Luke Melia


December 17, 2004

Heavenly Manna

Once upon a time, I guess it was back in the summer of 1999, I had an experience I will long cherish. Manna Bake Restaurant, Kodaikanal I was living in India with my girlfriend at the time and had recently recovered from typhoid fever. We took a weekend trip to Kodaikanal, a hill station some 250 miles southeast of our home base in Bangalore. A hill station is simply a town atop a hill. It warrants a special term in India because temperatures at hill stations are mild when the surrounding country gets unbearably hot.

Kodaikanal was nice enough. It was actually quite cold. I remember buying a beautiful reversible wool jacket that I still wear. I remember walking along a road carved into the side of the mountain and seeing clouds at eye level. I remember the town having more of a British influence than many. I remember the impressive building that I read was a reknowned international music school.

But most of all, I remember Israel Bhooshi.

Israel Bhooshi's 'microwave'

I had never heard of Israel Bhooshi before, but our Lonely Planet guidebook touted his restaurant, “Manna Bake,” with an arrow pointing off the map. The morning before we left, we followed the map’s arrow and climbed a hill into a completely residential neighborhood. The houses thinned out and more than once we considered turning back. At one point, a older woman’s nod told us we were heading in the right direction. Then I saw a sign hanging from a branch, most of it obscured by the lush leaves of the tree. The sign said “Manna Bake.” And there was an arrow.

My eyes followed the arrow to a small stone house that looked like anything but a restaurant. We walked the front path, climbed a few steps and knocked on the heavy wooden door. After a moment, the door swung open and Israel Bhooshi greeted us with a smile. He fed us delicious freshly baked whole wheat bread (a treat so unusual in India it’s known as brown bread!) and amazing healthy fare. After these years, I don’t remember exactly what I ate, only that it was great, and that I wanted to order everything on the menu.

Mr. Bhooshi is a tall, roundish man with a big beard a gentle way about him. His manner instantly put me at ease, and he seemed to enjoy our company to no end. We talked about where we had come from and where we were going, and about his restaurant. He showed us his guestbook, full of travelers who had visited, ate, and from the looks of the comments, enjoyed tremendously.

At one point he asked if I would like to see the microwave. I did a double-take, and he laughed. His “microwave” was a handmade woodburning stove where his manna is created.

I was cleaning off my desk tonight, and I came across Israel Bhooshi’s business card and his bright green and yellow sticker advertising Manna Bake on Bear Shola Falls Road. I imagine a steady stream of backpackers making their way through the doorway of that stone house, each one tasting a little bit of the pure and simple joy this life has to offer.

Israel Bhooshi's 'microwave' If you find yourself in Kodaikanal, please tell Israel Bhooshi that Luke Melia from New York says hello, and be sure to try his apple pie.

99 Responses to “Heavenly Manna”

  1. Mike Melia chimed in:

    Cool Story! The best of all to you, all of your family, especially your new bride – Jeanhee – and all of your friends and readers . . . Mike Melia

  2. D chimed in:

    Thanks for sharing that story, Luke. It made my day.

  3. c.israel bhooshi chimed in:

    hi mike melia
    i live now in sheffield uk since 31’st may 2002, moved due to kids varsity education.
    but manna being operated by my good friends george n ivy roshan.
    israel bhooshi

    pl mail back asap

  4. &d chimed in:

    Dear Luke Melia,
    That was an absolute brilliant write up.
    I first ate, dined & circum-vaccilated @ ‘Manna Bake & Restaurant’ in 1996. The philosopher & philanthropic Israel Bhooshi was & still is our chef in understanding the beauty you described about life.
    Take care & please continue living well in this difficult but not un-attainable immaculate walk of life, love
    Dr Anirudh Deshpande (ande)

  5. Ravi(gatt) chimed in:

    Hey that is a great write up and i have something to say about the second Guru in my Life Iszy. I met him the first time in the summer of 1982 and stayed with him helping with the potato cultivation at Mount Shalom (His son shalom was just 2 years or so..) and odd errands at Manna before it moved to bear shola road and in return got food and free stay!!! wonderful music and lots of practical philosophy and it is in Manna that my political education happened listening to the “Black President” by Fella Kuti in 1983!Specially the song ITT (International Thief Thief)

    Since then i have been visiting Iszy and family every year till 1987 _ then there was a lull for more then 11years and in 1998 went to Mt Shalom with my wife and two kids!! By the time the Booshi children were grown up in high school etc.. I also had the great opportunity to travel with them when they moved to UK from Kodi (me and my wife)in the flight from Chennai!

    I have enjoyed every bit of my association with Iszy & family and cherish every moment of it well i have more to say but as Robert frost said “The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before i sleep”

  6. Bhanu chimed in:

    this is such a touching piece. I’m sure many more travellers would have had the same warm experience with Manna. for us, we find it disappointing when friends are travelling to Kodi and we can no longer direct them to this beautiful landmark of shola falls. I’m sure there are a lot of disappointed travellers returning without the taste of israel’s whole wheat breakfast from the ageless oven.

  7. Sunil Bernard chimed in:

    Well, reading these responses, my mind goes back to the 80s when we made our first of our many trips to Kodaikanal. My cousin, Viji Johnson, is the trekking guide there. He took our family to Manna for breakfast. The famous brown bread and apple pie was given to us. His famous curd (yoghurt) which was so well set that he upturned the glass in which it was and it didn’t fall. I took a photo of that (miracle). We went up a narrow way on to the mountain top residence of Israel. Was lonely at that time and it was so cosy. We wondered how the small children of his would traverse every day up and down that treacherous mountain slope on the way to thier school and back home. Well, God took care of them and they are all grown up now and one of them is preparing for the Ministry. We keep in touch through mails and life goes on…..

  8. george n ivy chimed in:

    The foreign season (Jan. – Mar. ’05) was good as usual at Manna. Then end April and early May Sai Baba was here for two weeks or more which made life at Manna hectic. The old crowd still remembers you and are faithful customers. Then we had the owner family of a very fancy and well-known restaurant in Madras who gave advance order for an Afghan lunch which they found absolutely wonderful and exotic. The guest book says it all. We got to invest in a tandoor oven for Afghan bread and kebabs.

    manna bake restaurant

  9. mike mahendran chimed in:

    Dear Isreal

    Its great to hear from and and even more greater to hear that your family and you are doing very well after all the years you have gone thru Kodai Mountains.

    When we go to Kodai, we hear nothing but great things about your acheivements in Shefield. Congratulations and wish you the very best at all times.

    Both Jaya and myself will not forget the great memories from our Honey Moon when you arranged trecking for us thru Vijay. More than the trecking was the magical memory which you created has remained in us for ever. When you provided us with nice home made Biryani and Sambar upon our return was the best part of our trip not to mention the abundance of love which you showered on us during our trips to Kodai.

    Manoj has now joined his +2 and has taken 1st group. He will finish his graduation here and may be opt for his highger studies aborad after completing his graduation.

    Mum and dad, Deveraj Uncle are doing well.

