Early in the morning today, I stepped out of the swank Bangalore Airport. Rubbing wakedness into my bleary eyes and speculating on breakfast choices, I narrowed down to a Bangalore institution - Koshy's.
Everyone (including many who have never been there) will confirm that Koshy's is an institution - it has been in existence for long enough and been popular for long enough. Koshy's is the place that Bangalore insiders take Bangalore outsiders to introduce them to the "real" Bangalore – before, that is, those money-grubbing software yuppies started insisting on cappucinos and malls. Koshy’s is, in other words, an institution (or did I already say that). It should be mentioned here that Koshy's comes in three flavours within the same premises - an ice-cream parlour cum bakery, a restautant and a cafe - of which only the cafe (technically Koshy's Parade Cafe) is worth all this fuss.
Luckily for those of us not interested in insides and outsides, Koshy's is more than just a crumbling Raj holdout and manages to wear its heavy label with a certain lack of pretension. That neither decor nor waiters nor menus have changed in decades is oddly comforting (my friend ordered idlysambar, only to be told with mild condescension that this was a western breakfast place). The old rhythms of the place are intact; the regular breakfast favourites of omelettes, chicken liver on toast, coffee are still as good as they were while appam and stew, hugely popular it may be, is still not allowed outside Sunday.
Amazingly Koshy’s, without trying too hard, has managed to be cool. A retro cool, for sure, but one that makes for a pleasant breakfast even without a history lesson. It is a comfortable world of filtered sunlight, interesting food and competent but unhurried waiters. Still a good place to head for straight out of Bangalore Airport.