For an authentic taste of food from the South Indian state of Karnataka, visit Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, the 1924 establishment that opened in Bur Dubai last week.
Mavalli Tiffin Rooms now in Bur Dubai
“Thick, crusty dosas, tangy bisibele bhaat and freshly ground ‘filter’ coffee are nearly impossible to find at one place in the city,” says the 39-year-old Vikram Maiya, who craved authentic Karnataka cuisine whenever he visited Dubai.
Maiya is the managing partner of Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), a popular Bangalore-based chain of restaurants with a branch in Singapore.
Call it craving or conceit, but his desire to find bona fide Kannada food in the UAE has resulted in the expansion of MTR to Bur Dubai, where a new branch opened on Friday.
A question of quality
Set up for the first time in the Lalbagh area of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, in 1924, MTR is now an integral part of the city’s heritage. Step into any of the seven branches there any day of the week and you’ll find them doing brisk business.
In fact, the Dubai outlet will replicate the same model, and a band of veteran cooks has even been flown in to set up the kitchen here.
“Urad dal [black gram], a key ingredient in idli, dosas and vada [crêpes and deep-fried doughnuts made with fermented rice and lentil batter] will be sourced from Bangalore, along with the special masalas and coffee beans, which are all essential to good taste,” Maiya says.
And perhaps the best thing is that MTR focuses only on Karnataka cuisine, without the popular Indian favourites such as butter chicken or lamb biryani.
The lunch special
Try the lunch thali (platter), consisting of 16 items and unlimited servings, all for Dh25.
A freshly prepared fruit juice is served before the meal and paan (betel leaf) to end it. In between, there are curries, salad, veggies, sambar, rasam and raita served with puri (deep-fried dough discs) and several kinds of rice including pongal, bisibele bhaat, vangi bhaat and curd rice, in succession.
Three sumptuous desserts are also served; two with the main course and one at the end.
• Mavalli Tiffin Rooms opened at Al Tawhidi Building, opposite Apsara Super Market, Bank Street, Bur Dubai, on Friday. Open on all days except Mondays, from 7.30am to 10pm. Call 04 327 5909 or 056 206 7321 (prices are subject to change)