Eating out at Chennai – Part I
This is a vast topic and I am going to type it up in bite sized sections. (pun intended)
Rathna Cafe in TNagar is where I was taken, with the assurance that their iddlies were a class apart.
The expectations were not short lived.
The approach to the A/C section upstairs was a little narrow. You almost bump your head as you walk amidst the noisy surroundings.
The A/C section is not as crowded as the hall downstairs.
We ordered iddlies.
First came the plates with banana leaves. Then came the iddlies.
Indeed, ‘poo ponra iddly’. (soft as flower iddlies).
Every bite has just the right balance of salt, tartness and is incredibly soft.
The waiter was about to pour sambar on the iddly. I was aghast.
No. You dont drown an iddly in sambar.
But everyone else on that table had done precisely that.
I asked for a separate cup of sambar. And it came.
It is a joy to cut up the idly into small bits. Dip it in the sambar and then eat it.
I learned later that the TNagar Ratna Cafe on Venkatnarayana road was not the first one of its kind. Apparently the first one was in Triplicane (?).
During my second trip there, I had iddly/vada in the morning. Vadas were good, but iddlies really take the cake.
PS: Here is a footnote. Apparently the current economic recession has forced the closure of Ratna Cafe on ECR or OMR (outside Madras) thanks to poor patronage.