Showing posts with label Southern Aroma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Southern Aroma. Show all posts

Tuesday 22 January 2013

If you ask anyone to name a place for food in Residency Towers, the first to be named is quite often either Mainstreet or Bikes n Barrels. But tucked away in the corner of the main lobby is a less known restaurant known as Southern Aromas. The last time I remember dining here was close to 6 years ago when one fine Sunday evening we were hunting around Chennai for a place to have dinner as most places were packed. The waiting time was close to 45 mins to a hour almost everywhere. Having hopped into close to 4 restaurants, we decided to try Southern Aromas. Believe it or not, we had to wait for the same amount of time here too. Being tired driving around, we decided to wait as it was our first time. But the experience wasn't too great and didn't motivate me to visit again soon. Coming to the present, I day I get a call from the Chennai Food Guide asking me if I would be interested to take part in the Bloggers Meet at Southern Aromas. I had an instant flashback and thought this should be a good opportunity to give them a chance once again and immediately confirmed my participation.

I was to meet with 4 other fellow bloggers for the meet and was told that we would be having an interaction with the Chef too. Southern Aromas is a south Indian restaurant serving up dishes from the 4 states in south India namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka. The best part is that they have some of the traditional dishes from these cuisines too. Arriving in time and having introduced ourselves to the team at Southern Aromas, the dishes started to arrive one by one.
(Welcome Drink)
The first to arrive were the welcome drink and papads. The welcome drink was nothing southern at all. It seemed to be an ordinary fusion drink so didn't pay much attention to the same. The papads were brought in a very stylish cone shaped plantain leaf. It was accompanied by an array of Tomato and Coconut chutney's. The papads were crisps and the chutney's finger licking yumm. 

The first of the dishes to be served was "Malli Vada". This is one of their fast moving signature dishes. I was assuming the vada's to be the usual shaped but was taken aback when it was placed on the table. Each of the Malli Vada were triangle shaped. The Chef told us that they are steamed first so that the shape holds. Although the texture seems to look hard, the vada was super soft and was just mind blowing, no wonder it is their most selling dish. 
(Malli Vada)
The next dishes were the Mutton Roast Kerala Style and Jumbo Prawns Andhra Style. The mutton were packed with curry leaves flavour and the meat too was very soft and juicy. Mind you if you did not feel the flavors immediately as I too was wondering the same. But the moment it hits within a few seconds, it makes itself worth craving for. On the other hand you could tell from the looks on the Prawns that they were Andhra style. Rich red in color  it had a superb level of spice which complemented the prawns perfectly.  Having a prawn lover in our group, you could see a gleaming smile on him once he savored the prawns. That by itself is a strong evidence that they were amazing. This was then followed by the last starter of the evening, the Coriander Chicken Fry which incidentally is again from Kerala. The chicken had a good crispy texture to it as the main ingredient used in marination was not the Coriander powder but was the Coriander seed itself. This really changed the dynamics on the palate. 
(Mutton Roast Kerala Style)
(Andhra style Jumbo Prawns)
(Coriander Chicken Fry)
With the starters all done, next was the line up of the mains. The first to make it was the Tamil Nadu style Mini Podi Idly. Frankly, why would I order this here. Adding to it, I felt the dish tasted very similar to what we get in most places. But I guess it targeted at customers who are not from Tamil Nadu for whom it may be a wonder dish. This was followed by an array of dishes. The Chicken Kothu Parotta was something different to what I've been having all this while. It was very low in oil and had a good crispiness on the parotta. 
(Mini Pody Idly)
(Chicken Kothu Parotta)
This was followed by a continual service of Dosa, Appam and Idiyappams (String Hoppers). To complement these, the gravies that were served were Poondu (Garlic) curry, Vegetable Stew, a south Indian Dhal and a Mutton curry. The Poondu curry and Vegetable stew were a perfect combination with the dosas while the Mutton curry gave a good booster dose to the idiyappams. The last to be served was the Ambur Biryani. Having tasted the real Ambur biryani, I for once knew this was not anywhere close to the original. But on the contrary, it did have a good flavour which was very unique for a biryani. It was definitely a winning dish as it was absolutely something that had never struck me before in any form of Biryani.
(Vegetable Stew)
(Mutton Curry)
(Poondu Curry)
(Ambur Biryani)
The desserts were the finale and we were served with the traditional Payasam. Being too full with just sampling the dishes, I just had a taste of the Payasam and sure it was nice. Especially after all those spices, it was really soothing. 

Southern Aroma is located at Hotel Residency Towers, T. Nagar. A complete meal for 2 can put you back by anywhere between INR 1500 - 2000. But you can be guaranteed of some good south Indian food.

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