BR Mathsya Restaurant, Thanigachalam Road, T Nagar

Mathsya is a name synonymous with fine Uduppi vegetarian dining in Chennai. Till a month back they had only one restaurant, at No.1, Halls Road. There was always a waiting period involved unless you had reserved your seats earlier. Their Uduppi Thaali with 3 varietied of Dosa and Bisibelabath is one of those things that make life worth living. So when I read that they had opened another restaurant in Thanigachalam Road, T Nagar I was ecstatic. It is hardly 5 minutes from my house. So we decided to go to the T Nagar Mathsya for lunch this Sunday. And it was a disaster.

The restaurant is situated in a newly built complex and is far more spacious than the Egmore one. It is also well lit and has tastefully decorated interiors. And those are the only two positives about it.

The disappointment started with the menu card itself. It is a mulit cuisine restaurant – with the regular Naan, Panneer butter masla, schezwan noodles, Gobi Manchurian stuff. The Uduppi fare had about 4 or 5 items. We ordered Mangalore Bonda as starters. Instead of the golden brown, soft and hot bondas what arrived was the darkened and shrivelled bondas which must have been atleast an hour old and cold. Next we ordered Uduppi Thaali, the one we had been dreaming about since we decided to come to Mathsya. And they didn’t have it. Neither Uduppi Thaali nor the Kara Uppu puli Dosa. Then why name it Mathsya, synonymous with Uduppi fare. So we ended up with Bisibela baath, Naan, Kulcha and Babycorn Curry. The Bisibela baath was a disaster with the rice standing out instead of being slightly mushy. The other items were just about average.

Then we moved on to desset and ordered Elaneer Paayasam, trying to get some taste of authentic fare. “No Sir, there are no desserts, except Ice Cream and Lassi”. In such mulitcuisine places, you will be reasonably satisfied if alteast the service was good. Here there were many waiters, but all moving around like chickens without heads. When I asked a waiter to clear my plate, he started removing the plate from which my daughter was eating. And finally the credit card reader didn’t work. It was that kind of day.

So, sincere advice to Mathsya fans. If you think of visiting the T Nagar branch, think twice. And why did Mathsya have to dilute its brand name with this offering?

14 Comments so far

  1. KK (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    I agree with you, as I too had a similar experience in T.Nagar.And The Murugan idli shop in T.Nagar is still disappointing me without the Madurai Jeegar danda.But now this Jeegar danda is avaiable in Abirami mega mall.

  2. Lavanya (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Chenthil. I was going to go there today in fact! It is the new restaurant in the neighbourhood and we were intending to go this evening.

    I wonder if this is the same Mathsya…the new one says B R Mathsya – hmm…

  3. Ashwin (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 2:34 pm

    Hi, very interesting review. Focuses on the kind of thing you need to know. What is jeegar danda by the way?

  4. Kaps (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

    I have been to the Matsya restaurant (inside Udipi Home Hotel) in Egmore. Is this a branch of the same?

  5. Raja (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

    The last time I was in chennai (Nov-dec ’06), I had lunch @Matsya. I was quite disappointed. Apart from couple of dishes, others were quite ordinary. And the service was downright bad (the waiter got me the dosa after we got our bill!).

  6. Raja (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

    Should have been Nov-Dec ’05 :)

  7. Srikanth (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 12:59 am

    actually it is not as bad as your review depicts..i had been there yesterday and i enjoyed it completely…when i enquired about udipi stuff they told it would be brought into the menu gradually

  8. Chenthil (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

    Kaps, I think it is a franchisee agreement with the Uduppi Home Mathsya.

    Raja, so you had a bad experience with the original one itself :-). I agree that service is a little slow in Egmore Mathsya, but some of their dishes are heavenly.

    Srikanth – Mathsya is synonoymous with Uduppi fare. So if they are using that name, they should be prepared for expectant customers like me. Good for you that you enjoyed the experience.

  9. ammani (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:35 pm

    I love Mathsya in Egmore. Anyone tasted the ‘kadubu’s they serve? The owner is a friend’s friend and we were treated to a free lunch once. Absolutely gorgeous food.

  10. prakash (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    ammani, you get ‘kadubu’ aka ‘Mangaluru kadubu’in some other hotels too. one place i remember is a hotel in Luz corner. ( forgot the name. its in the ground floor of “Murudis Lodge”)

  11. ammani (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Prakash, do you mean Sukha Nivas? I’ve had their Cauliflower bajji and rose milk and set dosai many times. But never spotted a kadubu on the menu.

  12. prakash (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

    ammani, i dont remember the name. may be sukhanivas or apurva sangeetha. i used to eat kadubu there. It’ll be somewhat in cylindrical shape, right? one more mangalore dish you get is ‘mangalore kashayam’,[a dark syrup ], the liquid equivalent of diwali lekiyam.

  13. Chenthil (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 8:03 pm

    Kadubu is part of the Uduppi Thaali in Egmore Mathsya. Idli like, cylindrical in shape and soft.

    Prakash, why do you try Kashayam :-)

  14. prakash (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

    chen, hangover il irunthu veLiye vara :-)

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