Address: 155, Lucky Elite, Kumarans R.V. Arcade, 9th Main Road, Opposite Lawrence School, Sector 6, HSR, Bangalore, Karnataka India
Time: 11AM to 4PM, 6PM to 11PM
Meals for two: Rs. 550
Cuisines: Chettinad, South Indian
Facilities: Home Delivery, No Alcohol Available
Hotel Junior Kuppanna, HSR, Bangalore: DECOR
HSR Layout fairly bristles with eateries. But this isn’t another run-of-the-mill roll joint or budget biryani outlet.
You wouldn’t know it, though, going by Junior Kuppanna’s unassuming facade and spartan interiors. It occupies the first floor of a commercial complex opposite the Lawrence School in HSR Layout and makes no effort to sport any sort of style. There is another outlet of this chain in Uttarahalli.
Hotel Junior Kuppanna, HSR, Bangalore: FOOD
You do not go to Junior Kuppanna to admire the ambience. It’s all about the food and only the food here. I learnt that the brand, originating from Erode, has been around since 1960 with outlets across Tamil Nadu and two in Bengaluru. I went for lunch with a couple of friends who are huge fans of the brand and they ordered all their favorites from the menu. The predominant cooking style here is that of Kongunad. That, if your idea of the regional food of Tamil Nadu is limited to Chettinad, is a western belt of the state, now comprising the districts of Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Erode, etc. Specific spice blends flavors of the many meat dishes and there’s a fine vegetarian repertoire as well. The play of masalas is revealed in dishes such as the Pallipalayam Chicken, which is cooked without oil and is super tasty. The Boneless Chicken Chukka is in the same league. I loved also the Mutton Kaima, judiciously spiced and nothing like the greasy dish it so often is in restaurants. I ate these with the excellent Veech Parotta, a southern roomali roti, if you will. The Egg Kotthu Parotta was also fabulous — the fine shreds of parotta subtly spiced. The Junior Kuppanna Dosai is a soft, white, fluffy thing, perfect for scooping up the curries.
This is also the place to order Kalakki, a popular street food from Coimbatore. It’s a beaten egg, cooked until just set, with a runny centre. If you eat just one thing here, make it the Curry Dosai. This is a plump dosa topped with curried mutton and an egg, turned over and cooked so it all comes together in a disc of deliciousness.
If that sounds like it’s all about non-vegetarian dishes, Junior Kuppanna’s vegetarian line-up is outstanding, too. I had a taste of the Paruppu, the simple yellow dal seasoned with asafoetida and cumin, which I would any day pick over artery-clogging dal makhni, the Puli Kozhambu, the tamarind gravy, the Sambar and Rasam and was totally impressed. You can have a satisfying Special Veg Meal for ₹200 here.
I’m thrilled to have discovered this restaurant, serving regional cuisine with unmistakable pride, and shining on a landscape peppered with mediocre offerings.
Hotel Junior Kuppanna, HSR, Bangalore: SERVICE
It’s self-service here. This isn’t such a good thing, because it gives the impression that it’s a quick-service restaurant — which it isn’t — serving the top quality fare, which it does.
Hotel Junior Kuppanna, HSR, Bangalore: PLUS AND MINUS
The food is spectacular, each dish unique and exuding the flavors of the deep south. Table service would make for a more comfortable dining experience.