BANGALORE: A street filled with stalls, lanterns hanging at every stall, is a visual feast for one’s eyes. When you walk in, you feel like, you are at a fast food joint, may be in an old world, European city. One can already see a bunch of people, gently loitering around, deciding which snack to choose from the 20 stationary and mobile stalls, lined up in a row, to be grabbed by the eager gourmand.
The evenings are a perfect time for all the young and old, enthusiastic foodies to take a stroll outside the Laxmidevi Park at Koramangala. A treat for one’s senses as the aroma of vast varieties of local and global cuisines, varying from dosas, bondas, bajjis, vadapavs, pani-puris to Chinese momos, noodles and Italian pizzas, wafts through the streets. At late evening and the road at Koramangala 6th Block is now bustling with people, from all walks of life. Senior citizens, techies or college students, everyone is crowding to grab a bite from any of the stalls here. It dishes out vegetarian, non-vegetarian and Chinese delicacies to the customers.
One can start out with a dosa stall offering 99 varieties of crispy dosas. One would have never expected an item such as a Chinese dosa. The idea of noodles stuffed in your dosa may sound ridiculous, but the very process of its preparation makes your mouth water. Prakash, the owner of this stall says, “Among the varieties available here, paneer dosa, Mysore dosa and mushroom dosa are in demand.” Sahaja, a student of St Joseph’s College likes the taste of the dosas. “This place surprised me with its varieties. The size of the dosa is good, it really fills you,” she says.
Moving on, Chinese stall has options of full course meals, momos and soup. Dishes like chicken thukpa, and momos served with spicy sauce and various kinds of noodles ensures repeat customers. This road is gaining popularity as the ‘food street’. The stalls don’t just offer Indian and Chinese. You can enjoy a pizza for just Rs 50 here. One can also bump into a coconut vendor, or sample hot bondas, bhajjis and chaats. On your way back home, you can pick up fruits for dessert.
Look out for Madheshwara, an elderly man who sells roasted corn with spicy masala, one of the healthier food items sold here. He caters perfectly to the customers’ taste. Grab a corn and it will last you your entire walk down the road. He says, “My customers are content with what I provide. I used to make better profits earlier. Now with the variety available on the street, my business has come down.”
Some people may be hesitant to eat food on the streets, as they consider it unhygienic, but this joint begs to differ as cleanliness is its hallmark. It is reassuring to see everyone observe hygiene to the point of wearing plastic gloves. Jayanthi Rao, a house wife, says, “We can see vegetables are very fresh and clean. I regularly take parcels from these stalls.”
To maintain a stall on this street, one doesn’t need to posses a license. However, they keep it going by tipping the local police. Vendors say that they are unaware of the need for license as they pay weekly “tax” to the police.
To visit this place, go to Koramangala Post Office and ask for the directions. Or just follow your nose.