Taste of Bengaluru- The New Indian Express
Express News Service
It’s often believed that when cousins get together, there’s fun, food and laughter. Exactly the scene with Shashank ‘Shanky’ Jayakumar and Sid Mewara, who hop around different parts of a city to explore culinary secrets. Now on their third season of the show, The Big Forkers on Zee Zest, the duo is out exploring Bengaluru. “Bengaluru is a melting pot of cultures where you’ll find everything you want and more. After our first two seasons in Mumbai and Goa, respectively, we came down to Bengaluru after the first lockdown,” says Jayakumar, a technology entrepreneur and consultant to The World Bank.
The duo started the show in 2019 after a suggestion by their friend, Jorindian Vineeth Kumar, during a trip to Spain. “Shanky was already travelling the length and breadth of Spain and I was completing some business work. He asked me if I’d like to tag along for a tour that famed chef Anthony Bourdain took. We started discussing different cultures, food stories and other aspects related to food, and it was Vineeth who suggested that a chat show on food might just make for a good show,” explains Mewara, an investment banker and former chef.
First up, they started a YouTube channel. “Shanky grew up in Mumbai so he took me around. I was stuck in Goa during the lockdown and that became our second season. We were both exploring the place without much personal background,” adds Mewara, who adds that Bengaluru was their next destination after many fans asked them to visit the foodie city.
Through the show, they’ve covered legendary hotels like Koshy’s, Hoskote biryani where queues start as early as 5 am, tasted benne dosae and checked out some pubs in the city. “I know I’m going to be hated for this, but I think the dosae is a bit too hyped here. I don’t get the whole concept of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It also seems like it can’t be either one,” says Jayakumar, adding that he was surprised to find drinks along with lunch being quite popular here.
“Unlike Mumbai and Goa, which have different approaches to the way restaurateurs treat food, Bengaluru is a place that shows a lot of care in the kind of food they put on the table. The best part is it’s decently priced,” he adds. Naati Cafe in Koramangala was one of their other favourite stops. “We don’t know too much about Karnataka cuisine, and Naati Cafe was just perfect to give us an introduction to it. The menu is rotating and has an interesting mix,” says Mewara.
Arirang Korean Restaurant in Kammanahalli was another hot favourite. “Though we’ve both travelled extensively, we learnt how to eat Korean food right here,” adds Jayakumar. Something old, something new…Mewara points out that the food culture has a mix of this. “There are places where you’ll find the working professionals finishing their food in haste to head back to work. But in those same places, you’ll also find old folks taking their own sweet time, discussing politics and solving life’s problems. That sort of mix to see in a culture is very interesting,” he explains.
With 15 episodes in total for the third season, the cousins are hoping to plan their next trips to Rajasthan, Kerala and North East India. “But I think we need to do Bengaluru again because when we came, many places were closed. We want to come back once again and explore more, learn about the city and just enjoy a good time with the lovely people here again,” says Jayakumar.