It may be hidden away from the public gaze, but this eatery offers a fare that draws gastronomes from almost everywhere, says Vipasha Sinha

Hidden in Bahar Agan Street off Ellis Road, right behind Devi Theatre, Bombay Lassi may not have the perfect location. But this small shop, which does not have any seats to offer its customers, has attracted an enthusiastic following from gastronomes, and has done business for 42 years from the same place.

Workers at the shop cannot have an idle moment, because regulars queue up in front of it from the time it opens – 8.30 am – to the time it pulls down shutters, which is at 11.30 p.m. “Our samosas are our speciality. We also serve lassi, kachodi, sweets, basundi, jalebi, milk halwa, carrot halwa and gulab jamun,”says Dilip Yadav, who and his brother Balakrishna Yadav run the shop.

Their grandfather, Mohanlal Yadav came to Chennai from Mathura, decades ago looking for business opportunities. He set up the shop and brought his family to Madras.

“Eight members of the family handle the operations. We have cooks that make the most of our food items. However, my grandfather still personally prepares our speciality sweet items,” says Dilip.

Food items are served in leaf plates. The shop being too for any seating arrangement, customers have to stand and eat.

They, however, don’t seem to mind: Dilip says there are customers who come all the way from Tambaram. “We have customers whom we have been serving for years. Despite the constant price rise, we have tried to keep our rates moderate,” he says.

With many chaat outlets opening across the city, they say their authenticity makes them stand out. They plan to open more outlets across the city and expand the business.