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Dinner with a Very Sly Granny

December 19, 2017, 0 comments, on Lab Nilaya

Big cities thrill the way experimental novels do – they have a sense of possibilities. Bangalore has always been a sheltered little girl that way. Born as a quaint cantonment settlement and growing on wobbly legs into a “pub paradise” but without the big city grit, it is finally coming into its own. Ok, not so fast. But there are signs. Sly Granny is one of them. First there’s the Arnold Schwarznegger growing out of pineapples wallpaper. Yes. An entire wall of it. And as you start to smile you notice the subverted Englishness all around. Club armchairs clad in faux snake skin – but not everywhere, just a few so they flicker and slither in and out of sight. And just when you brace for naughty surprises, coffee arrives in prim and proper silver – I laughed out loud. Granny is sly.
There’s an ornate white plaster ceiling – all Edenesque, British country home flowers and fruit. And there’s that closed off, world-unto-itself, intimate club atmosphere but the members aren’t fusty gentlemen, but the ghosts of Warhol and Hitchins. Large, wall sized black and white, Parisian photographs draw you into a metropolitan mood and a Chelsea Hotel like staircase is covered in artwork of every kind. I can hear The Doors in my head. There’s a lovely open terrace where the kidding around ends so there is an urge to break on back to the other side.  The food? As fanciful as the décor and as appealing. I hate Indian pizzas. But these coriander, chilli, potato (!) ones were addictive. As was the minty quinoa salad. I thought I hated quinoa too. And the chicken liver pate was competent. The service – quick, thoughtful, kind – they dressed up a walnut tart with a candle the moment they heard it was one of our birthdays. Like Arnie says: I’ll be back.
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