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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    A good value for money restaurant in Mylapore, Chennai

    Most members would be visiting Chennai quite often for some reason or the other. It is always good to know something based on first hand experience.

    Yesterday, I wanted to try out something totally new. Guess what? Their website does claim that it is from authentic vegetarian cooks from the Brahmin community of Tamil Nadu. So, as expected, it was a full meal. Priced at Rs230/- it is still very good and value for money.

    It is called Thaligai. It is situated bang opposite the Nageswara Rao park on Luz Church Road, Mylapore, one of the best places to have standard vegetarian food. Well, the meal is special. It is served hot and the rice is unlimited. There is one sweet dish served. The sambar is followed by Morkuzhambu, which translates into a type of dish prepared with coconut and curd and green chillies. The rasam was typical of the rasam that one gets to have in any standard hotel. One can go on asking for fresh fillings of the generous spread of four different side dishes. Everything was so tasty and the biggest surprise is that there is no onion and no garlic in any of the preparations.

    The sambar had capsicum and one other vegetable but no onion. I went on searching for onion, but could find nothing. After the meal is over, the Manager explained that the owners want to keep it simple and straight. Yes, most members of the particular community do not like to eat onion or garlic at all. The entire experience was too good. It is air-conditioned and the ambience is just excellent. Service is really good. Uniformed personnel walk around asking what you want at any point in time.
    A must visit restaurant. The tiffin items are available in the morning. The menu card shows that they are very costly. But since I have not tried that, I would like to restrict my experience to just the lunch. One can always Google the name to know more.
  • #679966
    I am thrilled to know from this post of the author that an authentic brahmin sect hotel by the name Thaligai and the menu listed out seems to be our daily authentic taste being served by the family. What is more interesting that the dishes are not having the inclusion of onion and garlic which is hot used in many homes. The price seems to be average and not much because of the same meals when ordered for the functions and celebrations, they are charging 380 and four hundred per plate. What I feel that in future the functions would be held at the place designated and the lavish meals can be had at the Thaligai hotel. Most of the brahmins reside in Mylapore and other places nearby and they would be thrilled to have such lavish meal. The hotel should maintain this and should not use the onion or garlic in future.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #679968
    I had been to Chennai and stayed there for a few years during our active job life. At that time there were many good vegetarian family restaurants especially in T. Nagar, Anna Nagar, Egmore, Kodambakkaam, NH Road and PH Road. Most of them were very reasonable and dishes were very authentic and yummy. I am talking of the years 1989 to 1997 and all of them were accessible to us as we were living in Choolaimedu area. We really enjoyed the local Tamil preparation much and still remember those well prepared dosa, idli and uttapam.

    It is always good to hear news related to a place where you have lived for some time and the information shared by the author about the new place for family eating that is Thaligai situated opposite the Nageswara Rao park on Luz Church Road, Mylapore is appreciated. So one can try the authentic Tamil tiffin and other dishes there.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #679974
    It is very nice information from the author. These days finding such a good restaurant is very difficult. We will see any vegetarian restaurants, they may be exclusively vegetarian hotels, but the will use garlic and onion very liberally. These days many people eat onions but garlic is restricted for some people. They may not like the taste. During my childhood, I used to find many people who were never tasting onion or garlic.

    If we get homely food in such hotles we love going and eating there. Recently in Hyderabad also a new restaurant started by a person who is having a very famous restaurant in Kakinada, AP. Here also food is very good. The people serving the food will see you that you are at home. Food is very tasty. In a meal, they will serve you more than 25 items. A person will be standing near your table to take care of your needs. The cost of a meal is Rs.250/-. Very tasty food and everything is like homemade food and you love eating there. This restaurant is known as Subbaih gari hotel. It is an AC hotel with a good ambience

    Whenever people come to Hyderabad and whenever they visit Kakinada, they should visit this restaurant and Kakinada hotel much better than Hyderabad hotel.

    always confident

  • #679981
    These are good initiatives from people loving to give authentic food to people at an affordable price and with much care. People like to have homely food but due to work and other conditions have to rely on hotels but if such hotels come up, it will be a boon for many and especially for bachelors who work nearby. Good information for everyone to keep a note of such restaurants in the local places.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #679989
    Chennai is well known for its eateries right from the small and cheaper ones to the branded working under a new management. Chennai is a very special town. There is a great combination of old and new there. One side you will get strong filter coffee which will rejuvenate your mind and senses and other side you can have the coffee in western outfits. Even in the outskirts of Chennai there are small eateries where one can enjoy the traditional dishes. Now with the opening of this new restaurant Chennai will offer more to its foodies hovering here and there in search of ethnic foods.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #680005
    As far as food is concerned, Tamilnadu provides the best food at cheaper rate. Good lunch is available for just Rs. 50 that can fill our stomach with unlimited rice, curry, vegetable fry, mixed vegetable curry, Dal, Sambhar, Rasam, Vatha Kuzhambu, curd, buttermilk, pickle, papad and sweet payasam. The same would cost Rs. 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 as per the standard of the hotel and its location. The lunch you are talking about Rs. 250/- is too much in Chennai. It is not worth to spend Rs. 250 for a vegetarian lunch without onion and garlic when the same is available for Rs. 100/- and below. South Tamilnadu hotels provide the best lunch at a cheaper rate.

