I’d like to start from the end. When you decide to put the rasgulla on the menu for dessert, there is one thing that is necessary to know. Don’t mess with it. As it is, most people find it incredibly difficult to get it right. So, when you’re close, and you know you don’t need to elevate it to any level, stop. The rasgulla does not want to be elevated. It wants to be stuffed into one’s mouth and become a flavour bomb and literally make them feel the calories. That’s the job of a rasgulla.
That was one of our desserts at Jugni – a modified ‘coffee rasgulla’. It came on a bed of crushed milk cake, the rasgulla itself was coffee-flavoured, and then you pour a sticky toffee sauce on top and dig in. Not to mention the crunchy bits of what seemed like crushed chikki spiked didn’t make me die and go to heaven. Don’t get me wrong, if the coffee wasn’t there, and if the sticky toffee sauce wasn’t there, it would be really good. Perhaps some nolen gur, even if they are as artificial as bottled chocolate syrup these days. This one had way too many textures.
They did get the rasgulla right though. Massive, spongy, fresh and not overtly sweet, I’d have eaten just that.
Now let’s quickly go back to the start. Jugni, sitting pretty on a rather busy street in Koramangala, flanked by a whole bunch of other eateries, including a mandi restaurant right across the road, can expect serious competition. But it definitely has a welcoming ambience. The furniture, albeit slightly eclectic, is inspired from aesthetic styles from different parts of the country. Woven cane chairs matched with cushioned divans, marble-top tables etc, it’s interesting, and the place is bright, so you can see everything you eat.
On the menu
The food at Jugni is inspired by India and its rich culinary tapestry. Much like our people and culture, there’s nothing uncomplicated about our food. But here, it’s relatively easy to navigate. Of course, it’s not a brief menu but it doesn’t give you a headache.
Eat the beetroot and peanut chop, even if you’ve got nothing to do with Kolkata. This street-side snack, served with a dash of kashundi on top is really well done. Not overtly salty or laden with chaat masala, it’s a good way to start.
Skip the Chuda Ghugni Box. The ghugni was more like kala chana chhole and the days of eating out of tiffin box at a restaurant are over. It’s not bad, but it’s kind of pointless. The Avocado Chaat, yes it exists, comes in tiny methi mathri cones and is topped with tamarind chutney and pomegranate. The filling in itself has avo, potatoes, and boiled moong. This was a fun one, but our mathri had gone a bit soft, maybe we sat with it for too long.
It's the Purani Dilli Chicken Tikka with kasuri methi butter that you should get your hands on. Delightful pieces of chicken (and I don’t even like chicken), spice and cooked just right, with tiny bits of burnt bits that gives the kebab that smoky flavour. Get that with some burani raita and roomali rotis. You really won’t want anything else. Unless you spot the Yakhni Pulav on the menu. Ours was with chicken though but the rice was cooked beautifully. With that, we were served chicken korma inspired by the stalls outside Jama Masjid. Rich, creamy and subtle, I could do this one again.
But since I had monopolised the potato chips from Bhopal that came right in the beginning, I had to stop eating the pulav and the korma after two bites. Don’t be like me.
Apart from the complex Coffee Rasgulla, they actually have quite a few other desserts on the menu. I had the Lavang Latika with a swirl of thandai creme on top, and it’s not bad at all. The one thing I must say is that none of the desserts were too sweet, which is a serious blessing.
From the bar
Jugni has a full bar and some interesting cocktails. I say interesting because they’ve caught on with the whole ‘clarified’ trend and use ingredients such as Kashmiri garlic and honey. My cocktail had clarified yoghurt, strawberries, and was gin based. I found it a bit too sour for my taste. But here’s the thing, the man behind this brightly lit bar is super cool and will tweak your drinks. So don’t be shy.
Address: Jugni, 52, 5th cross, 60 ft road, 6th block, Koramangala, Bengaluru
Timing: For lunch and dinner
Meal for two: INR 1,500 plus taxes (without alcohol)