Delectable Dosas

June 16, 2006

ctr
Design:RK

Old hotels in Malleswaram may lack fanfare in their ambience and décor, but foodwise, they more than make up. The first place that comes to mind is Veena Stores, which I described in an earlier post.

Last fortnight, myself and a friend had planned to go to CTR (Central Tiffin Room) for breakfast. But since we had eaten there umpteen times, we went to the newly opened Food Court on 10th Cross. Masale Dose was nice. But felt the price was too high. And moreover the staff were not customer friendly.

While coming back, my friend packed Masale Dose for his mom from CTR. She liked CTR Dose, but not the place as she felt it was unimpressive looking. I faced the same problem with my girlfriend (now my wife) who just felt CTR was not the place where lovers met. And ate. Initially, I really had tough time making her even enter CTR. After seeing a few foreigners and my NRI relatives eating there, she became a regular client and now has no hassles coming to CTR for a Benne Masale.

CTR is a part of what I like to call Old Bangalore, a place with a unique and gentle charm and unhurried pace. It has allowed time to flow around it and is not affected by the passage of time. So, if the service seems a tad slow, it is because of this rather than any laxity on the part of the staff.

CTR is the best place to eat Benne Masale Dose. Period. They are heavenly bliss. It is a nondescript looking place that, surprisingly, has a board that reads ‘Shree Sagar’ in Kannada outside the hotel but retains the price board inside with ‘Central Tiffin Room’ written on it. It is situated on 7th Cross, at the corner of Margosa Road.

I love the old pendulum clock and the Bhagavadgita sayings that is hung on one side of the wall. The furniture has that old world look to it. So is the Cash table on which is placed a small lit ‘Deepa’ and ‘Oodhinakaddi’. There is a ‘Family Room’ too but most prefer to sit in the main hall. CTR is open for just a few hours in the morning between 6.30 am till 12.30 pm and in the evenings from 4 till 8.30 pm. Unlike Janatha Hotel, which is closed on Wednesdays, CTR is open on all 7 days of the week.

I have introduced many of my relatives and friends to CTR. After getting the taste, the ‘Initiated’ have been more regular to CTR than the ‘Initiator’. I remember once a friend of mine had eaten 13 Benne Masales as a challenge. As for the dosas, they are a lovely golden brown. The texture is crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. The flavour is yummy, all dosa and butter. The potato palya is wonderful — well cooked, with the right mixture of spice and flavour. CTR gives two types of chutneys, unlike his competitors. One is the regular Kai-chutney. And the other is Karibevu chutney, which has a tinge of sour. The chutney is obviously the fruit of years of experience.

The hotel is located at such a perfect place surrounded by Malleswaram Grounds, Malleswaram Club, 8th cross, Malleswaram Cooperative Bank, KC General Hospital and the Malleswaram Circle Bus stop surrounding it. No wonder the place is always crowded. I know some loyal customers who have shifted to other parts of Bangalore but still make a religious visit to See-Tee-Aar! At peak hours, if you are lucky, you get a table immediately. Otherwise, better stand next to the person having his coffee or who has just finished eating his Benne Masale. CTR’s competence lies in its dosas. The Idlis and Vadas are passable. For a company to survive and thrive in competitive times, they must be the best in one thing; for the rest, they can be up to average market standards. So it is with this place. Follow it up with coffee and go away smiling at having experienced a piece of history. This really is the stuff of legend. Let me not talk more about it. Try it, to believe it!

CTR Noorkaala Baalali (May CTR live for 100 more years)

Last week, my friend’s mom broke her ‘Vratha’ when she ate at CTR for the first time. Myself and my friend were there too. And no prizes for guessing who persuaded her to eat there!

Design: RK

61 Responses to “Delectable Dosas”

  1. Shruthi Says:

    Bellur, what is this? Please post just two times a week or something… I have a huge backlog of your posts to read… each time I feel I am now up to date, I get tons of work, and you put up ten posts more😀 — yeshto odakke aagilla :((( That too you write on topics which seem interesting. Topic nalli interest illa andare bere thara – i can coolly ignore it. But I feel like reading the posts. And no time. Sigh!!!

  2. RK Says:

    Shruthi, Welcome back. Aaraamagi odhri, no hurry.

