Bengaluru: R.T. Nagar and the surrounding areas are a hub for various colleges. Students from different States studying in these colleges stay in hostels or private apartments. They rely either on college canteens or small private canteens for their meals. Considering the diversity of students, people have come up with canteens providing region-specific food at a low cost. Kerala mess, Andhra mess, Mangalore mess, and Punjabi mess are some of the regional canteens in this area.
"After spending 11 years in United Arab Emirates, where I worked in a hotel, I decided to open a canteen in Bangalore. As I am from Kerala, I cook authentic Kerala cuisine. Four of us have been managing this place for the last nine years. We provide good quality food at a low cost, and most of our customers are students," says Abdul Kader, owner and cook of Naser Kerala Mess, Chola Nagar, Hebbal.
According to Mr. Kader, the daily count of customers exceeds 200 and the daily turnover crosses Rs. 15,000. "I visit this place at least twice a week as I can enjoy my regional dishes here. The food is tasty, and the place is clean," says Mahadevan, a student.
Mohammed Rizwan, student of Acharya college of Nursing, says, "my friends told me about this place. The food is affordable here. I visit this place for Thalassery biryani."
Shetty Lunch Home, a canteen famous for Mangalorean cuisine, is at Dinnur, R.T. Nagar. It has been in service for more than 15 years. According to its manager, Shiv Poojari, the place is famous for seafood. People prefer parcel system to dining-in. Bangda masala fry and fish curry rice combo are the most sold dishes. During the lockdown, the canteen survived on parcel service as the dine-in facility was closed.
There are a few Punjabi canteens in the area. Suresh Chandra, chef of Pahadi Rasoi, KHB Road, R.T. Nagar, says, "we opened this place last month. There has been a decent response from the customers. We are focussing on Punjabi and Pahadi cuisine. People who like northern cuisine should visit us once."
S H Foods is an Andhra canteen in R.T. Nagar. Around 60 customers visit the place daily. "The daily turnover is around Rs 6000. Hyderabadi dum biryani is our main dish. One plate of biryani costs Rs. 99," says Sandeep Agarwal, caretaker of the canteen.