THIRSTY kya? Reach for a — aha, stop right there! Shun that overpriced overrated fizzy beverage and sip a thampu pani for Rs. 5 instead. It's a traditional drink of villagers in Karnataka's Malnad region — and now, a favourite of those thronging Bangalore's Halli Man� (literally, Village House). Thampu pani, a jaggery-based decoction of ragi, green gram and poppy seed, needs no ice; it's a natural coolant. Clean and airy Halli Man� has many such regional items on the menu, at a staggeringly low price. The ravenous can eat till their eyes pop for Rs. 50 (unlimited buffet). Dinner? If you're keeping it light, go for "meals" (Rs. 10) rather than the buffet, but reward yourself with a sweet halubai, or the payasa of the day. To get there, ask for Malleswaram Circle, and just before you reach it (on the one-way Sampig� Road), turn right into Third Cross.

STRANGELY, you'll find more of international than Karnataka cuisine in this city. Japanese, Thai, Afghani, Egyptian, Mexican? it's all here.

If your wallet permits, you can get a whiff of Nepal and Tibet at the "Momos and More" festival at Hotel Grand Ashok's rooftop restaurant Mandarin from November 11-17. (If you're visiting the City, ask the auto driver to take you to "Ashoka Hotel" so he'll think you're a local.)


C.K. Meena

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