  3. Praveen G K Says:

    Hi,

    Nice Blog. I like writeups about my favourite place Bangalore and if it is Malleswaram, it makes it all the more delightful reading. I will keep a tab on your blogs henceforth. I am not sure whether you have read this, but I too had composed an entry on CTR. Check it out on http://whowrites.blogspot.com/2005/11/masala-dosaithe-most-i-miss.html

    and the other on on Malleswaram is at
    http://whowrites.blogspot.com/2006/04/malleswarammy-life.html

    Read them and identify the places🙂

    Keep writing,
    Praveen

  4. MALNAD Says:

    Namaskara,
    AA food court eduru”venkateshwara” hotel antha dose hotel idhe. I think they are next to vidyarthi bhavan in taste!.
    Alle KODIYAL antha south canara items siguththe. Chennagiruththe!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    hey rami mama

    all these blogs about food make my mouth water!

    love
    Amrutha

  6. coup Says:

    Ok, ok, that’s two savoury dishes you’ve mentioned now. Let’s get onto the REAL food, i.e. sweets, which i know you have a hankering for.

  7. RK Says:

    Praveen GK: Very good write-ups on Malleswaram and CTR. Thanks for visiting & keep blogging.

    Malnad: Will visit Venkateshwara next time to eat Kodiyal!

    Amrutha: Hold on lady… till your next visit to Bangalore.

    Coup: Well, now that you have given the idea….you can expect one in a few days.

  8. Srik Says:

    Blogging tooo often is injurious to health😀
    I say this ‘coz I’ve missed out so many posts here…
    help me by giving a break b/n the posts. pls.

  9. Gangadhar Says:

    RK,
    i don’t believe you need some breaks betwen ur posts..
    C’mon mate…keep posting…

  10. RK Says:

    Srik: Are you from FBI school of thought? ie. Frequent Blogging is Injurious school of thought? I was taught in school that “not updating your blogs frequently is injurious to others!”.😉. Mine was CBSE syllabus. Was yours State/ ICSE syllabus? That’s why the difference in opinion!(joking man)

    Gangadhar: Thanks pal. Btw, Did you study CBSE syllabus?;))

  11. Vani Says:

    Bellur,

    I had CTR dosa just last week…Divine !nimma blog odida takshana I felt I hadnt eaten there in ages!…In my house(Combined family of 12), everyone is a fan of CTR Dosa , and any trip to Malleswaram (Translating to Ajji Mane for me) is incomplete without a visit to CTR. Matte I took my friend there, she too was doubtful about the taste looking at the interiors, but one Dosa later, she was a completely different person! It seems she went alone yesterday and had Dosas I heard. She was berating the fact that I instilled the “CTR Dosa Craving” in her. Well, that’s CTR for you.

  12. Vidya Says:

    I made a fuss about even entering
    CTR, But now I know the dosas there are heavenly! I donot bother about the ambience any more,Its all about taste buds!!!!

  13. RK Says:

    Vani: Bai-chapala iddorige, CTR antha jaaga thorisbitre, bahala kashta! Sudden-aagi yello Electronic Cityliddaga chapala shuru aadre, theeriskolovaregoo, vaddadbidtheevi. Alwa?

    Vidya: Feels nice that I helped you in realising GOD!!!😉
    Yes, CTR means lip smacking Doses. No fancy decor, no brooding waiters, just plain good food!!

  14. Vani Says:

    Howdappa! Barithirovaagle Baayalli
    neeru surithide! hey, Rediffnalli “Yearning for the Perfect Dosa?” neevena baredaddu?
    With Due Apoloies to Vidyarthi Bhavan Fans, Anyday our CTR is better

  15. RK Says:

    Vani: You’re right.

  16. Vijay Says:

    This is one place I have never been to.

    This from a guy who has eaten in every gully in Avenue Road (including Kenchamba lodge, UKB) during my school days.. must come over to your neck of the woods one day only to eat at CTR (my neck of the woods is BSK🙂 )

  17. RK Says:

    Vijay, This condition of yours is persisting for too long. I prescribe you a dose of CTR Dosé and Veena stores Idli immediately. 1-1-1 for 3 days! You can pay the fees later.

  18. Vijay Says:

    Time barbeku saar… hane baraha…🙂

    By the way another place thats great in Malleswaram is this Sree Shakthi place (dont know if I got the name right). Great chapathis at a good price.

  19. RK Says:

    Vijay: You mean Sai Shakthi on 8th cross? Heard it is good for North Indian stuff.

  20. Vijay Says:

    The same… its the only place I can eat North Indian without feeling heavy afterward.

    I remember the present owners older brother (an ex-army guy) started this place in the early 70’s. It was right on Sampige Road at that time.

    Their speaciality at that time was Tomato Soup (yes something as simple as that). Remember in ’71-’72 there werent many places serving good quality North Indian fare (actually Chappati.. Sabji types).