    Give my regards to family and be in touch.

    Thanks – Mike

  10. COL. (RETD.) BERTIE SIMPSON of the British Indian Army chimed in:

    I did my shopping at Spencers, a general store that was meant for Enid Blyton’s books in an old stone cottage, it sells all kinds of groceries including delicious homemade jams, chocolates and marshmellows. And I bought cheese from the Kodai Dairy, they make and sell cheddar, garlic, pepper, chilli cheeses every day. Go before noon, and they take you in to see how the cheeses are made. I also found a Belgium Convent, a two-storeyed cottage on a windy hill, in which half-a-dozen Belgian nuns make superior quality, hand-embroidered linen. They also do lacy handkerchiefs, pillowcases and bed linen. Better wash your hands before touching any of their stuff. And you must also call on Israel Bhooshi, ex-Oberoi, ex-ITDC, who now runs the Manna Bake Restaurant in a forest. It is bohemian little eatery. Bhooshi looks like a prophet with flowing black beard. In a hundred-year-old cast iron oven that is fuelled by firewood, he makes wholesome vegetarian western food and an apple pie that is to die for. He’s the manager, chef, baker and waiter, and everybody’s friend. You’ll find many like him in Kodaikanal

  11. maxcine swensson chimed in:

    Hi Vijay and Bhooshi Family

    Just love reading others experinces in Kodiakannal and the lives that
    and Family – Manna Bakery and Yourself have touched the lives of so
    people over the years.

    I know back in 1988 when you Vijay first talked to me about Kodi and
    me to type up something to premote your work – I suggested you talk to
    Galbriath – a relative whom I was staying with who was a printer who
    do a great job. you where comerned with minutes before the train was to
    leave Hyderabad station that you would get the printed package – Tim
    on board as the train started to move -placed the bundle in your arms
    was gone. A week later I was sitting in Mamma Bakery over looking the
    over Keith Lodge – warming myself by the stove watching Israel
    preparing the
    days bread – pizza toppings, and friut crumble.

    As I was Not feeling the best and it was drizzling with rain – Israel
    a jeep – taking supplies home – COmpany for June and three year old
    — Over the years have visited that Hill station – walked around its
    fish lake, walked the curved roads, Climbed Shalam Hill thinks its
    around 16
    times now Be there for two of Shaloms Birthday and one of
    Rachels.Attended a
    Chriatain concerts with shalom In the Band- taken a number of friends
    me over the time. With each visit there are changes but its the people
    the charm.

    And Shared Christmas in Sheffield WOw with a painting of the House of
    Hill gracing the living room wall in 2003 – Walking around Sheffield
    the man
    with the bushie beard – knows so many people.

    Maxine swensson 1988 -2004

  12. sundarrajan balaji chimed in:

    well,1990-2005.15 years i knew bhooshi & wife knew and my children amish/mennonite communities no electricity in manna,kodi in 90s.log to burn and logtop to sit.yet pizzaz are tasty and served in time about palani hills conservation can also be found in pin up boards.1990-1996 of my time in kodi i consider as my golden age manna & bhooshis included.

  13. mike reynolds chimed in:

    The Manna Bake Restaurant, Kodaikanal
    Lunch was at an extraordinary little place, the Manna Bake Restaurant (Bear Shola Falls Road, Kodaikanal-1), run by Israel Bhooshi, a large man with a very big beard, married to a Sheffield woman, who lives in a house on the top of the mountain. We met him on our walk earlier. Israel is ex-army, and a born-again Christian. The restaurant is very small and simply furnished. He can feed up to 12 people at a time, and will not do more. We sat at two simple tables, and around the walls were large framed photos of the Palani Hills, and one – a very professional portrait – of Israel himself among his pots. His fare is simple, too, and delicious: pizza marghereta and apple crumble, with or without custard. It’s all done on a 110-year old Scottish range-oven that had been discarded and was found and given to Israel. He treats it with reverence, as indeed reverence is the hallmark of his whole endeavour. As we ate he handed round some dog-eared copies of an article about him in a weekly magazine. I folded the copy over, and got ticked off by Israel for doing so.

    “Don’t fold it over. I’ve already told you” he said, but his friendly grin was soon on again, and he asked

    “Who’s the couple from Sheffield? By ‘eck, how yoo’re doin’?”

    And he gave me a gift of a Gideon Bible, still in its cellophane wrapping, “for the people of Sheffield” he said.

    The pizza was delicious and the slice of apple crumble with the custard the best, I reckon, that I’ve ever tasted. We’ve had some truly fine South Indian food, and some awful European food – this at the Tollygunge Club – but Manna Bake Restaurant, in Kodaikanal, is the most memorable eating place of this trip.

    [From the diary of the Traidcraft India trip in October 2000 kept by Mike Reynolds. Entry for Wednesday October

  14. samson manuel chimed in:

    Hi All! I had a lovely time reading all the messages posted above. My wife Sujatha & I first met Israel while on our honeymoon to Kodai & we were staying at the Clifton next door. It was January 1994, and out of sheer curiosity we stepped into Israel’s place & guess what?? He treated us to the same yummy wheat bread soaked in wild honey & man oh man, was that heavenly!! We still talk about it. I guess one has to be twice blessed to come across the likes of Israel Bhooshi. Another interesting couple we met were Mahesh & his wifey at a cozy restaurant called “Cocktails & Dreams” – Great Grub & Great Music!! Wonder if they’re around. Thanx folks.

  15. Mike Melia chimed in:

    Holy Mackerel Luke
    This post certainly has attained international fame. Plus to have another Mike Melia beside yours truly to write in… there might be some kind of record set.- Su papasan

  16. Jzo chimed in:

    I studied in Kodaikanal for a number of years and I never went to this place. The only reason I can speak of is not too good for me to state on this website less it depletes the ‘shower of praises’ that have been given to Isreal.

    Good luck to all who have been there

  17. paul gonsalves chimed in:

    Hi Izzy:

    Nice to get the short sweet one from you. What are you up to these days?

    Do you want to get involved in a travel venture in eastern India? It is one of the least known parts, but has a lot to offer. I am talking about it to some friends here in Kolkata, so would like to know if you can do some marketing in the UK.

    Have you met Angela Kalisch in Sheffield yet? She has often acted as a tour guide in Nepal and NOrth India, so maybe you could talk with her. Do keep in touch. Am off next week to Bangalore for an Equations meeting, so I am sure we will all be talking about you.

    Paul da

  18. Poonam James chimed in:

    it is so nice to get a mail from you
    and not just mail… but a detailed discription about yourself..
    i am so..glad to know a person so outstanding…
    as i am a landscape archihtect.. your discrption of kodaikanal…
    appeals to
    me alot.. i would..also like to visit you some time.. later….
    so r u going back to india or are you here for some time……
    how long are you in Sheffield….
    anyways… please keep in touch.. i told my family back in Jabalpur
    you and they were so glad to hear about you….

