Do you ever go to a place, knowingly that there are 50-50 chances for the food to be not that good. Or the service to become even more pathetic? And you still feel or say to yourself it's okay anyway. I want to go. We have one such place that fits all these descriptions. Abiruchi !!! in Thiruvanmiyur. Abiruchi is one of our go to place, when we crave for some decent Andhra food. Multiple visits and the experiences has kind of tuned us on what to order, what not to and what to expect from them.

This place is like an upgraded version of a mess. Around 8 - 10 tables. Very dull n low lit ambiance. Infact don't expect anything that spells ambiance :P A single person manages the entire show and out of the multiple number of visits, I've not seen even a single table left unoccupied. So the service is painstakingly slow here. Better order whatever u want in the beginning itself.

We usually stick with veg & non veg meals. Along with meals we order omelette/ ginger egg/ egg bhurji / gobi manchurian/ kodiguru masala / andhra chilli chicken dry. One or two of the above said items along with meals would do. We order meals only for the podi, andhra pappu n the chutney. I don't remember tasting the sambhar or other gravies that comes along with the meals. The podi is amazingly good. The pappu (sometimes they even have keerai pappu) is just yumm here. First round have podi mixed with rice and pappu along the side. Second round mix rice and pappu and have it with the kodiguru masala or egg, it tastes divine. The ginger / gongura chutneys are simply awesome. Spicy and a bit tangy it sets fire in ur tongue.

The ginger egg is kinda of egg manchurian like dish with the outer part/ the batter that coats the egg has a kick of ginger to it. The gobi manchurian is chinese by name and truly andhra by taste. Spicy, a bit sweet sometimes, this dish goes well with the meals and hubby is a huge fan of it. The kodiguru masala is gravy. Excellent in taste and aroma, this one never fails. Goes well with meals again. Particularly the spicy and aromatic gravy pairs up well with the podi/pappu rice.

Now far the cat on the wall part. Sometimes, the chicken dry that comes with the meal or the andhra chilli chicken is too tough, too difficult to chew. Most of the time I end up leaving it to waste to save my tooth :O No sweets is another set back. Not even payasam :(

As already mentioned the service is damn slow. Inspite of all these we keep going there just for the meals and few other items. I tried the biriyani once and after that I don't even see that section of the menu.

Place : Abiruchi
Location : L.B.Road, Thiruvanmiyur. Next to the IMPCOPS campus, before barani hotel.
Cuisine : Veg and non veg andhra food.
Cost : Average cost for 2 people should come around 300 bucks.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Also it is based on multiple visits.

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Waf O'Bel

When it comes to eating out, Junior is more like me. He is always ready to experiment. This place Waf O'Bel, was in my wishlist (that keeps growing day by day. I strike one, two more gets added :O ), as I was seeing a lot of posts about this place in social media off late. Today, Junior got promoted to the next grade (yeah. Me too !!!) and we wanted to celebrate. He wanted ice cream for lunch. Suddenly this place came in mind and convinced him to try it out. We drove all the way from Besant Nagar to Nungambakkam just for waffles.

Located diagonally opposite to Vijay Televisions in Jaganathan Road, Nungambakkam, this place is easy to locate. They share the space with a pizza outlet. Very limited menu. 6 varieties in each Liege (denser and sweeter) and Brussels (lighter, crispier and rectangular in shape). My experiments with waffles are very much limited. I've had them in a very few places which serve continental breakfast. So I'm not going into the authenticity of the taste n all. We started with one red carpet Brussels and a dream team liege. The former one was amazing. Light and crisp, paired with whipped cream and strawberry fruit compote, it was simply yumm. Dream team was the liege one that was served with ice cream of our choice and chocolate sauce. Junior devoured it :) Since this was our lunch, we went for another waffle each. This time I took the black and white liege which was served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Though I liked it, I stand by Brussels anytime :)

The bill was 500 + 94 which I feel is absolute value for money. The couple who are running the show are warm and friendly. They took the feedback and said that the menu is going to be expanded soon. I also requested to add nutella to the menu ;)

Place : Waf O'Bel
Location : Jaganathan Road, Nungambakkam (opposite to Vijay TV)
Cuisine : Belgium waffles
Cost : Waffles start from Rs.70 and goes up to Rs.140 depending on the topping one choose.

Highly recommended by FoodPecker.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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Forgotten Flavours of Tami Nadu - Millet/Natural food festival 2015

The words millet/organic/natural foods are the talk of the town now. Every other street in happening areas have an organic food store that sells millets and other natural foods. Millets are small grain that are high in nutrition, non glutinous and alkaline (non-acidic) in nature. They are high in minerals and fibres. The common millets available in market are Finger millet - Ragi, Foxtail millet - Thinai, Barnyard millet - kuthiraivali, Kodo millet - varagu, pearl millet - kambu, Sorgam - Cholam.

My childhood association with millets starts from the time dad was diagnosed with diabetes. Mom used to make ragi/kambu koozh during summer and ragi adai during winter season. For the past 1.5 years I've been taking millet in my regular diet atleast twice/thrice a week. Of course, hubby doesn't like them, so I sneak them in the form of adai/dosai or upma. I swear to him that it is made of rice only till the plate is empty :P

Have been hearing the work of Poovulagin Nanbargal, an organisation that works towards the welfare of people and nature. They organise one day seminar on selected topics every year. Along with the seminar, they also organise a millet/natural food festival in association with Nalla soru. This year it happened in M.G.R Janaki college, Adyar on 15th March. Apart from the seminar and the food festival, they have stalls that sells organic products, seeds, manures, books etc,

We reached the venue by 7pm and spent some time visiting the stalls. The food counters were opened by 7.30pm. I registered online for the tickets. A meal ticket costs Rs. 300 (for both veg & non-veg). They've arranged 5 counters each for veg & non- veg section. It was kind of a buffet meal. There was a huge crowd. Lets jump to the food. Some of the foods, millets in particular, I've already had elsewhere. So I kind of knew how it would taste. Some products I had no clue how it would taste. So I'm just registering what I felt while having them. This was the menu :

1. பீற்கன்காய் சாமை சாறு - Ridge gourd & Little millet soup. A thin soup which was hot n spicy. Loved the flavour.

