Everyone in Hyderabad knows Ram Ki Bandi. There are people outside Hyderabad who have also heard about it! If you are a Hyderabadi and you don’t know what Ram Ki Bandi is then have a look.
Ram Kumar Shinde, the man behind the restaurant is all smiles. This is his second branch. His first one was a roadside stall called Ram ki Bandi at Nampally. Seven years ago, he was scrubbing dosa batter off a large tawa as he washed the dishes. Today, there is still a sense of disbelief at the back of his head as he looks admiringly at his restaurant.
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Ram Bandi Started in 1989:
Ram’s bandi or cart, has been around since 1989. It was bought by his father when he was around eight years old. “Even as a kid, I used to tag along and see how the dosas and idlis were made and served. Seven years ago, I got the bandi and I set it up at Nampally.” Today, the location of his bandi pops up on a simple Google search. “Initially when I started, I had my fears that maybe I won’t be able to make it,” he says. Like his father, he wanted to continue the business and took over the stall despite having an MBA.
Ram ki Bandi is rated 4.2 out of five on Zomato’s ranking. The juicy butter dosa with the trademark coconut chutney has made sure that people visit despite his unpredictable timings of 3 am to 8 am.
When Ram Bandi started he did not get a lot of customers. “The little money we had slowly started depleting and I was worried that maybe I had taken the wrong path. There were days when I hardly made a few hundred rupees. I invest more than that to run the stall,” he says.
“I only get good brands like Amul for my cheese and butter. I want to make sure that people are satisfied with the quality of my food,” – Ram Shinde
Ram then asked his family to help him out with the stall and his brother-in-law agreed to help him. “Still things were getting worse. I had thought about quitting many times but I was determined at the end of the day that I could still make it work,” he says.
“People can get a good dosa in many places so why would they come to me? It was then that I decided that I should do something about my dosas,” he adds.
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“I was one of the first places in Hyderabad where you could get pizza dosa. I thought about the recipe myself and then saw a little while later that other people were also making it. That’s why my pizza dosa is slightly different,” he says.
Ram opened the new branch on March 11 and it has already got a great response. He now has a full-fledged restaurant called Ram’s Dosa House in Banjara Hills but the roadside Bandi in Nampally is still alive and doing a good business.
“I thought about taking my food to more people. I had to save up a lot but I’m very proud of the new restaurant. It is completely air conditioned and has all the facilities,” he says.
Interview with Ram of Ram Bandi Dosa:
“Young teenagers come and take selfies with me. That’s all the advertisement I get,” he quips. Ram still wakes up at 2am and pushes his stall to Nampally at 3am. He is also found at his restaurant from 8pm to 11pm. “I hardly get any sleep but it doesn’t matter. I’m happy that people enjoy my food,” he says.