We don’t know the origins of the vegetarian Andhra meal (authentic or not) at Bheema’s, but can swear undying loyalty to it. Lunchtime at Bheema’s is like navigating Bangalore’s traffic-laden roads. There is utter chaos, lines of hungry patrons waiting to slide into a seat, waiters whirling past with piles of trays laden with food. But what is most looked forward to at Bheema’s is their simple yet oh-so-lovely vegetarian meal, served on a plantain leaf.
Once you manage to fight yourself a place here, a leaf is placed on the table in front of you and soon the staff will come plonk on your plate a bunch of condiments that includes podi or chutney, pickle, and a raita made with cucumber, onion, and yoghurt. Hot steamed rice is then ladled on your plantain/plate on which is poured pappu or dal cooked with greens. Dollops of ghee are added to this mountain of food and you are free to dig in. Generous helpings of mixed vegetables, sambar, rasam, and curd are also placed alongside your leaf, with some trusty papad.
We recommend you order a side of Chicken 65 (succulent natti or country chicken cooked till nearly charred, with heaps of spices and curry leaves) and the deep fried seer fish to go with the simple Andhra meal. Bheema’s biryanis are also legendary but during weekday lunchtime, you might just have to pre-book the biryani (yes, there is such a thing as that!) before you make your way here.