    God Bless… and regards to your family
    i am praying for your daughter…

  19. janine mallett chimed in:

    Desmond Hazelton, was born on the 18th of December.1912 and is now 92 years old
    He grew up at No 1 Carter Knowle Road, and is the son of a doctor
    He worked at Edgar Allen Steel works in Attercliffe
    In 1934 due to the recession and job redundancy in Sheffield, he joined the army
    He was in the regiment of Coasting Guard. His service number was 2656401
    He was also a guard at Buckingham Palace
    In World War II he was stationed in Palestine and Egypt
    He was posted twice in Palestine to quell trouble
    While serving in the Northern African desert of Libya he was taken prisoner of war
    He was a POW for 3 years
    Since he was asked to surrender he was not given a war medal
    In 1947-48 he studied a bakery course at City & Guild then located next to the Lyceum Theatre. He has fond memories of his tutor, Mr Wragg
    He jokingly tells the story of how conditions were so bad in those days that when he opened the prover door, rust would fall from the roof.
    The equipment was very basic
    In that year Des won the best student award and lifted the Broom Cup, which still continues.
    In the second year he was struck by a bad bout of chickenpox and due to this illness he discontinued his bakery studies
    After recovering from illness he set up an entrepreneur bakery business
    He was self-employed and made oatcakes and pikelets
    He ran this business for 7 years
    In 1955, Mr Slax of Slax Bakery invited him to work as a baker. The bakery was located on Hamilton Road in Attercliffe, next to the labour exchange
    He worked for wages of £12 a week and he got £15 holiday money
    He retired in 1977 at the age of 65
    As he grew older he moved to Lees Sheffield Council Care Home and when the building was demolished, he moved to Leighton Road’s Castelayn SheffCare home.
    Last year our director of SheffCare, Mike Vickers, along with assistant director Enid and a few of the residents went to Bridlington for a day’s outing. I pushed Des around Bridlington in his wheelchair. That is where I learnt that he was a master baker.
    Hence it is an honour for us to welcome him to Castle Centre, Sheffield College, to be guest of honour and distribute the prizes
    We thank him on behalf of the students, staff and management of the college

    the residents do love chef israel’s cooking, our humble chef from india…..janine mallett
    this article was published, in our sheff care magagine

  20. nadaka chimed in:

    Wow! the return of the Manna, at least in spirit!

    We go up way before Kodai to the Ashoka in Bangalore…

    Nice to hear from you.

    I can’t sen you the idlis and Dosai but if you give me your address,
    we’ll happily send you some music.

    Take care,



  21. Jerry Nichol chimed in:

    I was Middle School and then Elementary School coordinator at Kodai School, but retired in June 1998. Then my wife and I were back in Kodai School as volunteers for the Centennial Year, 2000-2001. Are you now making Manna bread in the UK?
    Jerry Nichol

  22. angad vohra chimed in:

    the pancakes and honey tea are also still on the repertoire
    where ever israel bhooshi is there are smiles on his dinners face.

  23. Rebecca Sawbridge chimed in:

    Will you please send me a photo copy of your article through the post as I am not that skilled at retrieving images on the computer and I would like to include your story as a positive role model with the work I do with FE colleges.

    Thank you for getting in touch so promptly and highlighting an important issue for us to give support too. I thank you too for helping me with the stall at conference and in advance for your support and involvement with us in the BLACK STUDENTS CONFRENCE for the year ahead.

    My postal address is:
    9 De-Burgh Street, Dover, KENT CT17 0BN

  24. Matthew Kay chimed in:

    Dear Israel,

    Thanks for your email, Kodaikanal sounds a lovely place and one that I’d like to become familiar with. It must be a big change to move from there to Sheffield.

    Manna Vegetarian Restaurant, Primrose Hill, opened in 1966 and we took over in 1995 and as far as I know there is no connection.

    If you’re in London please do come in and see us.


    Matthew Kay
    manna restaurant
    4 erskine road primrose hill london nw3 3aj
    phone/ fax 020 7722 8028

    dinner: 6.30-11pm everyday. sunday lunch: 12.30-3.00pm
    ‘best vegetarian restaurant’ vegetarian society awards 2003

  25. richard g chimed in:

    Ebele just emailed me and said that she found you really easy to get on with for real. The tabernacle came equiped with israel guru, tea and vibes. They just assumed you were part of the glastonbury package! ha ha. wicked memories for sure as I type I smile for real!
    Peace and oneness Israel. Me gaan, much to do and no time to do it.
    Just like cooking!

    Much Love Rich

  26. Tom McHugh chimed in:

    Twenty years since I visited you in Kodai, which was 3 years after our time with the Shamboo family at Hotel Ashoka in Bangalore. Do you remember me?

    I often think of you. I sent you letters, never heard back. Only today did it occur to me to search online. So pleased to see you are still at Manna in Kodai, only now international to Sheffield, UK, too. And June, Sholom, Moses?

    If you get this, send me a note.

    Tom McHugh

    Thomas P. McHugh Attorney-at-Law
    84 Spring Street
    P.O. Box 36
    Williamstown, MA 01267
    TEL. (413) 458-2521
    FAX (413) 458-2657

  27. nahidaslam chimed in:

    Hey Israel,
    great to hear from you. I hope you got home okay. The
    conference was long and tiring, but interesting and I
    met many fine and interesting people – including
    Yes, lets not give up the fight .. and hopefully we’ll
    see each other again at the G8 Summit in Scotland…
    long live the rights of black students

  28. ALEX MATHEW chimed in:

    dear luke i was worker at manna, here are few lines ,while i enjoyed israel’s hospitality at manna and house mt shalom

    Now, xenophobia is not policy
    With an English lady, June Bhooshi
    Her gentle ways and smiling face
    Are uncommon to the human face

    No stiff upper lip,
    No whining crib-crib,
    No starched upitty airs
    Or articulate flairs

    Just s good mother and wife
    And great friend for life
    While virtues like patience
    Understanding and forgiveness

    Makes one to do a double take
    On Gandhi and Jesus
    NOW Israel lucky man,
    And his children chosen ones.

    To bloom in the warmth of a home,
    Carved out by amdist strife and gloom
    It takes a lot of guts and grit to see
    Beside plum jam, scone and tea !


  29. Noel Kirupakaran chimed in:

    Nazareth and myself were talking about ISRAEL BHOOSHI ,
    saying how we miss ISRAEL and his MANNA APPLE PIE HAHAHAHAHAH.
    WE miss him, when our church visits kodaikanal.

    Noel Kirupakaran
    music director

  30. muthu kumar chimed in:

    dear luke
    great to hear from you still remember your veggie pie and apple crumble
    i’am really pleased about the change for you
    i pray to my almighty for a fulfilling life for you and your family
    g.muthu kumar

    currently chef pattisire

    formerly HOD PASTRY CHEF
    taj coramandal chennai

  31. Jenith Israel chimed in:

    dear mike
    Seven year back I climbed israel’s house mt shalom with pastor Paul of FGAG & team and Abundant church team coimbatore. We had lunch at at his house before that, he took us on trekking. I was introduced to israel n family by aunty Shymala she is a teacher from Coimbatore and she has two sons Mervin and Roby they are in Singapore now. I still remember during our departure his daughters and son came to us off at the check post,and our bus disappeared in kodai’s misty roads. I liked his house every much, i did not see his reaturant…manna.

