An air of nostalgia

Authentic taste

An air of nostalgia

A school teacher who is as passionate about teaching as food could be an oddity. But Hassainar's love for food was so strong that he quit his job as a school teacher in Kerala and moved to Bengaluru to try his hand at setting up a food business. He started Hotel Metropole on Brigade Road in 1952 and moved it to Church Street later on.

In those days, Hassainar was the only one who served authentic Thalassery fare in Bengaluru. The lip-smacking menu included all kinds of fish, chicken-based dishes and biryani.

    Within a year, the crowd began to swell and Hassainar had to expand. He moved the restaurant from Church Street to its current premises at Shivajinagar in 1954. The eatery was later run by his sons — Abdul Khayyoom, Abdul Hayy, Abdul Razaq. It is currently managed by his youngest sons — Abdul Salam and Abdul Latheef.

The eatery opens for breakfast and has the regular ‘dosa’ and ‘idli’, ‘puttu’ and ‘kadala kari’. The lunch menu has meals that comes with an assortment of curries and vegetables.

       The non-vegetarian spread includes chicken curry and fish curry in Kerala style which is spiced with lots of coconut and curry leaves, pepper chicken and ‘chicken kebab’. There is also the chicken curry, prepared in typical Malabar style that goes well with ‘idiyappams’ (string hoppers) and Kerala ‘parottas’, explains Salam.

The ‘Thalassery biryani’ is most popular here and Salam says that they have brought cooks from the Malabar region just to cook this exclusive dish.

    “The biryani is cooked in a special way. The meat is first mixed with the ‘masala’ and the rice is cooked separately. The rice is then layered over the meat and it is never mixed together,” explains Salam.

Fish has its variations with four to five varieties of fish fry and the traditional Kerala fish curry which is stirred till it thickens in coconut milk and sprinkled curry leaves. “The fish curry is the preferred choice of regulars for lunch and dinner,” says Salam.

Salam concedes that competition exists but he believes that the only way to fight it is to not compromise on the taste and provide quick service. And true to his belief, the taste of the items at the hotel is one-of-a-kind. Its location in Shivajinagar is an advantage because the hotel sees a regular stream of tourists, thanks to the Shivajinagar Bus Stand located in the vicinity.

    “We see a lot ot tourists over the weekends. Many people tell me that they hear of the restaurant and then come here. This is encouraging for us,” says Salam.  

The hotel is located at No 6/27, Central Street, near Sri Balaji Plywood, Shivajinagar. For details, call 9945190521.

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