When he was alive and painting, M.F. Husain was accused of hurting religious sentiments with his irreverent art. But Banjara Melting Pot, a restaurant in the former Bengaluru home of the artist, will have none of it. To ensure culinary harmony, the restaurant has colour-coded its glasses and utensils—green for vegetarians and red for others.
The fine-dining restaurant at Koramangala serves the finest of food, but the primary attraction is its connection with the artist. The compound wall has been torn down to exhibit the red-brick masonry and a leaning tree trunk that Husain left untouched while building the house. There is also a mail box designed by Husain which is believed to have been mistaken for a real post box. This was in the early 1990s, when the Karnataka government gave the property to Husain under the artists' quota. The story goes that after receiving many letters in his piece of art, Husain moved the mail box inside the compound.
The MRG group has taken the property on lease from his family and has made an effort to keep his magic alive. As the property was once Husain's art gallery, Husain Sankalana, where he painted his muse Madhuri Dixit, the new owners have kept the decor simple with just some of his paintings (not the originals, of course) on the wall. His bedroom on the top floor is a special family dining area and the lower level has a retro bar.
The multi-cuisine restaurant serves everything from north Indian to pan-Asian and coastal cuisine. The staff takes great pride in the cocktail menu and look disappointed when you turn their recommendations down. The multi-dal Phalguni Sabzi is sure to impress vegetarians with its unique flavour of fenugreek leaves. Then there are the impressive basil-flavoured button mushrooms. For the non-vegetarians, the coastal menu scores over anything else. And, after a hearty meal, the blueberry cheesecake provides the happy ending.