Malgudi Mylari Mane serves up delicious, divine and delightful non-vegetarian naati-style dishes, which celebrate the local cuisine of Karnataka paired with soft Mylari dosas — dense dosas rendered decadent with a dollop of white butter.
ADVENTURE in Bengaluru is well…a road trip away. And all of these journeys out of the city have also meant ducking into a highway hotel to thulp nicely. In fact, it is an important element of the planning process: gathering intel from the grapevine on the best places to belt along the route. And this involves avoiding the standard dhaba fare (read: roti-sabzi-dal-lassi) and seeking out the tucked away griddles of crispy dosas and fresh chutney and the hideouts of naati-style, or country cooking.
Here are some soft guidelines to this adventure: Avoid the glitzy, grand, glass-panelled ones for the hole-in-the-wall joints, and you’ll already be one step in the right direction. Best to order the naati-style, or country cooking, known for its robust, rich and rowdy punch of flavours. Most curries are a green masala – herbaceous, heady with a hint of heat made up of roasted whole spices, coriander and methi seeds, peppercorns ground together with onion, tomato, green chillies, fresh coriander and methi leaves. Most frys are the red masala – spicy, slick and sumptuous made up of smokey-tangy-hot Byadgi chillies and pearl onions ground up with roasted jeera, grated coconut and coriander seeds. And there are also pepper fry-s, with a thicker gravy where the red Byadgi chillies are swapped for peppercorns and grated coconut for fried whole garlic.
One of these newer highway hotels that has made it to my repeat offenders’ list is Malgudi Mylari Mane on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru Highway near Nelamangala, which opened in January 2020. Not only did it survive the pandemic, I’m glad to be the bearer of good tidings and let you know that it has opened up within the city limits at Koramangala as well. This eatery serves up delicious, divine and delightful non-vegetarian naati-style dishes, which celebrate the local cuisine of Karnataka paired with soft Mylari dosas — dense dosas rendered decadent with a dollop of white butter. In arriving at this sinfully tasty combination lies the genius of Malgudi Mylari Mane. It feels reflective of Bengaluru’s brash, bold and beautiful attitude to food cosmopolitanism of ordering curd rice with chilli chicken. It still hits the spot.
And we’re even happier to report that on our weekday lunch at their Koramangala post, except for the restaurant-y upgrade in the interiors, the menu remains brilliant and banging. We started with pairing our spongy, crispy ghee-roasted Mylari dosa and another one packed with peanut podi, with their mutton chops in the green masala. These denser dosas are the perfect vehicle to soak up the goodness of the gravy, which was packed with bold flavours that sang together without trying to outshine the other. And the meat was perfectly cooked, felt right off the bone with the slightest of nudges. Encouraged, we dove right into our mutton pulav — the aromatic seeraga samba rice punches up the other flavours, and the meat cooked together with everything else emanates through each grain. My lunch companion and I did have a slight disagreement on the separation of the grains, and I did concede they could have been apart a little more. But that’s just nit-picking.
You’ll also have to get the mutton meatballs dry, which were melt-in-your-mouth bombs of excitement discovered by cracking through a crisped layer. The mutton pepper fry was pungent but also pleasant, and the little fried bits of whole garlic (still in their skin) were just so yum. We also went through a plate of egg bhurji, which at this establishment isn’t humble but curried with flavour. We could’ve stopped, we were already bursting at our seams, but we went on to get some thatte idlis — fluffy and flat — to sop up the remaining curry and gravies. Just in case, we’d left something behind at all. We washed it down with lemon soda that at Malgudi Mylari Mane is spiked with piquant black salt that has you ordering more than one. Would I have liked a dessert? Yes, of course. Was there the smallest room for one? Not at all.
Malgudi Mylari Mane was already changing the highway hotel game when they started out. And with their entry into the city, the wonderful thing is that it still remains naati by nature.
Malgudi Mylari Mane — Koramangala, No.21 Ground floor, SRS Tower, Near Mangala Kalyana Manatapa, KHB Colony, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru. For Reservations, call +91 9731362277. Open: 7 days a week. Timings: 8 AM to 10 PM. Average Meal for two: Rs 600.