The easiest way to pick where to eat is to walk into the most crowded stalls, which naturally have the best food to offer
Any seasoned resident of old Airport Road will tell you that it makes more sense to buy food than cook it at home. It is cheaper, just as nutritious and carries the flavours from back home that the largely migrant population of the area craves.
You only have to visit Thulasi Theatre Road, branching off from old Airport Road, next to the Yemlur junction, to get a whiff of this ‘flavours of India’ food parade. The road is said to house up to 60 different food stalls.
The easiest way to pick where to eat, if one was in a mood to experiment, is to walk into the most crowded stalls. If they are crowded, they must have the best food to offer, after all! In no particular order, some of the most crowded stalls are:
Hotel Om Sai Dham
One of the oldest eateries on this street, this place has been serving what they like to call ‘Bombay food’ for the last 80 years. A range of chats are on offer besides main courses such as potato, cauliflower and radish stuffed parathas, channa-batura and the likes that go very well with the lip-smacking vegetarian gravies on offer.
Serving all three meals a day, this place is packed to the brim during meal time, with combo meals priced at Rs. 45. There is minimal seating arrangement, which is difficult to secure.
An absolute must is the sweet lassi, which is a prize after a good meal. The proprietor Manesh points out that it is a vegetarian joint that has options even for people who wish to avoid onions and garlic in their meal.
Madurai Idli Point
Another crowd-puller, Madurai Idli Point does not sell only idlis. If you do choose to go for the fluffy, white steamed pancakes, you can liberally douse them with a variety of chutneys and sambar on self-service.
Pongal and a variety of dosas make for a sumptuous meal, while ‘parottas’, pronounced the Madurai way as ‘burotta’ with a spicy gravy add some adventure.
It is a sight to watch the parottas being roasted with vegetables or meat and lots of spice, to make the aromatic ‘kothu-parotta’, with the clinking sound of the ladles pounding on the tawa for accompaniment.
The food is light and mostly low on grease.
Andhra-style Curry Point
This place is all about spice, with food that should be accompanied by a fire extinguisher. Offering Andhra-style meals with a range of curries and spiced vegetable, this place is not for the faint of heart. The open kitchen keeps all the items on display for those who believe in seeing their food before they eat it. With dosas being their highest selling items, one might also be inclined to try their dals and curries with their plain rice plate, priced at Rs. 15.
Soo Ra Sang
The name of the restaurant means 'king's dinner table' in Korean, which is the cuisine it serves. What was started as a restaurant in Koramangala is now a bed and breakfast for Korean expats on Wind Tunnel Road in Murugeshpalya. The restaurant on the rooftop is open to the public. The dining area is small, although managing to accommodate steels tables and chairs as well as the traditional Korean low wooden tables. It offers a lit-up view of the city, as a bonus. The specialties are pork and beef, as your host will proudly tell you, particularly barbequed. If you happen to favour seafood or the wide vegetarian spread also on offer, the owner, a Dr. Eom Hie Yong, who has a PhD in Sanskrit, will probably come out and admonish you, rather fiercely. "They are all her recipes, and she is really proud of her beef and pork only," a waiter told us apologetically later, offering a concession on our bill, for the disturbance caused to our dining experience! Each dish, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, which is a full course in itself, is priced at Rs. 450, and comes with an array of sides and a starter. Call 080-41303435
If the name sounds soft and comforting, the store, which is essentially a vending cart, sells exactly that — freshly made oil-free flat breads, which is soft comfort food. Three phulkas served with plain palak, dal fry and a mixed vegetable curry will set you back only Rs. 25 but leave you wanting more. They also offer a range of special vegetarian and chicken curries. The ‘vendor’ Sai Bhaskar holds an MBA degree and is in the process of acquiring a food license for his stall.