2. குதிரைவாலி கேசரி - Barnyard millet kesari - Perfect sweetness with loads of fried raisins.

3. கேழ்வரகு பாயாசம் - Finger millet kheer - Was okay. Felt the moong dal & coconut combination dominating the finger millet flavour.

4. காராமணி தயிர் பக்கோடா - Cow peas & curd pakoras/fritters - This one was the star of the meal. Crunchy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside, oozing with the flavour of a little sour curd it was just yumm.

5. சாமை காய்கறி பிரியாணி - Little millet vegetable biriyani. - Good with perfectly boiled veggies ans masalas.

6. வெண்பூசணி பச்சடி - Pumpkin raitha - After seeing the menu only I realised it was pumpkin raitha. It had more of onions and very little traces of pumpkin.

7. சீரகசம்பா கார புட்டு - Seeraga samba rice (yeah the one we use in South Indian biriyanis) spicy puttu. This was very dry and tasted raw too.

8. மாப்பிள்ளைச்சம்பா கத்திரிக்காய் சோறு - Mappillai samba & brinjal rice. I'm not a big fan of brinjal. This item was bland and lacked flavour.

9. கதம்பக்காய் கூட்டு - Mixed veggie & dal curry - This one was lip-smacking yumm. All the country vegetables used gave a nice crunch to the semi gravy and was a bit spicy. But too good.

10. கறுப்பு கவுனி அவல் இனிப்பு பிரட்டல் - Kavuni arisi aval (flattened kavuni rice) with coconut and jaggery - This one tasted good.

11. பனிவரகு தயிர்ச் சோறு - Proso millet curd rice. A bit starchy, it was okay with pomegranate, fried onions and ginger.

12. சோள தோசை - Sorghum dosai. This was prepared in live counters. Nicely fermented batter made into small thick dosais tasted great with groundnut chutney

12.  நிலக்கடலைத் துவையல் - Groundnut/peanut chutney. Tasted very nice and paired up well with the dosai.
13. நாட்டுக்கோழி வறுவல் - Country chicken fry - Absolutely yumm and mouthwatering dish. The flavours from small onions and saunf blended well with the meat and tasted good.

Altogether, the meal was good for Rs.300. But the overall dining experience was not that good. I understand, it is difficult to provide a perfect experience, when there is a huge crowd. Still things like, more chairs/tables can be arranged. I really appreciate their idea of keeping 5 counters for the food, so that the crowd is not concentrated at a single point. Still they can give space between the counters or the counters can be set separately. I saw lot of people dropping their plate while bumping on each other :( Partitioned plated will do more good. If not atleast some more cups will prevent the foods mixing up with each other due to lack of space in the plate. I know these are just minor issues, which can be taken care next time.

For the sole purpose of attempting to make the millets/natural foods reach more people, the effort of Poovulagin Nanbargal & Nalla Soru has to be appreciated. Good job team. Looking forward for the next year eagerly. 


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Sri Rayappas Graand Chettinadu, T.Nagar

I have been to this place twice for dinner. Once with family almost an year ago, when they were new kids in the block and recently with a group of friends. Brother, who studied in Coimbatore, vouched for the taste and so we checked in. This place is in T.Nagar, behing Joy alukkas. Spacious dining space with awesome interiors. The staffs are very friendly and polite. The menu is quite huge and when you are in doubt, don't hesitate to take the help from the stewards. They know their menu pretty well and the suggestions were pretty good too. The aatukkal soup was very good. The starters like pallipalayam chicken, vanjiram fry, chicken/mutton milagai varuval, chicken monica, mutton liver fry, brain and kudal fry (I didn't have this) are very good. Particularly the chicken monica is simply awesome. Tangy and spicy, it has a unique flavour which no other restaurant provides. The milagai varuvals are yumm. Hot n spicy, they set ur tongues in fire.

The kongu parotta aka bun parotta is too good. I'll say this is one of their signature dishes and must try here. The parotta is flaky and crispy on the outside and soft inside. And it tastes divine with the mutton and chicken gravies. The kari dosai here has good quality of meat and is good too (I've not had the one in madurai konar mess). The veechu parotta and karandi omelette are good. Mutton biriyani (the seeraga samba rice ones) are average nothing to rave about. Gravies like Nattu kozhhi kulambu, mutton araichu vitta kulambu tastes damn good. Full flavours and very homely in taste.

The only setback here is there is nothing like dessert to finish the meal. Just lime sodas ans mediocre ice-creams doesn't complete the experience. May be some payasam/gulab jamun/carrot halwa would do.

During the recent visit, a noisy group of 14 members were well accommodated. 9 non veggies and 6 veggies in the group. The carnivores literally devoured the food. The service was top notch. Only issue was many of their signature items were not available on that day. Otherwise food was simply yumm and the bill came around 7,300. For this crowd, and the amount of food that was washed down, I would say it's easy on the pockets.

Place : Sri Rayappas Graand Chettinad
Location : T.Nagar (Behind Joy alukkas, opposite to somasundaram grounds)
Cuisine : South Indian (Chettinad & Kongu) Veg & Non-Veg
Cost : A meal for two will be around 700 approximately.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only ans is written based on multiple visits.

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