Gastronomic Delights of Chennai

Supposing one were to leave chennai for a prolonged period of time, I am wondering what would be the gastronomic delights one would miss, more speficically in terms of places to eat which are not available outside. This clearly rules out the big hotels like Saravana Bhavan and Anjappar. Such places infact offer better value for money outside the country rather than in chennai. Here is my list of provisional gastronomic delights I would miss in Chennai.

1)Pichu Pillai Street idiyappam
2)Masala Dosai outside Brilliant Tutorials
3) Badam Milk at Kakkada Ramprasad (mint Street)
4) Bhajji/Bonda from any roadside tea kadai along with a glass of tea.
5) The single tea and butter biscuit once again from any roadside tea kadai
6) Sundal along with spicy raw mango from the beach
7) Late night sandwiches at alsa mall, or royal sandwich shop on TTK road, or else from Richie Street. The one from Richie street has a special kara chutney which isn’t used in the other two places, this gives the sandwich a distinctly spicy taste.
8) Chinees food from any roadside shop, or else for those who require dine in, I would suggest Mandrin opposite Gangotri.
9) Novelty Pav Bhajji
10) A Unlimited Andhra Meal at National Lodge, either at the Parry’s Corner or General Patters Road Branch (this is not a roadside shop, but a proper restaurant, but I did miss this while I was away from the city)
11) Lime Juice at Palimar next to the IG’s
12) The sweet beda from the pan shop outside Eden on Besant Nagar. This guy makes the best sweet beda I’ve tasted, this was 6 months ago, has the quality changed in that period?
13) Bhajji from the Jannal Kadai in Mathala Narayanan Theru, Myalpore. When Bhajji is mentioned, 9 out of 10 people will associate it with the beach, frankly, I find the chutney served along with the Bhajji there to be pale in comparision to the chutney given in this shop. The quality of the bhajji does not vary too much, its the chutney which makes me list this shop over bhajji at the beach.
14) Tomato Mushroom soup from Marina early in the morning

Satish suggests I include Ratna Café to my list. Yes the hotel is legendry and famous for its Sambhar idly. When I did visit the place recently, I found the quality of the food nothing to rave about, I was frankly disappointed.

Sadly, being a vegetarian, my list is filled with vegetarian eating joints. The only non-veg lovers joint I know of is the ‘Bai Beef Biryani Kadai’ in Luz. This one is on canal bank road, the lane adjacent to Witco Luz.

Thanks to the readers of this blog, the following are the Non vegetarian gastronomic delights in Chennai mentioned by David and Nandhu

1)Kumarakom
2)Kalpaka Syrian Beef Fry
3)Velu Military Mess (Can someone tell me if this place is just hype or has some substance? Most popular legendry places are just hype and ride on their heritage, quality currently is not great)
4) Bai Beef Biryani next to Witco, Luz.
5)Chicken Pakoda from Kutchery Road

If any of you know anymore popular non vegetarian joints, please add them. The only condition should be that its available only in Chennai. Ponnusamy, might be disqualified if they have overseas branches.

16 Comments so far

  1. david (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

    Ponnuswamy is in Dubai, so they are out. You could add Kumarakom, Velu Military Meals, Kalpaka to the list of non veg meals. Also Kaaraikudi.


  2. nandhu (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:51 am

    Syrian Beef Fry at Kalpaga near the Music Academy

    Fish of any kind at Kumarakom

    to add to the nv places, Vatsan.


  3. sathish (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 4:24 am

    Rathna cafe Idly and Sambhaaaaaar


  4. Narayanan (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    My favs

    Tambaram – Bhat’s Bhojan, Durga Stall ( don’t know if it’s still there ),

    Pallavaram – Punjabi Dhaba ( forgot the name )


  5. mvp (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:56 am
  6. tsk tsk (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

    Superlative chennai gastronomical experience for me:

    1.fried fish and chips at madras gymkhana club
    2.walnut cake from mcrennet
    3.murugan idli
    4.the bhelpuri at aryya bhavan, fountain plaza
    5.badam milk at sree mithai
    6.flavoured milk at nilgiris
    7.afternoon meals at palmgrove/ashoka hotels
    8.sunday buffet at fish cove
    9.mutton biryani at Bilal/ Cosmo Club/ Virudhunagar
    10. onion rava dosa from raaj bhavan, ngbk high road
    11.Sukka Mangalore Chicken, at southern aromas in residency towers
    12. moonrakers, mahabalipuram
    13. Ceylon paratha, at cresent restraunt on ngbk high road


  7. prabhakar (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    – pondi bazaar hotel deluxe chicken omlette,fish biriyani and idayappam paya
    – amma chetinaad restaurant chicken liver
    – taj match point masala dosa
    – residency kvc(kozhi vartha curry) and bagala bath
    – redEfood court thai chicken curry, lasagne and
    and so many other places including vegi stuff
    chennai rocks on food –


  8. Deepak (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

    You ppl. have forgotten the mt.road buhari which is rich and famous for Biriyani and also the dhabba express at centaoph road..


  9. Deepak (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

    You ppl. have forgotten the mt.road buhari which is rich and famous for Biriyani and also the dhabba express at centaoph road..


  10. snoviodent (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    MURUGAN IDLI KADAI- T.Nagar.
    DELI EXPRESS CHICKEN AND MUTTON BIRIYANI-Velachery.
    BAKERY PIZZA- Leo Bakery, ADYAR.
    HOTEL SANGEETHA- Adayar.
    KAARAIKUDI – Besant Nagar.


  11. Mysorean (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    Few more that I can add to this enormous list (almost a reference data bank!)
    1. Kanakadurga Mess, T. Nagar (Andhra Mess).
    2. Grand Sweets, Adyar.
    3. Fruit Shop on Greams Road (Various branches across the city) – But he plans to open franchisees in Dubai shortly. So, feel free to disqualify as and when that happens! :D


  12. Balaji (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 12:46 pm

    Mylapore SANGEETHA
    Royapettah SAFARI and GEM Restaurant
    Mount Road YAADGAR for awesome Biriyani
    KARPAGAMBAL MESS in Mylapore
    Meals at MARIS in cathedral Road


  13. Shahul (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    Charminar biriyani shop at Ice house, triplicane.


  14. popagandhi (unregistered) on June 29th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    I’m going to try to visit as many places on this list as I can!


  15. nandhu (unregistered) on July 4th, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

    velu military is quite good. been there a couple of times.


  16. Arjun (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

    There are quite a few fantastic food outlets in Triplicane…For sure the food taste is much better than those hyped bavans!!!….

    Ambaal mess (big street)
    Kasi vinyaga
    Ganesh vilas
    Monisha tiffin centre
    Thanjai saravana mess

    The list is real loong…



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