Bangalore: The old stone building on Wheeler Road which houses the Legends Motorcycling Café and Museum is at least six decades old. Though the café opened recently, the atmosphere and decor reflect the times in which the structure was built. It’s an unusual combination of a café and a museum under one roof. The ground floor accommodates the dining area, while the first floor houses more than 20 vintage motorbikes belonging to café owner S.K. Prabhu, a biker who began collecting in 1992.
Prominent among the exhibits is a red- and cream-coloured scooter, the Cezeta, a 1962 model made in erstwhile Czechoslovakia.
Works of art: Prabhu has been collecting vintage bikes for 19 years. Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint
The good stuff
Jazz and blues notes playing from an old record player compete with the din of bikers discussing spare parts and accessories. The aroma of coffee wafts through the space. There is a hand-operated coffee grinder and roasted beans (the south Indian Arabica variety) are ground every day, so an aromatic cup is assured.
The handwritten menu lists eggs (omelette and scrambled) and toast for breakfast. Lunch and dinner options include chicken and vegetarian steaks, chicken and vegetarian biryanis and paya (a spicy stew) with bread. Served with brinjal cooked in spicy gravy and a small bowl of raita, the chicken in the biryani was tender and mildly spiced—not heavy at all. Walk in on Sundays to see crowds of bikers stop over, and if you ride in on a bike that impresses Prabhu, he might just throw in some free engine oil along with your coffee.
Though open, the café is not entirely ready. On the day I visited, the chef who makes the steaks and baked dishes wasn’t around, leaving us to choose between the biryani, sandwiches and breakfast options. Prabhu assured us that all items on the menu are available on all days usually. Only one of the three floors is meant for dining, and the five-six tables available are too few on a busy day.
The café offers main course items in half-portions as well. So while a full chicken steak costs Rs200, half a portion comes at Rs110. A plate of chicken biryani costs Rs125, and the vegetarian one, Rs75.
Legends Motorcycling Café and Museum, 15, Wheeler Road, Fraser Town, Bangalore.