BENGALURU: Across the road from the Police Commissioner’s office, is a restaurant, equally busy, especially at lunch time.
Nisarga Garden, open from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening, caters mainly to the office crowd. “People whose work in the commissioner’s office takes long also come over,” says T S Nagesh Rao, who along with partner K H Venkatesh, owns the eatery. For this reason, it’s closed on Sundays. “People who want to eat leisurely will go to Mint Masala, next door, which also is in the same group,” he says. But here, you can grab a quick, and rather wholesome bite for less than `250 for two, including coffee or juice.
Customers often begin their meal with a sweet, the bele holige. The ghee-rich preparation, served straight from the tawa, is a hot favourite, with a dedicated counter. The dosas — crisp and brown or soft — and idli and rava idli, served with sambar or kurma and chatni are recommended as is the bonda soup, bonda-like vadas in dal.
People flock here for the meals: four tiny puris with sagu, a palya (vegetable cooked with the South Indian seasoning of mustard, red chilli, some lentils and grated coconut), rice, sambar, rasam, curd, a papad, and a sweet of the day, priced at `80. For the more health-conscious, dosas that are not as greasy are available on request. If you have your heart set on the avalakki (poha), bisibelebath, pulav, puliogare, the earlier you head there, the better, as they are usually quickly sold out.
To manage crowds during the noon, there’s a separate self-service section and another where you’re waited upon. Both the semi-open spaces have seating space, while there are round tables where people can stand and eat fast-food-style near the dosa and meal counters. The pricing is slightly lower for the self-service section. Service is quick on both sides of the restaurants.
Post 3.30 pm, half-an-hour after the ‘lunch’ items close, the chaat counter opens, offering pav bhaji, bhel, masala, sev, dahi and a whole variety of other puris. There's a juice counter as well that serves seasonal fruit juices and milkshakes. Ice-creams and fruit salad are on the menu too and the piping hot coffee is not to be missed. The restaurant has North Indian dishes too to cater to a varying customer profile, but the South Indian section of the menu is where most specialities are listed.