Archive for the ‘Hotel reviews’ Category

Lesser known food joints in Chennai – Mattas

It’s right there and even then i am sure you will miss the place. No it’s not a place where you can take your date for a nice dinner and no it’s not a place for all the health freaks out there but we can tell you it’s a awesome place with yummy food where you can go with your friends and have a great snack right by the road!!!

Mattas is your friendly neighborhood eat-out/fast-food located in Ashok Nagar. There are just 4 tables inside and it gets really cramped but you could just sit outside on plastic stools.

It’s a totally VEG fast-food and trust me there are some interesting choices there!

We start off with the usual tomato soup which is pretty ok and ordered some Veg Balls – the veg balls are really good, though a little less oil can do wonders, but it’s nice and crunchy on the outside and tastes awesome. The portions they give are good.

Our favorite is the chilly Gobi rice. It’s basically fried with gobi in it and it’s nice and spicy and the portions are really filling mind you.

The chilly mushroom here is awesome too. Its deep fried pieces of mushroom and you really wouldn’t believe some one could make mushrooms like this. You have limited choices and the menu is basically displayed on a board – chilly gobi, panneer and usual other vegetarian dishes you would find anywhere else and trust me the food is neat – they serve on steel plates with a banana leaf on top. I wouldn’t recommend the water they serve you there though.

All in all a good place to catch a quick bite before you head home to some good sleep after work.

Prasad my friend who agreed to review this place with me, has been going to this joint for the last 8 years now and agrees the taste has not changed a bit; though the prices have gone up a wee bit – come on inflation is catching up folks!

A quick dinner for two would set you back anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.150

Ps – Will update later with the address and photos.

Lesser known food joints in Chennai – Mithai Mandir

When your wallet dons you, and yet you want to don your taste buds, then the right place for you would be – “Mithai Mandir”

Located near the Vadapalani temple, this place is easy to find. Looking at it from outside, it would not really impress you.

Mithai Mandir Entrance

Mithai Mandir Entrance

Enter the place and it’s a small restaurant, which has 2 floors. The ground floor can seat 24 people while the 1st floor can seat about 36 people. The entire restaurant is Air conditioned. The smell of traditional Rajasthani cuisines soon starts to tickle your nostrils once you start ordering your food, making you all the more hungry. The service is reasonably quick here.

Dhokla is one of best we can find in Chennai. I still don’t know how they manage to make such soft dhoklas. They also have a big Kachori’s, which is certainly BIG! (Way bigger than you normally can imagine a kachori to be)

The restaurant which specializes in Rajasthani and Gujarathi food, serve authentic thalis for Rs.55 and Rs.65 respectively. They also have Chaat items, 12 varieties of sweets, Combo meals, rice variety, Raithas and a wonderful variety of stuffed parathas. The Cheese Paneer paratha is a must try. For the Oh-I-am-Diet-conscious or Oh-gosh-not-that-oily-stuff people, you can try their wonderful phulkas, and I can bet you cannot find one as soft as these along with their dal to go.

And finally their desserts – mm you should try the Badam Milk. Oh my!! Just like a Good ‘ol wine to a palatable dinner. Or maybe even the Malai lassi.

They also have variety of snacks and namkeen, and while you leave – you can choose and pack some traditionally made khakhras, which is a must buy here.

Snack Counter

Snack Counter

Mithai Mandir is located at 17, Palani Andavar Koil Street, Vadapalani and is a place one must visit to taste the traditional Gujarathi or Rajasthani food.

Oye Guru!! What are you waiting for …??? Go there sometime and do some real hogging!

Special thanks to Harish, one of my friends who agreed to review this restaurant, happens to be a great fan of this place and is the one who introduced me to Mithai Mandir a few years back and since then we religiously go to this restaurant minimum twice a month.

Trivia – The owner of Mansukh (T.Nagar) and this place are related to each other.

