Our Manipal expedition started a day before at Kumbashi, a village in the Kundapura taluk of Udupi district, famous for Anegudde Temple (Ganapathi Temple). There is a small chat stall called 'Hebbar Chaats', run by Hebbar family. They prepare only a limited quantity of masala and selected chats - Sev puri, Masala Puri and Pani Puri. The shop opens at 5pm in the evening and it is sold out in few hours. The masala is one of its kind and has a distinct flavor of its own. We bet even if you try all the items, your craving will not be satisfied. We had a quick talk with the person who was serving us and he was the 3rd Generation who was running the family business. His grand-father and father are still in this business. A plate of delight costs only Rs.35/-
After having some scrumptious chats, we wanted to have Mandakki Upkari (Coastal Version of Bhel). Right at the entrance of the Anegudde Temple road, there is a petty shop who sells fruits, juices and Mandakki Upkari.
So basically Mandakki is Puffed rice, mixed with coconut oil, chili powder, chopped onions, tomatoes, grated carrots, raw mango and coriander leaves for garnish. All these ingredients are mixed well to make it- Mandakki Upkari. Another version of this is ‘Tomato Upkari’- where roughly chopped tomatoes and a big teaspoon of chili powder is mixed well and plated. Puffed rice (Mandakki) mixed with coconut oil and chili powder is placed on top of the Spicy Tomatoes.
The spiciness just explodes in the mouth and is soothed by the blanket of puffed riced mixed with coconut oil.
It is an ultimate combination and goes hand in hand along with a glass of Soda Sherbat (Lemonade).
Vaishali Pav Bhaji
Next day we reached Udupi around 6 in the evening after a drive from Koteshwara (Our Native). We directly picked our Sister-in-Law from her clinic IDENTiti and our first pit stop in Udupi was Vaishali Pav Bhaji and chat center.
This is one among the oldest shop in Udupi famous for its Pav Bhaji. The place was crowded by variety of people. We could not taste the Pav bhaji as there was a long waiting time and we couldn't halt for it. We ordered for Masala Puri and Samosa Chat. Though we had to wait for 15 min, it was worth the wait. A not-so-big bowl full of relishment (Masala Puri) was served smoking hot and it was mouthwatering.
The flavours were distinct from that of regular ones and it was very evident the reason for their successful business from years. The Samosa Chat was little sweet but we liked it for the simplicity of the taste. We are surly visiting this next time to try their Pav Bhaji.
From there our next stop was at Sai's, opposite to Golden Jubilee Auditorium, Near Syndicate Bank HQ. We had heard that the Mushroom Nawabi Kabab was one of its kind. We did not try much as we had other places on our checklist. Big button mushrooms stuffed with cheese, grilled and served with mint chutney was truly a delight to eyes. But it wasn't great to taste as expected. The stuffings were raw and was not grilled properly and the cheese was not fully melted on it. There is room for improvement!
Cafe 7 Bees
It is one among the famous joints to hangout and have some scrumptious dishes in Manipal. The famous Paneer Hariyali Cheese Burger was absolutely delicious! Large slab of Panner grilled with their green marination and a regular Veg tikki made it distinct from any other burger. The burger buns were soft and sturdy, but not so tender that it would tear down as we ate (which is a good thing). We also had the Corn Spinach sandwich which was equally good.
Located in the 'Charaka Block' of boys hostel, it is primarily for students (but open for others also) with pocket friendly prices and tummy filling portions; one can see people hogging like crazy and it wont even pinch your wallet.
We started with, well stuffed and strong flavored, Paneer Paratha served with curd. Veg Biryani was made with regular rice with no compromise in taste. Everything was freshly prepared and served quickly. We finished the meal with sipping on hot piping Lemon tea to neutralize the taste.
We were done for the day and called it off; did not want to stuff ourselves on the first day and spoil the second day.
Second day started early sharp at 8 am and we were ready to lick our fingers and burp out loud with many delicious delicacies. We were at the right place to have a perfect Benne Dose (Butter Dose).
Hotel Swatik has been gaining popularity for its Benne doses and other varieties of doses. We did try their Benne Dose which was delicious indeed but what attracted us was the ‘Cut Masala Dose’. The Dose is cut into four pieces after it has been stuffed with Masala Bhaji (dish made from boiled potatoes) in it. The stuffed Bhaji was absolutely mind blowing and was different from the regular ones served with normal masala dose. We had a cup of coffee and made our move to next place.
As breakfast means breaking our fast of the night, we headed to the next stop called Pai Tiffins introduced by Pai Internationals. Since it was weekend it was filled with people eager to have their cravings filled.
We ordered Dahi Vada which was regular as we get in all the place. Vada dipped in Dahi (curds) sprinkled with boondi for the crispy taste. Then was the Pudi Dose, where they put chutney pudi or molga pudi inside the dose; it was slightly different from regular masala dose and little salty since it had the chutney pudi applied to the inner side of dose. It could have been better as we have tasted good ones in Bengaluru.
Hotel White Lotus
This hotel was opened recently and became famous for an economical buffet and for their wide variety in menu. We chose to go for the buffet as we wanted to taste the courses served.
We started with ‘Make your own chat’ or ‘DIY Chats’ stall where all items are placed on the table necessary to make any chat. We could create our own fusion and satisfy our taste buds. Next thing on our table was soups. Cream of spinach and Manchow were the options available for that day. Both were decent to taste and was served hot.
Then we moved on to the starters; there were three starters- Lentils Tikki, Mushroom Manchurian and Grilled Cauliflower. Tikkis we too small, probably the size of a rupee coin, but tasted good. Small button mushroom’s manchurian was notable than the other two dishes and grilled cauliflower was not grilled thoroughly; we could taste the rawness of the marination in it.
Moving to main course, they had roti and three types of curries to accompany it, chili garlic noodles and Pan-Asian stir fried veggies, two types of rice- White and Brown (Boiled), Rasam, Dal and few green vegetable salad. Everything present in the chafing dishes were good to taste and we have no complaints with it.
And lastly for desserts, there was two types of pastry and two different flavors of ice creams. We are not going in detail about these as all the items in menu are subjected to change and we cannot assure about the taste. What we can tell our readers that it is indeed an economical place for a buffet priced within Rs.300 per person.
Prayagraj Pani Puri
After a long break and a walk by the Malpe beach till sunset, we went directly to this place to savour some chats. What commendable is these people hailing from Prayagraj (Allahabad) have come to Manipal and have started a small chaat shop in the newly opened Canara Mall, Manipal.
Yes, the taste is totally different from the regular ones and they sell only limited variety of chats. In north India there is no concept of masala puri so you cannot find one in their menu. We took Sev Puri and some special chat made with mashed potatoes and Channa (Black Chickpea). Both were seriously spicy and yet was tangy and tasteful.
Last but not the least, another famous dine-in place in Manipal, Dollops! It is famous for serving delicious food, good ambiance and some great music. We had to travel that night hence we did not try any main course. We had Paneer Tikka, Chocolate Mousse and Oreo shot.
Oreo Shot, though it was pretty small it did had the whole flavor of the Oreo and white chocolate in it. The highlight was the Chocolate Mousse- soft, not so chocolaty and just melts in your mouth. None of us could resist eating it after looking at the Mousse and the dripping chocolate from it.
By this we wrapped the expedition of Manipal. Though we had been to Manipal from childhood this was totally new way we explored it. Still there are plenty of places to visit and try their specialties and relish the dishes.
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This was our experience; Your experience may be a better version of ours & we hope the same for you. Enlighten us about your visit and share your gyan with us.