The roaring fifties

The roaring fifties

Nostalgic walk

The roaring fifties

In the early 50s and 60s, ‘The Only Place’ was literally the only place in Bengaluru that served continental American food.

Now, even though there are a number of other restaurants that serve similar cuisines, this restaurant has stood the test of time and even today, remains everyone’s favourite.
Haroon Sait started the restaurant in 1965 to feed his many foreign home guests.

Faraz Ahmed, one of the co-owners, says, “My family owned a hotel back in the day and we used to have many Americans, Iranians and Europeans from the Peace Corps who stayed with us after Independence. They found it very hard to enjoy the spicy Indian food that was generally prepared here. My uncle, Haroon Sait, would interact with them and understand the kind of food they liked and it soon evolved into a restaurant.”

The customer satisfaction started with a few breakfast items and then moved onto lunch and dinner.

Faraz recalls, “My grandfather once told me that it was a Japanese customer’s suggestion to name the restaurant ‘The Only Place’. Since our tagline is ‘lip-smacking food’, we used the lips as our logo.

” The restaurant is owned by Faraz and his father, Mohammed Hassan. It was earlier located on Brigade Road and could accommodate about 30 tables. Now, they’ve moved on to a bigger space in Museum Road, which is a 150-seater with park-bench seating and checkered table cloth to carry the old-world feel and al fresco option. In the last 50 years, the restaurant has witnessed many foreigners and locals coming in to enjoy their cuisine.

Faraz adds, “We’ve definitely evolved with time and have changed our menu accordingly but there are a few items that still follow the original recipe.” He says that the steaks date back to the beginning and the recipe of the apple pie is almost 40-years-old. Many come in to enjoy their signature items — a plate of lasagne and quiche — which were pre-ordered earlier.

Faraz explains, “It didn’t make sense for us to prepare certain items and stock them as they would go to waste. So when someone wanted to savour lasagna and quiche, they would tell us a day in advance and we would keep it ready,” he recalls. Some of their popular dishes here are ‘Chateaubriand mini supreme’, ‘Charbroiled steak’ , ‘London fish and chips’, and ‘Apple pie’.

‘The Only Place’ has been passed on from three-generations as of today, and not just with the owners but with the customers as well.

Christobell Jones says, “I remember coming here as a child with family. My parents would often tell me stories about how they would come here as kids and enjoy the food. It’s wonderful to be part of their history and to know that I will also have a similar story to tell my children about it one day.”

In the last 50 years, the customers who’ve come to the restaurant have become a part and parcel.

No matter how often or rarely you go there, you would remember it to be exactly the same as before, contentment guaranteed. The restaurant is located at 13, Museum Road. For details, call 32718989.

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