I was invited along with the other members of the Food Bloggers Association of Bangalore(FBAB), to come experience the old-world charm of the good ol’ Malgudi Days 🙂
Malgudi Vattika is a pure vegetarian restaurant that opened up 4 months ago on the Mysore road, about 1km after Wonderla. This place is quite easy to spot, with all the hoardings en route. The huge space that this restaurant has managed to make use of is magnificent!
This restaurant opens up at 6:30AM and would attract the crowd heading towards Mysore.
They have a handful of seating options, each of which takes you down memory lane! They have indoor seating, a lush green patio seating and a private party seating. The party area is called the ‘Halli Katte’, which is basically a bench under the shade of coconut trees. This is quite the place that you’d want to pick in evenings for the dim lighting. Any hopeless romantics here ? 😉
While you’re here, you could borrow some traditional games to while away your time 🙂 There has been quite some time( &money ) spent in collecting these games. Mind you, these are not your average board games, they’re quite exquisite and vintage. Take a look at some of them in these pictures I clicked.
People usually come here to have dosas in the mornings, till noon.
We were welcomed with a glass of Lime soda, which was just what all of us wanted in the sultry weather. It was perfect, with just the right amount of salt and sugar.
When we finally decided to take a seat at our lunch table, after all the games and photography, we were given buttermilk(fermented milk). The buttermilk was a disappointment, which had very little salt and wasn’t spiced at all 😦
After this, the first thing that we ate was a mirchi bajji(spicy fritter with chilly) along with a obbattu(sweet flatbread). The bajji didn’t have the heat levels that would make us go crazy and have the obbattu. This would have been a perfect combination, but the bajji played a spoilsport, not wanting to join the party! But, was the obbattu good ? It was good, had oodles of ghee on it. The only thing I would have liked to see was a thicker obbattu with more coconut filling. But, the taste was perfect 🙂
We then had paneer tikka( grilled cottage cheese ). The paneer was soft. It tasted pretty good. If I had to change something about it, I’d add less spices.
We were here for lunch and were told that they have some amazing south indian affair. We got a full south indian meal.
This meal had Jolada roti, which is an Indian bread made out of jowar (sorghum), originating from North Karnataka. I took a bite from my friend’s plate. It was thin and rolled instead of hand pressed, unlike what I’m used to having at home; hand pressed. The roti was soft, light and had some ghee(ancient Indian clarified butter) on it. It tasted very good with a chickpea curry.
We also had Puri(deep fried indian bread), which was pretty good, freshly done and piping hot! I thought it was just another puri, nothing fancy about it.
What I was most interested in, was the rice! I follow a gluten free diet as much as I can and that is the reason I did not have more than a couple of bites of the rotis. We ordered for steamed white rice, vegetable biryani and vegetable pulao. The white rice was to be had with rasam(south indian soup) and a bit of ghee on top! It was a perfect combination.
The vegetable biriyani and the veg pulao looked very similar. When I think of pulao, I think of whitish rice and not the colored rice that you get in biriyani. Here, the pulao was colored like the biriyani. It took a few experts to let us know that they at-least tasted different! The biryani was high on spices and did not quite live up-to my expectations.
We wanted to have some north indian food as well, so we asked for Makke di Roti aur Sarson da saag( corn bread with mustard curry ). It looked spectacular, with all the butter dripping down. I liked the color and the texture of the bread. It tasted very good. This for me was the best dish 🙂
Areas of Improvement by Butter Theory
The service was a let down, to be frank. We kept waiting for our refills for quite sometime. Our order for juices, were slightly messed up. Some people asked for sugarless juice( freaking diet conscious people I say ) which added to the chaos!
Once we were at our lunch table, the owner couldn’t quite spend time with us and that is what probably cost them dearly. I believe they were also understaffed as it was a pretty busy day on a weekend.
They should come up with better curries for a south indian thali.
They should look at adding some more indian desserts. India is home to a plenty of them!
Not much is spoken about customer engagement and I think it deserves to be spoken of in this case. Rishab Mehta, the owner of this place, walked us through the history and motivation behind setting up this place in the way it has been done. His family has been in Bangalore from the past few decades and this was somehow instrumental in choosing a theme of this restaurant. He was patient enough to describe the importance of each of the antique collectible that he has been acquiring! He showed us the entire space, which easily took 30-45 minutes 🙂 He was also helpful in tailoring the menu for us today afternoon and getting us a nice table for 15, in the garden 🙂 While we were about to leave, we also got a ceramic pot with chocolates in them! Now, this is something that I really liked ! Btw, he’s also a techie !
If I’m on the Mysore road early in the mornings, I’m going to come to this place to have the dosas. I missed having them today as we reached only in the afternoon.
Overall, I’d have to say that this is a not a place to come for great food, but for the great experience you get to take back home! Not saying that they serve poor food, but their USP is the lush green ancient setup that take us back in time 🙂