Monday, April 18, 2016

O: Opera House

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Opera House:

Spicy Veg balls in hot garlic sauce, Chicken Schezuan noodles, hot and sour soup and other lip smacking delicacies.

If you were surprised that I wasn't talking about any theatre or play, I'll tell you why. This little restaurant with the same name was set up when the actual "Opera house" closed down. Tucked in at the far end of Brigade road, just before Shoolay circle, they served Indo-Chinese fare. I read this article in the newspaper recently that were all set to revive the Opera house (not the restaurant)and it brought back a flood of memories.

During the days when I had just found my independence (read college) and of course with that came pocket money, this place was one of our frequent hangouts. I think this was pretty much my introduction to Indo-Chinese food, which is still my favourite food till date. Come to think of it, if you asked me today, I would rate their food as just average. But the biggest reasons for us to hangout at this place was
1) The cost: We could have a decent meal for two in anywhere between 50-100 rupees (No kidding!)
2) The location: It was located at Brigade road and it was outdoors. Honestly, I cant think of why we loved to hang out here but maybe it was because it meant easy access to shopping outlets and movie theatres (no malls back then!)
3) The staff: They would let us hang out there for as long as we wanted without bothering us as long as we had ordered some stuff.

My friends and I must have been one of their favourite customers (not really!) as we frequented this place too often for our own wallets. There have been times when we have just managed to collect 50 bucks between us and then go out for a meal here. I think I've even been on a few dates here. Cheap food, decent fare and some place to sit and talk, what's not to love!

Of course as we grew slightly older and found jobs, we started to frequent other more expensive Indo-Chinese places but we still would visit until they eventually moved to Fifth avenue. From there, things went downhill for them and they shut down eventually. We were never able to find an other place similar to this one. I have very warm memories of this place and of events we've celebrated here. I think all my friends have been here with me, one time or another! Most of all, I think it was Vee and me who hung out here. And Vee, if you're reading this, maybe it's time to get together and have some Chinese fare, whatsay?

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