When Sevanur Ramachandra Bhandary started selling omelettes in Mangaluru during the mid-sixties, little did he anticipate that this would lead to him becoming a local culinary legend.
The year was 1966, and Bhandary decided to forsake his automobile engineering degree and take over his family-run grocery store. As for how he came to be known as ‘Omelette’ Bhandary, it started with the man trying to cash in upon the undying love that city quite famously harbours for omelettes.
At that time, only two hotels in Mangaluru sold omelettes during evenings, and Bhandary thought it would be a good business decision. His egg supply was taken care of by his friend, who had a poultry farm and sold them to him for five paise per egg.
The grocery store soon started selling the unassuming dish, and slowly, Bhandary’s omelettes won over the entire city.
Oldies, youngsters, local cricket players, college-goers—everyone would flock to the hop during evenings, and it became the go-to place for a hearty evening snack as well as a meeting point for debates and discussions. And it continued to remain so for all these years.
With a single omelette costing ₹15 and a double variant priced at ₹30, Bhandary states that there is no secret recipe for his much-loved dish which is just a simple concoction made out of egg yolk, salt, chopped onion, green chillies, sunflower-oil and the legendary ‘Bhandary whisk.’
Sadly for all these loyal customers, Bhandary has finally decided to shut down his humble shop on December 31, after 52 years of doling out omelettes. “It is a painful decision. I had to do it as it is time for my retirement,” said the local culinary legend to Daijiworld.
Interestingly, Bhandary had been planning his retirement for quite some time now, but massive public outcry made him postpone his dreams.
Well-known across the community for his humanitarian activities, he intends to continue helping people once he has retired.
As his sobriquet implies, Omelette Bhandary and his humble delicacy will continue to remain a heart-warming memory for the generations of Mangalureans, and with today being his last working day, we pay tribute to this culinary legend.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)