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DiscoverBangalore is pleased to to bring a feature on Bangalore's Roadside eataries that spring up every evening and very popular among the Bangaloreans. U B Githa reviews.

Raste Oota
Bangalore's Roadside Eateries

There is something about street food that sets one salivating. An entirely new world springs to life the moment the petty shops down their shutters. The day has just begun for the vendors and the show must go on. They are the BPO staff of the Streets. They occupy their strategic places arranging the paraphernalia within reach and readying themselves to dish out choices that entice the passers by or the regulars. This is a moment that no star hotel can match. In fact I was surprised that at VV Puram-Market Road, the moment one enters that street one is accosted by marketing executives chanting—bisi bisi idli, dose at so and so stall. The gulleys are the places where action is seen past midnight and no Cinderella timing applies here. The post party crowd and the night shifters know where to head to. In fact the waiters can be protective of their lady customers.

The surroundings may be not be pleasant but crowds mill at the sundown time, amidst traffic smoke as rasthe oota has that something special that large segments shamelessly crave for. Otherwise how does one explain the well heeled lowering the tinted window glasses of their Esteems, Hondas, Marutis and Corsas and placing the order? Or the star hotels having themes like Galli Khao which is a big sell out.

There is never any wastage and invariably every bit is literally licked. For once the niceties of fine dining are shelved and unabashedly one goes full steam for any number of helpings as if there is no tomorrow. As more and more people enjoy eating food from the rasthe, on the rasthe the many places where decent snakes can be had are mind boggling. By and large the popular favourites are the idly/ dosas- chutney combos, vada, the family of chaats, bread toast and egg, a rice baath, greasy Chinese dishes (fortunately these joints are few)Chai,puffs and red tandoori non veg chunks. The taste can never be replicated in the home, even by the best cookery expert. It’s as if the magical fingers of the vendor alone can coax the best in every slice of cucumber, mango and masala, rice grain or lentil as they conspire with him. It’s as if the food knows what we want and like.


Rasthe Oota (RO) is definitely for the tongue and tongue alone as it caters primarily to our baser instincts. Hence that explains why a dish in one place cannot be the same in another place. This pied piper of the taste buds does not allow us to worry about the nutritional aspects, Hygiene and ambience. And those who crinkle their noses do so at their own risk. RO is a leveling factor where a sea of humanity congregates to fine tune their taste buds. If nothing else the food is real Value for money.

The skill and precision with which the dosa dough is coaxed on to the hot tawa, the removing of the fried vadas at the right moment, the thatte idlis, the idlis that are steamed as they leave imprints on cloth, as ajji used to, are fascinating not only to watch but the taste also matches. The varieties of chaats-specially the gol gappas, channa choor, samosas, kachoris by the Marwari brethren and copy cats is worth its wait in the queue. The numerous dose camps that were a big draw some time ago have revolutionized the stuffings inside. No longer only the ubiquitous potato filling, but of paneer, cauliflower, beet, avarekalu, egg, chicken/mutton etc jostle place with the potato masala dosas.There would be nearly 15 stuffings of the choicest fillings displayed on the menu prominently. The memory is clear- I stood in the queue for half an hour at the 4th block, Jayanagar Dosa camp like Oliver Twist with the coupon in hand, 2 months after it opened. And when I got the dosa of my choice of filling, it was déjà vu.

Next to Pavithra Hotel, Jayanagar IV block, a place called COOL JOINT was till recently popular for its 5/-soups.It was a riot here daily from 7.00PM.Though the demand of the young crowd now is for grilled sandwiches, ice creams, etc. A little further down is the pani poori chap with a sizeable milling crowd. The menu changes with the demands of the rasthe oota maduavuru from time to time and slowly the category of the diners too is altered. At the Market Road- V.V.Puram one can go for the Sajji, akki and ragi rotis, Khali dose, masala Pepsi/Coke, melting in the mouth obbattus from Abhishek fruit juice stall.

At Majestic next to Amar hotel one gets good and hot ghee rive pilav, plain rice with dhal/sambhar, egg curry and chicken fry. At Subhedar Chatram road it’s the Channa Batura, boiled eggs, plain rice and sliced fruits. M.G.Road for its Bhutas/jolas.Broadway Street for its samosas, range of puffs, kadak chai, mutton rolls, Kerala and Ceylon Paranthas, varki biscuits, and traditional pastries with exotic names like Jahangir, Anarkali, Shahjehan, Badshah that are becoming a rarity.Paya(bone marrow soup)and semiya are available in the morning. Aah!!!This is manna was the body language of the diners, more interested in enjoying eating rather than air an opinion.

What really amused me was finding on Ibrahim Sahib Street, parallel to Comm. street the upwardly mobile burqa (veil) probably khandani ladies with infants hitched on their hips enjoying the dosas and idlis at 9.00PM on a week day and giving me a coy grin when our eyes met. Sitting in a row in an imitation of the feathered friends.

After midnight there is a veritable paradise for the non veggies. Not to be missed are the chicken kebabs, and tandoori chicken, at the Empire on Residency road. Jumbo chicken, mutton and egg rolls at Fanoos on Richmond road. Ghee rice and grilled chicken at the Imperial on Residency road.

RasteOota speaks of the culture of the people of the area and the changes with the passing time. So detaching oneself from this exercise is to miss the rich cultural heritage. But then like India’s heritage RO also will absorb the mutations morphing for the better. And eat people must-so RO can never go out of fashion.

If you have something to say about Raste Oota and its quality of food, please rate these street side restaurant here



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