Butter-soft idlis, innovative Congress buns, and melt-in-the mouth holiges. If you are a foodie, life is incomplete without a visit to VV Puram, swears Nikhil Varma.
As living costs escalate, so do costs of eating out with family and friends. The tiny food street in Visveswarapuram, situated near the Sajjan Rao circle close to Gandhibazaar seems to give inflation a miss, doling out tasty food street at economical rates. The street comes to life only by six in the evening as the numerous small stalls and restaurants in the area begin their business. Even as outlets run by big multinational firms see empty seats, the food street is always abuzz with people savouring a range of delicacies from Congress buns to honey cakes, creamy sweet buns and puffs, oily bhajjis, coconut holige, lassi and gulkhand.
Ramesh Kumar, a middle aged businessman is devouring the delicacies with his family. “I enjoy the food here. It offers diverse options and is not heavy on the wallet. From crispy dosas to chilly bhajjis or parathas, you have food that suits all palates and pockets. My family enjoys the congress buns from VB bakery on the start of the street, lassi and paratha from the Rajastani paratha stall and crispy masala dosas from the Idly Mane.”
Samant Savant is another regular patron of the stalls on the street. “I work at Town Hall and walk down to this street at least thrice a week. I would recommend starting with the congress buns, filled with veggies and groundnuts, the honey cake and sweet puffs from the VB bakery, lassi and paratha and the superb masala dosa, served with liberal helpings of groundnut chutney and piping hot sambhar. You can try the syrupy sweet gulkhand and ice-cream with some shots of the yellow mango lassi that is sugary and reminds me of my home in northern Maharashtra. I discovered this street accidently and it has become my favourite haunt in the city.”
We start with VB bakery, which is packed with patrons binging on bread jam, the aloo bread combinations and many other delicacies. We try out the toasted congress bun, toasted bread with a smattering of groundnuts, served with a hint of pudhina chutney and assorted vegetables. The light snack provides an array of flavours and tastes excellent. We also grabbed a blob of the crunchy sweet puff and a portion of an oily samosa, both served piping hot. Our next stop is the extremely crowded chat store bang opposite the bakery. The store, rather unimaginatively titled the Chaat Store offers a range of spicy chaats and tangy gol gappas. Sushil managing the gol gappa and chat stall says, “It is very popular. I sell almost 200 golgappas everyday with weekends ensuring better business. My stall closes only close to midnight. The people enjoy the fair like atmosphere that this street provides.”
Ravi is one of the workers at the dosa stall, creating dozen dosas and holiges, with generous dollops of ghee. As we sample the crispy dosas, he says, “I add a lot of ghee once I spread the dosa on the tava, since it makes the dosa crispy and tasty. We also make holige and other sweets such as jalebis during the festival season.” The stall also churns out small fluffy idlis, which are delightful with the chutney.
We finish the meal like many other patrons with a sinful sampling of the sugary gulkhand with a helping of ice-cream served by a smiling Shiva in his stall on the far end of the tiny street.