Bangalore restaurants offer expats a taste of home

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:04am EDT
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By Ajay Kamalakaran

BANGALORE (Reuters Life!) - Fancy sushi or kimchi? How about some central Asian kebabs or borsch? Many foreigners in India's information technology capital Bangalore now find it easier to get a taste of home.

With a burgeoning population of resident foreigners, several restaurants, run by expatriates, have recently opened in the city to sate the appetite of the homesick.

"Our restaurant is especially popular during Korean festivals and when it's a Korean person's birthday," says Eam Hie Yong, the Korean owner of Korean restaurant Soo Ra Sang.

Eam, who came to Bangalore to do a doctoral degree, estimates the Korean community in the city to number around 1,000.

Besides serving the pickled and peppered cabbage that is kimchi, traditional noodle soups and an array of grilled food -- with all the necessary side dishes -- Soo Ra Sang also has a karaoke bar, where a mix of students, missionaries and businessmen belt out popular Korean and Western songs.

"I love the spicy biriyanis you get in Bangalore but it's hard to go without Korean food for long," says Kim Min Jung, a yoga student from Busan and a regular customer.

For Bangalore resident Tatiana Shahmatova, Rolls United Cafe is the place to go, and take Indian friends, for a taste of her home country Russia.

"Bangaloreans don't know how diverse Russian cuisine actually is," says Shahmatova, who works as a technical writer in a multinational company. "For me, it's nice to occasionally get a taste of home, living 5,000 kilometres away."   Continued...