When a restaurant becomes ‘established’ in your memory
Where do you go when you want to get good beef steaks in Bangalore? Young people and other aliens will throw a lot of names at you, but ask an old-school Bangalorean and you’ll probably hear one or both of these names: The Only Place and Millers 46.
The Only Place is an old-established place, so established, in fact, that I remember going to it in my school uniform. I remember discovering what lasagna was in The Only Place. I don’t remember ordering it, though – I don’t think we ever ventured outside the steak section of the menu. It has location-hopped a couple of times within the CBD and now appears to have settled down in a pleasant, tree-covered courtyard off Church Street.
When things haven’t changed as much as you thought they would
When you’ve known a restaurant this long, and you haven’t visited in awhile, you’re in a bit of a terror about approaching it anew. Will I not recognise the waiters? Will the menu have changed and become a travesty of its old self? Will everything have become darker and smaller?
However, when I walk in, I discover that The Only Place has been remarkably loyal to its waiters and to its initial decor plan, not to mention its menu. It’s a very simple European-style restaurant, with checked tablecloths, outdoors, food-focused seating. The smell of steak grilling lingers in the air, and it’s as appetising as it ever was.
When you get down to brass tacks, or rather, beef steaks
We go straight to the steaks, of course. Now, a good beef steak menu will not waste its time describing sauces to you. The best beef steak is of course the best cut of beef.
The Tournedos and Chateaubriand Supreme are established in the memory of Bangaloreans as ‘the best damn steak they’ve had out here.’
I tell my (large) dining companion how when we were kids we never had the courage to attempt the Chateaubriand, and how in adulthood I finally managed the Mini-Supreme, and how my brother decided to manfully try the Supreme a little too early and we spent three hours in the restaurant, watching the crowds disappear while he slowly, slowly, made his way through it. My dining companion scoffs and orders the Chateaubriand Supreme with extra fries. I stick with the Tournedos, also a great cut and much more approachable.
And then I proceed to exchange a few bites, because the Chateaubriand is still awesome. The juiciest beef; you can cut into it without driving your knife back and forth maniacally. No goopy bits of fat. The fellow-eater loftily polishes it off and raises an eyebrow at me. I recommend the Mini-Supreme for normal people.
Leave room for the pies
Because you really need to leave room for the pies. The cherry pie and peach pie got me to forgo birthday cakes. They’re not too sweet and with a layer of cream they might just have you forgoing beefsteaks, altogether. I’m enraged to discover they’re not available at lunchtime, and sulk my way through a blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse. Yes, they’re that good. They make other desserts insignificant.
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How to Get There:
The Only Place
Where: 13, Museum Road, Church Street, Bangalore
Contact: +91 9986011112 | +91 9986011113
Timings: Mon – Thu 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM | Fri – Sun 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹1,000 for two people