The thrill of being in college sometimes revolves around waiting for the lunchtime bell, when you go out to fill yourself with the food you’ve been daydreaming about during class. As with all college campuses, Kristu Jayanti College (KJC) is surrounded by a number of restaurants and eateries to fulfil every craving a student could have. Many seem to prefer the cuisines they grew up with, and after a quick poll, ANJU LAVINA hits four of the most popular food joints in the area.
The Taste of Bengal
This is a rolls and lassi centre that brings the authentic street-side flavour of Kolkata to the Kothanur area. For Rs. 35, you could feast on a scrumptious roll and sip from a cup of lebu cha (the Bengali version of a hot lemon tea). The menu boasts of all sorts of rolls — the most popular being the chicken and paneer rolls. The spices mixed with the onions in the chicken kaati roll balance out the richness of the tender chicken well. The lemon tea was a perfect accompaniment to cleanse the palate. Sharmila Murali, a BCA student, says, “I’m from the North and I prefer rolls. The rolls here are flavourful and are freshly made in the kitchen behind the stall. I don’t have to travel very far to look for food that tastes like home. It’s just a short distance from my college.”
(The Taste of Bengal is near KJC, opposite H.M.N. Complex, K. Narayanapura. Call 9035420015.)
You get a whiff of God’s Own Country as you walk into Hotel Thalassery, named after a coastal Malabar city. Stepping into the hotel is like being in a genuine Kerala kada (shop) nestled in the shade of coconut trees. For a meagre Rs. 30, I got myself a full meal that included boiled red rice, parippu, aviyal, sambar, pappadam and pickle, and if you go for the non-vegetarian option, as I did, you get a side dish of beef, pork or fish. The food made me nostalgic for my grandmother’s cooking. The most popular dish, however, is the kappa (tapioca) biryani made fresh every day in their kitchen. The only beverage they sell is the Kerala chai.
(Hotel Thalassery is at 23/2, Defence Avenue, K. Narayanapura. Call 9743643946)
KGN Biryani Centre
This restaurant boasts of being an abode for Indian, Mughlai and Chinese cuisine. It is a little more expensive than the other restaurants in the area, but it is just as crowded. A plate of ‘KGN special’ chicken dum biryani could easily feed a table of 3 and costs just Rs. 75. Sherwin Michael, a BA student at KJC, says, “All my friends go to KGN when we crave biryani, but I would recommend the naan and butter chicken. It is piping hot and freshly made and is completely satisfying.” I ordered just that when I walked in, and soon found out he wasn’t exaggerating — I was left licking my fingers clean after a delicious meal. I would definitely have ordered a second plate if I hadn’t been so full, which, I hope, is a reflection on its otherworldly taste. KGN also provides free home delivery within a 3-km radius.
(KGN Biryani Centre is at 670, H.M.N. Complex, opposite KJC, K. Narayanapura. Call 9611999098 or 9611999461)
Dreamland is a small bakery of sorts that serves different kinds of grilled sandwiches and burgers, but its biggest draws are the soft drinks and milkshakes. It also has an outdoor catering facility and sells food at KJC during fests and other events. I walked in to a lively discussion among three friends Angela Sharon, Delena Rodrigues and Zain Khan, all BBM students at KJC, about what the best dish was at Dreamland Food Corner. They all agreed it was the grilled ‘bread omelette and cheese’. When I ordered it, I didn’t realise how big the portions would be — it was as filling as it was tasty, the chilli and the cheese adding flavour to what could’ve otherwise been a bland sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of ingredients for the Oreo and Snickers shake, for which they are known. I ordered a lemon soda instead, and it was among the best I’ve ever tasted and an excellent thirst-quencher on a 33-degree day.
(Dreamland is at 670, H.M.N. Complex, opposite KJC, K. Narayanapura. Call 09916667150 or 9886549584)