Sabha Canteen Roundup 2018 - Lunch by Gnambiga catering @ Vani Mahal - T.Nagar


I hate the longer waiting time for food or getting a table at any restaurant. That thing annoys me to the core and spoils my mood. Also I hate people watching me like a hawk so as they can get seated. That அண்ணன் எப்போ போவான் திண்ணை எப்போ காலியாகும் கதை. Unfortunately lunch in Sabha canteens tests my patience in both the above said categories. But the love for typical இலை சாப்பாடு is much more so I always put up with that. Same thing happened today @ Vani Mahal. Gnambiga is the caterers here and I kickstarter my lunch roundup of this season with them. Crowd management is what they should figure out. That too given the basic common sense or decency our people have, it was highly annoying to see people who cared nothing about those waiting before them and grabbed seats right royally as if they own the Sabha. I expressed my concern with the owners (they were managing the cash counter) to figure out something and after a good 20+ minutes of waiting we got seated. One of the elderly gentleman who was serving food issued some unwanted statements. It wasn’t called for and he & his attitude really tested my patience and the argument was put off by the owner who was apologetic and asked me to let it go.

A simple but delicious fare was waiting for us. Paruppu podi + ghee, avarakkai poriyal, bitter gourd poriyal, radish sambhar, manathakkali vatha kulambu, rasam, buttermilk, appalam, pickle, payasam and today being “Arudhra Dharisanam” they also served thiruvadhirai kali & kootu. Every single item served was delicious. Especially the bitter gourd & mochai poriyal was mindblowing. I haven’t come across such a tasty pagarkai kari with no traces of bitterness in recent times. Vatha kuzhambu & rasam were divine. And there wasn’t any hesitation from their side when we asked for 2/3/4th servings 😜 And a sweet Beeda is also part of the menu.






A meal is priced at Rs.200 and they start their lunch session from 10.30 am and runs till 3 pm. I was told that they will keep the canteen up and running till 5th of January.

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Sabha Canteen Roundup 2018 - A food walk for evening tiffin

That season of the year is here, where you get to relish the special/popular food from various caterers of Chennai. Yep. Margazhi has started and so does our Sabha Canteen Roundup :)

Shab & Myself went on a Sabha canteen walk, covering five sabhas, popularly known for their canteens :P Started off with Music Academy. Surprisingly this year Pattappa's is running the canteen here instead of the usual Mint Padmanabhan. I was told that they aren't running canteen in any of the sabhas this season.
We settled for a portion of carrot halwa - fantastic oozing with ghee
karamani vadai - crispy vadai, that delivers a mildly tart flavour of the karamani. Loved it.
Manglore Bonda - Pillowy soft bondas with perfectly balanced seasoning served piping hot.
Coffee - Was pretty thin. Felt like the decoction wasn't fresh. 






While the coconut chutney & onion/tomato chutney was very good, Sambhar wasn't fresh. Paid a total of 195 bucks for the above.

Pattappa's @ Music Academy is open for breakfast from 7.30 am, lunch from 11-11.30 am & evening tiffin & dinner (pretty much the same menu as the evening tiffin) from 3.30 pm

Our second stop was Sri Sasthalaya Catering @ Naradha Ghana Sabha. I had high hopes for this place as I've had good experience with them for their tiffin items. Frankly was disappointed with the food. We had a portion each of
Chettinadu Vellai Paniyaram (Rs.40)- Soft rice paniyarams with minimal salt served with dangar chutney was good. 
Asoka halwa (Rs. 40) - Have had better ones. Can give it a miss
Pidi kozhukattai (Rs.70) - Out of the four kozhukattais, two weren't cooked completely. I could taste the raw rice grits in them :( The brinjal puli gosthu was too tangy (raw tamarind flavor was dominating the whole dish)





Paid 160 in total for all these. Sasthalaya are open for breakfast. They serve only mini meals & variety rice for lunch. They do have evening tiffin & dinner.

From here we moved on to Meenambiga caterers at Mylapore Fine arts club. I always loved their simple yet delicious lunch. According to me their, tiffin ain't that great. The vazhaipoo vadai & keerai vadai (Rs. 60) are of the same batter with the main ingredients mixed in separately. Mint chutney & sambhar were good. Mani kozhukattai (Rs.60) with coconut tempering was good, but I've had better ones. Piping hot Kasi halwa(Rs. 50) was mindblowing. Coffee(Rs.20) was so so. Paid a total of 190 for all these. They are open for lunch & evening tiffin/dinner





The next stop was Mountbatten Mani Iyer catering service @ Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha (Vidhya Bharathi Kalyana Mandapam in Mylapore). Average food with high pricing. The jack fruit paniyaram (Rs.100 for 3 pieces) was a disaster. Tad bit of jackfruit inside a oily paniyaram wasn't edible at all. Apple Bajji (Rs.100 for 3 pieces) wasn't great either. While I loved the bajji which was perfectly cooked, it failed to deliver that sweetness of apple. Coffee (Rs. 45) was way too bitter inspite of adding sugar. Paid a total of 257 bucks.


Our actual plan was only these four sabhas. Since we didn't have a good coffee & the food was also average, we decided to check our luck with Gnambiga caterers at Vani Mahal in T.Nagar. Best decision made :D

We relished their podi idly (Rs.70) - soft idlies, covered in generous amount of podi & nallennai (gingelly oil) was yummax. It was delicious on its own without any accompaniments. Rasa Vadai (Rs.80) was brilliant. The vadais have soaked in the rasam nicely and served hot. It was delicious. Shab gobbled up one whole vadai which is a rare phenomenon :P Capsicum Sevai (Rs.70) wasn't extraordinary. It was plain sevai with capsicum tempering. It needed a push flavor wise. Coffee (Rs.30) was mind blowing. One sip into it and we had a huge sigh of relief as we had atleast one good coffee for the evening. Paid a total of 250 for this and another 210 bucks for a take away of rasa vadai, adai aviyal & kasi halwa. Folks at home enjoyed it too.






With that we ended our Sabha hopping. 5 Sabha canteens in 4 hours :) Watch this space for more sabha canteen updates (regarding lunch & breakfast)

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