    As divine plan of god in 2005, iam doing christian mission work in scunthrope , linconshire, uk. i just made contact with israel bhooshi & family in sheffield, uk, we shall have reunion and reflect our trip to his loving house ,i plan to see that family once mor after 7 years……kodaikanal to sheffield.

  32. shalom bhooshi chimed in:

    dear mike, my dad is israel bhooshi.
    i was born in 1983 in kodaikanal, did my schholing at st peter’s kodai, in 2001, we moved to sheffield uk, where my mom comes from, and in 2005 i revisted my birth place, here is bit i want add.

    Kodai has changed a lot and i would think for the better. A lots of all the peti-kadais disappeared and that means that the roads are a lot less congested and cleaner…but again that could just be because i am here in the middle of off-peak season.

    I visited the mount and kembu mary was right behind felling a big soon as she saw us she started to scoot but i asked her to come back.. i just made the courtesy conversation and we went our own way.. a lots of trees disappeared and the trail from the house down to the well is almost overwhelmed with fallen trees and undergrowth. The places near the well are almost untouched tho.

    Visited Manna yesterday and had some of the Apple Crumble and Cheese Toast..the crumble was good but the bread needs a lot of work, too much yeast taste in the mouth afterwards. I wrote a small paragraph in the guestbook ;) and had a lemon tea too.. different recipe, can’t give much of an appreciattion.. it seems that Ivy just runs Manna for the extra pocket money and not as a serious business or contribution to Kodai.. well, can’t expect too much .

    Ivy seems to give me the impression that she might give up on Manna and do something a bit less ‘streneous’ — one grey hair has appeared already. I have to go visit George and her for breakfast one of these days, will fix a time soon. I shall try and learn more then.

    I met almost everyone on the first day here just outside Silver Inn (where we eat lunch). Angie, The Kollies, John and Nimi, The Nicholls and the loads of locals whose names i can’t remember all pass their warmest regards on.

    The kodai folk n bussiness community keep asking when you will return and they say that kodai is just nt the same when you are absent.

  33. vijay kumar johnson chimed in:

    dear mike would like to include this in about legend israel bhooshi

    Financial Daily
    from THE HINDU group of publications
    Monday, January 24, 2000


    • LIFE
    • MENTOR
    • MONEY
    • NEWS

    • PAGE ONE
    • INDEX
    • HOME Life | Next | Prev

    Manna in the mountains
    “If your stomach grumbles, there’s Issy’s Apple Crumble” is a popular adage among gourmets and tourists in Kodaikanal. So, on arrival in Kodai, we tracked down Israel Bhooshi’s Manna, a unique Western vegetarian restaurant located down the Bear Shola Falls Road.
    The aroma of freshly baked goodies wafted through the air and we were greeted by Bhooshi, a portly man with a grizzly beard. The course of Bhooshi’s career makes interesting reading.
    At Manna, the fare is as simple as the setting and the food is devoid of excess oil or frying. The range of dishes includes oatmeal porridge, pancakes, vegetable au gratin, pizza margarita, vegetable shepherd’s pie, soups and pies. But Bhooshi’s brown bread, made out of whole wheat, yeast, salt and water, is as legendary as his wild-honey laden apple crumble.
    The menu card states, “We do not serve tomato sauce, chillies, spices or eggs in our food.”
    The food is reasonably priced. One can have an oatmeal porridge for Rs. 20. Cheese omelette is served with Manna brown bread and fresh tomato. The sweet-tooth specials include whole wheat scone cake, apple crumble and apple crumble with custard drinks.
    The son of an army major, Bhooshi recounts with pleasure how he learnt the rudiments of cooking from his mother. After graduation, he went to Mumbai looking for a break in the catering industry. There he worked with ITDC, Oberoi and the ITC chain of hotels, learning the tricks of the trade. But he quit his job later to realise his ultimate dream — a restaurant of his own.
    Smitten by wanderlust, Bhooshi and a friend embarked on `Bharat Darshan’ on a two-wheeler. After traversing the length and breadth of the country, the adventurous duo landed in Kodai in 1979. Charmed by the misty mountains, the verdant forests and the picturesque green valleys, Bhooshi decided to settle down in this quaint hill station.
    He started off with a small bakery selling herbal tea, cheese, omelettes, cakes and brown bread. The clientele increased steadily and the demand for pastries grew. With the help of friends, Bhooshi soon started a restaurant on a vacant plot of land. Built with corrugated tin sheets and waste wood, the restaurant used wind-felled trunks as chairs and tables. The menu was modest and comprised Western vegetarian food.
    As fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese and butter are available abundantly in Kodai, Bhooshi took to vegetarian cooking which did not require much storage and other facilities.
    A 110-year-old British cast iron oven gifted by his friend, Mani Shanker of Kodai Dairy Products, proved to be a great boon.
    As the years rolled by, Bhooshi shifted to a concrete building. The walls are adorned with charcoal drawings made by another Hyderabadi friend. The architecture is functional and the place has a rustic ambience. The dining area is cosy and can seat 12 persons at a time. Bhooshi has retained the log stumps for tables and chairs.
    “Advertising is not my cup of tea,” says Bhooshi. Word-of-mouth publicity helps and Manna’s fame has spread through international guide maps and travel books. During summer, foreign tourists flock to Manna for baked items. Bhooshi cannot cater to large groups as he handles the chopping and cooking himself. His friends — Alex Mathew, a copywriter, and Chippy Goodwood, a leather technician — assist him in running the restaurant.
    During the peak season, Bhooshi prepares 10-12 breakfasts, 5-6 lunches and about 10 dinners. One has to order dinner in advance. While waiting for the food, we went through a book containing assorted newspaper clippings, poems, limericks, drawings, etc. Between sips of hot chocolate and choice nibbles, Bhooshi engaged us in a stimulating conversation on nature and the degrading environment.
    He loves to explore the forests on a backpack. Inheriting his concern for nature, his three children pick up all non-bio-degradable garbage that come their way and haul them to the Corporation. Bhooshi lives with his family in a secluded hilltop house, far from the madding crowd, sans electricity, pipe water or nosey neighbours. His wife, a foreigner, teaches at a local convent.
    As we revelled in the food and camaraderie, Bhooshi regaled us with tales of his adventurous jaunts in the jungle. His face glowed as he spoke of future plans to organise treks for nature enthusiasts.
    “Manna is not just another eatery. I want it to be a meeting place for people who share my passion for nature and environment,” says Bhooshi.

