Quintessentially South Indian

Authentic tiffin

Quintessentially South Indian

While some like a bowl of cereal, toast, scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast, there are others who cannot imagine a breakfast without soft ‘idlis’ or crispy brown ‘dosas’ and a piping hot cup of filter coffee. In short, an authentic South Indian breakfast or tiffin is something that most Bengalureans love. Following the breakfast-tiffin tradition is Hotel Janatha, which has stood the test of time, and is known for its golden crispy ‘dosa’, delicious chutney and flavourful filter coffee.

Hotel Janatha was the brainchild of brothers — Pranesh, Seetaram and Ragavendra Rao — who all had a passion for cooking. The trio used to run a canteen at the Linganamakki Dam till the reservoir was built and moved to Bengaluru thereafter.

In 1965, they started Hotel Janata near Sajjan Rao Circle and the success of the eatery beckoned them to open another branch in Malleswaram in 1971, which turned out to be even more popular.

Though the small joint is easy to miss on the busy market road, the aroma of the crispy ‘dosa’ and filter coffee invites the shoppers in. The hotel has two sections — self-service and dining. Waiters in maroon shirts and white ‘dhotis’ work fast and efficiently to serve countless ‘dosas’, ‘vadas’ and Mangaluru ‘bajji’ to the loyal customers and always greet them with a smile.

The joint has even had many celebrities visiting it like Shivarajkumar, Ragavendra Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar and Jaggesh.

For the last 20 years, the business has been headed by Pranesh Rao’s son Veerandra, who feels that running a hotel is not a cakewalk. “If I had to start a hotel business in today’s time, it would have been a lot easier. But maintaining such a reputed restaurant is a tough task. Besides, finding staff these days is very difficult. Back then, labourers were loyal to their employers and worked in a team to achieve success. Nowadays, the loyalty towards the business is missing,” he says.

Pranesh Rao, who is 73 years old, heads the Malleswaram branch and is a man of discipline. He visits the hotel every evening to monitor the activities in the kitchen and sometimes, even indulges in making a dosa or two!

The old-world counter, furniture and flooring have remained intact for decades, thanks to which, many residents of the area have fond memories of the place. Hemalatha, 55, has been a regular here since childhood. “The crispy ‘dosa’ is really good. The ‘vada’ is crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. It’s so light and delicious. It is always a treat to come to this place. There is absolutely no doubt that this is the best eatery in Malleswaram,” she says.
Hotel Janatha is open in the mornings for breakfast from 7.30 am to 12.30 pm and for ‘thindi’ between 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm. It is located at No 27, 8th Cross, Malleswaram.

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