At Lore Bangalore restaurant, it’s not just about the food

Nostalgia, stories, local ingredients with an international twist, drama and smoke…there is never a dull moment at Lore Bangalore’s pop-ups

July 22, 2019 04:17 pm | Updated 04:18 pm IST

An enticing chilli-guava sorbet melts in the mouth to remind you of school days and eating these simple bombs after class. The thatinungu-nannari palate cleanser is refreshing with the cool and fragrant taste of summer nights. Rajasthani staple dal-bati-churma arrives as a cute little tart at the table with a shiny yellow globe in the centre. Familiar leaves from your backyard and grandma’s kitchen, including the dodpatre and moringa, make for crispy bajjis.

Beautiful surprises and smart thinking have been going into the dishes at these pop-ups by Lore Bangalore, starting with his very first one. Oh and there is lots of visual drama – read foam, snow, and nitro

Taking global and local and blitzing them together are three chefs and a founder in Bengaluru, where there is never a dull moment in the world of food. Kaushik Raju, a third-generation hotelier from The Atria Group and friend Chef John Ebenezer had been plotting to “start something” for a few years now. After a successful launch of the restaurant Nadodi in Malaysia, Johnson was itching to return to India and create something of a similar calibre here. “We both believed India is now ready to step up on the culinary ladder. India has one of the most diverse landscapes allowing for an incredible variety of produce and tastes, based on every region,” says Kaushik. The core team soon fell into place with Head Chef Mythrayie Iyer who had recently returned from her stint in Michelin-star restaurant Noma (in Denmark, and considered one of the world’s best restaurants) and expressed similar views and passion about food as they did.

Chef Avinash, had in the meanwhile returned from his quest at the three-Michelin-star restaurant called Frantzen in Sweden, before he joined the team.

“Our first pop up was us playing with comfortable flavours in terms of nostalgia but having certain different techniques to test our diners’ reactions,” smiles Kaushik. For about a month now, the foursome, under the banner of Lore Bangalore have been hosting great experimental pop-up dinners. “Lore” stands for many things for this team – first tipping a hat to Banga-lore; “Lore is also short for locavore – which is really what we are about – making food with ingredients grown in our local region. And of course we are telling stories or sharing lore about food,” offers Patron Chef Ebenezer before rushing off to the buzzing kitchen. “We hope to transport the diner through the memory of flavours,”adds Kaushik. “We expect our diners to come with no pre-conceived expectations …just a little bit of their imagination to see what the chefs have to offer and introspect, to have a good experience,” says Chef Mythrayie Iyer.

“It is a fairly new trend here but we are not the first ones to do it,” says Kaushik modestly, admitting that these experiments will eventually lead to opening their own restaurant.

“In the process we want to learn and broaden our understanding about new techniques and flavours from others that we will be collaborating with over the next few months,” he says, talking of plans to go next with their pop ups to Malaysia and Singapore, among others. They will continue doing pop-ups, partnering with other restaurants and breweries across Bengaluru and other cities in India as well. Coming up is a Edible History of Goa pop up on July 25 and 26 at Sol de Goa and Omnisense, a multi-sensory dining experience at The Culinary Lounge in Hyderabad on August 2 and 3.

Chef Ebenezer doesn’t believe Bengaluru’s food space is crowded. “The numbers in Singapore or Hong Kong read more, compared to their populations.” Kaushik adds: “The food scene here is buzzing with some of the best chefs as well as concepts. But we are far from being saturated, as Bengaluru is still a growing city. There is always room for fresh and innovative thinking. I believe change is the only thing which is constant.”

There is so much drama to the food, but, Kaushik explains: “Presentation is definitely key as we first eat with our eyes. But making sure the flavours and ingredients match the visual, is key,” he also admits. One of the biggest challenges in these pop-ups is the “diner in a hurry”, admits Chef Ebenezer. Slow food is still a little difficult to catch up with a generation that is always in a rush. “These meals take time and are a whole experience, not just a ‘quick dinner and run’,” he adds.

You can follow their pop up announcements on Instagram on loreblr.in

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