A blast from the past

A blast from the past

Age is just a number. The phrase holds true for both the owner as well as his eatery, located in NR Colony, famous for its ‘kali dosas’. Started about 43 years ago, Hotel Dwarka has patrons who not only vouch for its food but also appreciate the politeness of its 80-year-old proprietor Shridhar S Holla. The man who established it wears a cheerful demeanour and is happy to trace the history of the reputed joint.

“My native place is Saligrama in Udupi district. My eldest uncle, who had no children, took me to his home in Solapur (Maharashtra) when I was six. I completed my education there and got a job at the RBI. Later, he asked me to quit and return to run the deteriorating family business in 1962, Udupi New Anand Bhavan Hotel, in Solapur. That was when my hotel career started. The place did reasonably well, but following a dispute I disposed my share of the business and came to Bengaluru in 1972,” he says. “My brother owned a building on Bull Temple Road and it had a hotel that no one was looking after. That was Hotel Dwarka that I started running the same year. However, I shifted to my own premises in NR Colony in 2006. My son-in-law Krishnamurthy Aithal actively runs it with some assistance from me,” he adds.

One can find customers flocking the place as early as 7 am for a satisfying meal. The menu is simple, regular South Indian but the specialities are quite a few– the ‘kali dosa’ served with a generous dose of ‘coconut chutney’, the fluffy ‘rava vade’, ‘sweet carrot halwa’, ‘pineapple kesari bath’, ‘onion bhajji’ and the aromatic ‘bisi bele bath’. The dedicated staff gladly ladles out extra ‘chutney’ and ‘sambar’ if required. A cup of piping hot filter coffee or tea perfectly completes the experience. 

“Our special ‘tomato dosa’ has been adapted from Maharashtra. In fact we were the ones to introduce it to the City. The same softness of the ‘kali dosa’ through the years sees people returning for more,” says Shridhar. Any secrets to it? “No secrets, no tricks,” he adds saying, “We’ve stuck to the old traditional recipes and try to source only the highest quality provisions even if they’re a little expensive. Depending on the ingredients available, we vary their proportions in the recipes.”

Krishnamurthy explains, “Once everything is prepared, it is tasted by us. The food is made fresh and nothing is reused the next day. We have a reliable staff– our main cook from Udupi, Raju, has been with us for almost 35 years and there are three other cooks, especially for ‘dosas’.”

The prices are reasonable and the place is hygienically maintained. Kant Raj from Uttarahalli, who has been a regular here since the past 30 years, says, “The ‘kali dosa’ may be pricier by Rs 5 compared to other places, but it’s unparalleled in taste. Cleanliness is another factor that brings me here. Besides, the courteous owner always greets one with a smile.”

Hotel Dwarka is open from 7 am to 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm to 8.30 pm (Tuesdays closed). It is located on No 15, 7th Cross, 4th Main, NR Colony. For details, call 25905217.

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