Many moons ago
A casual visit to my uncle's house who lived near by.
The talk turned to eateries in the neighborhood. Thomson Bakery for the oh so soft garlic bread - all for Rs. 10. The Sweet Chariot down the road for the delectable cakes and the beef shop near Coles park.
Beef shop!! My ears pricked up.
I have driven past Coles park many a time and had never seen this place.
"Oh" said my uncle, "It's a small make-shift place and easy to miss but you should taste his chilli beef..mmm" he licked his lips.
Now beef was one of my favorite dishes and I had been searching for a good place from the time I landed in Bangalore. Chennai has scores of such places but Bangalore.. was still searching and this was Godsend for me.
Few moons ago
A Table tennis tournament at the club.
I was paired with one of the younger members of the club. Born and brought up in Bangalore he had never lived outside Frazer town. After our game the talk turned to well you guessed it..eateries. This time from Frazer town - Just Bake, Zaks and... that awesome chilli beef near Coles park.
What! "Yup" he said. "Amazing chilli beef..just a make shift place and easy to miss..but if you like beef a must-try place".
One moon ago
In Church on a balmy Sunday evening with the sun painting the sky in bright hues of pink and orange just before it last appearance for the day.
Riding home on my bike and thinking about plans for dinner my mind came to rest on the famous chilli beef. Well..why not I thought, Coles Park was on the way and I could finally find out what makes everyone go gaga over this.
A drop of rain. Well how long would it take to buy a plate of chilli beef and reach the warm confined of my house. Lightning danced across the skies, drops fell faster but my mind was fixated on the beef. So a quick left turn towards Coles Park, parked my bike and went on foot to locate this easy-to-miss shop when rain started falling in buckets.
Taking shelter with the others in front of a closed shop we watched the rain.. we watched life pass by.. a group of boys running in the rain towards a pub.. auto drivers slowing down hoping to get a fare.. families on bikes stopping to take shelter but the kids wanting to go on! Well this went on for an hour bu the rain did not show any signs of receding.
I had fish at home. Had I just not yielded to the temptation I'd be home by now feasting on some fried sardines but we seldom listen to reason.
One more hour went by.. the rains continued to fall.. auto drivers continued to slow down and it was past 9 PM. The beef shop might close and my waiting for close to two hours in the rain would have been in vain. So deciding to risk it for the chilli beef I walked out looking for the shop.
But try as I might I could not find it. Walked the entire length of Coles Park, no beef shop.. well there were no other shops either. I was wet..hungry and now getting irritated. But maybe I was looking in the wrong direction, I better ask someone. So went to an ice cream shop. The menu outside advertised "Hot chocolate Fudge". Ooh must be good in this weather and ordered one. After he serves me he tells me its not hot. Hmmph!
While paying for the cold chocolate fudge I asked him about the beef shop. "yes" he said he knew about that shop. "Where is it?" I asked, excitement building. "The shop is no more. They closed it a month ago".Grr!
Shivering and wet I reached home. Set the stove and fried the sardines. Two hours in the rain all for a chilli beef that was never there.
Was eating some chicken when my neighbor dropped in. "You made it or bought it" he asked. I said I made it as I was not happy with the chicken available in shops. "You don't like shop cooked food. You must try this chilli beef near Coles Park.. Its a make-shift shop only...."
I choked on the chicken!