Friday, July 24, 2009

Sri Shankarnarayana Refreshments

10, 12th Cross,
JP Nagar 2nd Phase ,
Phone : 080 42456060

Food: 3/5
Ambience: 1.5/5
Self service
Meal for 2: Rs 50-75

We heard of this very well-kept-secret of a brekkie joint only recently, though it has been around for the past 18 years or so. Methinks its one of the perils of a small establishment which does not rely on accolades of idli/dosa-kaapi contests, content with only word of mouth publicity.
So we hunted down this place on a hungry Sunday. Yes, actually hunted it down - it's in an obscure street in the belly of JP Nagar - and to avoid going round in circles like we did, here is a 3 step plan:
1] Go to Rangashankara
2] Ask for directions to Ambarish's house (you don't know Ambarish? the red-eyed-'rebal'-star?)

3] Once you are done trying to peek into his compound, ask any passerby for SN Refreshments (or bhattru's votlu - as known in those parts) and there you are!

Ramachandra Bhat and staff

And what did we find here? One of the best idli-vada combos this side of town, swimming in a puddle of lipsmacking, spicy coconut chutney. Crispy, perfectly done vada and sambar. Hot masala dosas straight off the griddle, giving out sibilant sizzles. Pongal, khara bath and all other tiffan items too. Strong coffee to down it all with. And if you can manage to stuff yourself some more, don't leave without giving the kesaribath a try. One spoonful of saffron sweetness is enough to make you weep with joy...ok maybe I'm getting a bit dramatic here....but you get the drift, dontcha?

Fluffy idlis with the best vadas in town

Nutty coffee

The pièce de résistance

And if you are left licking your lips throughout the day, did I mention that bhattru's place is open in the evenings too? ( 7am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 7.30pm on weekdays, 7am to 1am on Sundays) Mast majaa maadi!
P.S - You still don't know who Ambarish is? Seriously??

Did you know................
........................that the bath (or bhaat or baath) in "kesaribath" means "steamed rice" in Marathi? Though popular versions of this dessert use rava or semolina, the rice preparation is similar to "sakkare pongal" minus the dal.
.......................that the good old vada has a hole in the middle for even cooking? Since the batter is thick, the hole allows the vada to be cooked from the inside as well.


  • Chaithra

    hey nidhi,finally an update! i love this place just for kesaribaath...sometimes you get a pineapple version it which is so good. i love the sourness of the pineapple with the sweetness of the baath,yummm!

  • Saint

    pretty neat writeup! interesting place too.

    Can I also give you names of places that you can check out? I know of a few curious places.

  • Nidhi and Balaji

    Thanks...i hope i get lucky with the pineapple version next time I'm I know you?

    Thanks! Sure..we are all ears

  • Nidhi and Balaji

    Ah! Now I realized which Chaithra this is...u used to stay close to this place for ages right?
    PS - Do you have Ambi's autograph? :)

  • Bijesh

    "that the good old vada has a hole in the middle for even cooking? Since the batter is thick, the hole allows the vada to be cooked from the inside as well"

    did you know that's what the hole does in a donut? Now, to figure out who got it first - the vada or the donut?

  • Ravij

    5/5 rating anyday for this place.
    I used to frequent this place when i was a bachelor and the friendly "Bhartu" (As i address him) used to sometimes provide me sambar takeaways if i used to go there in the evenings, telling me that it solved my dinner problem, as i had to just cook rice. And yes he refused to accept money for this additional value add service. Today even after 7 years of me knowing this place, i still go here with my family for breakfast or evening snacks. This place rocks!!