WHAT THEHEEBEE SAYS :
As part of a Breakfast Walk organized by the group – Bangalore Breakfast Walks, we headed to the legendary Vidyarthi Bhavan on one Saturday morning. Sharing our experience with the community.
ABOUT VIDYARTHI BHAVAN:
Vidyarthi Bhavan, a heritage South Indian vegetarian restaurant, started in 1943 as a small students’ eatery (from where it gets its name), has become a place that makes up part of the culinary history of Bangalore and which has metamorphosed into what it is today, a place where time and tradition have stood still, drawing people from all walks of life.
As THE HINDU rightly described – It was always packed with students and businessmen, and the taste of their masala dosey, sagu dosey and rave vadey was so irresistible that it brought the tallest figures of every arena to their doorstep.
AT THE FIRST STEP :
It is housed at a small premises in the busy Gandhi Bazar area of beautiful Basavanagudi locality of South Bangalore. The place is all hustle-bustle since early morning and the charm remains throughout the day. Greenery is another characteristic of South Bangalore and this locality stays up to it. Vidyarthi Bhavan adds up to the beauty of the locality. When we reached Vidyarthi Bhavan, we were amazed to see that a very huge crowd of people were already waiting their turn for table. An attended was noting down the names of guests and then calling them as per their turns when a table gets empty. They have a good seating arrangement in the waiting area. In spite of being a week-end, in spite of having a waiting queue, we could see people smiling and having fun – all because they very well knew whats in store for all this. Parking was not a problem for us as we went early in the morning (9.00 AM), but during later hours of the day it can be a challenge as the locality is very busy and popular. You may need to leave your vehicles at a little distance and walk to Vidyarthi Bhavan during peak hours… but all that is worth!!
The management has been very caring on the up-keeping of the place. When you enter the place, without fail it takes you back to the charm of old Bengaluru. It makes you jealous of the people who got an opportunity to grow up around those times. You can realize what Bengaluru was before the IT boom took away majority of its charm. Vidyarthi Bhavan is all about nostalgia, as Arun Kumar (the present owner) rightly tells to THE HINDU.
Its an old style setup with tall pillars and mud-tiles roof. There are old style lamp-shades and fans hanging from the roof. Old style wooden tables and chairs are squeezed very closely to each other. Walls are clean painted. It has hand-made sketches of all great Kannada personalities on the wall. All these sketches are drawn by Shri Murthy who was a waiter with Vidyarthi Bhavan for nearly 40 years.
The menu at Vidyarthi Bhavan is very simple. There is no change in the menu since it started its operations.
We tried :
Masala Dosa : Vidyarthi Bhavan has its own recipe of Dosa which makes the Dosa much different than what you will have at other joints. It is soaked in butter. Looks wise it is crisp-golden-brown. It is thick and heavy on stomach. Stuffing is of potato and is little blanched in taste with less spices.
Poori Sagu : Another popular dish among the locals is Poori Sagu at Vidyarthi Bhavan. A big crisp poori served with hot sagu and chutney. Sagu was very good in taste and when mixed with little chutney, the taste became better from good.
Vada Sambar : Crisp in texture and full of distinct spices. We got it dipped in sambar and the combination created a ‘wow’ effect along with coconut chutney.
Kesri Bath : Delicious in taste with lots of ghee. It was served hot which made it perfect for the early morning Bengaluru temperatures.
Coffee : Perfect coffee to finish your breakfast extravaganza at Vidyarthi Bhavan.
Sambar here is thin in consistency and coconut chutney is liquid and spicy.
One of the #mustWatch sight at Vidyrthi Bhavan is the way in which the steward carries a dozen palates of dosa from kitchen to the customers. This is very skillful.
Overall the service was satisfactory. Each staff member looks after specific tables and is attentive to your requests most of the times. You can yet feel that he is struggling to cope up with the huge crowd on the week-end days. Due to rush, little wait in serving your order is a normal expectation here.
In spite of being very popular, the prices are very nominal. This place will be by far more popular than the darshinis of Bangalore, yet the prices are comparable to the darshinis or the local food joints.
THEHEEBEE WILL HELP YOU TO FIND THE PLACE: