A new neighbourhood joint

Blog, Food and Drink

I wrote this on 20 March, 2019.


Ever since Pooja Dosa Camp came to Kasturi Nagar, it has been a hit! Probably because it serves authentic Tamilnadu style food in an area filled with Darshinis and Sagars. This place is small, clean and quick. And, the prices are a steal!
It is especially popular for breakfast. Mark this place for a leisurely weekend morning. 🙂

Demolished this morning: idli, pongal, dosa and vadai.

Location: Pooja Dosa Camp, Kasturi Nagar 2nd Main Road, opposite Kolkata Victoria Chat House, East of NGEF.

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A cross-country mini breakfast crawl.

Blog, Food and Drink


I loathe stepping out of home on weekends, when I should be idling in bed with a book. Weekends are when things are supposed to come to you automatically from time to time. You shouldn’t have to go out seeking anything. But this morning, I dragged myself out of home and went all the way to Malleswaram for a mini breakfast crawl. My friend is leaving town this month-end and I wanted to take him to one or two of our old eateries.

Our first stop was New Krishna Bhavan (NKB), diagonally opposite Mantri Square mall. We shared a plate of Ragi Dosai and a plate of Jowar/Jolada Dosai. They were true to form. It is always good to eat at NKB. The red onion-chilly chutney and the pure coconut chutney are distinctive touches here. I felt like asking for a second helping of just the onion chutney; it was so good!

From there, we walked up to 7th Cross Road and turned left to reach CTR. I last went to CTR nearly a decade ago. I wanted to try the much-touted benne masala dosa and see if it lived up to the hype. Despite changing its name to Shree Sagar, this restaurant has retained its simple, old-world look, which is very comforting. The fans, the colour of the walls, the framed painting of Madhvacharya, elderly women who remind me of my grandma, the tables and chairs – all seem to be unchanged.

As expected, all the tables were taken and there were nearly 50 people waiting for their turn to sit. The place resembled a stock market of yore, with much raising of hands, signalling and coded gestures. Much like the others, we took up position right next to a particular table in order to ‘reserve’ our seats. The word ‘reserved’ hung in the air. Everyone was looking at everyone else, wondering who was getting up and who was getting a seat. Furtive glances were cast at the tables nearby to figure out what was being eaten. All of us, I am sure, were mentally willing the seated customers to get the hell out asap!

We must have waited for about 15 minutes before we got a table, but in IST (Indian Stomach Time) terms, it seemed like 45 minutes. Post-ordering, our Benne Masala Dosas took another 20 minutes to come. They turned out to be good, but nowhere close to the hype generated. They were just good masala dosas that had been cooked extra-crisp thanks to a generous use of butter. Honestly, you find similarly good dosas in many places across town. It may make sense for people around this neighbourhood to visit CTR frequently, it does not make sense for me to come here again for a long time.

This is just my personal take. Die-hard fans of CTR, please continue to love their dosas. 

This trip helped me bust a myth (that CTR’s dosas are out-of-the-world) and confirm a theory (that most people probably rave about old joints and romanticise them due to their heritage and a strong sense of nostalgia. The taste of the food really is actually not the major factor in these cases.)

Finding the room too stuffy (and wanting to vacate our place for the guys standing at our elbow), we paid the bill and stepped across the road to Temple Meals for filter coffee.

Over coffee, my mind kept going back to NKB. Would they think I am a madman if I were to go back there and ask for just a bowl of that red chutney? 

P.S. We paid for the food ourselves.




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9 lovely breakfasts to have in Bengaluru

Travel and Places

They make good mornings better.

This story first appeared in Conde Nast Traveller on August 3, 2016.




Photo source: Getty Images


Bengaluru takes its first meal of the day very seriously. For a city traditionally known for its darshinis—small, stand-up eateries—the foodscape has changed radically over the past few years to accommodate the ever-changing mix of the populace. But in a place where breakfast is easy to find, where do you find a great breakfast? That’s where this list comes in:

Muffets and Tuffets, Koramangala

This charming little restaurant is set in a small bungalow. You can sit in the air-conditioned section inside or take a table on the small patch of grass outside.

