The taste of yore

The taste of yore

It has the word ‘modern’ attached to its name. But on the contrary, this place is known for its traditions and its conventional taste. Located on the busy road of Minerva Circle, New Modern Hotel (NMH as it is shortly called) is sought-after for its traditional South-Indian breakfast. It is not just the breakfast that is popular here. It is also noted to have the best platter of South Indian meals with ‘rasam’ and ‘sambar’.

Started in the year 1959, this restaurant was taken over by brothers Narasimha Adiga and Padmanabha Adiga in the year 1967. It was in the year 1965 that the restaurant was added with the facility of lodging and boarding. After the demise of Narasimha Adiga, this place is now managed by Padmanabha Adiga alongside Prakash, Sripad Adiga and Purushotham.

  A two-storeyed building, this place gives a nostalgic picture of old Bengaluru as the waiters here serve the customers barefoot, dressed in a traditional ‘panche’ and a ‘khaki’ shirt. An open kitchen, wooden chairs and granite tables, this place has pictures of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhai Patel framed to the walls of its kitchen.

Fifty-six years since its establishment, this place has faithful employees working for the past three decades. “This is a ‘karma bhoomi’ for us. It has become a family business,” says Prakash, son of Narasimha Adiga. A mechanical engineer, he quit his ten-year-old-job to carry on the business.

“It is a known business and doing a known business is better than venturing into something new. And most of the things here are technology-oriented and it is nothing but thermal engineering,” he says. Padmanabha Adiga, who is 75-years-old now, still visits the restaurant and manages it alongside his sons Sripad and Purushotham, who have studied law and hotel management respectively. The “combination of all of us is what makes the place perfect”, says Prakash.

‘Masala Dosa’, ‘idly’, glass coffee and everyone’s favourite — the unlimited ‘sambar’...made with a home-made recipe without any artificial flavours is what adds to the traditional taste. And also it is the magical hands of the loyal staff who have been cooking here for the past three decades that makes a difference. It is only the flooring and technology that have undergone a change here.

There has been no change in the menu since its inception and that itself has stood the test of time. All the equipment in the kitchen are upgraded with modern dishwasher and sterilisers. Everything is upgraded, but their ‘sambar’ remains untouched as it is still grinded with the conventional ingredients with care that makes it stand apart from the rest.

The restaurant is flooded with people even on holidays and during weekends. “On weekends and public holidays, it becomes hectic and almost unmanageable,” he says. A pocket-friendly place, it has customers coming in for generations now. “It is a great feeling and a sense of pride when people come up to you and say that they used to come here with their grandfather and share their positive views on the restaurant,” wraps up Prakash. 

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