Lesser known food joints in Chennai

There are a few local food-joints in our neighborhood which most of us swear by for the taste of their food and their specialties. We hang out at these places with close pals and don’t mind if it does not have fancy sofas or music playing in the background. The one place you can bank on when you return from work at late in the night. But sadly not everyone in Chennai knows about these places.

This column will talk about such food joints, their location and of course their specialties. We will also try to get some comments from their regulars and owners.

I have got some amazing food reviewers; ok not exactly that, but foodies who have agreed to share their valuable inputs on this topic

Arpita, is a dynamic young advocate and a foodie to the core, Hash a software professional who is more passionate about the taste of his food than the quality of his code [ok I see him raising his eyebrows] and Prasad who is just a food lover and can travel 20 kms simply to have something to eat in a not so famous food joint but known for its good food!

We will bring you as much as reviews and details about these lesser known food joints which are known in their locality for good food and cannot compete with the likes of The Residency, Meridians, the Hilton or the Park for the ambience but can give a run for the money on the taste.

Matta in Ashok Nagar and Mithai Mandir at Vadapalani will be the first ones in my next post.

ps – You can also mention about any food joint you know in your area. Do email me about them.

Chennai Restaurant’s review

Was thinking of starting a review about hotels in Chennai which i have visited until now, till i stumbled on this Orkut forum called Chennai Food guide – It is a treasure trove of food and restaurant’s review in Chennai. Go ahead and join the forum.

By the way – Crown at the Residency Towers has got a good view of Chennai, I liked the restaurant except for the high priced buffet.

Chalta Hai and Cream Center

The omnipresent attitude across India and the often cited blame for India’s poor state of affairs is its ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude. Now even restaurants seem to have imbibed the attitude, especially after the concept of dining emerged. Now one dines at a restaurant, one does not go there for just the food. When it was the latter the emphasis was on the food, now its more on ambience and atmosphere.

Coffee with Hemingway

Have you heard that Hemingway and J.K. Rowling – before she became richer than the Queen – work a lot out of cafes? If you have ever heard such stories, believe them to be true, and possess some love for the world of words, then you want to ape them big authors. So last night, armed with a stack of printouts from various websites, I landed up at Resident Inn Chennai hoping to have a drink of that acrid drink they call coffee. Since I can’t write anything except blogs, I had, of course, decided to do the other thing that people with a love for words do: Read, as I sip my coffee.

Chit Chat and eating out at midnight

I can almost hear the conservative groans. “What has this city come to if people drive out in the rain bang in the middle of the night to eat. We have lost our culture,” they would say. And the few cars near Chit Chat are somewhat defiantly parked. People did come in them in the rain and bang in the middle of the night just to eat.


On Gandhi Nagar first main road, there is a restaurant called ‘Rainforest’, which a friend recommended. I asked her about the place and the reply I got was awesome. So I asked her what is awesome about the place, and the reply I got was ‘it’s just awesome, just go and see’. So I decided to visit the place.

There is just a board outside, pretty small one indicating the restaurant is there, so I entered the building looking for the restaurant, while walking around looking for the place, a security guard who is standing in front of a huge rock like structure, pushes it open, that is the entrance to the place. One has to walk down a flight of stairs, to enter a dark dingy room, with dull lighting, and that is the dining area.

That 70s place…

Do you sometimes go to places to recreate other people’s memories? Perhaps to glimpse the sparkle in their eyes as they talk about a favourite bench or dish? Then do you feel that what you see and what they see are two different places? Maybe a few moments later when your favourite part of the flashback has been narrated for the umpteenth time, your eyes reflect the sparkle too…musty interiors – sofas with faded upholstery, rickety chairs, a gaping hole in the wall from which you think a rat may jump out any moment, jaded waiters who walk out eerily from a darkened room behind, all of these cease to matter…

Tandooriwala, Alwarpet

Tandoori Wala is situated opposite to Abhiramapuram Police Station in Beemanna Garden Street, Abhiramapuram. I ended up there by mistake. And this review is to make sure that you don’t repeat that mistake.

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