In an interview with Kamiya Jani of Curly Tales, the beloved musician and actor opens up about his favourite memories in the city.
Moving to a new city is always hard, and when Maqsood Mahmood Ali – known to us all as Lucky Ali – had to leave his hometown of Mumbai, he claims to have felt like a stranger in the crowd. Over the years though he has come to love the city dearly and in particular its food. An avid farmer, Ali lives on a modest but self-sufficient farmstead where he savours the peace and quiet.
He begins by recounting his childhood when he and his friends would escape to MTR an iconic eatery serving classic tiffin dishes for breakfast. Then as he settles in for an actual at CTR - Central Tiffin Room. This restaurant is one of the oldest in the city and famed for its delicious dosas, idlis and other South Indian staples. He admits that for him, South Indian food is the ultimate comfort food as he tucks into a plate of Khara Bath, Bangalore’s take on Upma, while sipping on a freshly ground filter coffee. He then relishes a Benne Dosa, a butter-soaked dosa filled with fresh masala potato, which is one of the restaurant's most famed dishes and it receives his enthusiastic thumbs up of approval for its clean, traditional style and knocks back another filter coffee before leaving.
As he makes his way over to St. Marks Road where Koshy’s awaits, he shares an anecdote about his brother and how he got himself banned from Airlines Hotel where they used to visit for idlis and vadas. Back in the day, his brother and friends had visited their unlimited thali had gone there for lunch and managed to put away 300 pooris, much to the ire of the owner who banned them on the spot.
The last stop of the day is Bhagatram Sweets and Chaats, a 74-year-old mithai shop that he’s been frequenting since he was a child. He claims that not only do they have the best Gulab Jamuns in the city, but the best in the world and he regularly stops by to savour them. He ends the food trail with fresh Malpua and Rabdi to truly sate his sweet tooth. Seeing the city and its eateries through his stories gives every stop a sense of nostalgia in the city he’s come to love.