    One interesting thing about the early ’70’s was that was when a lot of Gujurathis came to Bangalore from Africa (when they were kicked out of Uganda by Idi Amin). A lot of them set up Chaat joints in areas like Seshadripuram, Rest House Cresent, and Jayanagar… Do you remember any of that? Or maybe it was before your time.

    By the way check out my latest post on Iyers Lunch Home in Mysore..

  21. RK Says:

    Read about Iyer’s. Good place. i have been there.
    And regarding Chaat joints, yes, what you have mentioned is before my time. But I have been to the places in the areas you have told. You get really great stuff at Seshadripuram, Rest House Cresent, and Jayanagar. Not to forget Sajjan Rao circle. I can write an exclusive post for that!! Alwa?

  22. Vijay Says:

    There you go.. maybe we can start a food only blog🙂 ha ha

    But seriously I intend to visit CTR in the next couple of weeks !!

  23. RK Says:

    I want to have the pleasure of hosting you at CTR. When shall we plan for the “attack”?

  24. Vijay Says:

    Thank you for the offer, I accept.. what time of the day is convinient for you? Weekeday/Weekend… preferences?

  25. RK Says:

    guru, nin e-mail id kotre, bhala olledu. mundina kaaryakrama mailalli plan madona. idnna odhi aamele ondhu dodda dhandu bandre kashta!! nija alwe?

  26. RK Says:

    sorry for using ekavachana. kshamis bidi saar.

  27. Vijay Says:

    RK no problems ….
    Nimma rediffmail address ge email kalisiddini… (got you ID from the comment you posted)

  28. Gangadhar Says:

    Well.. I studied with state syllabus..
    But i believe my kind of blogging is almost DUS..Daily update service!!

  29. RK Says:

    Vijay: Thanks.

    Gangadhar: DUS was a good comment!

  30. Anonymous Says:

    ನಮ್ಸ್ಕಾರ,
    ನಾನು ಜನತಾ ಹೋಟೆಲು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿರುತ್ತೆ ಅನ್ನ್ಕೊಂಡೆದ್ದಿ
    ದಿ ಜಿ

  31. Shruthi Says:

    Wow!! Nice post! Benne Masale.. kelidarene baayalli neeroorutthade… long long time since I went to CTR. Have to go sometime soon🙂

  32. RK Says:

    DG: Janatha hotel Dose quality has come down. Sometimes Dose
    ‘Seesbidthaane’. Vade-Sambhar good alli. But Benne Masale andre CTR. Benglurge bandaga banni, hogona.

    Shruthi: Yes, the CTR fellow was also telling, why Shruthi hasn’t come for a long time antha! Better go soon.

  33. Vijendra Rao Says:

    Very well written, RK. CTR is my fav. place too.

  34. RK Says:

    Vijendra Rao: Welcome Sir, and thanks for dropping by. Do visit again.


  35. […] We met opposite Central Tiffin Room (CTR), on the Malleswaram Grounds ‘Katte’. Veena Shivanna was the first to make it to the meet. Myself, my better half and my son met her and as we kept chatting, Usha arrived. CTR was just ‘Open’ and the visitors started trickling in. A slight drizzle started when Srikanth joined us and we had to take shelter under the tree cover. Shruthi accompanied by ‘S’ arrived (although S had to leave right away). At the first sight, Srikanth, Usha and Shruthi all thought Veena to be Vani!   […]


  36. […] I want to: Get the whole world to taste CTR’s Benne Masale Dose. […]


  37. […] Recently, me and my wife met a friend at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet attached to a Petrol pump in Malleswaram. Since it was an odd hour, we couldn’t  go to CTR. The menu card had Hot Chocolate, Espresso with cream, Tropical Iceberg, Almond Frappes and what not. I felt there ought to be a place for the traditional ‘Hot filter Coffee’ amongst these. […]

  38. Gopal Says:

    Rk,
    You know what….I have gone in front of CTR umpteen number of times but never entered.I know I have been missing those great ‘dose’.Very soon I will make amends.
    Thank you

  39. rk Says:

    Gopal,
    Do visit soon. Statutory warning: You will get addicted to CTR’s Benne Masale for life!😉

  40. Gopal Says:

    Probably I will visit CTR this evening itself and test my willpower.I am rather partial to BMD .Will report soon

  41. Gopal Says:

    Had Benne Dose at CTR just now.Really itwas delectable-light on stomach & purse[!],and really yummy.Thanks rk for the introduction.Will spread the word[BTW CTR is reasonably clean]

  42. rk Says:

    Gopal,
    Glad that you had BMD at CTR. Btw, how many did you have?😉
    Yes, cleanliness is maintained to a reasonable extent at CTR. Easy on the purse too. Cheers!

