Travel opens up the mind, they say. While that is true, local food holds a special place in all our hearts and every Indian is a happy camper when ooru oota is made available! We decided to explore the local fare at Kempegowda International Airport and found that one hub in particular draws the greatest crowds. Oodles of people are seen tucking into pongal, vada, sambhar or a thali at Malgudi Tiffin Centre, where veshti-clad waiters serve you freshly-cooked, regional fare.
We ordered the non vegetarian thali, that came with a sumptuous portion of rice, some pumpkin curd curry which was delicious and fresh, curd curry, dal (could have been better), a subtly-flavoured gourd preparation and piping hot, extremely tasty rasam. There was a nice wholesome sambhar, and a payasam too, which came in hot and tasted alright. The chicken curry had a bit too much of cinnamon in it, and we would have liked it with a little more gravy. We particularly enjoyed the crisp benne dosas, idlis, and vadas that come freshly made - great for the hungry traveller. While the chutney could do with some more punch, we liked the sambhar.
The Indian interiors with copper pots, olden day fans, self-service and clean surroundings provide a lovely atmosphere in which to sample the day’s specials - and there are many here. It’s wonderful to see the restaurant showcase local fare, be it the ghee roast which could have been better in terms of the masala used, the kane rava fry, the Allepey fish curry or the Mango drumstick gravy. The food is alright, although the welcome taste of local seasonal ingredients at an airport gives this particular hub a nice touch, one that’s missing in most airports today, which offer mainly grab-and-go junk food varieties. In fact, there are few airports that showcase the dishes of their region so well, so full marks on the menu.
The taste varies from day to day, but on an average, you can’t really go too wrong. We loved their filter coffee, it’s perfect, cheaper than the more uber coffee joints with their lattes and capuchinos. If you prefer, they also have some good offers with which you can order a nice glass of majjige, home-flavoured, with your choice of snacks, be it the upma, pongal, lemon rice or idlis. The price might be a tad on the higher side if you go a la carte, but we suggest you try their combos, and their thali, which is delish, with some appalams on the side. Apart from a few specs that can be better, the tiffin here is just the right thing to bid adieu to the city as you go on your travels across the country or the world.
What: Malgudi Tiffin Centre
Where: Bengaluru International Airport, Departure Lounge
Meals for 2: Rs 600 onwards
Must haves: Majjige, dosa, vada, chicken chettinad, ghee roast and the combos