Snapshots of a city – II
Mumbai, I know, is known as the street-food paradise. But Chennai is known for its temples. Chennai is certainly not known for its food in the way Mumbai is. Chennai food I have noticed make it to the food news only when it’s creating some world record. Like, the world’s biggest dosa or something like that. Of late though, many fast food restaurants have cropped up.
The first that comes to mind is Kenzo’s, which has now metamorphosed to Eatalica. They promise America with a touch of Italy. I do enjoy eating there but have noted that when you take a group of 8 with you (a) it can get cramped (b) they serve rather late. On the other hand, if you are going out with one other friend, then they are a safe bet.
But the fast food joint that I swear by goes by an unlikely name and is tucked away in the basement complex of a 3-storied building in Gandhi Nagar. It’s called Mr.G’s and they haven’t paid me to write this!
I have often wondered what the “G” in Mr.G’s stood for. But I haven’t dared to ask.
The fast food place is right next to the building, which houses the current leisure store, Odyssey. It’s in the same building as Nuts and Spices and Cup n Saucer. Walk into the basement and it’s there on the right. Because it’s in the basement, it cuts off all the noise from the road. As soon as you enter the AC-ed place, you are welcomed by a tastefully done interior. There are the usual tables scattered in an orderly fashion. Beyond which is the rotund counter. On one side of the wall, you can find papers and magazines. While you wait for the order to come by, you can munch on some news. What I really like is the sober lighting -neither too bright or low. It’s soothing. On the yellow walls you can find some framed witty cartoons. The one (I think) can remember is a woman throwing away the chocolate wrapper and the caption says, “Being on a diet is not licking the chocolate wrapper.” A TV drones on in the background. But I ignore it. My favourite piece is a grandfather clock, something you don’t get to see so often nowadays, at the far end.
The menu consists of the burgers, sandwiches, starters, milkshakes, fruit juices, pizzas and even Chinese food. I’m a big fan of the burgers and sandwiches so I usually stick to that. The prizes are not cheap. A burger goes for 64 bucks apiece and a sandwich is slightly less at 59. But to their credit it is filling. But if you are here for the Italian menu, it has some very delicious-sounding food like Tuscan bruschetta (Rs.35), Pizza alla Siciliana (Rs. 89), Pasta primavera (Rs. 89) and Insalata mediterraneano (Rs. 49).
There is only one problem with this place. They take their time to make their food. Which means you better have company to yap away or a book in hand or help yourself to the magazines till the order comes. But it is all worth it in the end.
For a long time this place was my undiscovered oasis. I have taken practically every friend here for a quiet place to chat. Now that it is flanked on either side by Naidu Hall and Odyssey, the other people have come to know it as well.
They also have free home delivery but when I did order home, I found that hidden costs were added, so stay warned about ordering home. A lunch/dinner for two should cost about Rs.300 to 350, which seems reasonable. So go there for the food alone!
Image courtesy: The Hindu