  43. Office Says:

    I’m really excited about this blog. Nice feeling here, seems so refreshing.


  44. Dear RK,
    Now that you have blogged so much on the bangalore hotels known especially for idli, vade and dose, I , who am in Chennai now for the last 2 years, feel like an orphan missing out on all these places. The readers comments are so tantalising that I have decided to go to hotel straight away( even at the cost of “nanna hendthi hatra bye thinniskollodu”) and eat masala dose.
    The masala dose here is an apology for the ones in bangalore.
    Still it doesnot matter. Gone are the days when i used to eat Khali dose, those soft fluffy ones with gallons of chutney.

    Dear RK , you can also blog on ‘pettige angadis’ selling hot crisp bondas,bajjis in bangalore. In DVG road in basavana gudi there still exists such a shop and when you go near it you are straight away transported to the heavenly aroma. Life is not worth living if you havenot tasted it there. Despite a lot of changes in that road, this shop retains the ambience. Because my chikkamma’s house is a couple of doors away, i feel guilty of standing and eating it there whenever i visit her. My first son Adith, likes to buy from there when i take him there.

    Have a mouthful

  45. rk Says:

    office,
    glad you feel refreshed here.🙂

    TSSM,
    i eat only pongal and vade when i am in chennai. yes, doses here are fantastic. do come and attack CTR soon.

    i have eaten bonda-bhajjis in quite a few angadis. ‘pradhan’ in malleswaram, the bonda gaadis near sajjan rao circle and near jayanagar 9th block are all yumm! will write about them soon.

    next time you visit the bonda angadi next to your chikkamma’s place, take her also. then you will not feel guilty!😉

    interesting to read your comments. cheers and best wishes!🙂


  46. Good stuff. I’m really excited about this blog. Really great. Looking forward to more.

  47. Lakshmi Says:

    Visited CTR y’day after reading your post. My family had starting problem – entering and waiting for seating…. once the ordered item – benne masale came there was no time for them except relishing. My hubby commented ‘Dose andhre hegirabeku.Namma maneyalli yake hegirolla?’After dose, I was about to order coffee… but before I could complete my sentence my better half requested the bearer to bring one more benne masale! I was astonished and enjoyed back-to-back masale dose which I never had in my life. My son quietly finished his quota & trying to snatch one more bit from my plate too. I simply enjoyed those moments. Thanks Bellur for introducing us to CTR benne masale.

  48. rk Says:

    uk car insurance,😀 thanks.

    lakshmi,
    i am really happy your family visited CTR and had a wonderful time! great to know you all had back-to-back Doses for the first time. i love eating back-to-back CTR Doses and there was a time when i used to watch back-to-back-to-back movies!!! (sometimes even 4 shows a day!)

    keep visiting unbeatable CTR!!!

  49. Niki Says:

    Hi Praveen G.K,

    I’ ve visited 8th cross, Mvm lot of times but I was not knowing the CTR, thanks for giving comments on CTR.
    After reading ur comments I visited CTR, really Awsome men………


  50. […] There is real joy in having such breakfasts when you have good company. Vijay shared some real good trivia and anecdotes associated with the place and about his own exploits, which I feel is a real motivational factor to eat at places like Vidyarthi Bhavan, Kenchamba Lodge, UKB, CTR and the like. […]

  51. R.A.Krishna Says:

    RK, CTR is one of the best. There is an article written on Dosais in rediff.com. Do read it.

  52. Ravi Kumar Says:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaah!

    I cant resist myself now , gotta go and have 1 dosa thr today

  53. Ramz Says:

    well, since i’m living in south of banglaore, its very difficult to attack CTR frequently…… but I manage the insatiable dose chapala with vidyarthi bhavan and SLV (BSK II stage) …..

    btw.. this SLV (BSK II stage) has improved leaps and bounds in dishing out hot/crispy/tasty/buttery- Masal Dose


  54. […] long years ago when an All-England champion brought his doe-eyed daughters to delve into its benne masala dosas in the privacy of its […]

  55. SS Says:

    Hey this is great to read. can you please find out the recipe for the benne masale at CTR and post it ?

  56. Deepa Says:

    Hey guys, can you please suggest what are the other good restuarants (veg / non veg) in malleswaram? Thanks.


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