Mysore Canteen brings Bengaluru dosas, thatte idli and chow chow bath to Kolkata

Kolkata’s newest restaurant, Mysore Canteen, brings a taste of Bengaluru with its golden-crisp dosas and strong filter coffee

Updated - July 11, 2024 12:40 pm IST

Published - July 04, 2024 04:06 pm IST

  • Restaurant Mysore Canteen
  • Cuisine Karnataka
  • Cost ₹₹
  • Address SEE MAP
Ghee podi dosa

Ghee podi dosa | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The tables at Mysore Canteen are still warm from the touch of a previous customer — stains of coconut chutney, blots of sambar, and a few crumbs of thatte idli lie scattered. It is 11 am at Kolkata’s business district Sector five and the newly opened Mysore Canteen is already busy. 

Nestled at the intersection of Salt Lake Sector five’s Webel and TSC eco station at EP block, Mysore Canteen sits like a disruptor serving Kannada-style dosa, idli, Mysore palkova and much more. In a neighbourhood where most restaurants offer Indian, Chinese or Continental meals, it brings an indissoluble essence of Bengaluru to the city. 

Started by Prem Prakash, a supply chain professional and his wife Shwetha Kotian, a former hospitality industry professional, Prem says that Mysore Canteen is his first venture and a tribute to his family. “My father is a Malayali from Kerala, my mother is a Bengali from Kolkata, but I was raised in Bengaluru. When I come to Kolkata I often crave Kannada-style dosas which are golden crisp on the outside but soft and slightly thicker on the inside. The dosas we get in Bengaluru are quite different from dosas served in Chennai, Andhra Pradesh or Kerala,” explains Prem. 

Thatte idli

Thatte idli | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Currently, in a soft launch stage, the canteen started operating last month. The airy and sunlight-filled 700 square feet restaurant has been registering an average of 120 orders daily. “Our order numbers are gradually increasing, and people in Kolkata are receiving the flavours very well. As a customer places an order a token is issued and within 10 minutes the food is served hot. This is usually how traditional restaurants in Bengaluru operate,” says Shwetha. Barring vegetables, all ingredients such as ghee, rice, urad dal and the popular Cotha’s coffee are sourced from Bengaluru. 

The canteen is dotted with kolam designs on its walls, and the powerful scent of coffee blankets the sunny space. No matter how long Kolkata’s food arc may be, it very willingly bends before crunchy, ghee-spumed dosas and strong frothy filter coffee. 

“The idea behind keeping a short and simple menu was to not give customers a brain freeze while looking at the menu,” chuckles Prem. “There is no competing with Kolkata when it comes to sweets so we have only kept two dishes on the menu which are unique — the Mysore palkova and gajar ka halwa,” says Prem. 

Filter coffee

Filter coffee | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

We order the gheepodi dosa, thatte idli, masala idli, Mysore palkova and a cup of filter coffee. On placing the order, a TV screen in the canteen allows us to track the food preparation. Within six minutes, a golden brown dosa generously slathered with podi comes our way, accompanied by three kinds of chutnies. We dip it in the sepia-tinted goodness of a balanced sambhar and what comes across is a thick yet crunchy dosa, soft on the inside with the coarsely grounded spices from the podi scattering itself frivolously in our mouth. 

The warm spongy masala idli is imbued with vegetables, and a secret mix of ground spices which feels like a hug from home. As we wash down the food with freshly brewed filter coffee, the Mysore palkova arrives in a bowl made of sal leaves. Mysore Canteen gives a spin to the original palkova from Tamil Nadu by breaking away from its original thick texture. It is sticky and gooey, infused with almonds, khoya, and milk powder. 

Masala idli

Masala idli | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The menu at Mysore canteen also features chow chow bath, nannari sarbath, ghee mushroom dosa, open butter masala dosa, onion uthappam and more. Outfitted with a team of experienced cooks from Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Kolkata, Mysore Canteen proves that too many cooks certainly do not spoil the broth. 

The Mysore Canteen is at Netguru Building, 4, GP Block, Sector V, Bidhannagar. A meal for two costs approximately ₹400.

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