In the Lutyen’s Delhi, just a few meters away from Rashtrapati Bhawan, in middle of where Members of Parliament or Ministers reside, there is this Mysore Café !! This outlet is serving some authentic, no-nonsense, rustic South Indian fare. Last weekend, we visited this place and savoured our breakfast comprising Sambar Vada, Set Dosa and Mysore Masala Dosa, of course with a cup of Filter Coffee. I must say, they are quite good, and we enjoyed not only the breakfast but also the vicinity. Where exactly is this place and what all they serve? Please read on…
Mysore Café, South Avenue
Nested in the MPs’ flats of South Avenue, this unassuming hole-in-the-wall Café may not be very popular but is a rage with the locals, select foodies and morning bikers. This one opens at around 7.00 am and serves the day through till about eight in the evening. There is ample space for parking and the area, due to VIP vicinity, is not very crowded (Google location at the end of the post). We reached at around 8 in the morning when the temperature was 8 degrees. A few bikers and locals were already done with their share.
The interiors are basic with wooden benches and wooden tables with stone top. The green paneled walls adorn few paintings, pictures of God, advertisements, bookshelves, menu board and notices. There is this one picture which occupies the place of pride, just next to the cash counter where the owner sits. This black and white picture shows the owner serving Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. Ask the owner, Deepak Shetty and he proudly says the person in the picture is his late father and that he was usually called for catering at the PM House in those days. A testimonial of the taste, I guess.
Our order came in one go and quite quickly. Each item was served in disposable slotted trays with disposable spoons. The new normal for ensuring hygiene.
The Sambar Vada platter had two golden fried Vada sitting pretty in the plate were served with a bowl of Sambar and the customary Coconut Chutney. The reasonably sized Vada appeared quite crispy on the outer. The aromas of freshly fried Vada, a spicy Sambar and the nutty Chutney gave a whiff of excitement. I picked up the Vada and it was crisp and yet pillowy. The first bite and the crust was crispy and yet not very thick. It quickly led me to the well-seasoned inner which was aptly moist.
The Set Dosa is a serving of three soft and spongy Dosa served with the Aloo Palya (the one used for stuffing in regular dosa) as side dish with Sambar and Coconut Chutney. The Dosa resembled the Steamed Dosa, a specialty of the famous Chutneys Restaurant in Hyderabad. This almost no-oil, fluffy thick Dosa had a garnish of fresh Coriander in the center and seemed quite airy. The first morsel in the mouth and it was soft, a bit sour due to the perfect fermentation of the batter and almost melt in mouth sorts. I could have it on its own, without any condiments. The Aloo Palya on the side was a perfect combination of Boiled Potatoes done with Onions, Coriander and Spices. Went well with the Set Dosa.
Now was the turn of the hero on the table, the Mysore Masala Dosa. This crispy goldish triangle, with intermittent hues of red, was a delight to look at. The aromas that hit your nostrils will tell you to grab it instantly. I tore the first morsel from the side (I normally do not start from the center) and it gave a mild creaking sound certifying crispiness. The inside was smothered with the authentic spicy Mysore Red Chutney which had a predominant Garlic flavour. It was a real delight to savour this. Gradually one reaches the middle and hit the Aloo Playa ( masala) stuffing. This again turns out to be a great combo of red chutney smothered dosa morsel with that Aloo. The Sambar and the Coconut Chutney too provide further enhancement of the taste.
There must be a few words dedicated to the condiments too. The Sambar served here is of bright yellow colour which is not too thick and neither runny. Does not have much of veggies and yet it has a texture and body. It is aptly tangy and yet spicy. I would say, one of those rustic yet authentic Sambar available in the city. The Coconut Chutney was neither too thick nor watery at all. It had the apt moistness and the right seasoning with a right consistency of granulation.
The Filter Coffee came in paper glasses. I had to ask the server that why it was not served in the traditional steel bowl and the tumbler. He politely said that to maintain strict hygiene, they have currently discontinued the usage of reusable crockery and cutlery. Quite right though. Nevertheless, the Coffee was quite good and gave satisfaction in wrapping up a good meal.
This place is a must visit for the lovers of South Indian Cuisine. I have heard that they serve great Upma for breakfast and some Thali options during lunch. I am going there again to enjoy these. Till then…
Bon Appetite !!
Google Link to the outlet:
Read my other earlier blog posts on South Indian outlets in Delhi: