Guess where Starbucks co-founder Zev Siegl went for a coffee break during his visit to Bengaluru to attend the Global Investors Meet 2022? It was to the humble heritage eatery Vidyarthi Bhavan, which has seen the likes of British PM Rishi Sunak and his family dining there.
Siegl tried his hands at the eatery’s famous masala dosa and filter coffee. The co-founder of the international coffee house chain left a note appreciating the service, which was later shared by the restaurant on Twitter. “My friends, it is an honour to enjoy your famous food, coffee and warm welcome. I will take this wonderful experience with me back to Seattle,” he wrote with a doodle of a hot cup with three stars on it.
A taste of South
“It is a feeling of pride that we get when VIPs come to visit us because our south Indian cuisine gets global recognition. Zev Siegl visited us in the evening, and in fact, he liked everything he tasted — masala dosa, rava idli, upma and kesari bhaat,” said Arun Adiga, who currently runs the 78-year old restaurant with his father Ramakrishna Adiga.
Adiga added that people from all walks of life visit the restaurant. “Film stars, politicians, poets; recently we hosted celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, and about two months ago UK PM Rishi Sunak’s parents also came to the restaurant. It is our ability to maintain consistency in operations over the course of 78 years that has given us the status we hold among the people,” he said.
The eatery in the city’s southern part was first opened by Venkataramana Ural in 1944 as a modest canteen to serve the students of nearby schools. It was in 1970 that Ramakrishna Adiga, acquired the restaurant known for its benne (butter) dosa, masala dosa, puri-sagu, rave-vade, and of course the standard idli-sambar. The food has served as an inspiration for literary and artistic giants and the eatery was a meeting point for creative geniuses.
Recently, images of Rishi Sunak eating at Vidyarthi Bhavan took social media by storm, when the eatery posted the image on Twitter, congratulating him on becoming British PM.