At the end of a hard day’s work, there is nothing better than some food to satisfy the soul rather than the dietician — in keeping with this tradition, the residents of Kumara Park take their evening snack pretty seriously. The fast food culture in the area has progressed steadily over the years, with the rise of eateries such as Gullu’s Chaat and Chetty’s Corner competing to churn out their unique takes on fast food, and people from in and around have been the biggest beneficiaries, says Sumanto Mondal.
A family-run business that originated in the early 1950s as a simple cart, Gullu’s Chaat is one of the few acclaimed chaat shops in the city, having been recognised by many sections of the media. Jeetu, the current proprietor, says, “we are here because of our customers.”
Having been at its present location on Serpentine Street for the past 23 years, this place pioneered the concept of U.P.-style chaats in the area while becoming a haunt for students, residents and celebrities alike.
With more than a couple of dozen types of chaats, the most popular is their trademark pani puri: not claiming to be made with mineral water, it strikes a perfect balance to impress all palates. Their unique boondi-based masala puri is a must-try. Working on all days of the week between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., this joint is always abuzz, particularly in the evenings, and if you don’t know how to find it…just ask around!
A first-of-its-kind fast food joint, Chetty’s Corner has been revolutionising the idea of fast food in the area for the past 15 years. For a first-timer, the names of the items here might sound bizarre, but a combination of some the most unlikely items are presented in perfect harmony. Take, for instance, the “Bun Nippat Cheese”, which takes the humble Karnataka snack to new heights, or the “Bun Butter Nut” which uses simple spiced peanuts along with other toppings to create a snack that really packs a crunch.
All the items here are cleverly crafted by its proprietors, brothers Vinod and Anil Chetty, whose mother always gave them free hand to assemble snacks in their own unconventional style.
The place has 25 different items with a bun base, catering to every taste. Another unique dish is the “Sandwich Pizza”, available in about 15 varieties, the most popular being the special veggie. All the items available here are enhanced by the range of “Masala Cold Drinks” — one can choose any soft drink, which will then be spiced up with a secret mix. Another interesting beverage is the Nanari herbal drink, supposedly a blood purifier.
The most important policy of the proprietors here is not to pinch pockets; with every item in the range of Rs. 10 to Rs. 45, Chetty’s Corner is every foodie’s dream.
Sri Ramakrishna Fast Food
A more conventional restaurant, this place has been around for over two decades now. Serving mainly the office-going crowd from in and around, Sri Ramakrishna Fast Food has come to be a regular ‘adda’ for many who come down for a quick bite or a relaxing coffee.
The biggest crowd-pullers here are the dosas that are made on a cooking station placed right at the entrance of this single-shutter joint. One doesn’t have to wait long as the dosas are made in batches of eight, and are served up in no time at all. One can be sure of perfectly-done dosas that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. They come in three varieties — plain dosa, onion dosa and benne (butter) dosa, all of which are worth a try. The place is also frequented for its excellent tea and coffee, and sells ‘shunti coffee’, which claims to be of medicinal value.