Sunday, March 07, 2010

If there is a manna for the idli lover, it's here

If there is a manna for the idli lover, it's here

The soft, fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth idlis at Lingaraj's, an inconspicuous joint in Wilson Garden, left Arun Dev craving for more. Guess what, he did go back for a second helping

Arun Dev



On a busy workday, rushing between assignments, I stumbled upon Lingaraj's, where I discovered the joy of simple idlis — steamed just right. It was the smell of steaming hot idlis assaulting my senses that was my only guide to this inconspicuous house-turned-food stall on Siddaiah Road.
For those unaware of this place, it's all too easy to miss unless you're curious to check what the large crowd is all about. For the loyal customers to Lingaraj's, however, who have been patronising this joint for the last eight years, it's almost like a second home. "We never felt the need for a banner since we get decent business and publicity through satisfied customers," said Lingaraj, owner of the joint.
Readying the kitchen for lunch, work begins at 11 am. The first idli is offered to Lord Ganesha, before the workers get into the grind of dishing out plate after delicious plate of the customer's favourites. We vote for the steaming hot idlis, but they also serve crispy dosas, bisi bele bath, fried rice and more. Lingaraj says it is the idlis that steal the show every single day.
Nithin Jose, a regular at Lingaraj's says: "I first ate here three years back. Ever since, I come here if I am in a mood to eat idlis." But, he believes, it is the tomato chutney that does the magic, "I usually end up eating more chutney than idli."
Late evenings are when the place is its bustling active. Techies and autorickshaw drivers alike queue up for a bite.
The place is clean and well-kept. But it's a stand-and-eat only. So do a takeaway if you want to relax and enjoy your idlis. "If there is a heaven for the idli-lover it's here, it's here it's here," says Joe Prashant rather dramatically. Prashant's a fan of Lingaraj's idlis and gives this place the double thumbs up. "For a college student like me, getting tasty and filling food at a throwaway price is great," he says.

Where: Next to Agadi Hospital, Siddaiah Road, Wilson Garden. There is no signage at the entrance. But ask around and you will be guided to the right place.
Timings: 11 am to 11 pm
Wallet factor: Modestly priced,a plate of five idlis costs Rs10.

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