Not so Malgudi…

Malgudi days.

To a late 80s- early 90s kid, it brings back sweet memories – Master Manjunath as Swaminathan, the oh-so-familiar beginning credits music, the adventures, the innocence, the sketches by R.K. Narayan…everything about this series was pure gold.

And so when a restaurant called Malgudi opens up in Dubai, you would expect it to bring back those memories, at least to a certain extent.

No sir. Far from it.

The decor is tasteful but the air conditioning is more like Srinagar Days – too cold for comfort. So is the atmosphere in general, with seemingly royalty-free music playing as an odd choice over the expected South Indian classical/movie fare.

That was the good part. We took a seat and waited for over 10 minutes before one of the servers politely informed us that we were to order and pay in advance at the counter – well you could have had a signboard to that effect yes? Anyway, we ordered two ghee roast dosas, a tomato rice and a payasam, and then sat and waited…and waited….and reminded…and waited…

For over 40 minutes.

Finally the payasam came in, then the dosas. No sign of the rice. Dosas over. Still no sign of the rice. Yours truly gets super irritated and walks out, and wife follows after 5 more minutes, tomato rice packed (finally) in hand.

Having spent 28 years of my life (I was born in Bengaluru) in the South of India, the one thing I know is that dosas take 2 minutes to make. 10 if there is a backlog. Not 40. The food comes in disposable plates and spoons, and any South Indian worth his sambhar will know that such food tastes best in steel utensils. Even the coffee supposedly came in paper cups, which I politely declined to even try out.

The only thing that came close to Malgudi was the food – it came so late that it actually felt like it had made it’s way all the way from the district of Shimoga where the eponymous series was shot.