Our recent holiday to Mysore saw us embark on a sort of dosa trail in the city. While in Mysore, I wanted to check out Mysore masala dosa (but of course!), as well as two hole-in-the-wall places that, Mysoreans claim, make the bestest dosas. And, today, I am here to impart all the gyaan from these dosa-tasting sessions to you, so that you are well informed whenever you plan a trip to Mysore next. I am very kind-hearted that way, you see? :)************
Sagu dosa at Hotel Mylari
So, one of the days when we were in Mysore, we headed to this little eatery called Hotel Mylari. This is one of the oldest eating establishments in Mysore (I could find no information on how old this place actually is, though). Located near the Nazarabad police station, this hotel is as non-descript inside as it is outside.
This is a place that you would absolutely miss if you were walking by without paying attention or without looking for it. Many say the hotel is exactly the same as it was when it first started business, in old-world Mysore, and we could sense that this must be true. There is a certain old-world charm to the place, the signboard seems ancient, as does the interior of the eatery. The signboard proclaims, loud and clear, that the hotel doesn’t have any other branches and that it is the original ‘Mylari'(You will find so many Mylari hotels in Mysore that you are bound to get confused. Hence, the signboard – apparently, this is the place where the ‘Mylari’ thing got hugely popular).
Inside, you will find a tiny room with just about six or seven tables, all of which could comfortably seat, perhaps, 15-18 people. There is no menu – the eatery serves just dosas, idlis and coffee, for as long as stocks last. This has always been the fare on sale, ever since the hotel started business, I hear.
We decided to go for the dosa and the filter coffee. We had heard of Hotel Mylari serving a unique type of ‘sagu dosa‘ and that filter coffee was just gorgeous in Mysore, and couldn’t wait to try both of these things out. We weren’t disappointed, not at all.
The dosa wasn’t huge, but medium-sized. It wasn’t crisp at all, but spongy soft, so soft that it melted in the mouth. I haven’t had dosa that melts this easily in the mouth, ever. It was made in butter (gasp!) and came with another pat of butter on top (gasp!). No sambar here, only freshly made coconut chutney.
The stuffing for the dosa was a sagu that is unique to Mysore, made of coriander and a few vegetables. I felt the sagu wasn’t wonderfully tasting or anything, but that it made for a lovely accompaniment – along with the chutney – for the pillow-soft dosa.
The dosa here smells of butter and freshness, without feeling overly greasy. It doesn’t initially seem to fill you up, and you can easily, easily have two in one go. But then, it is quite heavy and keeps you full for a few hours.
After hogging on the dosas, we had our fill of filter coffee here. And, really and truly, it was one of the best filter coffees I have ever had the pleasure of drinking and, trust me, I don’t say that easily. The filter coffee was perfectly made – just the right amount of milk and sugar and coffee.
The food here is served in stainless steel plates and the coffee in a stainless steel tumbler. There are no spoons or forks – you have to eat with your hands. There are no tissues here either – if you ask for one, you will probably be handed a couple of squares of newspaper. 🙂 You wash your hands in a little sink behind the eating area. Yes, it is that old-worldly, and that charming.
Prices are, of course, highly reasonable. We paid about INR 120 for four sagu dosas and two glasses of filter coffee. The fare is totally worth the price!
Hotel Mylari remains closed on Tuesdays.
Sagu dosa at The Original Vinayaka Mylari
Diagonally opposite Hotel Mylari is The Original Vinayaka Mylari, the latter establishment looking exactly the same as the former, inside and outside. The Vinayaka Mylari has the same kind of facade, the same kind of seating arrangements, the same kind of utensils as Hotel Mylari. And the same kind of food too. The Original Vinayaka Mylari is where we landed up for breakfast on the other day we spent in Mysore.
I hear Hotel Mylari and Hotel Original Vinayaka Mylari belong to two brothers – both of them started business with Hotel Mylari and later, one of them opened up Original Vinayaka Mylari. It looks like the top-secret family dosa batter recipe is shared by the two brothers, because we had exactly the same kind of dosa at Original Vinayaka Mylari as we did at Hotel Mylari. They had run out of coffee when we visited, so we couldn’t get our hands on any.
The prices at Original Vinayaka Mylari are pretty much the same as the ones at Hotel Mylari.
We found a few food award certificates displayed near the entrance of Hotel Original Vinayaka Mylari, but they all seemed to say ‘Hotel Mylari’. I remain confused about this!
This establishment remains closed on Wednesdays.
Mysore masala dosa at Dasaprakash’s Vishala
The erstwhile kings of Mysore, the Wodeyars, are known to drive into the Dasaprakash hotel near Gandhi Square to dine at its vegetarian restaurant, Akshaya. We had originally planned to breakfast at Akshaya on one of the days we were in Mysore and we did drive there too, only to find the restaurant under renovation and closed. So, we drove to another one of the Dasaprakash hotels in Mysore, called Dasaprakash Paradise in Yadavgiri, to eat at their restaurant, Vishala.
Among other things, we ordered for a Mysore masala dosa at Vishala, which turned out to be just lovely. The Mysore masala dosa in Mysore is quite different from the Mysore masala dosa available in other parts of India, we learnt. This dosa is medium-crisp, with a beautiful chutney podi spread inside it (unlike the spicy red-coloured chutney we have come to associate with Mysore masala dosa elsewhere), and has a simple potato stuffing. I just loved the Vishala Mysore masala dosa, which came with the accompaniments of sambar and coconut chutney. The dosa was perfectly done, just the right mix of crisp and soft, and the chutney podi and stuffing checked all the right boxes for me, too.
Vishala is a relatively high-end foodie establishment, with a nice ambience and good quality food. Considering this, prices are also on the higher side here. The dosa here cost us INR 70, which, according to me, is way better than what several Bangalore eateries would charge for the same.
And that’s all I have to say about the dosas we sampled while in Mysore. 🙂
Have you been to any of these places? What was your experience like?
Do check out my other posts about Mysore!