I still remember the early mall days in Bangalore, Total mall on the Sarjapura road had opened first of its kind hypermarket and people from all over Bangalore loved to visit it. Well, there are just too many like it now all over the city, I felt a bit of nostalgia walking into this mall to get my experience in the Village restaurant. Couple of my friends had already talked about it to me on the wholesome experience and I wanted to see it first hand. I'm not exactly a pure vegetarian type, however I don't mind it now and then. So here I was in the mall reviewing Village, the soul of India, Bangalore restaurant.
Total mall is very close to Sarjapur Road, ORR (outer ring road) junction and the restaurant is located on the first floor of the mall. Parking is available in the mall on hourly basis.
Address: 1st floor, Total Mall, Sarjapur Main Road, Ambalipura, Harlur, Bangalore - 560103
The restaurant serves lunch from 12:30 PM until 3:30 PM and dinner from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM. It is recommended that you plan to spend at least a couple of hours to enjoy the whole experience. In fact stay for the whole lunch or dinner or just go out shop and come back as they allow repeat entry for the same meal.
The restaurant has been set up on the lines of a small Indian village with shops and sheds like "Billu Brass Band", "Shagan Bewty Parler", "Theka", "Laddiss Teller", "Central Jail" and more with typical spelling mistakes. I also enjoyed the posters from yesteryear's which were very common and related to these shops. They have purposely left the center part open to conduct games such as musical chairs, dandia dance for the guests. There are food stalls serving bhel, chaats, Indian mocktails, while a "band wala" and "chor" serving some other starters. The food is served as a buffet in Indian handi's with freshly made Indian breads.
As the restaurant is mostly self serve with food stalls and buffet menu, the service is only to clear tables and conduct games and other items. The dressed up people nonetheless were forthcoming to the needs and helped everyone around.
Weekday lunches are prices at INR 299 ($5), while the weekend and holidays are at INR 399 ($7). The dinners are always priced at INR 399 ($7) and the children always eat at INR 229 ($4). A fair bargain given the ambiance and the typical experience. The amount is paid to a "Munim" as you enter the restaurant and includes the games and all meals.
There is variety of food available through the stalls and buffet. The stalls have Indian delicacies like "Chane ki chaat", "Gol gappe", "Papdi chaat", "Dahi bhalle", "Aam ka panna", "Jalzeera" and few more. The other starters included "Mirchi vada", "Aaloo pakora", "Matar ke pakore". The buffet was also fairly elaborate with Noodles and a Chinese veg curry along with Indian curries like "Paneer pasanda", "Aaloo bhindi", "Jackfruit kofta", "Chaman ki tarkari", "Dal kolhapuri", "Chana Dal", "Tendy masala", "Kadi", "Khichdi" served with Indian tandoor breads and tava phulka. The desserts included ice cream with "Gulab Jamun", "Payasam", "Jalebi" and "Balushahi". They also serve a "Paan" to end the journey.
I pretty much tasted everything in small quantities over slightly more than couple of hours. "Chane ki chaat" was really spicy and although I loved it, I must caution you to keep some water handy. The "Gol gappe" were served with 3-4 varieties of water filling ranging from sweet to pure jalzeera, they were not the best I've had but should definitely be on your list if you plan to visit here. The other chaats were fairly ordinary.
In the main course, "Paneer Pasanda" and "Chana Dal" stood out from the rest. The paneer had just the right spices and melted in the mouth while the dal went well with plain white rice. Rest of the dishes were again fairly ordinary with nothing calling me back for a second serving.
The desserts are also to be picked in the buffet. I do however felt that "Gulab Jamun" were all too sweet for me while "Jalebi" was just about the right taste.
My final take for the place is to go and enjoy the nice ambiance with a dandia dance and just eat what comes your way as nothing was too much out of ordinary. Go out and enjoy a couple of hours with family and friends at a very decent price.Published On: Saturday, April 19th, 2014