06 February 2016


Calling itself "Odiani," the restaurant tries to live up to its name. That it serves more than 50 (yes, fifty) items is one of its less important highlights. There are about 7 or 8 people running this small eatery at a wayside hovel like mud-hut structure with its walls tastefully done in white jhunti or jhutti. There is traditional Odia  song and music (janana) by singers like Balakrushna Das or his followers. The "boys" are remarkably well-behaved and the manager cum owner is a perfect gentleman. The day I am speaking of happened to be a Monday, and it was a pure vegetarian day. I believe they serve non-veg on Wednesday and Friday (I am not sure). But my advise is to avoid such days. The best part of its vegetarianism from my point of view is that it is without such vegetarian cuisine as "paneer" and "mushroom" (non-Odiani), certainly not the besan-maidia-rice-powder-coated deep-fried veg stuff. No roti or chapati either. No "salad".  kashi Kakudi is served. The rice, served in small quantities comes with the option of arua, usuna, plain or pakhala versions. The curries come without masala; or are any item greasy.
The diversity is spectacular. I cannot even begin to describe it. For example, there are three varieties of "saga."  Baigana poda and chatuni, alu poda and chatuni, tomato poda and chatuni etc. All this is served on a platter with a plantain leaf cover. A small bottle of mineral-water comes with the package. Every item is served in very small even tiny scoops so that nothing is wasted. You can ask for repeats too. "Mana-iccha." The price: an unbelievable Rs 130! There is a credit card machine!
I am writing this because I want this wonderful concept to be supported big-time by patrons like us. Already, unwilling customers are trying to spoil or corrupt the concept itslef. There aren't too many customers. There is no advertisement anywhere. This might die without our support. It will be a tragedy. Unsurprisingly, my driver (a very young man) was not excited about this lunch.
I won't go into the reasons.
If you are driving from Bhubaneswar towards Baleswar, Odiani is on your right. So, take a U turn after crossing the toll gate just before you reach Pankoili.

No comments:

Post a Comment