Kini Hotel, Kumta

pics of chai and breakfast at Kini Hotel Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

This tiny tea shop in Kumta is my main eating and meeting place in Kumta. It’s in the main paent (market) and only a few steps from the Shanteri Kamakshi Devasthan and the Venkatraman Muth/Devasthan.

It opens by 6 am and I get there by 6:30. Then it’s crowded with laborers sipping their chai or kaapi. Early in the morning they serve puri bhaji, phovu, shira and upma. By 8:30 am they’ll start serving buns and around 10:30 dosas are spread. Last orders at 8 pm and the place shuts down by 8:30 pm; so does the rest of Kumta paent. *sigh*

The tables are tiny, but expect strangers to ask you to scoot over and sit. Just enjoy the chai (or kaapi or kashai). The front has the requisite glass cabinet of laddoos, various mithai and savory farsaan. Sorry Meera, no jalebis.

Early in the morning, only a few other stores are open on the strip. The vegetable and flower stalls are slowly setting up. Its a wonderful time of day to stroll along and strike conversations with the locals. My Konkani vocabulary is improving and am getting more comfortable with Kannada. What a beautiful life!
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Kini Hotel, Kumta

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