Set up in the 1960s, Narasimha Rao established a dwelling comfortably in the dark and yet thriving roads of Bengaluru. Thanks to long-serving regulars and a generation of retro-worshippers, the Brahmin Coffee Bar in Shankarapura has a four-decade legacy to share.
In a rapidly proliferating world of gourmet kitchens and inter-continental fast food chains, this space, with its iconic coffee and chutney, takes the limelight for every food blogger. Started with serving coffee and then extending the menu to South Indian snacks and bakery items, the space has remained true and basic ever since its inception. In spite of bustling online food delivery options, restaurants, and cafes, the Brahmin Coffee Bar has discovered the winning food formula in their legendary chutney.
The 83-year-old wife of Narasimha Rao, K.N. Saraswathi, supervises the preparation of the restaurant’s chutney every single day. With a basic menu of idli, vade, kara bath, and the sweet kesri bath, her chutney stands out as the icing on the cake. While the restaurant doesn't serve sambar with any of its dishes, the chutney remains a happy alternative.
Radhakrishna Adiga, son of Narasimha Rao, now heads the restaurant after his father's demise. Speaking with The Hindu, he says,
We have been in business since January 27, 1965, when my father, the late K.V. Nagesh Rao, opened BCB with a humble menu comprising tea, coffee, and a handful of choice bakery items. He included a few authentic South Indian items on the list in 1971, and we haven’t looked back since.
Unaffected by marketing gimmicks and advertisement, this space stands tall for its quality amidst all the sleek decor and gleaming silverware. With word of mouth earning them brownie points, the Brahmin Coffee Bar arouses a sense of nostalgia associated with our very own breed of mom and pop stores and roadside eateries. With a Zomato rating of 4.9 stars, the space has no chairs, and its appeal cuts across age groups and social status, says an NDTV report.