Aroma of passion wafts thro' Pepe's

Aroma of passion wafts thro' Pepe's


Two vital ingredients are essential to run a restaurant–one is passion, the other is love. Both you will find in abundance here, discovers N Niranjan Nikam with this chat with the owner C  V Shridhar

What catches the eyes as one drives down 3rd Cross, Saraswathipuram, and turns one’s head near ninth and tenth main is the sheer simplicity, elegance and neatness. If one is hungry at that time just stop the vehicle and enter the restaurant to a warm welcome by the ever smiling owner, which is very evident, by his built and his demeanor.

If one is willing for a chat, he opens up, even as he takes the order. “You know the famous quote of Conrad Hilton for a hotel to be a success. It is ‘location, location and location.’  There are not many hotels in this typically conservative neighbourhood and I thought of starting one that caters to their palate,” said the owner of Pepe’s C V Shridhar.

How did it all begin? “My passion for cooking is what made me toy with the idea of opening restaurants. Influenced by my dad C V Vishwanath (a Mysorean) an industrial consultant who worked in Karachi and later moved to Bombay, where I spent my growing-up years, I was exposed to the best of restaurants. 

Bombay was paradise those days.  My father would get into the kitchen and whip up a few dishes,” he said.

Moving to Bangalore in the 1980s, Shridhar started garment business as it was the boom years for the industry. “The idea of starting a restaurant was always there at the back of my mind.

We were keen to start a highway restaurant and one of the main reasons was the lack of clean toilets on the highways. ‘The Coffee Stoppee,’ we started on a highway near Gundlupet on a one acre plot had a sign board declaring ‘Clean Toilets.’ But the business was seasonal and we decided to wind it up,” Shridhar told City Herald.

6th Main in Vontikoppal was started six years ago which has the yoga students from all over the world flocking all the time.  “It is two years now we have started Pepe’s,” he said.

What is the USP in this restaurant? A pulka is judged by the way it rises and Shridhar when his trusted hands from Jharkhand are busy preparing other dishes, himself prepares the soft, dry pulkas.

The south Indian thali and the north Indian thali are the hottest selling items for lunch.
The cost for two people is as low as Rs 80 and Rs 104 respectively. 

The varieties of parathas like aloo, gobi, methi, veg, paneer, onion are all in great demand. What is the combination for these parathas? It is the curries like paneer makhan, corn and methi, corn and capsicum. But if one wants it dry then try aloo-methi with pulkas and if one is young, one can polish of five or six pulkas.

Piped western music is played all the time and the posters and paintings on the wall reflect the mood especially when one goes in the evening for dinner.

The lights are soft and the music is romantic and the Frank Sinatra songs, the favourite of the owner and his sons is playing in the background, a la carte dinner can be ordered.
“We are a very close knit family. My sons Vishwa Murthy and Sachit Anand decided to join me in the business.  Hence, we opened Little Woods on Chamundi Hill road recently. The third son Vikram Aditya is still studying,” he said.

The regulars at Pepe’s are the university professors, office goers, the college crowd and of course the young romantic couples.

Pepe’s serves chats in the evenings as also ice creams, fruit juices, milk shakes and lassi. The chilly paneer which has never been my favourite tasted really yummy.

The graceful, conservative looking lady who had come along with her family turned to Shridhar and said, “I am coming here for the second time. I liked the food.”

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