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Babai Hotel to keep intact its traditional flavour

The eatery had become so famous that super stars like ANR, NTR used to visit it

May 02, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 07:16 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

ICONIC LANDMARK:Visitors enjoy traditional idli, dosa tiffins at the Babai Hotel at Gandhinagar in Vijayawada.— Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

ICONIC LANDMARK:Visitors enjoy traditional idli, dosa tiffins at the Babai Hotel at Gandhinagar in Vijayawada.— Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

The eatery had become so famous that super stars like ANR, NTR used to visit it

Seven-decade-old popular restaurant and no change in menu? That may come as a big surprise for the epicureans but Babai hotel, a city landmark, which has turned 73, does not believe in change for the sake of it.

“We will continue the same tradition to serve the hungry stomachs and fill up the yearning hearts with great taste with our stock menu - idli, masala-dosa, godhuma ravva upma, podi-dosa and pongal - maintaining the quality and taste. We will not add any new recipe to our menu that brought us all round recognition”, said Babai Hotel proprietor Valveti Lakshmi Narisimiha Rao.

Among the best

“Our hotel has made it again. The world’s largest travel website, Trip Advisor accredited it as fifth best hotel out of around 116 restaurants in the city. The hotel got good reviews by many people in the site applauding the taste of the tiffins specially the ghee-soaked idlis and hot pongal.”

Mr. Narasimha Rao said that the hotel became a brand name in many five-star hotels as their menu-card read ‘Babai hotel idli’. Going into the history, the inspiration behind the name, Babai Hotel was established in 1942 by Patruni Samba Murthi. He became popular as ‘Babai’ to one and all. In turn, he used to greet rank and file affectionately with the same salutation - ‘Babai’. Former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy also expressed his gratitude for the services of the hotel.

Babai passed away in 1985, leaving name and fame of the hotel to his adopted nephew, Chanti (Valiveti Lakshmi Narasimha Rao) who is the current proprietor of the hotel. The bigwigs from the Telugu film industry like Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR), Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR), Savitri, Chandra Mohan and a host of top politicians were frequent visitors to relish the tiffins at the Babai Hotel.

This despite the fact that the eatery was small for celebrities to come by, they took great liking to the food here as compared to what was served by many five-star hotels.

In the hands of heirs, the hotel was renovated into a two-storey building in October 2007. “It was great pleasure to have breakfast here at any time, the taste is awesome. Signature recipes unchanged despite passing of years; there is absolutely no change in the recipes including the mouth-watering chutneys of coconut and ginger with chilli powder, along with butter and ghee. The Idlis are literally soaked in ghee and topped with dollops of white butter for good measure”, said Syed Nadir Basha, a daily customer of this hotel since 1981. Basha is a native of Kurnool and settled in Vijayawada.

“Though the culture and structure of the city has changed, the unchanged part is the ongoing flocking of customers at the door in the early hours for the dishes of inexplicable taste. The breakfast is as sumptuous as it was in Babai’s times”, Mr. Rao said.

The eatery had become so famous that super stars like ANR, NTR used to visit it

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