Mavalli Tiffin Rooms

In her research about Bengaluru, Melissa kept coming across one must-experience restaurant over and over again: Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR). It was billed as authentic, delicious South Indian food, and a lot of it. Apparently, it is particularly popular around breakfast time; we went in expecting a 45 minute wait for breakfast. As lovers of Gravy back home in Portland, we know that sometimes 45 minute waits happen for breakfast because it’s just good food.

We were not disappointed. The food was delightful, which we’ll get to in a moment, but DSCF0199what made the morning especially great was our dining partner. MTR crams people in as efficiently as they can, so you count on sharing your table with others. Sure enough, the host seated Nagesh with us. Nagesh is originally from Hampi but has lived in Bangalore for 35 years, and MTR is one of his favorites. Today, he came with his kids and cousins. We reaped the benefit of his knowledge. Before Nagesh got there, we were not presented with a menu but were asked to order. We ordered what we know, idli and masala dosa. Once Nagesh got there, he made sure we had the whole shebang.

Eventually, we had six different dishes, each with its own character. The idli itself was much like what Bharti, our cook and cleaning lady, more on her another time, made for us a couple of nights before but had cashews and herbs cooked in. The sambar that came with it was just as delightful. The kharabhath was the first item we had never heard of before and was delicious. It is some sort of a semolina flour cake with all kinds of veggies and spices. Then came the sweets that Nagesh made sure we ordered. The standard jamoon was great, but the highlight was the chandrahara, a hard spiced cardamom cookie in some sort of a coconut custard. Next came our masala dosa, which was as good as advertised, with a nice crispy dosa wrapped around delicious spiced potatoes. We finished with a breakfast dessert called “Fruit Mixture,” basically a fruit salad with what tasted like a mango ice cream topped with more fruit salad. We know a few niece and nephew fruit bats who would have flipped over this.

After a nice cup of coffee, we were so incredibly satisfied with both our meal and our new friend. After a fabulous brunch splurge at the Leela Palace last week, we were also pretty happy with our bill which came to about $7.40 for the two of us.

Here. See for your self. Ogle away.

Let’s just say, we’ll be back.