Picky Eatings

As an incurably indecisive person, there’s one question that irks me more than any other, and I get asked it every single night; “Where would you like to eat?” By my calculations, I thought it would be easy enough to answer, as I walked into college with a belief that finding a place where a scrawny budget could satisfy a strapped stomach would be well nigh impossible. In this regard, Manipal deeply let the side down. Having evolved as a university town, it boasts of a wide array of food joints, catering to almost any palate. Here are a few choices to get you started on finding your own favourite hole-in-the-wall.

We’re assuming by this point that the charm of the food court has worn thin, and you’re ready to embark on a slightly less predictable culinary journey than daily mess food has to offer. For convenience’s sake though, we shall use it as a starting point. Within 10 minutes on foot, here are your options:

  • Dollops: The favourite of many parents, it’s the go-to place for pocket friendly food, with a rock n’ roll reminiscent ambience, and excellent service. A good place to treat friends without having to starve for the rest of the month, Dollops is famous for:
    Vegetarian: Kadhai paneer, Paneer dopiaza and Wonton noodle soup
    Non-vegetarian: Chicken lollipop, Chicken mughlai, Chicken bharta.
    Price per person:
    150-250 rupees
  • Saiba: If you’re willing to excuse its cramped atmosphere and out-of-date ambience, you’ll find that Saiba gives you excellent value for your money, and wholesome Indian food. The dishes you should look out for are:
    Vegetarian: Paneer jugalbandi, Dal khichdi
    Non-vegetarian: Chicken maharaja, Rava fish, Chicken ghee roast
    Price per person: 150-300 rupees
  • Eye of the Tiger: Possibly Manipal’s most upscale restaurant, you can pick almost anything on EoTT’s menu and be guaranteed that you’ll enjoy it. Its music selection is just as classy as its food, as the Freddie Mercury statue in its centre will attest to. For both together, you’ll even forgive this restaurant for its prices. Be sure you don’t miss out on:
    Vegetarian: Fried yam, Mushroom stroganoff, Lasagna
    Non-vegetarian: Chicken Victoria, Five spice fish
    Desserts: Pina colada on a plate, Coffee Brownie
    Price per person: 400-700 rupees

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  • Hadiqa: With its open, airy atmosphere and delightful spread, the erstwhile Egg Factory is understandably one of Manipal’s more popular restaurants. Choose between its smorgasbord of cuisines, and if you’re still not appeased, pizzas from Oh Me Oh Slice and desserts from Payohima can be ordered to your table. Most of its dishes can be ordered in vegetarian, egg, chicken or chicken and egg variants. Our recommendations are:
    Hadiqa: Musty mushroom pasta, Thai green curry, Creamy scrambled eggs in spinach, and French toast with cream cheese
    Oh Me Oh Slice: Chicken Supreme pizza, Three cheese pizza
    Payohima: Mud pie with vanilla ice cream, Belgian chocolate, Arabian delight
    Price per person: 200-350 rupees
  • Charaka Canteen: A crowded canteen at the base of Charaka hostel, this place’s cheap, tasty food attracts more and more students as the month ends and wallets empty. To eat here however, be ready to turn a blind eye to hygiene and ambience. Some crowd favourites are:
    Vegetarian: Sambal Maggi or Nasilemak, Dal khichdi, Bombay toast (egg)
    Non-vegetarian: Chicken Nasilemak, Chicken makhanwala, Chicken koytu paratha
    Price per person: 50-200 rupees

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  • BQ Canteen: Charaka’s slightly more hygienic variant, the BQ canteen is closest to Indira, and is a rare combination of convenient, tasty and easy on the pocket, albeit being entirely vegetarian. Be sure to try:
    Vegetarian: Cheese paratha, Chole bhature, Egg 65, Ghee roast dose
    Price per person: 70-200 rupees
  • Country Inn: The poshest hotel in sight, Country Inn offers indulgent food, elaborate buffets and a regal ambience. Our recommendations are less in terms of food, and more in terms of going for the buffet, and having a parent sponsor your meal.
    Price per person: 500-750 rupees

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  • Flavours of Arabia: The newest Arabic food outlet in town, this place is a delight for non-vegetarians willing to try out new recipes. You might prefer ordering in with friends rather than visiting, due to its lack of space. Rest assured, food here will never pinch. Look out for:
    Non-vegetarian: Prawns shawarma, Kabsa rice, Al-Fahan
    Price per person: 100-400 rupees
  • Desi Firangi: A kitsch of traditional vegetarian ghar ka khaana and street chaat, Desi Firangi’s warm atmosphere is accented by its unique decor. Their student-friendly prices and board games ensure you’ll keep going back. When you do, make sure you sample:
    Vegetarian: Gol gappas, Jhaal muri, Tornado, Veg Thali, Masala shikanji
    Price per person: 100-200 rupees
  • Attill: Expect native Tulu cuisine of the best quality in a quiet, relaxed setting. It may be further away from the hostels than other restaurants, but the food makes it worth it. Be warned, though, as their service is variable. We suggest that you try:
    Vegetarian: Paneer butter masala, Neer dose with kurma
    Non-vegetarian: Chikken sukka with neer dose, Chicken Maharaja, Chicken Kundapura, Attill Special Prawns
    Price per person: 300-500 rupees

 

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That’s all, folks! We hope this article comes to your aid in your first few weeks exploring Manipal, when every night is a slumber party, and every dinner is a night out with friends.

 

Written By – Dharini Prasad and Rohan Basak

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