Mahalakshmi Tiffin Room Can Give Tough Competition To Its Neighbour Vidyarthi Bavan

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Mahalaxmi Tiffen Room (or MLTR as its fondly known) is dwarfed by its more famous neighbour, Vidyarthi Bawan. But it would be a cardinal sin to give this more-than-half-a-century-old place a miss, and not steep yourself in its old-world ambience, or savour the delectable idli-dosa-vada on offer.

Chow Down

Benne Masala Dosa, Vada Sambar, Bisi Bele Bhaath, Gulab Jamun

Sip On

Strong filter coffee, coffee and more coffee. And they even make it ‘light’ for weak-hearted souls like me.

Winning For

The nostalgia on offer; the ambience reminiscent of old Bangalore, friendly service and boy, they don’t hold back on the butter!

Lowdown On the Ambience

MLTR has been the centre for many a literary discourse, in a setting that’s charmingly old-world. Double wooden door at the entrances, the menu painted on a wooden plank as well as written on a chalk board in chaste Kannada, wooden benches and tables, a separate “family area”, and a wood and glass food display. On a crowded day, you are encouraged to share tables,and could end up bemoaning the ills of Bangalore with your friendly neighbourhood thatha.

A Worthy Rival

Go straight for the benne masala dose, served with some extra white butter. Blasphemous as this may sound, I prefer MLTR’s doses over Vidyarthi’s anyday. The key thing is the consistency — not as thick as VB’s dosas but not as thin as a paper dosa — golden brown and crisp on the outside, soft inside. This dosa is served with a thinner version of the coconut chutney and the butter oozing out of every pore, makes every bite a sinfully delicious delight. You can also have the dosa with sagu, or plain.

Wait, There's More!

For something different, try their onion dosa or the khali dosa {a local variant of boiled rice is mixed with the dosa batter resulting in a soft, spongy dosa} served with sagu, that is, low on oil and high on taste. Leave some space for the crunchy vadas though, and the sambar that the vada is served with is quintessentially a Karnataka sambar, with a touch of sweetness. I tried the bisi beli bhaath — spicy, with a generous amount of vegetables, the mixture on top providing the right amount of crunch. Full? You can’t leave without trying the gulab jamun here; the syrup is delicately spiced with rose water.

So We Are Thinking…

Sure we have all eaten at Vidyarthi, but if you haven’t at MLTR, do give it a try. You definitely won’t be disappointed!