Ten-second takeaway

A legend in these parts, Hello Paanwala has earned a massive fan following thanks to its out-of-the-box paan versions and the theatrics of its owner.

Say hello!

Standing opposite Hotel Empire, Hello Paanwala is a tall, lit-up kiosk that’s plonked by the side of the footpath. It’s signage is dotted by flashing neon lights and as you move close, you’ll hear hoots of laughter – that’s a sure sign that the Paanwala is in the house. Nobody knows what Paanwala’s real name is, he’s reluctant to share it even. And who needs a name anyway when your unique “Hello!” gets you instant recognition. Hello Paanwala’s {aka Rajbahadur Singh/Pandit/Bhaiyya/Sir/Uncle} every sentence is punctuated with a ‘Hello’. You get an extra ‘Baby’ if you are a member of the fairer sex.

Leaf through

We first picked from the menu that’s displayed on the side of the kiosk. There’s chocolate, vanilla, Roohafza, mango and green apple version among others. Once you let Paanwala know your choice, you can go back to concentrating on the hilarity.

“With bone or without bone, hello?” he asks. And after enjoying the confused look on your face for a second or two, he explains “With or without supari, hello?”. You can then pick between adding ice or going without it. When the paan’s ready to eat, he hands it over saying, “Hello, in one shot. No cheating.” And you better shove the whole thing in your mouth if you want to avoid his wrath.

We tried the chocolate-coated paan. If you’ve chosen the ice version, prepare for an immediate brain freeze. Once it settles down, a gush of sweet juice, the bite of the betel nuts and the chocolate coat your mouth. It’s an enjoyable, sticky and sweet experience that you’ll love if you are a paan fan. The other versions too are similar with slight variations in flavour. When you’ve had your fill, do ask for a tissue. If you are man, you’ll get plain, coarse paper. But if you are a lady, you’ll get soft, water-soaked tissues. Take it and go, baby!

Where: 2nd Main, Opposite Hotel Empire, 5th Block, Koramangala

When: 10am-11.30pm

Price: INR 75 for two

Contact: +91 9591097007

Find Hello Paanwala on Facebook here.


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