Sunday, March 26, 2017

Variar Bakery- A Walk Down Memory Lane

Take a stroll on the 12th main road in Rajajinagar of Bangalore and a waft of sweet baked scent will drag you to the legendary bakery of OG Variar & Sons located in an inconspicuous corner near ESI Hospital. Govinda Variar, a native of Kerala is the founder of this place who used to bake at night with rented ovens and sell them during the day in Guttahalli. Eventually he opened a bakery in Rajajinagar in 1955 and the popularity kept growing. They also have a branch near Dhobi Ghat on Chord Road. The aroma in fact defines the traffic junction, that’s the only thing that makes waiting for the signal to turn green bearable.

Nothing in the world matches the yumminess of their Dil Pasand laden with all the tutti-frutti and coconut or the perfect puffiness of their Veg Puff with the right amount and kind of vegetable stuffing. The ever loyal customer base of these bakers par excellence will agree with me. Their range of biscuits and fresh breads are a must try. Fortunately they do not use any preservatives or colouring substances. A team of the most cordial men clad in white will attend to you one by one, mind you there maybe serpentine queues while their signature items like milk biscuits, ‘benne’ biscuits and ‘khara’ biscuits fly off the shelves when they are still warm from the oven.

Transactions for the ladies are easier here; we have a separate ‘Ladies Counter ‘to attend to our orders. I remember Appa asking me to stand at that particular counter so that we could get our order faster. There was a time when people used to buy these items from the bakery in modest amounts. These were small luxuries of life which were brought home only on special occasions, if brother or I wrote our exams well or our cousins were visiting home. Today I saw some pistoriophiles at the counter buying biscuits and cakes in kilo grams!

 One of the most exceptional things about this place is its originality. No matter which day of the year you go their biscuits, breads and cakes taste remarkably the same.  Therefore binging on them might not be good for health as Govinda Variar himself opined once but trying them is definitely a must! Today I literally walked down the memory lane and got a lot of their goodies home.


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