Rayar’s Cafe

How many of you have heard of Rayar’s Cafe. Probably you have and even been to it when it was at Kutchery road in Mylapore. Those were its heydays. When it used to be frequented by the likes of Nagesh, Cho, leading politicians, bureaucrats and people like us. I used to go there as a little kid with my father on Sunday mornings to have their medhu vadai’s. Wait for atleast half an hour to get a seat, in that old run-down shed next to the Post Office. Padhu, the man who started it, always wore a smiling face, calling every customer ‘Anna’ (as in big brother). There used to be chaos, but no one complained. He had a slate and a chalk and once you finish you go up to him and say what you had and pay the bill.

Cut to today, an IT company occupies that space, Padhu is no more, his son Kumar runs the place in Arundale street, which is in close proximity. The place has lost its charm, but the regulars still come, though the frequency has dropped. I went last Sunday for a Ghee Rava Dosai in the afternoon. The standard more or less the same, but you start noticing things like cleanliness, approach and other things when the place is less crowded as you have a lot of time to look around and finish at your own pace. The simplicity and smile of Kumar still awes me and reminds me of his father. He is content and agrees that those were the days, and is not sure if they will come back again.

5 Comments so far

  1. Ravages (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    I remember going to the old one, once. But don’t remember too much of it otherwise. But the new place is really bad Vinod.

    You remember, the other day when the both of us went? And the bugs crawling under the table…

  2. vinod (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 2:19 pm


    Yes, the ambience and cleanliness at the new place leaves much to be desired. But the Rava Dosai is still good.

    And mind you, this new place is 10 years old.

  3. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

    I have visited Rayar Cafe during early 80s on Sunday mornings and taken rava dosai. I was thinking that Rayar’s Cafe was still in the earlier location. Arundale Street is the street going opposite to the earlier location of Rayar’s Cafe. My motorcycle mechanic shop was in Arundale Street, who used to set up Motorcycles for the Auto Race at Sholavaram those days. I need to visit Rayar Cafe in the present location and also check whether my mechanic is still there

  4. vinod (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    Yes, you must indeed check Rayar’s cafe again. When you take a left from Kutchery Road on to Arundale Street, drive staright down for about 50 metres, keeping an eye on the small lanes on the right hand side. And voila! On one of those lanes, towards the far end you would see “Rayar’s Cafe”.

  5. Iyer (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 2:14 am

    I remember this place!! My friend’s Dad used to take us there every Sunday!! I actually used to love going to the koil b’cos we would head here after the temple!! This was in the 80’s…..

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