If a recent report is anything to go by, we Indians take our breakfast way more seriously than we thought. According to the report, published in The Times of India, more Indians are stepping out of their homes to fuel up on the most important meal of the day.
While this was one meal commonly prepared at home, there’s been a change in the way people look at breakfast now. According to a ‘Business Insights on Dining Industry’ study by American Express, breakfast has emerged as one of the fastest-growing categories in the Indian dining industry, the report elaborates.
Chef Tushar Deshpande, Sous Chef at Pune’s Indigo Delicatessen, says, “Sundays in particular see many people coming in during breakfast hours. Most of our customers are in the age group of 25 and 45 years.” This established, the report also notes that the proportion of total spending on breakfast rose by 56 per cent in 2016 over 2015.
Quite tempted by these findings, we decided to head out on a breakfast walk of sorts of our own, to sample what Puneites seem to prefer. Cliched as they might seem, nonetheless, they spell true comfort…
Most Udupi restaurants will serve this cup of comfort, yet almost everyone we asked sweared by the filter coffee they’ve sampled at Vaishali on FC Road. The ‘coffee ani barach kahi’ is reason why the place also finds favour with many city-based theatre and film personalities. Marathi actor Shrikar Pitre says, “I studied at MMCC, and visiting Vaishali was a daily affair. Our friends circle would meet here for filter coffee before classes. We became good friends with all the waiters and guards, so much so, they’d allow us to get out through the rear door when the place got packed beyond capacity.” If you’re anticipating a long and busy day ahead of you, drop by for the filter coffee. It’ll have you up and about!
It’s said that there is hardship in everything, except eating pancakes. We couldn’t agree more! We dropped by at The Flour Works for this comfort fix. The place, a popular breakfast destination, dishes out warm and fluffy pancakes with a host of options, namely with one’s choice of chocolate syrup, honey or fruit compote; blueberries and lemon mint syrup; nutella and peanut-cashew brittle; and fresh fruit and honey. Meeta Makhija, owner and executive chef at the eatery, says, “We serve a more European-style breakfast and have always had a growing crowd coming for it. Age is never a barrier when it comes to the meal.”
Among the many breakfast options on the menu of Indigo Delicatessen, eggs divinity seems to be quite the bestseller. Scrambled eggs layered with creamed spinach, potato roesti and topped with grated cheddar cheese, this breakfast item seems to get its divinity from the truffle salsa topping it. Chef Tushar says, “When it comes to our all-day breakfast options, we have regular guests at our outlets, and the eggs divinity is the most sought after.”
We’re a good race when it comes to melding one cuisine with another. And the Chinese dosa stands testimony to that. If you wonder how many might eat this for breakfast, you must drop by CR Dosa Centre on FC Road to see for yourself. Everything on the menu here is priced below `50. There’s much to choose from: Masala dosa, cut dosa, butter masala dosa and Mysore dosa. But the Chinese dosa remains a favourite. Filled with a generous serving of hakka noodles, cabbage, onions, and Schezwan sauce, this dish is priced at `40. Nothing seals the deal better than the regular sambar and chutney that accompany it.
Bun-maska and Irani chai
This is probably one comfort fix that many will swear by! Of the several few Irani cafes serving this heavenly combination, the rustic Cafe Goodluck at Deccan Gymkhana is one favourite. A students’ go-to adda, time seems to stand still here; though it constantly bustles with activity as customers, often strangers, indulge in some tete-a-tete whilst soaking in the cafe’s old-world charm. Akansha Singh, an alumina of Fergusson College, says, “On occasions when my friends and I were broke, the cafe was our refuge for a wholesome, yet reasonable meal that was light on the pocket. We’d order the bun-maska and chai the most.”
Who doesn’t like something ho mely for breakfast? If that’s what you too desire, take cue and head near Omkareshwar temple, Shaniwar Peth to to Appachi Khichdi. But this isn’t all you’ll get here. From idli-sambar and batata wada to pohe, shira and batata chivda, the 50-odd-year-old joint serves its customers all these at reasonable prices. While most of these are priced between `20 and `30, we’d recommend their star dish, khich di-kakdi – sabudana khichdi with a cooling cucumber-curd accompaniment, priced at a fair `50.