A bustling chat counter on Infantry Road has been serving up some of the city’s best samosas and masala puri for almost three decades now and the crowds cannot seem to get enough, so much so that rush hour traffic doesn’t seem to deter the city slickers of Bengaluru.
There’s something about the beauty and charm of old food haunts that makes them special and timeless through the ages. Case in point, a matchbox-sized chat shop in the bustling intersection of Infantry Road and Union Street in Bengaluru, that has been satiating the craving of hungry patrons who want an evening snack, since 1994. From hot-off-the-pan chhole tikkis to crisp samosas, Santosh Chat Centre in the Shivajinagar locality of Bengaluru started off as a business born out of the need for survival.
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Owned by Santosh, whose father was a sugarcane farmer in Bihar, he migrated to the city at a time when the traffic wasn’t half as clogged as it is at present. When the yield began to fluctuate back home, Santosh decided to pack his bags and started off by selling 10 chat dishes. What has now expanded to a menu of 50, he divulged that the business would make a few hundred Rupees each day, unlike now, where hungry pedestrians and vehicle drivers throng the shop to get a taste of some delicious chat.
One of his top sellers – what he calls the Special Mixture – is a tiny spice-rimmed saucer that holds a crushed samosa, green peas curry, a blanket of thick, sweetened yoghurt and puffed rice. Besides this, Santosh is also famous for selling plates of samosa chat and masala puri – all of which pack a punch of heat. But if you happen to visit and don’t wish to have your mouth on fire, just pop a few bite-sized gulab jamuns in your mouth after the binge, to cool your tastebuds!