SHESHADRIPURAM: If it was not for the crowd around it, one would have probably missed Sri Ganesh Bombay Vada Pav Corner on the busy Sheshadripuram Main Road. But for Lakshminarayan P G, its proprietor, the joint’s unassuming appearance is the least of his worries.
The narrow outlet doesn’t need any frills to attract customers. One peep through the glass showcase would explain what the crowd around his shop is fussing about. The filling for the Katchi dabeli, embellished with pomegranate seeds, bits of cashew, currants and almond, is a showpiece.
The pav is bisected. The white insides are pressed against the hot, greased tava. The fluffy white turns golden brown and the crust glistens with molten butter. The filling oozes out through the sides and is visible through the minute strands of the fine, yellow Bombay sev that adds to the taste and visual appeal. The dabeli is just one item on the menu. The crowd also craves for Bombay vada pavs, butter vada pav, kachoris, samosas, samosa pavs and pav bhaaji.
Started two years ago, the eatery is a popular haunt, particularly for the Sheshadripuram College students and for the discerning Gujarati and Rajasthani residents of nearby Kumara Park, who know a thing or two about these savouries. The shop caters not just to youngsters with tight budgets but to corporates too, where executives discuss big deals in their board rooms over vada pavs ordered from Lakshminarayan’s outlet.
“People also come from afar, particularly on weekends and evenings,” says Lakshminarayan, who prepares his delicacies himself.
"I quit a steady job in Mumbai to start this joint," says Lakshminarayan, a native of Udupi, who has picked up a tip or two about his specialties during his stint in Mumbai, India's chaat capital. His Mumbai experience would also have taught him how to manage a roaring business from a tiny outlet.
The joint, which serves customers from 9.30 am to 10.30 pm, is open through the week. The pav bhaaji’s office hours are from 4 pm to 10.30 pm. “This needs constant attention and a dedicated person to handle,” says Lakshminarayan, who employs three people in his kitchen.
And customers round off their outing with his fizzy masala soda varieties.