Showing posts with label Kalathi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kalathi. Show all posts

Saturday, 12 January 2013

(Mylapore Post Office)
The continuous stretch of holidays that most of us in Chennai anticipate once the New Year starts was right round the corner. Yes folks, the Pongal holidays. This time with Pongal falling on a Monday, it was time for some celebrations with 4 days of continuous holiday. As it is to be, the Chennai Food Guide had also simultaneously planned for a ‘Food Walk’ in Mylapore to coincide with the Mylapore Festival which has happening during that weekend. What better way can one ask to begin their holidays. 

(Kalathi Newspaper Shop)
(Rose Milk)
The Mylapore Food Walk was scheduled to start at 2:45PM on Saturday from none other than our very own Mada Street. Hunting for an assembly point, our primary guide for the walk, Shiyam ji had instructed CFGians to assemble at “Kalathi Seithithaal Kadai” (Translation: Kalathi Newspaper Shop). This shop located at the corner of East Mada Street & South Mada Street is best known for its ‘Rose Milk’. The entourage was informed that the shop has been selling Rose Milk for the last 33 years and the consistency has been maintained and not even an iota of change in their taste was ever noticed by the frequenters till date. An interesting point to be noticed is that, 33 years ago they charged Rs. 1.50 for a glass and today they only charge Rs. 12. Yes, you got it right. The term ‘Value for Money’ has no relevance here. I guess someone should come up with a better term.
(Old Building Landmark)
(Old vs New)
(Mini Gully)
With everyone energized by the awesomeness of the Rose Milk, the next designated pit stop was the age old famous mess in Mylapore, the “Rayars Mess”. Located at a short walking distance, you must begin your walk from the Kapaleeshwar temple towards Kutchery Road and ask for Arundale Street once you cross the Mylapore Post Office. Keep walking down Arundale Street and you are supposed to locate a really old house (See Pic for Landmark). Once you locate this house, bang opposite to it you can see a mini gully and yes your guesses are correct. The famous and renowned Rayar’s Mess is located inside this mini gully. 
(Mini Gully)
(Traditional method of Eating)

When we walked inside the mini gully, everyone in the neighbouring houses were looking at us in awe as we all looked like some press people with huge cameras and stuffs. I’m sure people must have got intimidated by Dilip’s 100-400mm lens too. It was then that we came to know that the place was so small that out entourage had two eat in two shifts. Being eager to taste their offerings, I took a place on the first turn and promptly found a stool to sit on. What began next was an awesome food experience that I will remember all through my life. We were asked from a pre-set menu what we would like to have. The choices were Gulab Jamun, Potato Bonda, Onion Rava Dosa, Kal Dosa and Filter Coffee.

(Gulab Jamun)
(Potato Bonda)
(Bonda being savoured) 
(Onion Rava Dosa)
(Dosa being savoured)
(Dosa being Savoured)
(Inside of Rayar's Mess)
(The owner at work)
I wanted to taste as many dishes as possible and ordered for everything except the Kal Dosa and Coffee as I didn’t want to overeat lest I miss out on the other places. The ‘Gulab Jamun’ that arrived was pleasantly sweet and had the right textures on it. The ‘Potato Bonda’ was very crispy and wasn’t at all dripping with oil. Along with the Chutney and Sambar, it was simply yummy and a perfect evening snack. After a small delay considering that the owner was making all the dosa orders himself, came my ‘Onion Rava Dosa’. The dosa was served fresh from the hot plate with the onions as juicy as they can get. The feeling of eating a hot delicious dosa with amazing accompaniments in such an ambience is can never be expressed in the form of words. You need to visit the place to experience the feeling. The total bill for 20 of us was only Rs. 800.With a very satisfied look on everyone’s face, there was some contemplation with regards to the next pit stop. Whether to head to “Jannal Kadai” or “Mami Tiffin Stall”. But it was promptly decided to head to Mami Tiffin Stall considering that the location of Jannal Kadai was in the midst of the Mylapore Festival. 

(en-route to Mami Tiffin Stall)
(Mami Tiffin Stall)
(Inside of Mami Tiffin Stall)

Mami Tiffin Stall is located on the street diagonally opposite to Kalathi Newspaper Shop. This place is supposedly to be famous for their ‘Coffee’ and ‘Bajji’. We had each placed an order for coffee and couple of plates of bajji’s. The coffee was just too good and especially after an amazing lunch at Rayar’s mess felt like a much needed after food drink. The Bajji’s too tasted amazing but I didn’t feel much of a difference on comparison to those available elsewhere. Being already 5 PM, it was decided to wind up the Food Walk for the evening and head to Kalakkal Café. More on Kalakkal Café will be posted in a separate blog post.

(Traditional Coffee)
This being my first food walk with CFG provided me with an insight to hidden eateries that are being there in the city for ages but less discovered mainly because they are content with the customers within their locality. But this has reinstated the faith in me that such localized eateries are always better as their serve authentic and original food as compared to fancy outlets. If you happen to be in and around Mylapore, please make sure you visit these eateries.

And now for yet another of those gif's. This time the sambar being poured at Rayar's Mess...

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