Bangalore Street Food - Johnson MarketFriday, May 17, 2013Me! In words
The base firmly set, we walked across to Fanoos - a very popular name in the area for rolls. It being a week day we did not have to battle endless crowds and blaring traffic. We actually were able to walk right up to the counter, spend sometime staring at the menu wondering how many things we could order without filling up too much. Finally we settled on having a chicken liver roll, beef shawarma and a sheekh roll - this last one was in place of the veal roll we really wanted, but was already finished for the day.
The vertical rotissers and the rhythmic slicing and chopping of meat and putting together of the rolls can be quite hypnotic. The aromas are quite heady and your stomach will definitely start to protest if the rolls don't reach your hands soon. They came soon enough, as we were ogling at the massive billboard size menu of Madeena Stores across the road. Every conceivable soda seemed to be available at this partially on-the-road-partially-in-a-booth kind of place.
The rolls at Fanoos are just the right size for a snack. The shawarmas at Kebab Magic in fact are much thicker in terms of filling. But we were good with that considering we still had a few places to head to. The chicken liver roll is great for those who like innards like Sudhakar does. The Sheekh roll was spicy enough to make you pay attention to it and look a little longingly at Madeena stores. My beef shawarma on the other hand had the mayo a tad too sweet for my liking. Even the pickles did not add that vinegary, tangy punch.
At Madeena stores, you pick up a token for your drink and the guy at the counter squirts in some concentrate, opens a spout that gushes cold soda, stirs up a little salt into your drink, another gush of soda and there you have it. The rose soda was subtle and not the roohafza mixed in soda that I am sure you are thinking of. The kokum too, thanks to the salt was not taking the enamel of my teeth. The pomegranate however reminded me of this antibiotic that was an integral part of my childhood - erythromycin - it was pink, frothy and was a yucky cough syrup. The pomegranate brought all that taste back.
Next we marched towards Siddique's and just at the corner of the beef market spotted this little cart called Fazal Kebab - they had phal, nalli soup, veal roll, almost everything I wanted to have, especially the phal. We went around the corner only to be told that they were all sold out of everything yummy for the day and had some chicken kebab left. Bah!
So it was off to Siddique's. Nothing has changed here over the years - its still the dump that it was, you dare not look down and a word of advice, you are safer off standing near this hole in the wall and eating, than standing on the opposite side. It looks deceptively clean, but can kill your olfactory senses in one whiff. And trust me its nothing nice. At Siddique's we ordered just the one thing - the Bombay roll - none of the other jumbo rolls would have been a good idea for us then, since Khazana was going to be the grand finale. Here too I saw phal and wanted, but Sudhakar insisted that Khazana's phal was unbeatable. If you are hungry, the jumbo rolls at Siddique is your meal and a treat all rolled in one.
The Bombay rolls are prepped and kept right in front of you. They are then fried, cut into bite sized pieces and served with ketchup. We opted for the beef mince one and loved every steaming mouthful of it. With each holding our share, it was time to start walking to Khazana - granted it was only around 8.15PM but these places are notorious for having the best stuff get over too soon.