The menu has continental and British fare and includes a mean breakfast platter. With a large waffle with maple syrup, sausages, perfectly-fried hash browns, a grilled tomato, slices of brown bread, eggs made your way and a bowl of baked beans, this is a meal you’d work through slowly.
Recommended: The breakfast platters. 


M&T breakfast


Raghavendra Stores, Malleswaram railway station

This traditional, unpretentious joint serves cheap and authentic south Indian Brahmin food. They make very few dishes, but make them exceedingly well. Idli, vada, shavige bhath, khara bhath, bisibele bhath, kesari bhath—that’s the long and short of their menu. And yet, you have people coming from across town to dig into this food. The idlis are soft and well-rounded. The crunchy vadasare pepped up by bits of green chilly, coconut and pepper stuffed into them. And finally, this is one of the few places in town that serve shevige bhat, a spicy dish made of rice vermicelli with seasoning.
Recommended: Idli vada and shevige bhath

Raghavendra Stores  idli-vada 1


Airlines Hotel, Off Lavelle Road

How would you like to breakfast with birds, in the shade of a large, decades-old tree? Bangaloreans have been doing just that for half a century at the Airlines Hotel. A venerated institution on the city’s foodscape, Airlines is a throwback to a more leisurely era. Most things about the place have remained unchanged over the years, including the delicious fare. You can linger over your food before chasing it down with superb filter coffee, served in thick-bottomed glasses that have all but vanished from other restaurants here.
Recommended: Akki roti, rava idli, filter coffee

Airlines Hotel masala dosa 1



South Indies, Indira Nagar

If you want to breakfast like a king, head over to South Indies. Here, you get delicacies from all south Indian regions under one roof, in a fine-dining ambience. The lavish breakfast buffet is an excellent repast, complete with dessert.


Suryawanshi, Indira Nagar

Maharashtrian food is a rarity in Bengaluru, despite the sizeable Marathi population. For those who love this kind of food, Suryawanshi comes as a boon. Its menu packs in the best of the state, albeit with a Kolhapuri bias. In a city awash with chutney and sambar, Suryawanshi helps you start your day with missal pav, kanda poha, keema pav, sabudana vada, shrikhand, aamras and sol kadi.
Recommended: Sabudana vada, misal pav 

suryawanshi missal pav 3


Kota Kachori, Koramangala

If your idea of a super breakfast is samosa, kachori and chole bhature, Kota Kachori is where you want to go. This joint makes wonderful Indori poha, aloo-pyaz kachoris, chole bhature and parathas. The décor is sparse putting the focus purely on the food.
Recommended: Aloo-pyaaz kachori, poha

kota kachori - chholey bhature 3

Ants, Indira Nagar

Take a roomy bungalow in a tree-lined street, deck it with taste, add a superb continental menu and voila! You have a restaurant with a long queue of patrons straining to enter and reluctant to exit. And did we tell you that this cafe has a store attached, one that sells authentic, hand-crafted stuff from northeast India?

Recommended: Cutlets, eggs with toast, sandwiches 



My Way Little Dinette, Ulsoor

The community that gave us dhansak, sali boti and berry pulav offers some interesting dishes for the first meal of the day too. Parsis love their eggs, mutton and pav, and can have these in any combination. Dishes like eggs on sali, eggs on kheema, akuri on toast and pattice are sure to set your pulse racing. Very flavoursome and aromatic, they are a feast for the eyes too, thanks to the tomatoes, coriander and other greens. Choose a seat by the window side at this bright, cheery restaurant and go to work on your food.
Recommended: Eggs on vegetables or meat 

My Way


Kaayal, Jeevan Bima Nagar

If you wake up one day and find your tummy growling in Malayalam, head over to Kaayal. Every morning on weekends, this restaurant dishes up a Kerala breakfast. Binge on puttu, appam, idli, dosa and uppuma. For accompaniments, choose from kadala curry, stew, chammandi (the Kerala version of chutney) and sambar.
Standout dish: Appam and puttu, served with kadala curry or stew

Kaayal parotta egg curry 2








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