Hotel Hanumanthu started in 1930 by a wrestler named Hanumanthu, is a well-known tale in Mysuru. The wrestler Hanumanthu used cooked mutton pulao every day. The fragrance of the Mutton Pulao was so strong that his neighbours used to come running to his house to eat that Pulao. Somehow Hanumanthu got the idea to start a restaurant, and from then on, history.
The first time I tried this biryani was in 2016, during the Karnataka Premier League season. Even though there are multiple restaurants called Hanumanthu in Mysore, a little research helped me get to the real one. The Real Hanumanthu Hotel is located on the first floor of the wrestler Hanumanthu’s house. A small place with four tables and a tiny little kitchen. The fragrance of Hanumanthu Biryani was so strong that even before I could see the restaurant signboard, I could smell the deliciousness. I entered the restaurant and ordered Mutton Pulao. I became a fan instantly, as the flavouring, taste, and aroma were soul-satisfying. The Mutton inside was tender and juicy. Impressed with the Mutton Pulao, I started marketing to people via speech and my blog, Brew & Chew. I also suggested an Episode in Karnataka Premier League where Dean Jones tries this Pulao. The video became viral, and even my blog. It was a boon to Hanumanthu Hotel as it became popular worldwide, but it became a curse to the fans.
The next time I went to Hotel Hanumanthu was during the 2018 KPL. The restaurant moved to the ground floor first, and it had more tables and an increased number of customers. The look has completely changed the real essence of that Hanumanthu, and the aroma that invites you was missing. I ordered Mutton Biryani or Pulao and was disappointed instantly. The Pulao was bland (not spicy) with no flavour and fragrance. The Mutton was undercooked and stinky. It was uncleaned mutton, and that was the cause of the horrible smell.
Now foolishly, I assumed it was a bad day for the restaurant, and sometimes mistakes happen, so I went again after a few days. I did go again after a few days but was disappointed again. The delicious Pulao made by Hanumanthu was gone. I did not lose hope, so I visited Hanumanthu Biriyani on Rathna Simha Street. Again the same bad biryani, but the Mutton was well cooked. I proceeded to the Original Hanumanthu Devi Mess on Mission Hospital Road, but the disappointment continued. The fan in me just died instantly.
Still, I didn’t lose hope, so I went to Hotel Hanumanthu one more time to review the place again. It was in August 2019, and even after a year, I had the same complaint about undercooked meat and flavourless Pulao. That is when I quit going to Hotel Hanumanthu again. I love eating good food, and when a place breaks my heart, I could never go back again.