Bangalore - Local Sweets from VB Bakery
VB Bakery is a nearly 60 year old Bangalore institution, churning out various breads and baked goods daily, packing in crowds of almost unimaginable size by 6pm each evening.
Their claim-to-fame was their "Congress" kadale kayi - a bun stuffed with dry-roasted peanuts flavored with turmeric, pepper and rasam powder. But choices here were legion: biscuits, puff pastries, sponge cakes with cream topping. One thing I realised was that their sponge cakes were pretty Indian-ized: dense & hyper-sweet! That was how I found the squarish honeycake, topped with a little squiggle of cream (which did nothing to temper the sweetness, of course), and the globe-shaped, icing-covered apple cake.
The triangular puff pastries filled with piped-in pink sugar-cream icing was another retro-nightmare concoction which I quite guiltily enjoyed.
The service staff of VB Bakery comprised almost entirely of grumpy old men who looked for any opportunity to throw tantrums and make their customers feel like they should be grateful and honored that they should be served at all. But I do so love historic eateries, bakeries and what-have-you - and VV Bakery harked back from a kinder, gentler time when Bangalore was a sleepy, pensioners' town, long before the stately Vidhana Soudha was built, and before the infernal auto-rickshaws menaced pedestrians crossing the streets. Come here for a taste of living culinary history.
Old Market Road (Off Sajjan Rao Circle)
Oh my, I could feel my teeth getting looser as I was reading your description! Clearly a grand old place.
Those pastries are almost reminiscent of stuff one got back in the day in KL in Malaysia at an Indian pastry shop we used to swing by once in a while. Or at least brings up memories of stuff like those cream-filled crescent-shaped "horns" of baked puff pastry that managed to be armored and crunchy on the outside yet pillowy inside. (I loved those from time to time) Or achingly sweet squares of sponge cake just like those you show! (Was never too fond of those) That shop had the most marvelous "curry puffs" too.
Hmm, are the bakeries in Karnataka/Mysore/Bangalore similar to ones in Tamil Nadu/Chennai/the older Madras?
My shortlist of Chennai bakeries to explore:
- Crown Bakery in Bazaar Road (Est 1905)
- Bosotto Brothers (Est. 1928) - when Queen Elizabeth II was visiting Madras (as Chennai was known at the time), she ordered a birthday cake for Prince Andrew's first birthday! I think the celebrations were held with him in absentia :-D
- Benny's Bakery in Royapuram (Est. 1949)
- Adyar Bakery (Est. 1903)
The challenge is to get around amidst Chennai's heavy traffic and hot, sweltering summer heat.