MTR Hotel Bangalore

MTR: the tiffin room Bengaluru will cherish forever
January 31, 2019 – 04:09 am
MTR: the tiffin room Bengaluru

Every true Bengaluru resident has heard of the legendary tales of the idli shop across from Lalbagh. Stories of pillow-soft idlis, mouth-watering masala dosas and piping hot coffee served in polished silver cups have spread far and wide. South Indian meals from this hotel chain are also world-famous.

Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) has ingrained itself so well in Bangalorean culture that having a meal there has pretty much become a ritual. Yet unbeknownst to many, MTR is steeped in rich history, boiling down to a small village in the heart of Bangalore, called Mavalli, and the perseverance of the Maiya family.

Yajnanarayana Maiya and Ganapayya Maiya, belonging to a section of Brahmins called Kota Brahmins, hailed from Parampalli, a village close to the coastal city of Udupi.

In 1924, they decided to open “Brahmin Coffee Club” on Lalbagh Fort Road in Mavalli, Bangalore. By 1936, Yajnanarayana Maiya had taken full charge of the restaurant and his brother returned to their hometown. Brahmin’s Coffee House was doing fairly well, but a rice shortage hit India when World War II came around in 1939.

During that time, Maiya decided to replace the rice used in idlis with semolina - this experimental replacement resulted in a version of idli that was not only original and innovative, but also delicious! Named “Rava Idli, ” it became a permanent addition to the limited menu and grew in popularity. (However, some South Canarites dispute this. Rava Idli was quite common in all South Canara houses, as Brahmins are not supposed to eat rice items for breakfast during the days of rituals. However, it became a novelty commercially by MTR, according to them.)

Mavalli Tiffin Room once upon a time. Pic courtesy: Wikipedia (uploader: Rajesh Dangi)

Mavalli Tiffin Room established

In 1950, Yajnanarayana visited Europe, observing and experiencing western styles of restaurants and hospitality management. Impressed by the standards of hygiene set by them, he was determined to emulate the cleanliness in his own restaurant. Before starting a meal, each customer would receive a small booklet on proper dining etiquette - for instance, one page read that a customer should not use a saucer when having tea or coffee.

“I used to take my family all the time and they enjoyed the “Hello, chennagiddira?” by the staff and managers every time. They literally knew all of us by names. The last time we visited as a family was sometime in early 2000, and my son especially had not gone there in over 10 years. Last year, he took his wife and just entered and sat. The waiter randomly kept a plate of “Damroot” on his plate, before he could order. My son said, “Thank you, I had not ordered it, anyway, ” and before he could complete, the waiter apparently said, “You used to start with this when you were a kid.”

-T Nagaraju, Resident of Bangalore.

When the restaurant moved to its current location in 1960 (just a few minutes away from the Brahmin Coffee Club), the name changed to “Mavalli Tiffin Rooms”. By this time, it was already a popular eatery and visitors flocked to the location like pigeons to bread. Often times, business meetings would happen over the traditional five course meal, and schoolchildren shared jokes over some rava idlis.

In 1968, Yajnanarayana passed away and Harischandra Maiya, his nephew, took over. MTR had made a name for itself, making it one of the top five most popular restaurants in Bangalore. Many members from the Bangalore - photos from a bygone age Facebook group mention that MTR was a regular stop during their school and college days.

India was in a state of emergency in the 1970s, and the government decreed that MTR along with four other well-known restaurants in Bangalore had to lower its prices, in order to accommodate everybody. While other restaurants’ quality became compromised, MTR maintained its standard that it had kept for decades. In 16 days, after publicly posting their losses every day, they closed down. Yet, due to the ingenuity and business prowess of the Maiya family (Sadananda Maiya, Yajnanarayana’s son, had joined the business), they began to sell ready-to-make mixes for idlis and dosas from a small departmental store. After the emergency period, MTR opened up again, with business booming better than before.

Rock Me Men's Baken III Suede Waterproof Lace Up Winter High Top Black Snow Boot Size 10 D(M) US
  • 1D fulff in about 0.6 , keep your feet warm
  • Boat styel, look wide in toe, suit for home, office, party, outdoor etc.
  • Waterproof, dry, skid, wearable
  • Ultra comfort, stylish look, quality design
  • Great Crhistmas gift for friends and family
Popular Q&A
what are the hotels in hongkong that is near the lai king mtr? tnx..? | Yahoo Answers

There is no hotel near the Lai King MTR station. The close one would be the Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan.

Related Posts