    viji johnson of NATURE TRAILS kodaikanl

  34. Dr "Brother" Mike Story chimed in:

    I met Izzy when I was on a missionary journey to Kodaikanal in 2002. An unforgettable experience ! He was just about to leave for Sheffield and we lost touch for years. Three days ago I received a letter from the urban depths of Sheffield to my log-cabin school deep in the shadows of the Finnisn taiga forests and he told mw where to look on the Net. So here we are ! Izzy’s food at the Kodaikanal Easter celebration was a mouthfest; his humour a blessing and I still have a photo of him holding a bunch of bananas over my head to reduce the risk of my feeling to self-important!YOur letter tells me you read these pages; Glad to be back in touch and to make it so public. May The Lord BLESS your new life and bring us back together when He decides ! God bless! Mike

  35. Dr "Bro" Mike Story chimed in:

    Praise God Izzy ! We are in contact! I won’t readily forget your food @ the Easter Celebration in Kodia in 2002 nor the photo of me with you holding a bunch of bananas over my head to make me look “bananas” . It sems odd to get your letter from the depths of the urban jungle of Sheffield to the shaded clearing in the Finnsh taiga forests where we live ! I spent 6 months in India and Andaman after the tsunami and saw George in Kodai in February. Will e-mail you ! God bless! Mike

  36. Shruthi chimed in:

    Hey feels great to read all the responses. Me took some of my colleagues to Manna & Viji took us to Mount Shalom got to see a lonely Byson! but the view was amazing now after this the guys who came along with me fell in love with the place and they have been 2 Kodai twice and planning another trip again coz they dint get to meet viji. I agree with the what Shalom said Manna is not the same without my big beard Isreal uncle.

  37. STacy Strong and Boaz Englesberg chimed in:

    The crisp air in Kodaicanal and lovely hiking with Vijay certainly worked up our appetites in January 1999. We were just boyfriend and girlfriend then, now we are married and living in the hot tropics of Thailand. Our good friend, Rafi Peled, introduced us to both Vijay and Israel, as well as warm and welcoming Naser from Taj Villa (a must stay, especially on those cold early spring nights). Our dining experience with Israel was unforgettable, as were the stories from Vicki and Heath of Leeds (we believe) who stayed with Israel, June, and their brood at Israel’s home. Israel has certainly touched the hearts of everyone who has been lucky enough to share his acquaintance. I am amazed to read the stories and look forward to reading more from others. Wherever you are, England or India, you will most certainly continue to touch those you meet through your wonderful, healthy, earthy baked goods and good natured charm. Thanks, Israel!

    If Vicky, Health, Vijay, or Naser see this, feel free to contact us in Thailand at [REDACTED]

    Boaz Englesberg and Stacy Strong

  38. Jenith Israel chimed in:

    Hello uncle,
    Its great to see all the comments and the joy, everyone has experienced through your love and care…
    keep the good going,Wish you a blessed and remarkable EASTER TO YOUR BLESSED FAMILY.
    Thanks & bye take care

  39. rudy rzhude chimed in:

    Hi Isi,
    Great to hear from you and that you’ve moved places.
    You family looks lovely…I didn’t know you had such big kids!

    I’ve got a six year old son and and a seven month old daughter…
    The guitar shop closed a while back but the band is going strong.
    We are planning a UK tour in April May 2006. Will you be there? Will it be possible for you to get us in touch with some agents and promoters there… maybe we can do something with Greenpeace while we’re there? Would be great since we have some pub gigs lined and would be happy to play on some of the festival stages… right now we are rated as India’s top rock band. So let me know.
    OUr drummer Rajeev will be there in december to finalise dates and events so maybe you can meet up with him as well.

    rudy….. bass guitarist of “Thermal and quarter”

  40. cathie turke chimed in:

    Namaste Israel, I am happy to get in touch again with you and I hope you doing fine. How is life in england ? not too hard or too cold ? For me, India and Europe are so different, life is not the same even if human being are all the same throughout the world. Tell me what you are doing overthere, still into cooking ? And how is doing your family ?

    I can see that you are involved into ecology, a lot to do……

    cathie turke

    kodaite 1980

  41. cath warrington chimed in:

    Dear Israel,

    Thankyou for your words of encouragement about the christmas hampers . It was incredibly kind of you and I am very grateful.
    Your cafe manna ,kodaikanal sounds like an amazing place!

    cath warrington

  42. Mike Reynolds chimed in:

    Now, what’s all this cavorting with the high and mighty of the city? (The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress). And after your picture with Nick Clegg, too! Do I sense a political career unfolding here?

    Mike & Marian.


  43. Owen Bosen chimed in:

    Jen and i are old friends of Izzy, and make it a point Kodai once every year at least. The place is not the same without Izzy, but we go all the same. Vijay keeps us company, and we still do some great walks. We always visited Manna after a hard walk, to have a piece of Izzys “apple crumble”, “honey tea”, and shoot the breeze. It is great that George and Ivy are keeping the place going.
    All the best Mate!

  44. tim moran chimed in:

    What an impressive CV and an inspiring review of your restaurant – sounds idyllic!

    It seems that you have the right skills, aptitude and motivation to make your business work.


    prop organic food store

  45. K.Jayaraman chimed in:

    Dear Isreal, Where are you.My daughterAiswarya remembers youwith your scrap book. I cannot forget your coming for Aishu’s wedding in Bangalor.I will be in UK in June . I want to meet you. Please reply.K.Jayaraman, Bangalore

  46. K.Jayaraman chimed in:

    K.Jayaraman. My email I?D>is,. Please reply. My daugfhter Deepa is in UK now.Love Jay

  47. Nirmala Jayaraman chimed in:

    Dear Bhooshi,
    My joy knew no bounds when we saw your family photo and your blog .my memory lane has taken me to Kodai first time when we entered Manna ,I still remember how you welcomed our family,with that simplicity and smile and offered me hot lemonade to try.Oh;It was out of the world.I remember those Hot Brown Bread and Apple crumble were too delicious .there was so much love and warmth in that baking and cooking of yours.You must continue to bake and touch the heart of everyone.Bless you and your family. Thanks and take care Nirmala

  48. BLACKJACK chimed in:

    Hey Booshi Baba…

    I remember Manna Bakery alright. Landed in Kodai one January morning Shankranthi. Went all the way from Hyderabad to Kodai to participate in JAN JAM with the boys. Some how in the fog found Manna Bakery and got into sleeping bag with dew falling on head…oooh it was cold…didnt expect it to be. Around me HUGE Eucalyptus trees reaching up to the stars…and I feeling like an elf in elf land with all them mushroom thatched umbrellas and the wooden seats. Israel landed up in the morning as expected and we had us a cuppa and the rest. I will never forget that morning. Kodai..heclk I went for one jam and stayed for a week. Had the Pie, had the Magic Yogurt and more….

    I havent been back since…life has been keepin me busy…but get to meet Vijiboom our common friend from Nature Trails…but thats about it.

    Take care Bro..G_D be with you and your family!

