Shivaji military hotel
What to look out for –
The best biryani in town and other native non veg dishes.
₹500 for two
718, 1st C Main, 45th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore.
There are some places, so well-known and so much loved that if you have not been there, you feel a miserable nagging ache that almost makes your life incomplete. After hearing from everyone I meet, young boys to men as old as the city itself, about this place called the Shivaji military hotel, one fine day I decided to pay a visit. The place is located in Jayangar and very easy to find. While all my rendezvous with hotels begin from the door or the lift, this one began from the road. There is no parking near the hotel so we had to park our car one lane before the place. And I am not making this up, as soon as I got down from the vehicle, I could smell their biryani. The fragrance was so enticing, I knew then and there that something fabulous was in store for us.
Walking towards the old stone building, I realized that the place must have been renovated recently. There is not much to say about the ambience except that this is the cleanest military hotel that you can find. In ancient times, a military hotel served for the soldiers who would fight wars and come back craving something energetic as well as tasty. Thus, most of the military hotels, including Shivaji, serve non vegetarian food.
The seating area is on the first floor and I was a bit worried whether we would get a table or not. Surprisingly, the place was quite empty. I had always heard that the place is crowded and it is difficult to get in. but, there were only a couple of customers. May be, because it was only 12 in the noon and a Wednesday. We sat at a table and asked for the menu. The menu was just one sheet of paper mentioning all the items that they served.
Must try –
Chicken donne biryani
We ordered chicken donne biryani and kalmi. The first thing that the staff did as soon as we took our seats is place leaf plates in front of us. Water was filled into the glasses. Everyone working there had a head cap and plastic gloves. Have not seen such hygiene even in many fancy hotels. The plates were served with a cucumber salad and a cup of shorba. The shorba in itself was a treat. Spicy, masaledar and hot. Then came our biryani. As soon as I put a morsel of the biryani in to my mouth, I knew why this place is so famous. The biryani was just mind blowing. Every grain of rice had sucked in the flavours of the biryani. All the spices that were added to the rice were in the right proportions. No over doing, over cooking or over spicy. It was just like how you crave for. Simple, authentic and tasty. We could not help but order another plate. The kalmi was also spicy, juicy and had that pepper flavour in it.
No fancy cutlery, no soft sink-in leather sofas, no huge text book like menu cards, not even air condition and yet, this place has retained its fame and the pride of serving the best biryani in a city that has a gazillion number of restaurants. It is a 4.5 stars out of 5. I will be definitely going back to try every item on the menu.