  • #680007
    The restaurant is AC. The spread without garlic and onion is too good. It does have the Brahminical taste. I guess Rs.230 is for the quality of food and it is top class. The service is very good too. I for one do not think that Rs.230 is a great deal by Chennai standards. It was full and people do seem to visit this hotel so regularly. Yes, things are costly but the cooks should be real experts to prepare that kind of thick sambar, the tomato rasam, the morkuzhambu more or less similar to what we have at home and so on. Well, it depends on what you want to have. I found the spread very good and reasonably priced. I do not know much. But the so-called limited meal at Gupta Bhavan, with a North Indian menu, was so poor that I had to eat from fruits, in addition, to satisfy my hunger, at Velacheri. Chennai ( 100 feet road) I was totally not happy and do not remember what I paid. I think it was Rs.150-/ The Sengeetha limited meal is itself Rs.130 and I can vouchsafe that it is absolutely a big waste of money.

    So, spending the Rs.100 extra ( Rs.230 includes GST) does make sense in my opinion. The service does come with a smile and really good helpings. They keep on asking you what you want. This was missing at both Sangeetha and the Gupta Bhavan as well.

    The only comparable hotel with similar standards used to be Highway Inn, at Poonamalee. But I am told that Management has changed. The lunch was horrible some six months ago. And even the great Saravana Bhavan is no good for lunch. I guess they also charge Rs. 130 /-, am told. I have not had lunch at Saravana Bhavan for a long time now.

    And the other big names floating around. I need to try them one after the other. I do not find the time to go around to places like OMR, where there are some new good vegetarian options. My friends tell me that they are good.

    However, I would still give very high marks to Thaligai. I have not quizzed any customer there, but from whatever opinion was given to me, it was a truly good value for money proposition.

  • #680017
    In South Tamilnadu, very famous hotels like Saravana Bhavan, Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Vasantha Bhavan serving excellent lunch doesn't charge so high like Rs. 250/-. I would still say that Thaligai cannot be far superior to these vegetarian hotels.

  • #680027
    I have never been to Chennai, if ever I get a chance to visit the place anytime soon, I will definitely try the food at this restaurant. These days it is really hard to find restaurants providing good value for money. Thanks to the author for sharing this information.
    "Do not give up, things might not favour you always"

  • #680031
    A2B and SaravanaBhavan are charging Rs130for a limited lunch which should be noted. If one has a normal or quick breakfast and a hectic five hours of work thereafter(which I did), the limited meal would not do. Ms. Rajee you can differ with me.

    I repeat. Sangeetha, A2B and SaravanBhavan are good for their snack items. But not for lunch. For instance, there is one Alankar hotel on the Chennai to Bangalore Highway, which is far better than the A2B which is there at a place called Melvisharam, almost diagonally opposite to the KH Apollo hospital, for lunch.

    Even Murugan Iddli Kadai, which has an outfit near Walajah is very good for breakfast. So, the options are now increasing. Hit Chips at Velacheri is also good. It is not that only A2B is good. Am told that Rayar s mess, which is at Mylapore is a superb option for quality breakfast. If I find time, I would like to try it out and then share my experience.

    As I have said, Ms Rajee is entitled to have her views. I leave it to the members to try it out for themselves.

  • #680043
    Since I forgot to take the visiting card of the hotel, am not able to give the photo here. However, Mylapore is right in the heart of the city. There are hundreds of buses from various parts of the city that touch Mylapore. If you take the MRTS ( Beach to Velacheri route), you need to alight at the Mylapore station. Just get out and then walk on the left-hand side towards Luz. This is a very famous area. The hotel is opposite Nageswara Rao park, which was supposedly created by the late actor, who has a mansion in the same area.

    To reach this place, called LUZ, one can take bus no. 21 from Broadway. There are buses from other places too. T.Nagar has a direct bus to Mylapore. It is 5B. Please do not spend money on autos as these are very costly. Ola autos are available, but at times you may not find them, as they ply on different routes. In Chennai, it does not make any sense to spend any money on taxis or autos as we can spend that money on food. There are other good spots for food in Mylapore and I shall write about them after getting the first-hand experience.

    If any Member would need to stay on in Chennai for months together, please do go in for the monthly pass of Rs.1000/-, which is valid for one full month from the 16th of one month to the 15th of the next month. You can make any number of trips to any destination, by bus and board the deluxe buses too.

  • #680055
    I read the author's comment about Gupta Bhavan's North Indian meal being 'so poor', and it struck me that it all depends on preferences. Is the author talking about Sree Gupta Bhavan? I find their North Indian Thali delicious and filling. They serve different types of thalis and the one that I order, don't recall the name, is quite filling. The thali includes a pulao, two varieties of bread, one naan and the other lachcha paratha. I request them to serve only naans, as the lachcha paratha is too oily. The main course includes a paneer dish, dal makhni or chola and a mixed vegetable dish. Raita, salad and papad and pickle are served as an accompaniment. And Gulab Jamun as dessert. It is the best North Indian meal, on a budget. Basmati rice is used for the pulao, along with assorted vegetables and cashew nuts.