    Hyderabad, India

  49. Titilayo chimed in:

    I am truely greatful to God for the way in which he has used you and your family to bless so many! Its truely his blessing knowing you as a member of VA. I pray all else is fine and well with you all….May the Lord God bless you with all his best…He has made you a unique and unforgettable friendly person to many

  50. rzhude chimed in:

    hi yall,
    we’re on tour, a ‘lil behind schedule but now rockin in glasgow a long way from back home in bangalore. and gawd be praised for who should knock on our door 2 days ago – good ol isi. manna from heaven. found us after a long trail from sheffield where he stays. brought with him the good cheer, he’s so full of, bearing gifts for us and our families back home.
    then he came back yesterday the 7th of june 2006, to bake us some of his famed apple crumble. have pictures of the event – which i don’t know how to put up but it will be up on the band site ( or the blog ).
    a small planet it is!

  51. Tall Ravi chimed in:

    Hey Ruzhde!! Good to see you hooked up with the Manna himself!! Flashes of a drive in a maruti van with the back seat ripped heaven at manna and ofcourse some good mushroom harvest…..the tea with mushis by izzy was…………Peace….:-)

  52. michael purse chimed in:

    The good thing about trees is their ability to endure. I’m sure the fig
    and cherry we planted will be there, or not far away, after we have all
    moved on. I trust the spirit in which they were dedicated will
    similarly prevail. Power to the saplings and all the Sheffield College
    student forums and flora! I’ll be looking out for a review of your
    Very best wishes,

  53. pratigya chimed in:

    hi israel, u didnt turn up for the TAAQ show, and i went there just because i thought u would be lost in glasgow!! i was furious…#@!!
    in the 90’s i wouldnt have had the guts to speak about israel. unlike others, i did not know israel personally, well not really-he was my dad’s friend, while i was just a middle school kid absolutely PETRIFIED of his temper. (both my dad’s and israel’s!!) i wasnt sure whether to address the manna man as israel or mr. bhooshi (at least i knew he didnt quite fit the ‘uncle’ category!! lol)
    however, the last decade has seen many changes, for starters ive grown up, and secondly israel has calmed down a lot-old and wise?? the last place i expected to bump into him was my brother’s marriage-but thats israel for all of you-full of surprises..sometimes good sometimes not!!!

    take care, and hope to catch up with u and ur family in the uk..
    p ;-)

  54. Jonathan Vidler chimed in:

    I met Israel when he started working at Whirlow Grange (where I also work). I was immediately struck by his passion for food and his huge friendly personality and so when I heard his BBC Radio Sheffield interview by Wendy Middleton and that he was planning a business idea of cooking South Indian food at peoples houses, I wanted him to come to my house and cook for me. So right now I’m sat next to him waiting for my food to be ready to eat, and I can’t wait. The food that Israel has cooked for me both here and at work has been so good that I’ve asked him to cook for my birthday/house-warming party next week so 15 of my friends can be treated to his food, and I can’t wait.

    If you’re yet to try his cooking get in touch with him, I assure you, you will not be dissappointed!

  55. Mike Rowland chimed in:

    Very great food man. words can not describe how much i enjoyed your cooking, as the previous sentance shows. excelent! keep up the goodfood

  56. Robert Wadlow chimed in:

    Thank you very much for the great curry. It was very delicious and enjoyed it alot.
    Best Wishes

  57. Stephanie Cook chimed in:

    Tasted like a piece of heaven, dropped down from the sky at the first moment of spring, served in dish of joy. When I took my first mouthful, I was transported to another world, a world of seraphims and cherubims jubilating, drenched with golden light. It was like there was a party in my mouth, and everyone was invited……

  58. ILAYARAJA MOHAN chimed in:

    I feel unlucky coming from the same state in INDIA and didnt have the oppurunity 2 taste the food in MANNAS but i was lucky to work with such a great man or i call him as my brother MR.ISRAEL and had to taste his food in UK which he belives its God hsa given me the oppurunity for this movement. IF it is reallly so i thank the god for showing me such a good frien and good brother.

  59. Andrew Wilson chimed in:

    Well I have to say I totally agree with Jonathan et al – I know Isreal from the International Café ( and the Indian Shef certainly lived up to his reputation and cooked a great meal last night at my house for me and a group of friends. What a legend! Top food, top bloke recommended!

  60. Barbara chimed in:

    I work with Isreal’s brother, Moses at the Sheriff’s Office. What a fine, friendly man. I think they are two peas in a pod. He’s my computer guru. :)

  61. george thomas chimed in:

    its george from bangalore carlton

  62. Collins and Rosanne chimed in:

    We were in Kodai in the last week of June 08′ and went to see Manna three times.We went at the times mentioned on the board to no avail and to see a note saying Shut.Is Manna closed? We were looking forward to the English breakfast and the apple pie!!!!. Dont know if Israel will remember that I have met him on a few occasions with friends of his(Fats and Vivek).You have even come to my Pizza Corner store where I worked for sometime, all this way back in 98′ or 99′.Wanted to be witness to the wood oven too.Please do let us know if Manna is operational we sure will be visiting Kodai again and dont want to miss Manna.

  63. SARAH BHOOSHI CHARAN chimed in:

    everything about israel bhooshi is just true
    truely he is a man of god
    he sure lives one day a time
    manna restaurant at kodai kanal is superb
    the food ,the micro wave oven,the veiw towards the lush green forests with bison grazing
    he is the 365 days santa for people around him

  64. Pady chimed in:

    Can any one give me the contact details of Manna Bake. I mean cell or phone number. Pls mail me at


  65. KAUSHIK SURENDRA chimed in:

    My wife and I are planning a visit to Kodai later next month. Could we have the address and phone number of Manna Bake restaurant. We shall be obliged.
    Thanks and regards, Suren Kaushik

  66. SRIRAM PANCHU chimed in:

    Dear Israel

    Thank you for your card. My Christmas and New Year Greetings.

    I haven’t been to Kodai for a long time, hence haven’t had the chance
    meet you and sample your delicious food. Your visiting card indicates
    that you are in UK – does that mean that you are lost to us? Would be a
    heritage loss.

    loss to us.

    best of luck in what you are doing.

    I trust you are keeping well. My son has just come back from UK, he was
    studying in London. I was up there a couple of times this year.

    Take care.

    Sriram Panchu

  67. aaro jacob chimed in:

    Hi Israel,

    It is indeed a pleasant surprise. Wow, what phenomenal rise. Yes, you are still the maverick, I see in the pictures. Keep it up buddy and keep in touch.

    aaron jacob
    kvt 1972batch

  68. Sanjeev Rao S chimed in:

    Hi Israel,

    I got the details from Deepak Sen
    This is Sanjeev of KV- Trimulgherry , I was great to see your Picture, with Tsunami rehab’.

    I keep crossing Your house in Sainikpuri, and live very close by, but, due to my business live at Pune most of the time
    The address and details are as below and life has been great so far. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Y. Sanjeev Rao (09490190336)
    SS Envirothermal Technologies Pvt. Ltd.,
    Gat No. 68, Plot no 17/A,
    Next to Star Engineers Pvt. Ltd.,
    Sonawane Vasti, Talawade,
    Dist-Pune- 412 114
    Fx : +91-20-66113311

  69. aaron jacob chimed in:

    Hi Israel,

    It is indeed a pleasant surprise. Wow, what phenomenal rise. Yes, you are still the maverick, I see in the pictures. Keep it up buddy and keep in touch.
    Aaron Jacob

  70. Greg Acton chimed in:

    Hello Israel

    Time has certainly marched on, since that first week of 1987, when my good friend Dermot and I rolled into the Manna bakery and basically stayed for the week eating pizza and drinking hot lemon. Always wondered what happened to you and here you are. Fantastic.

