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Updated: February 6, 2013 17:45 IST
HENNUR

In the throes of an identity crisis

Deepika Sarma
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A confused smorgasbord: A variety of Indian fare, as well as drinks, is up for grabs at Mr. Iyer on Hennur Main Road. Photo: Deepika Sarma
A confused smorgasbord: A variety of Indian fare, as well as drinks, is up for grabs at Mr. Iyer on Hennur Main Road. Photo: Deepika Sarma

Name and jolly mascot notwithstanding, Mr. Iyer doesn’t serve exclusively south Indian fare

Let’s face it: Hennur doesn’t have a lot of restaurants to eat at. Smothered by neighbour Kammanahalli when it comes to cuisine, the bulk of restaurants to choose from in Hennur are biryani joints, “family restaurants” and restaurant chains peddling fast food. Mr. Iyer, the new and confused kid on the block, is an interesting addition.

Mr. Iyer, which has as its mascot a fat and jolly Brahmin man, has a little of everything. To the left is a darshini, serving the dosas, idlis, upmas, pongal and bondas, with some rice dishes served on certain days and combo meals thrown in for good measure. Bajjis and vada pav have also crept onto their list of snacks, and all in all, you’re in for a brisk standing-up meal in a bright, airy room.

Curious décor

To the right is an air-conditioned hall (a blessing when you consider how hot and dusty it can get on Hennur Main Road) with décor that smacks you between the eyes. Running along two walls is a depiction of Indian rural life with squiggly people and figures of animals stuck on sideways that will keep you engrossed all through your wait for the food to arrive, while a third wall sports distinctly European scenes: a train station, a cobbled street, and an arched doorway.

Usual suspects

Food-wise, there's plenty to choose from on the menu, where south Indian dishes take up only a small amount of space. The rest of the menu is dedicated to North Indian and Chinese cuisine. As far as “Chinese” cuisine goes, starters include the usual suspects — gobi manchurian, spring rolls and the like — but don’t bother with the more substantial Chinese dishes such as “Singapore” or “Hong Kong” noodles, as you’ll find that they exist more in theory than in practice.

They do have a very wide range of curries and vegetable dishes, with Mughlai, Rajasthani and Punjabi fare competing for attention. I tried their dum aloo with a gobi paratha, a yummy if slightly heavy combination.

A pleasant meal

Having satisfied myself with an enormous potato in pleasantly spiced gravy and the thick, doughy but thoroughly respectable paratha, I moved on to the cashew pulao. This is a tasty, buttery dish with chewy rice, and happily, they don’t skimp on the cashews. The tomato raitha I ordered with it had too much masala in it, but overall, I had a rather nice meal.

Also attached to Mr. Iyer is a joint called Smoothie Town, which promises grilled sandwiches, burgers, juices and smoothies among other things, but at the time I went, barely any were available. You can enjoy Smoothie Town’s offerings in the comfort of Mr. Iyer’s air-conditioned wing, but a word of caution: unless you enjoy thick, sweet yoghurty drinks that taste synthetic and curdle before your eyes, you’d do well to avoid their smoothies.

(Mr. Iyer is at 36/1, Hennur Main Road. Call 41137600.)

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