Bengaluru Airport known as Kempegowda International Airport is Bengaluru’s pride and joy with its excellent infrastructure spread over 4000 acres of land in the lush surroundings of Devanahalli. KIA is the busiest airport in the country though being only the third largest. Of recent, KIA has been in the news for bagging the coveted award of the “Best Regional Airport in India and Central Asia” in 2017 by Skytrax based on travellers choice among 550 airports which is a huge feat.
In addition to customer satisfaction, KIA has been constantly endeavouring to provide passengers the best possible experience in Food and Beverage not only to the International but Domestic passengers as well. Though I have been more of a regular in the International departure area I have never really seen beyond the duty free shops. I recently got an opportunity thanks to be a part of the Airport Food Walk through the International and Domestic departures area.
As expected every airport is extremely strict with its security and though forewarned about the possible delays that fellow bloggers had faced in the past, the clearance passes for our little group of bloggers were ready and we breezed through security without any delay.
Our first stop was La Tapenade at the International Departure area.
As the name suggest this is a Mediterranean Cafe located a little away from the duty free shops giving passengers a relaxing and quiet area to unwind before their flight. The seating area is spread over a large area from high stools to comfortable lounge chairs for those in for the long haul.
This 24 hours cafe is under the able hands of Chef Murali who was kind enough to spend the rest of his afternoon with us sharing his thoughts and experiences behind the menu of this popular cafe.
During the course of his talk, we were treated to jar of cold Iced Tea which seemed the perfect way to begin whiling away the 2 hour wait before boarding your flight. This was followed by a delightful Mezze Platter which was excellently prepared definitely matching up to standards of some well established restaurants in the city.
Moving over to more interesting dishes, we were also served the Shish Taouk for the non vegetarians and the Falafel for the vegetarians. Being on both sides, I had a chance to try both dishes and I loved the flavours oozing out of the chicken though I cant find much fault with the Falafel as well.
After a wonderful experience at La Tapenade, we took a bit of a stroll into the Domestic departure area right into the warmth of South Indian culture and delicacies at The Tiffin Centre.
This restaurant is a pleasure for the eyes with its traditional decor and dressed staff. They have maintained the atmosphere one can expect in those old South Indian homes right down to the steel plates with banana leaf.
Being a true South Indian, this place would be an ideal choice to savour some South Indian favourites before heading off. Their menu is spoilt for choice ranging from idlis, vadas, bajjis to even full fledged South Indian Thali.
As is customary we began with a light and refreshing Buttermilk followed by an assortment of veg snacks such as Soppu Bonda, Chilli Bajji and Masala Vada. Soppu Bonda is basically different kinds of spinach in a bonda and this was my first time trying something like and I loved it.
Both the Chilli Bajji and Masala Vada were also prepared just right and perfect for those who want to grab a quick bite.
South Indian food is also known for its Non veg dry dishes and we had a chance to savour the Coorgi style – Koli Barthade.
The Tiffin Centre is just the restaurant needed in an airport for indulge in some last minute snacking.
After a fulfilling meal of snacks, we headed for a small walk over to the Italian restaurant – Alta Vita.
Our guide and chef Mr.Murali gave us a brief about the dishes selected to be part of the menu here with emphasis on the efforts taken to ensure all the dishes are made from scratch every day and that reflects in the food served to its patrons. The elegant yet subtle decor adds to the warmth of the restaurant making it an ideal stopover if you are craving Italian food.
The dishes we tried were the Minestrone Soup and a few Pizzas – Pizza Vegeteriano, Pesto Chicken & Roasted peppers and White Pizza.
Who doesn’t like a good pizza and the first one I tried here – Pizza Vegeteriano hit all the right notes down to the little capers sprinkled across the pizza. A must try for vegetarians and non vegetarians!
For the non vegetarians – The Chicken Pesto and Roasted Pepper Pizza is an interesting pizza since Pesto has never been a favourite in my books. However the whole combination of pesto chicken with roasted bell peppers makes this pizza perfect!
With room for no more, our Chef Murali breezed in and served us a White Pizza with a flourish! This is something definitely quite different from the usual with just a cheese base hence the name. The toppings are prawns and if you are seafood lover then this is your pizza.
Our last stop was the Puro Gusto which is essentially a cafe of sorts which is the usual place you would see in most airports across the world. The menu at Puro Gusto is simple with salads, sandwiches, paninis, croissants, juices, coffees and more.
After all the food we had at our earlier stops, we decided to try the salads including a fruit salad.
A special mention for the healthy, crunchy and lip smacking Tuna Salad here.
What better way than to end our food walk with some Hot Chocolate, Apple Pie and Tiramisu.
This was my first Airport Food Walk and it was a memorable experience thanks to the ladies – Ms.Archana & Ms.Saroj from BIAL and Mr.Kathhiravan and Chef Murali from HMS.
Shout out to Ms.Neha for bearing with us through the food walk with our constant need for clicks!