    Love to all


  71. Supriyo Nandy chimed in:

    These reviews takes me back to some golden time I have spent in Kodai. Well I first visited the place way back in 1981 and last 14 years and its nice know that Manas Bakery is still making such waves.Try get back to that place soon.Will be great if someone can get me his email address.

    Supriyo Nandy

  72. avinash subramaniam chimed in:

    The first time i met Issy, he yelled at me for muttering some profanity as part of conversation. His food, though, was a lot easier to digest. In fact, it was delicious. Kodai misses Issy. I certainly do, considering the paucity of good eating places in Kodai. Speaking of Issy, I’m wondering whether someone can help me get in touch with Vijay. (I’m looking for some Kodai old timers for a book I’m writing about the the past, present and future of Kodai. If someone can help, I’d be most obliged. Please leave me a message on the blog url linked to my name. Thanks and God bless Kodai. And Issy.

  73. Alfred Prasad chimed in:

    Hi Israel,
    Thank you for your e-mail. I trust you are well. Delighted to hear from you as I’ve known of you and ‘Manna’ since 1992-93, while still at College. Had known of you from Mr. Sudhakar and also Edwin Paul. Edwin and Pavan were good friends of mine and also Sudhakar was more like a friend.
    Good to hear that you’ve been at Sheffield since 2002 and hope you are liking it here. I moved to London in 1999 and London certainly feels like home.
    I have two sets of aunts/uncles in Bangalore and am not sure which one you talk about. Guess you also know Pradeep Peter in Bangalore, owner of DalFriday.
    Thanks for you wishes, though the laurels were a result of several others’ efforts as well.
    Michelen star executive chef Tamrind restaurant London
    Vanakam sami,

  74. jitendernath chimed in:

    i, booshi, how ru man, NEW LIFE, IN KODI, now manna+ you in london= revival =MANNA BACK TO ROOTS, Praise the lord, god blesses those who dares,the name MANNA always comes with the feeling of a freshness and new begining .you will definetly do your best.remember those days of manna,walking down the hills early morning ,walking back home up the hill with ethnic torch,the mountains used to give un imaginable energy,drive,good health.its great feeling
    rekindled in you and every one who knows about MANNA.I wish you all the success and best of health ,good luck and gods grace. take care, eagerly awaiting to hear the big day.keep in prayers.


  75. Koteshwar Rao chimed in:

    I met Mr Israel on 24th Dec 2008 at the Cathedral Church in Sheffield. We had a chat about the place where are we from and shared some experiences. I was surprised to see him at the University on the day of Induction at Sheffield Hallam University. I would like to visit the place Manna Bakery as it has some amazing stories.

  76. Raman chimed in:

    Thanks Luke and Hi all,
    I am from Bangalore and have been to Isreals place many times in those days; indeed he is a legend !
    Then my life changed and I expanded my travel circle, living out a dream. That dream was based on the last lines of the poem “The Vagabond” by R.L Stevenson where it goes
    Bed in the bush with the stars above,
    give to me the life I love and the road below me”.
    I lost contact with folks from Kodi.
    Ive been in Sheffield from September 2008, doing my Masters in Science in International Events and Conference management. I have just completed the course and due for the dissertation hand in.

    Then this day, I have the pleasent surprise of meeting Isreal here in Sheffield, quite out of the blue but a delightful happening !

    Ims o glad he decided to do a masters here too, especially in Hospitality !
    The point is that a legend like Isreal may not need formal education, having followed his hearts calling all these years; that said however, this could lead to new avenues, as it has done for me as a saxophonist and eventer !
    I wish him all the best, and hope to be associated more closely now. The road will lead to Manna again this December when I go to India for a holiday, if only as a benchmark on what I was and what I have become today; and spend a few hours in Meditation and Silence there !

    Anyone visiting India, please call me Raman on 9845181485,, I can help in travel, information etc.

  77. Mitch Chatelier chimed in:

    Hi Israel,
    have been trying to get in touch with you for sometime now and finally managed to track you down.I’m in Melbourne now with the family and and can never forget those good days we had while we worked at Ashoka Bangalore.I still treasure those trips I used to make to Kodai.Good to hear that you are in Sheffield .Drop us a line if you can and we can keep in touch.Regards to your family.Mitch.

  78. Krista chimed in:


    I think of you often, despite the fact you may not remember me. I was with a group of St. Olaf students studying biology in Kodaikanal in the Fall 1998. Your food, grace, hospitality was beyond belief. I still remember the wonderful dinner you made for us all at your home with your wife and children. Thank you. I actually have a framed picture of you in front of your Mana Bakery in my kitchen. Each time I look at the photo it reminds me of the impact you had on me: so far from home with a welcome friendly face.

    Hope this finds you well,
    Krista Olsen

  79. Krista chimed in:

    p.s. I still use my Brown Bread cookbook on a weekly basis:)

  80. israwl bhooshi chimed in:

    Dear Luke Melia, pl give my mail ID to Mitch Chatelier, my class mate from catering school in 1976.
    thanks ..israel


  81. dax chimed in:

    Dear, Dear Izzy

    I can never forget that brief stay (pointed by Ganesha and Fats) that led me to your door. You were a bastion in the wilderness. A say-keeper of right and wrong, i heard tales from alex how you manhadled a noisy and abusive euro bygrabbing his arms and keeping him on the stove till he was ready to be ejaculated from the doorway. That’s how stringent the rules got in Manna, the ovenofgod. but i miss you and thse talks with june on how the ‘dregs of the sxties and the backpackers got in). How you hated references to you in travel books and how i climbed Shalom to spend a day with the kids when you turned me out of the restaurant (“Go find your own space out there!”) and the tomato pizz made me for the bus rde back to chenai and Fats, by the way, the tissue paper stuck to the cheese. Lost tuch with Sandra but am still in touch with YC, Fats, /Chikie, and Aljai.

    BE ALL!
    – dax.

    Also check out http://www.yezdidiaries.blogspot.come and and on the off-chance, do you know Somender

  82. dax chimed in:

    also gimme any contacts to Alex, if you can, the salty, old dog initiated* me.

  83. andrew turner chimed in:

    greetings israel, i long in my heart to get back to kodaikanal. to visit with chippy, cliffy from bangalore, lance from KGF, rhadakrishna from ooty…and all the others who showed me such love and kindness. if you have any contact details for these good folk i would be stoked. it is over twenty years since i was there. i now have a great family and finally we are gearing up to go back. love to you and your family.
    thankyou israel cheers….andrew

  84. graham lawton chimed in:

    Hi Andrew. Are you the Andy who played cricket with me for KCC? I,m sitting here with Izzy right now after having travelled down memory lane of Kodi in the early 80s. Graham

  85. Amitabh Shankar chimed in:

    I am having Apple crumble prepared by Israel as I type… and must say that it is the best one i had so far. Specially made in my house in Liverpool. U.K.
    He is a gem.

