Opening a new restaurant in Chennai nowadays is becoming similar to a new movie release. Somebody runs trailer in food groups (mostly FB), and there is a lot of expectations created on the restaurant. Some of them stand to the hype. Some fail miserably. This one restaurant had similar ravings in Facebook. I wanted to try this for a long time (since the opening). Yesterday decided to have dinner here with dad, bro and my kid. Did it stand up to the hype or not? Go on. Read and find it out :)

Pleasant and beautiful interiors, tasteful cutlery and a menu with exotic dishes (atleast by name and description) it passed the first round. We ordered Nattukozhi soup with egg drops, Kayiru katti kola urundai, mirapakka kozhi, vanjiram fry and chettinad bashed potatoes to start with. The soup tasted good. Bro and dad felt it was not hot enough and above all Junior found couple of bones. I've never come across bones in soups, don't know whether its acceptable. The kayiru katti kola urundai was exccellent. Tender meat with right amount of spices that melts in ur mouth. But i find the kayiru aka thread a bit messy. Removing them and eating the urundai is one hell of a task. The mirapakka kozhi was okay. I felt the chicken was not marinated properly and it was not at all spicy as the waiter mentioned when we were ordering. The potatoes were good and the dip that came along with the potatoes was too good. Instead of serving them as whole (baby potatoes), i feel it would be better if the slice them in two and serve it. This way the spices will blend very well. Just a thought. The fish fry i didnt like it. It was hard and rubbery (maybe overcooked??!!). Of all the places i've had fish so far (and that'll come around 4 or 5), I love the vanjiram fry in Junior Kuppanna. For a person who is just trying out with fish, i felt the ones served in JK is juicy and tasty.

Along with the starters, we also ordered a couple of drinks. One was the panagam which was way below average. It lacked a punch (of lime, cardamom and sukku podi) and it tasted simply like a jaggery water :( The other one was Bovonto with icecream which was okay. Being a bovonto fan I can handle it in any form :)

The best of the whole dinner was the main course. I saw this guntur chicken gravy in the menu and was inquiring the same with the waiter. When he told it will be too spicy, I just told him how the starter was. Then we ended up ordering plain aappam, egg aappam, kari dosai, poricha parotta along with nattukozhi kulambu and mamsam pulusu (mutton gravy). There were three chillies mentioned next to the mutton dish and I asked the waiter "Idhuvadhu karama irukkuma?" (meaning atleast will this be spicy?). He left with a smile. Then came all the dishes. Man!! The mutton graving was damn hot. It was very spicy, tender meat and paired up well with the poricha parotta and aappam. Dad was teasing like "U should've not made that comment about spiciness. I think they added extra chillies for you". LOL.

Every item we ordered in the main course was excellent. At this time we were completely full. How can we end the meal without desserts. We ordered Jigirthanda and Maplai style thirunelveli halwa. The jigirthanda came in glasses that were little larger than shot glasses :) Taste was ok. But not like the one I had in Madurai (famous jigirthanda and other shops). The other one was tirunelveli halwa deconstructed. Tea kadai style butter/salt biscuits topped with sticky peanut brittles and on top was sitting a dollop of halwa. Three such beauties served with whipped cream, it was truly heaven.

We also had two plain parottas, veg kuruma and 2 jigirthandas parcelled. All these set us back by 3700 bucks. Though its okay for a fine dining, i felt the quantity can be increased a bit. Particularly on the starters and jigirthanda. For 40bucks u get a tall glass in madurai, which is more than twice that is served here.

And to mention two things i absolutely loved here. This resto plays tamil songs. That too good collection. When i was mokkifying poricha parotta with mutton and chicken gravies i was foot tapping for "Yathe yathe ennacho". I loved it. And secondly, almost all the waiters talk/understand tamil, which is becoming rare in Chennai fine dining scene. Overall experience was good, but was not upto the expectation set. Will I go back? Yes! Sometime later to see hows their lunch menu.

Place : Maplai
Cuisine : South Indian - Veg and Non - Veg
Location : Sterling avenue, Nungambakkam. Opposite to Loyala college.
Price : A complete meal for two may cost around Rs. 800 - 1000 approx

P.S : All opinions are based on personal experience only.


Reader's Comments

  1. Good review... Next tim try their masala scotch eggs and 3-way vattalappam :)

    1. Had them Rads. But felt that the eggs are over done. I like my scotch eggs a bit runny/soft in the centre.