In a time when it is increasingly difficult to buy a cup of tea under Rs. 10, a hotel in Sullia town of Mangalore is selling meals for just that amount. Located in Shreeamapete, Hotel Ramaprasad was founded 78 years ago by Venkatesh Sarlaya, who had migrated from Kasargod, Kerala. He started the eatery in a hut with a thatched roof and it came to be known as Saralaya Hotel after the owner’s name.
Students who don’t have the time to go home for lunch are the most frequent customers. The affordable meal comprises of rice, sambhar, rasam, curry and buttermilk.
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Meals at Saralaya Hotel were available just for 25 paise back in 1938. The price went up to Rs. 5 by 2014, and is Rs. 10 right now. Venkatesh’s son Sundara Saralaya has taken over the restaurant and has been running it for the past 46 years. When asked how he manages to serve at least 200 people in a day at such a nominal rate, he told The Hindu that other items on the menu are fairly priced and are at par with the prevailing market prices.
“Getting a meal is still difficult for many, particularly students, and hence I have continued the tradition,” he said.