prints and the blue print couches are some of the major highlights. Even the ceiling is so well designed that its difficult to keep eye off it. I think I have written enough, here is a visual treat –
The Menu is primarily focused on South Indian and Coastal cuisine and the variety is excellent. There are good refreshments available to start with and lets get into the details on a few of them that we tried.
Kokum Sherbet – Spicy and chilled Kokum drink which was indeed refreshing
Goan Sol Kadhi – Also known as the Kokum Solkadhi, we had the one with coconut milk. Had it for the first time and the first sip just hits you with all the spices. Totally love the drink. Steam rice works as a nice accompaniment but a wonder summer drink
Keraleeyam – Creamy tender coconut drink that beats any aerated drink !
Nandu Rasam – Tamarind enhanced Crab soup. Rasam is something that is already a favourite down south, add crab and spices to it and its heaven ! One of the best I’ve had in a while.
Kaithachakka Rasam – Tried this Kerala style Pineapple based Rasam for the first time and I might start going back for it. Interesting flavours that , interesting for a lack of a better word. Do try this if you are here for the experience.
Baby Corn Varuval – If Baby corn and Chettinad flavours is your thing – look no further. I have a definite craving for Chettinad stuff with TamilNadu being my home state for a better part of my life and I could easily relate to these flavours and spices. Just the right mix and Baby corn done well with the crunchy effect makes up for a good appetizer.
Chicken Ghee Roast – When someone says Ghee Roast, Mangalore is what comes to mind. My visit to Mangalore was incomplete because though I did have the Paneer Ghee Roast , I missed the non-veg one’s, well I am glad I visited this resto for they had Chicken Ghee Roast which meant I am not missing it this time. Totally awesome dish packed with flavours with the Chicken cooked in Byadgi Chilli paste and Ghee. Byadgi Chilli is a home grown(Karnataka) Chilli and stands out for the deep red colour that it brings out in a dish and is a tag less spicy then other forms of Chilli. The picture below does not do justice to the taste of the dish at all, top class !
Kozhi Roast – In short, Kerala style Chicken preparation. For all folks from Kerala out here in Bangalore, this is one dish that you should not miss.
Meen Pollichathu – Back to Kerala flavours again, Seer fish marinated and steamed in Banana Leaf. I am a great fan of fish that comes wrapped in the leaf, the aroma is so good in this method of cooking and ensures that the flavours of the marination are in every bite of the fish. Refer to the below pics on the fish being unwrapped, one actually cannot see the fish as you unwrap because it is loaded with the masala all over, we had to do some digging into and clear the masala’s to bring out the fish for a click. Every bite was just a burst of excellent coastal cuisine melting in the mouth. Did not take more than 5 minutes to wipe this off the plate of course we left alone the banana leaf !
Main Course :
Bhindi Chilli – This one’s a Mangalore special Ladies finger prep. Now it depends on how one likes Bhindi to be cooked, this is for this who are head over heels for local cuisine. Simple yet fulfilling, a dish with the right texture and spice level.
Meen Kozhambu – So Meen is basically Fish and Kozhambu refers to Curry in Tamil, and you are right if you guessed it already, this one is a TamilNadu style fish curry. They have options of Seer Fish or Nethili Fish for the curry, what we tried was the Seer Fish one. Kozhambu was just as I would expect to be served in a TamilNadu house hold. 10/10 for taste, texture, balance of flavours and the cooking of fish.The colour might indicate that its spicy but its not that hot unless you want it up there, let them know !
Raw Mango Prawn Curry – This is a signature dish of the restaurant and I am still thinking of how they thought of this combination and I am glad the culture in the country is so good that the essence of flavours from the nook of every corner is passed on globally and reached this place as well. First time trying this dish ever and the chemistry worked well ! Mango , Prawn and ofcourse the coconut milk that the curry was cooked in did bind well together. The garnish as you see in the pic below on the curry was a great enhancer to the flavour.
All of the above 3 main course dishes goes well with either Steam rice , Neer dosa or Aapam, but the liking of each person is different and the world is wide enough so try with what you like !
Now they do have Biriyani’s as well which is expected, what we tried was a different variation or rather a Kerala Fish Biriyani with local style of cooking infused including the rice. This one does not have the long grain or Basmati rice that most people prefer but if you gotta try Kerala local style , then this one is your pick.
We also got to capture the Aapam Master doing what he does best ,dishing out Aapam’s quickly – enjoy the video –
Well we had to try Desserts but after munching through all of these, one dish was only we had space for and that was –
Paruppu Payasam – It’s a Moong Lentil ( Dhal) based dessert cooked in Jaggery and was a good way to end such a wonderful meal
I’ve said this before in my previous blog posts and I will say this again, for a restaurant to be on top of my list or rather on anybody’s list, its not just the food, it’s also the hospitality and ambience. Ambience and Food have already been ticked and I will gladly tick the service off too as they were right up there. What is nice here is that even the wait staff are aware of the dishes coming out and are able to explain the ingredients which is very much needed especially since the names of the dishes are in local dialect and it helps for the diners if someone explains if they are not used to the food in the menu. And so , a word of appreciation for a few folks starting with
- Mr Saijit Shetty – General Manager
- Chef Xavier ( Hope I got his name right, he was one shy person which was totally opposite to the food he was dishing out !)
- Mr Vasanth and Mr Raju – Wait staff and Captain
- Mr Alfred from the Management
- Mr George the Operations Manager
Few more details that would benefit diners going here – there is a bar here too which is currently not operational but is expected to be alive and kicking soon. The Location is right under the Goruguntepalya Metro station and bang opposite the Taj Yeshwantpur hotel. There are no banners or signs yet directing one to the hotel and this is one of the feedback that was given to them to guide folks wanting to visit the resto. If you are going here, be on the service road and the restaurant is on the left side under the metro station.
Uppu Munchi is part of the ShivBhoj group, so its just not this restaurant but there is also a darshini type restaurant that goes with the name ShivBhoj in the ground floor with Uppu Munchi on the first and another Chinese place – Red Sun on the second I believe, if you see sign’s for any of these places – you have reached ! There is parking available so that solves the problem of looking for one especially in the Yeshwantpur /Tumkur Road area.
Also Find them on –
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/UppuMunchi/