Namma Veedu

Whenever the newspaper announces a new restaurant in the city I circle the details (not the red marker silly, black pen) and alert family and friends to the prospect of a weekend outing. Yesterday I realized half of Chennai does just that!
We were at Vasanta Bhavan’s Namma Veedu restaurant in Vadapalani. Situated opposite Hotel Ambica Empire, Namma Veedu is built on a huge space of land. The complex houses a juice corner, a fast food place called The Courtyard, a ‘fine dining’ restaurant The Lounge, an ice-cream parlour and a kids zone. There is ample parking space behind the huge rectangular building. And if you had seen the number of people waiting to be seated at 9pm, you will know why I said half of Chennai earlier. Let us just say the waiting crowd capacity was similar to a Tirupathi queue on a lean day.

Being a Saturday evening and all, we went to the fine dining Lounge for dinner. The ambience was pretty good – dark wood furniture, chairs that need all your strength to push back and forth, huge polka dotted blinds and an overall earthy colour tone.

What struck me as interesting was the number of women waiters in the Lounge. They were courteous, slightly self-conscious and eager to please. Lounge calls itself a multi-cuisine restaurant and its menu boasts of South Indian, Tandoor, Chinese, and Continental items. A lot of Vasanta Bhavan specials like Dry Fruit Rava Dosai, Khaju Masala are available along with rather surprising ones like Drumstick soup and Curry Leaves soup.

Since VB is basically a South Indian place, we stuck to South Indian safe stuff risking only a baby corn pepper fry starter, which was quite good. The fresh juices (I had a rather sour Mango juice) could be better. For a fine dining place, finger bowls were not provided and when I asked them why the steward told me that they needed to order them and will be available eventually. Likewise chaat items are not yet available though they are on the menu. Obviously there is teething trouble with the setup and in a few months I expect this place should get better.

Overall, I’d rate
Ambience – 6/10
Food – 5/10
Service – 6/10
Pricing – 6/10 (the Lounge was 25% more than the usual VB pricing)

It is worth one visit, surely.

2 Comments so far

  1. sln (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 1:11 am

    Thanks for the coverage, will have to visit this.

    I saw it in CNN-IBN, where they said (asked?), it is perhaps the largest vegetarian restaurant in India.


  2. Subha (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

    The place was a big let-down considering the big hype it has created. We drove down 10km on a hot monday afternoon looking forward for a “fine dining” experience at “The Lounge”. The ambience was good and food can just be called satisfactory, but the service was pathetic! Comfy seating but no-one to help the elderly and ladies with their chairs. A sloppy waiter who couldnt take down the order right the first time, abolutely no assistance to serve the dishes and believe me, no apologies when they ran out of some dishes part of the combo meals. The waiter was just staring at us as we were waiting for the dishes to arrive! I have seen more courteous “so called servers” in a typical VB hotel. These people certainly have to do a lot of work in their hospitality department. The Italian ice-cream counter is an exception though. A very polite vendor who helps you choose the new flavors. Aleast that is worth a visit.

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