Bengaluru’s beloved Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) turns 100

Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, or MTR, is a legendary restaurant chain that has come to represent authentic vegetarian South Indian cuisine. Founded in 1924 by Parampalli Yagnanarayana Maiya and his brothers as a small eatery near Lalbagh Fort Road, it has become a gastronomical icon, continuing to be a favourite among Bengalureans and food lovers across the world even after a good hundred years.

KnowALLedge Plus:

>During WWII, when rice was scarce, Rava Idli was cooked in the kitchens of MTR, using semolina instead of rice. It became a staple in South Indian cuisine.

>MTR also introduced the drive-in service in the city (arguably among the earliest such service in the world), allowing customers to enjoy its food from their jatkas (horse-driven carts) and cars.

>In 1951, Yagnanaryana Maiya, the youngest brother, travelled to Europe and studied how restaurants functioned abroad. He incorporated the hygiene standards, the service and presentation, and so on – into the new restaurant – at the current location on Lal Bagh Road, which came into existence in 1960.

>In 1975, during Emergency when the Food Control Act mandated low prices for food items, MTR, facing a crippling loss, decided to close its restaurant while diversifying to selling masala and instant mixes from a building next door. The restaurant reopened in 1981. In 2007, the packaged foods business was acquired by a Norwegian conglomerate, Orkla Brands, for an estimated Rs. 384 crore.

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