Walk for Food.. Walk to Eat... Mylapore Food Walk 2015

Almost a decade in Chennai and I've never done a complete food walk till now. Every time Chennai Food Walks comes up with a plan, I'll get more important/unavoidable work exactly on the same day and that too in the same time frame. This time when I saw the announcement about the food walk in Mylapore, I swore to myself that I'm not going to miss this one for anything else. You have to get started somewhere rite !!!

Mylapore is one of the places I associate fondly with my new to Chennai part of my life. Having office at Cathedral Road, taking a 29C route from Besant Nagar and going via Mylapore twice daily are few of those things that I'll never forget. Have had food at Karpagambal Mess (the good old one was awesome. Now its not upto the mark), rose milk at kalathi and a take away lunch/dinner from Mami Mess. Mami Mess some what used to make up my "missing mom's food times" along with food from Maris & Vishranthi.

Started a bit early from home (so that there is no last minute changes/plans to disrupt my walk) and reached the post office which was supposed to be the starting point. After a brief insight about what to expect, what to have from which place, a quick brush up on the history of the places, do's and don't from Mr. Sridhar, the first batch of about 20-25ppl started the walk.

Rayar's Mess

First destination of the walk. A very small place with exactly four tables and four chairs is no bigger than my living room. Other side of the room has the kitchen. It was almost fully occupied when we went and after having a wait for about 10mins got seated. I had a jangiri and aloo bonda. Jangiri was perfect. Crisp in the edges, soft in the centre and rite amount of sweetness. The aloo bonda reached our leaves straight from the kadai. It was blistering hot and the aroma was too good. Though the outer layer (aka the kadala mavu) lacked a tad bit of salt, it tasted great with the chutney. Particularly with the green chilli chutney, it was just yumm. Rest of the gang helped themselves with khichdi, rava dosai and adai.

Potato masala balls prepped for bonda

Onion Rava dosai in the making

Senthil Softy Zone

This place is an upscale version of a local bakery. From flavoured milks to milkshakes to ice creams and lot of varieties of cutlets like paneer, mushroom, vegetable etc, to rolls and puffs and pizzas, uffff, they've hell lot of items to taste. I got a rose milk and paneer cutlet. Rose milk was too sweet and thick which is not of my type. The paneer cutlet was soft with subtle amount of spices. Had a chance of sampling the kiwi flavoured softy. It was just a normal one and nothing to rave about

Jannal kadai

As the name states, this place serves delectable bajjis via a window aka jannal. Just couple of buildings next to Kapaleeshwarar temple, this place shells out hot bajjis and bondas in the evening. The bajjis are extremely soft and flavourful and the colour is just attractive. A special mention to the getti chutney ie the thick chutney served along with the bajji. The chutney is thick, has a grainy texture and is bang on in taste. The places was damn crowded, I couldn't get near the jannal. Just sampled the bajjis from fellow foodies plate :)

Since I've had food from Mami mess umpteen times, decided to give that a skip. I was in mood for rose milk after hot hot bajjis.

Kalathi Paper Mart - Rose Milk

This is shop looks like a typical potti kadai. Have been here 'n' number of times. In my opinion this is the best rose milk in town. People may feel it a bit watery. Ask him to give you a packeted one and drink that. Perfect flavour and sweetness, I can drink this all day :) Apart from rose milk I like the paneer soda and lemon soda.

Ganapathy Ghee Shop

Our food trail almost came to an end. Returning from Mylapore without some yummy vadam/vathal is a crime :) This shop sells Oothukuli butter and ghee. The ghee was golden brown and the aroma was class. I got some karuvadam (the one used in south indian sambhar), javvarisi vadam (sago) and kuzhal vadam (looks more like murukku) along with mango thokku. I was a bit skeptical about the taste of the pickle as most of the shops add preservatives. As soon as I reached home, opened the pickle bottle and tasted some. Oh it was damn spicy and good with no taste of vinegar. I loved it. So were the vadams. Authentic tambrahm taste. Now I know a place to run for my vadam needs.

Finally we wanted to try the kaiyendhi bhavan alas it was closed. Finished off with a iced tea from Mylapore Mocha and headed home.

In my opinion , food walks are not only about the food you get to taste. You get to meet people who share the same passion or even more passion towards food, you get to know the story behind the place. The history of the place and more knowledge about the items available in and around the place. I was fully satisfied with my first walk and looking forward for more such walks.

A big thanks to Mr. Sridhar Venkataraman, who had immense patience in organising the walk. Right from the route map, knowledge sharing and guiding and more, the effort he puts into each and every walk is truly amazing. Keep the spirit going Sridhar Ji :)

For people who are interested in food walks, please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/chn.fw/

A note on cost, I spent a total of around 200 bucks for the food.

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


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