  86. ROJI JACOB chimed in:

    I have been to Manna in Feb-93 when my wife and me went to Kodai. It was recommended by my brother. I can never forget the warmth and good food we had for dinner and especially Mr.Booshi.

  87. Israel Bhooshi chimed in:

    Hello Global lost friends, if you want to get in touch with me….drop a line

  88. Biba chimed in:

    wish I read this last week was in Kodi and missed it , next time will visit for sure

  89. Israel Bhooshi chimed in:

    Dear Global Friends of Manna Kodaikanal India

    Am GranDad Now, if you know mi little girls they are mothers now

    Rebecca had baby boy 15’th march 2014 at Derby UK Leo Sandala
    Rachel too had a baby boy 7’th June 2014 at Rotherham UK Zack Field

    Shalom Shalom
    Let God of Israel Be Praised.

    Israel Bhooshi

  90. Sunil Tameja chimed in:

    ‎Dear Mr. Bhoosi,

    Thank you for the write up. I feel privileged to head this team and to own this vertical.

    Just an off record statement. Me and my wife were your ardent customers in Kodai and still relish the taste of your ‎soup and pizza, and the college times in Kodai . Sushil (WGSHA) was out connect with you, hour just passed away a couple of days ago.

    Back to the grind..the mail is appreciated and we would be more than happy to receive your inputs on the channels it has been shown.
    Palace on wheels is India’s first train in luxury, followed by Royal rajasthan on wheels and deccan Oddesey, Golden charoit to name few more.
    Maharajas’ Express is the latest entry into this segment and has been operating for now four years with three international laurels under ‎belt.

    Is your restaurant ‎on bear shola fall road still there?

    Thanks again


    Sunil Tarneja
    General Manager
    The Maharaja

  91. David chimed in:

    Hi, just stumbled across this post and it reminds me of my time in Kodi. My memories are slightly different to the above and stem from around 1991. Me and my girlfriend were in Kodi and taking a walk around the lake when we came cross a small shack I always remember being called Isreal’s. looking interesting we ventured in and were told they only serve in the evenings and although there were a maximum of 6 places each evening there were 2 available for that evening. We signed up and were given a menu to choose from in advance and placed our orders.

    At the given time we arrived that evening and in the small room were two tables; one with four places and one with two. I think our fellow diners were German, though I can’t really remember, but we all got on and had what was quite an esquisite evening. All food was vegan and served through a hatch. There were no waiters and the two cooks passed all the food through a hatch, calling the name of the person it was intended for. At the end of the evening we all paid through the same hatch. I also remember there was no smoking on the premises and you had to leave the garden border to smoke.

    I have no idea if this is the place mentioned above or another interprise run by the same people. It was a truly memorable occassion and has almost become dream like in my memory. If anybody does remember anywhere in Kodi that resembles this or can shed any further light on it; it would be great to hear from you.

    D. UK

  92. neeta chimed in:

    A friend of mine suggested me of Manna..pls can u guide me with the address. . I am in kodai.. would love to visit
    My mail id
    :) Neeta

  93. Vicky Nadaraj chimed in:

    Manna is burnt into my memory-the original one ,on Bear Shola road.I remember meeting your 100 yr old wood burning Belling stove and I still find it hard to believe that all those mouthwatering goodies were cooked in it.Apple crumble,yummmy!!!
    The music and the pine scented smoke brings back wonderful memories of my many times in Kodai.
    I used to be there so often that local people thought I was a local girl studying in Manipal!!
    I never did see the town Manna as I must have returned to Malaysia and started working by then.Just as well as I loved the old place and that will remain as my Manna memory shot.
    I used to trek 4km up to Mt Shalom from the bus station with my bag on my back,sometimes in rain or moonlight ,and a couple of times by starlight,feeling my way between the walls of the estate compound from the main road till I got out onto the path by the stream,over the bridge and started the slippery climb up the mountain with the sheer drop on my left.
    I remember the incredible view from the front door of the guest cottage on Mount Shalom.Thr fresh chilly spring water and the warm cosy interior of Izzy and June’s cottage.
    What a time I had,and am hoping to have with another group of close friends ASAP!
    It’s been years but Kodai will always be ours.

  94. Israel Bhooshi chimed in:

    Dear David UK, yes Manna Bake Restaurant is the Very same place you been, i was owner cum Chef along with a assistant Chippy, the location was at Keith Lodge Top end of Keith Lane- Bear Shola raod in 1995 i built Restaurant on my own Land, and moved there Where Luke Melia visted.
    All the postings are about me and the Restaurant.(lower end of Keith lane)
    Mail me i will send you old Photos.
    Israel Bhooshi
    Liverpool UK

  95. Israel Bhooshi chimed in:

    Hello Manna et Kodai friends, and Kodai Bhooshi friends, Rebecca had a baby Girl
    Maya Sophie Sandala Born on 27’th May 2016 at Derby UK

  96. Mica Costa-grande chimed in:

    I hate the beautiful Israel’s bread in 1985.
    I search “Kodaikanal Israel bread” and I find your page and saw again the picture of this amazing baker from south India.

  97. Lalitha chimed in:

    Hi! I have visited manna bakery way back in 1998 with friends… and am visiting kodai with family for a few days starting tomorrow… is the bakery still around? Looking fwd to a reply…. Lalitha

  98. rzhude (rudy) chimed in:

    Visited Manna the last time back in 1996…Issi served up his famous apple crumble from the great cast iron wood stove. Not to mention a special omelet (with Kodi ‘srooms to go – (not on the menu – sent us on the golden trip of a life time up in the forests of BerryJam). Time it was and what a time it was…I have a photograph..preserve the memory..its all that’s left …

    One that stands out from a moment in Bangalore when Greenpeace came to town a few years later – a crowd of young protestors walking down Brigade Road lead by a not-so-fat Santa dressed in Green with his trade mark black beard…Issi – his usual smiling face shining through, full of enthusiasm for the cause.

    Met Issi again a few years later when I was touring with TAAQ – my band back in 2006 – this time in Glasgow of all places – he immediately made himself at home in the kitchen and whipped us up a batch of his good ol apple crumble – with whatever ingredients he could find. And it tasted just the same from all those years ago in Kodi.

    Haven’t seen him in a while – but I do get the odd cryptic email from him with some link to music or a gig that he was it around his current location at Sheffield.

  99. Anonymous chimed in:

    Does anyone have a contact for Israel Bhooshi? I have relished his culinary delights and his company back in 1992.
    I will be visiting Kodaikanal this week.. and was wondering if there is any chance he is still there.. saw this post and all these overwhelming replies and thought there might be a chance.. even if he’s not in Kodai I would love to get in touch with him.. and leads.. please let me know.. thank you..

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