204, 5th Main, 7th Cross, 1st Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore
June 22. 2012.
Imli. The word conjures up memories from school vacations… the times when you would sneak into grandma’s kitchen during afternoon siesta and siphon off the tamarind pieces, often sprinkled with salt. The sweet and the sour would melt into a delicious aftertaste which left you wanting more. Yummmm!
That’s exactly what this new restaurant called Imli which opened in foodie heaven Indiranagar promises to deliver. Lip-smacking food at reasonable prices. Vegetarian food, to be precise (which I later found out).
Friday evenings are those times when the kitchen looks less inviting and hence I googled for some restaurants and found this one. Preliminary reviews sounded promising so off we went.
Imli is tucked away from the busy 100 feet road in a corner bungalow, pretty hard to miss. The seating is on 2 levels – indoor (more or less like a cafe) and outdoor (in the open terrace, highly recommended). There were large groups of families already present when we arrived and chose a table with a nice view (looking down on the street).
Only when we were handed the menu did we realize that this was a vegetarian-only place and hubby groaned enough to make me want to leave. However for the sake of trying a new place and this did look good, we plodded on and gave our order.
The menu is what I call a mix – street food like vada pav, pakodas, chaat together with north indian staples like aloo, gobhi, paneer sabjis. They also have the thali combo called Set Pet Puja which sounded good but we weren’t really in the mood for a full blown meal with papad, pickle, et al!!!
We settled for the Assorted Pakodey (since we couldn’t decide between paneer or onion), Palak Paneer with Phulkas, and to wash it all down Jaljeera.
Assorted Pakodey as the name suggests is a melange of Paneer, Onion, Capsicum & Potato deep-fried.. this one came with chaat masala sprinkled on top. The pakodey were undoubtedly well fried and delicious although the batter could have been thinner. Some of the filling was unrecognizable in the thick batter!
Note to the management: The Pakodey was supposed to be a starter (and of course it is!) and when we ordered, we specifically mentioned to get it first along with the Jaljeeras. Imagine our astonishment when the main food arrived and the server had no clue about it. When reminded, he said its on the way and the dish finally reached us midway through the meal. Although the guy who’d taken the order apologized profusely, I’d like to put this as a note for the owner – please ensure that starters remain that and do not become a main dish!
Palak Paneer. One of those comfort foods I cannot resist while ordering in or from a punjabi restaurant. It was a luscious green, thick and wonderful. The cottage cheese was soft and fresh and lip-smacking. Quite an authentic taste indeed, no faults here.
Phulkas are the regular version of tandoori rotis and are mainly roasted directly on the fire. These portions were smaller than a regular roti but bigger than a poori. They arrived hot, wrapped in foil (perfect idea, wonder why other restaurants don’t follow this?!) and a great accompaniment to the gravy.
The Jaljeera was strictly okay… although hubby liked it enough to order another one.
The meal ended with the namesake digestive served in a bowl. Absolutely love this and I have loads stocked up at home.
The service is friendly and helpful although they need to get their orders in line. I did notice another man on the neighboring table complain about the order too.
The meal costed close to 600 (Rs.) with all the taxes thrown in, service tax is included so you need not tip. This Imli turned to be a sweet and sour experience!
Value for money: ***1/2
Rating Guide: ***** (Excellent) **** (Good) *** (Average) ** (Bad) * (Avoid)