The portions are hearty and the flavours honest

With the slight drizzle tapping on my umbrella and a bumpy bus ride later, I made my way to Bhojana Shaale, which is tucked away near BDA complex, Nagarabhavi. The restaurant was warm and inviting after a sprint in the cold outdoors.

At Bhojana Shaale, where simplicity trumps ornate and fancy, I was welcomed with a cup of aromatic filter coffee. As characteristic to neighbourhood restaurants, the crowd keeps coming in and the service is quick. For those looking to have a relaxed meal, there is the air-conditioned section. This popular joint, which was started a year ago by Subramanium Bhat, already has many loyalists.

While I make myself comfortable on the synthetic sofa and wait for my order of rava idli and the Bhojana Shaale special pulav, manager Rajaram Rao is all over the place making sure orders reach the tables on time. ‘Mama' as he is referred to by all the staff, is a veteran, who knows how to manage the show. The regular south Indian platter comprising of idlis, various kinds of dosas and vadas come at affordable prices.

Typical Udupi fare

Quirky quotes adorn the wall instructing the customers to keep their surroundings clean, while a large picture of Lord Krishna finds its own space. This vegetarian restaurant has the characteristic ‘Udupi hotel' trait which is reinstated as my order of rava idli arrives. The large and fluffy idli is garnished with tomatoes and tastes as good as it looks. Though the coconut chutney was slightly salty, the vegetable saggu more than made up for it. The pulav and raitha were the usual fare. Stick to the south Indian menu and order a bise belle baath. Bhojana Shaale also has the Udupi churmuri and eddiappa along with the usual bhel puri and masala puri. “We provide simple food at easy-on-the-pocket rates. This attracts students, residents and several employees from the offices nearby. Our purpose is to give the customer a hearty meal and large portions.” says Rajaram.

Twelve-year-old Sirisha comes in with her mother and brother every Sunday and eats her favourite gobi manchurian simply because “it's delicious”, while her mother favours the eatery because of the large helpings and its proximity to their home.

If you're driving by Mysore Road or near the BDA complex at Nagarabhavi, do visit Bhojana Shaale for a heartily cooked south Indian meal.

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Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011