The acronym MTR spells magic in Bangalore. Ever since its modest beginning in 1924 near Lal Bagh West Gate, Mavalli Tiffin Room popularly known as MTR, has been serving the most delicious Karnataka fare in the Garden city. Any visit to Bangalore cannot be called complete without savouring the fare at this temple of Karnataka food. Credited with the invention of rava idly, the tiffin room is also famous for its masala dosas, filter coffee and sumptuous meals. Those with a sweet tooth will love Chandrahara, their signature sweet, and also the fruit salad, a medley of fruits tossed in kesar-flavoured cream.
Till some years back, people from Bangalore had to travel all the way to Lal Bagh Road to enjoy MTR food. Now the famous food paradise has opened branches in many other parts of the city including tony Indiranagar. MTR 1924 located on busy 100 Feet Road has been drawing diners by the droves ever since it started a few months back.
A dinner visit last Saturday evening turned out to be a silver lining on an otherwise cloudy and rainy day. A stream of diners dressed in vivid monsoon colours and fashions sat waiting in the lobby of the tiffin room. This only went on to prove that not even heavy rains can deter the city’s foodies from eating out. Beautiful indoor plants and muted lights relieve those at the lobby from the monotony of waiting. The lobby is spacious with enough benches and even as you wait you could choose to find out what is cooking in the kitchen through a large open window. Allowing diners to have a peek at their kitchen has been a practice at MTR for ages. This way one gets to know of the high standards of hygiene that they maintain.
There were three of us that evening. When the man with the waiting list called out my name I was only too excited. The ambience in the dining space is extremely pleasant. There is enough room to walk around. The brick walls painted in white and kiln red perfectly complement the colonial-style wooden furniture. The chairs with white rexine cushions are comfortable and the tables have black granite tops. The waiters look smart in their uniforms and are very cordial and efficient.
I was super hungry that evening and decided to go for a special meal because you have the option of unlimited food. First to come on the table was grape juice (the welcome drink) in a little glass. It was freezing cold just like the weather but the sweetness overshadowed everything.
In a little while came a sparkling thali with five small and one large compartment. Like everywhere the accompaniments are served first. There was green coconut chutney, kosumalli, sagu, cabbage curry, and pickle all vying for attention with each other. Then came a little masala dosa. Made especially for the special meal, these little masala dosas are undoubtedly a great way to start the meal. For that extra taste you must have it with the green coconut chutney. Ummmm, the taste still lingers.
I didn’t go for an extra masala dosa because I wanted to sink my teeth into all the items on the thali. Next came a fluffy puri and I asked for two more. Soft and yummy, these puris dipped in sagu just melt in your mouth.
In between two servings of yummy sweet puddings, came piping hot bisibele bhath accompanied by curd raitha. It is only at MTR that bisibele bhath is served with curd raitha instead of the conventional boondi, potato chips or mixture. Not a bad combo though! I was tempted to ask for more bisibele bhath but chose instead to have rice and rasam. Not a bad decision! I loved the tangy rasam.
Dinner ended on a sweet note with a bowl of ice-cream that had pieces of fruits thrown in for good measure. This wasn’t fruit salad, I would rather call it ice-cream with fruits. A visit to MTR is never disappointing. So was this. Delectable in every sense of the word! I can’t wait for my next culinary journey here. I am sure it will be as special as always.
A special meal will cost you Rs. 200, and the meal is worth every penny you pay!
#305, 1st Stage, Binnamangala,
100 Feet Road,
Bangalore – 560037