Bakes and Eats – The Hindu puff piece

Browsing through the The Hindu’s Saturday metro section I came across a review of a new eatery in Vizag called Bakes and Eats selling Kathi Rolls like they do on the streets of Kolkatta. We were in the car and off to town… but beware of all that you read.

This May I was in Kolkatta on a project with the British Council. My hotel, Sapphire Suites, was just behind New Market with easy access to Park Street. On my way to the famous Peter Cats for a dinner to sample the even more famous Celo Kebab I spotted the many kathi roll stalls and was there the very next night for dinner. Crispy thick paranthas bursting with (double) egg and chicken – it’s so big that this a two hand requirement.

Needless to say I was delighted when I read the review of Bakes and Eats selling the very same kathi rolls in our little Vizag. Plans were made pretty quickly, tasks postponed were brought forward and we were off to town. I could think of nothing else. Jaipdeep Deo Bhanj had written a review that had me sold.

With very precise directions by the reporter, we had no trouble finding the place. If coming from Sampath Vinayaka Temple turn right at the  the Four Points Sheraton sign; if coming from Dutt Island, take a left at the sign. Take the first right down hill, Bakes and Eats is on the left.

Bakes and Eats location

Bakes and Eats location – the purple marker

We were surprised to see many people, milling about inside and out. The owner was not to be seen and for a place selling kathi rolls, which is typically a fast, finely tuned, assembly line production, it was uncannily quiet. The mystery was solved when we got talking to the waiting customers. ‘I placed my order 2 hrs ago’. ‘I’ve been waiting 45 minutes’ said another. Then 3 more popped their heads in referencing the same time frame.

The reporter had quoted the owner saying that the paranthas stay crisp for up to 45 minutes. I think what he was trying to say was that it would take 45 minutes to get it crisp!

Sadly I cannot comment on the quality of the kathi rolls. We got a look at a wrapped one as a lucky customer finally got his order after about an hour. They were quite thin. After a quick poll of the waiting diners, we made a decision to get our dinner elsewhere. We knew that Bakes and Eats was just a start up and I felt bad for them that they didn’t really know how to cope with the attention. I blame Jaideep Deo Bhanj of the Hindu for giving us a puff piece, a promotional PR stunt without doing any investigating of his own. A 45 minute waiting time for 1 kathi roll is something I would have liked to know about before I set off on a 45 minute drive from home to town with a rumbling expectant tummy.

Bakes and Eats, Vizag

Bakes and Eats, Vizag

With kathi rolls on the brain, we went to Kebabri for some tandoori chicken, sheek kebabs, mutton curry and garlic naans with leftovers transformed in to kottu rotti for Sunday brunch.

I will give Bakes and Eats another chance the next time I’m in town and hopefully they would have improved on the 45 minute wait time. The Hindu has been written to and informed of my displeasure with their reporter.


About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden.
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4 Responses to Bakes and Eats – The Hindu puff piece

  1. Jaideep Deo Bhanj says:

    Im sorry that you had a bad experience at the place. We visited the eatery twice before writing the story and at both times we were the only people at the eatery and were served immediately and enjoyed our rolls. (my research)
    As for your experience it may have been because many people decided to visit the place the day the article was published… I appreciate the feedback.. But to dismiss the story as a PR stunt and to blame me for the inability of the restaurant to keep up is a little harsh isn’t it??

    • Thanks Jaideep for taking the time to reply, i appreciate that. I am an ardent fan of the Hindu and you must know that the places you recommend will draw a crowd. I think your write up gave the impression that this was a busy, happening place and not a start up.Perhaps you could have mentioned that you were the only people there, and maybe in your research you could have asked him how many rolls he could make in 10 or 15 minutes, what’s the maximum number of customers he’s handled before/can handle – that would have given a more realistic impression to the reader. I think it’s more important to support start ups and we’d like to trust journalists to present accurate information.

  2. Deepa says:

    Waaaaah! I am not getting your posts anymore. Knew about these because kids mentioned that the baby corn came out nice! Put me back on

    • Oh dear,pls check your spam box – sometimes these things can go there. Unfortunately i cannot send you an invite because according to wordpress, you are already following this blog. So if it’s not in your spam box then pls go to the bottom of the main page of this blog, on the left will be a tab to ‘follow this blog’. thanks let me know if you have any problems…

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