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.
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.
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.