Steaming idlis, deep fried vadas with the right touch of oil, spicy sambar with that subtle sting of tamarind, freshly ground chutney with a perfect balance of mustard and methi (coriander), all this followed by a cup of piping hot slightly strong filter coffee, with the suprabhatham playing all along – that’s what I call the perfect south Indian breakfast at the Udupi Gokul Café in BTM Layout.
When I landed in Bangalore 5 years back, Udupi Garden in BTM layout was the biggest landmark that directed people to my residence close by. Run by Kundapur Brahmins, this restaurant was the only one that opened at 6 in the morning and it suited me fine as I started my walks pretty early (5.30 to be precise). As this darshini became my kitchen, I got to know the staff pretty well and service got over enthusiastic when they heard I was from Mangalore. That’s one thing about living in Bangalore, you meet any ‘Kudla’ people and you get that extra bit of friendly service.
Three years later, in 2006, the folks at Udupi Garden had to vacate the place. Besides being in a prime location and a landmark for all BTM directions, the restaurant was doing roaring business and was recognized as one of the best in Bangalore for darshini type food. Naturally, the owner hiked the rental amount and even though I am sure they could afford it, they may have been pipped by another ‘kudla da jana’. Another Kundapur guy began running the restaurant, but the quality sucked and btw it still sucks, so much so that the Udupi Garden name is forever tarnished.
Meanwhile the original Udupi garden gang started off a Udupi Gokul Café that was recently renovated. But, the quality, cleanliness, cooks and the atmosphere remains the same as the original Udupi Garden. For now Udupi Gokul Café is the place to visit for South Indian snacks in BTM layout. Situated close to the Jayadeva hospital flyover, the darshini is a bit out of the way for me, but then my morning walks have got that much longer resulting in a bit more weight off my a**.
Check it out:
Udupi Gokul Café,
Near Jayadeva Hospital Flyover,
P.S. – The pongal vadas are my favourite.