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Is this the best butter masala dosa?
Sameer Sultan |
February 22, 2006
We continue with our reader-driven series on great restaurants and eating places across the country.
Sameer Sultan recommends Hotel Ashoka in Cuddapah where a family of four (parents and two small children)can have a sumptious meal for a steal! month ago, my family and I drove down to Hyderabad from Gudiyatham on a holiday. We started off at 7.15 am and reached Cuddapah -- in Andhra's heartland -- three hours later.
Looking for a vegetarian breakfast, we asked local auto drivers for suggestions. One of them recommended Hotel Ashoka -- a nondescript hotel offering boarding and lodging in the heart of the town's business area.
Entering the restaurant, we found a place that was rather unimpressive, but abuzz with people sipping their morning cuppa. At the far end of the hall was a separate family section. We asked the waiter for a menu, but he suggested Idlis, Vadas, Aloo Puri and Butter Masala Dosas. We agreed, and placed our orders.
After staying in Chennai and frequenting Bangalore often, I have had access to the best vegetarian restaurants like Saravana Bhavan, MTR, Shanti Sagar, Komalas, Woodlands and many more. Hotel Ashoka at Cuddapah beat them all!
The vada was as crisp as the idlis were succulent and soft. The Aloo Puri was great, with two big fluffy puris and lots of curry. But the masterstroke was the Butter Masala Dosa -- nicely roasted and served in a triangular shape with ghee on top. The accompanying sambhar and chutneys were also good. To finish, we ordered four cups of coffee. Again, excellent.
The biggest surprise was the bill though. A hearty meal for four adults and two children cost us just Rs 94! I thought the waiter must have made a mistake, but he pointed to the menu scribbled on a blackboard next to the service counter. The most expensive dish was the Butter Masala Dosa for Rs 14!
It was enough to make us plan our return journey in a manner that enabled us to stop by Hotel Ashoka on the way back. Again, we weren't disappointed.
For those tempted by what I have just written, locating the hotel is easy. While coming from Hyderabad, take a left into the town at the bypass junction and move straight towards the busy area. Pass the bus stand, and there it stands, on your left. Enjoy.
Sameer Sultan, 27, lives in Chennai.
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