Trackside

That guy I keep referring to as B in all these Bangalore posts? Bharath? He writes. And he writes really beautifully. He blogs at purisubzi.in about a world of things.

And if you’ve read every single post on his blog, you’ll come across some nine or ten posts that he has compiled into a book. Here’s the even cooler part. He spent a few hours every day (for not more than a week) compiling the posts into e-pub formats, so that he could publish the book. You can buy it from Amazon, if you like, here. And you should. It costs less than a burger at McDonald’s and you could definitely do with some fantastic stories.

I like how he has a tab for Books on his site. It’s like he’s going to write many more. I’m sure he will. But it’s quite cute, right now, to see it up there.

@krtgrphr wrote a little about the book here.
And there was an article in The Hindu about it too.

But why am I pimping the book around on my alleged ‘food blog’?

Well, it’s because the evening he announced the book and made it available for free downloads (for a brief while) via Kindle and the iStore, he took me out to dinner. I like calling it a book launch party. Because it involved wine, cheese and posh.

We went to The Smokehouse Deli on 100ft Road, in Indiranagar. Both of us had been craving to go there since it opened a few weeks ago and this looked like the perfect opportunity to make that date happen.

We entered a very white restaurant with outdoor seating, an inner porch-like area with seating quite similar to that outside and a proper inner seating area that covers two floors. The outdoor seating is very brasserie-like, iron chairs with that slight hint of a garden or creepers or flowers around. The rest of the decor is very minimalist and I absolutely loved it. The art around is all basic linework.

We were served a jute bag with three or four different varieties of bread, and herb butter and regular butter in little side dishes. Presentation, 10/10.

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We had a tough time picking an appetizer so we put on our posh pretties and ordered a cheese plate. I’m not sure I remember what was on the cheese plate, though I think there was a nice gouda, Bharath remembers there being a Camembert and then, there were a couple of other kinds. The platter was very very nicely laid out – a few slices of apple, some walnuts strewn around, and some lettuce. It all looked really fancy and made me feel like a total and complete snob. *grin*

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The wine was great. My only problem was that it was served chilled. We asked the waiter about it. And he said reds are served at 5 degrees celsius. Really? That’s news. Oh well, I’m not really a pro in that department, so I won’t comment much more. But yes, it was delicious, expensive, Italian wine.

We just needed to have a nice evening and weren’t particularly famished or starved or hungry to any extreme degree, so we finished with a soup and a salad.

The guys at The Smokehouse Deli have a huge variety of salads to choose from. I’m not kidding when I say I assigned soups to two fingers and asked B to pick a soup to order and when he did the same for one of two salads to decide on.

Soups:
Smoked carrot + Ginger Vichyssoise
(what is a vichyssoise, anyway?)
— OR —
Baby Fennel + Smoked chicken + Thyme

Salads:
Asparagus + Grape
— OR —
Oak Ash Chevre + California Orange

The baby fennel and thyme soup was fantastic – light, creamy and perfect with the wine.

The California orange and goat cheese salad was even better.

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The Smokehouse Deli definitely deserves several more visits, for the ambience, the service and for enough opportunity to sample everything on their menu.

(Yeah, alright, the prices are a little steep. We paid three and a half grand for a soup, a salad, some cheese and three glasses of wine… But then, I think it was totally worth the experience!)

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