    I think it has more to do with what one has grown up eating. Murugan idli also serves meals, with a variety of accompaniments. I enjoy it once in a way but am not crazy about South Indian meals.

  • #680056
    I also feel 'unlimited meals' is a way of cheating customers by making them think they are getting more value for their money. Limited or unlimited, you can eat only what your stomach can hold.

    I also feel the meal is expensive, considering it has no onions and garlic (which are costly). And my understanding of southern cuisine, based on my experiences is that no exotic herbs, spices or other condiments are used in the preparation of southern meals. So, why does it cost more than other places?

    I have eaten at Murugan idlis, A2B, Sarvana Bhavan, Sri Krishna Sweets, Sangeetha etc. The food at all these places tastes the same, and the dishes are also almost the same. The same kind of food is served at weddings - there is no change. I am not a big fan of these meals - they are too predictable.

    When I eat out, I do so for a change. I see no point in eating at a restaurant that serves food that tastes the same as home-cooked food. I can stay at home and eat home-cooked meals.

  • #680060
    I still repeat that Rs. 250/- for a single lunch with limited varieties in unlimited quantities is too high for a stomach. I would agree if that was a buffet lunch with a variety of dishes of our choice as cheap and best. One should visit the hotels in Madurai and Tirunelveli districts of Tamilnadu to taste delicious lunch. If the food served is without onion and garlic, only the rich people from the brahmin community who avoid onion and garlic would visit that hotel.

  • #680068
    Dhabba Express on Cenotaph Road, Teynampet has a lovely vegetarian lunch buffet. They serve an impressive spread, at a very reasonable price. The last time I ate there, we paid Rs. 150 per head. The range includes:

    Authentic Punjabi cuisine: Dal makhni, paneer, chola, bhindi fry and a few more dishes like aloo gobhi, mixed veggies, tava fry veggies, arbi fry etc. They serve piping hot tandoori rotis, naans and pooris. There is veg pulao or jeera rice, and there is plain white rice and sambhar or curd rice. They also have vada in curd (southern-style).

    You will also find veg-noodles and a Manchurian dish on the serving stands. Steaming hot jalebis are served as part of the buffet. Salad, soup, papad, pickle and buttermilk are included in the price. The best part is that they keep replenishing the dishes.

    The ambience is lovely. They have a rustic looking covered area that resembles a dhaba, and concrete benches in the courtyard. You can order non-veg items and drinks of your choice on extra payment.

    A fine-dining restaurant on the same premises has a more extravagant menu, and you order a la carte. They have seating inside, quite plush, low seating - as well as dhabba style charpoy in the courtyard.

  • #680076
    The Gupta Bhavan that is on the 100 feet road Velacheri has the limited meal option. The hygiene is good. The taste was also just about okay. However, the quantity was very little. I think I paid Rs150. I do not remember, as I was anyway not very happy.

    However, there is one North Indian outfit somewhere near this Govindappa Street where one finds the National Lodge. Once again one needs to climb the stairs and go up there. The rotis were too good. The side dishes were the Rajsthani variety. The taste was so good indeed. They keep on giving the rotis till you say stop and you are done. I paid just Rs 100. I forgot the name of this place. This was one full year ago. May be, today, they charge more. All I remember is that it is on the first floor and one has to climb the steep steps once again. I will spot this place again, taste the food and then give the update. That was a good experience. Yes, the fans were provided but it is not AC. It was just one day when the auto guy who dropped me near Central asked me to try the "settu Kadai". ( Settu refers to the North Indian owners). Of course, it was just a one time visit. When someone has work in that place, and when you want something to eat, the auto guys are the best guys as they will tell you something you never know.

    I was then told that similar outfits are there at Perambur too. It is just that I have not been to those places. Near Central, if I alight at platform 1 or 2, I would just walk across to Central Hotel which is just outside. The quality is okay, but the hygiene is not. So, when I had a little more time to spare, National Lodge offered a very good option. I now understand that there are videos on National Lodge available in Tamil on YouTube. Am yet to see them, though.

    Even this information comes from another guy from AP now settled in Chennai. The same guy had recommended another restaurant at T.Nagar serving Andhra food but am allergic to the fact that the hotel might do some mixing with the Non vegetarian food. But National Lodge is purely vegetarian.

  • #680078
    Let me try Dabba Express the next time. The famous names like Sangeethas, am told, do a horrible job with the North Indian varieties. I just get to feast on butter butter masala prepared at home in a couple of friends who supply to the TVS group. They are fabulous hosts and at the end of the meal I would be given the best lassi that I have ever had. The elderly mother also prepares the vada pav in typical Mumbai style. I do not know if Goli Vada Pav the brand is expanding in Chennai. At Sai Baba Colony, Coimbatore, there used to be a branch of Goli Vada Pav. For some reason, this outfit, situated bang opposite the famous Annapoorna Hotel, is now gone. Chennai does not have many outfits serving the vada pav in Mumbai style.

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