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Tantalising fare

It's not just the ambience that wears a new look, even the menu has been improved at Sri Velu Military Hotel, Nungambakkam.

AFTER A frugal week of phulkas, dal, fibre and fruits came a night when caution was thrown to the wind with a meal dripping with cholesterol and no fibre anywhere in the vicinity. However, I must admit it felt good!

The `house of temptation' that enticed me to binge was Sri Velu MilitaryHotel on Valluvar Kottam High Road, Nungambakkam. The establishment that has been around for decades, had a make-over last year. All spruced up and respectable, it lost no time in gaining its lost ground. If you are wondering about the `military' tag, it is a hangover from the past. In days of yore, it was compulsory for those in the services to have non-vegetarian food to allegedly increase their stamina to face the rigours of combat. Gradually, the term `military' became a synonym of health and non-veg food.

What impresses one first is the service. The speed is phenomenal. As soon as we settled down, came the Chettinad chicken soup, a complimentary. For a freebie, it was lovely.

It was followed by a platter with samples of dishes to help us order. This did away with the rather boring and long process reading the whole menu. We settled for sura puttu (Rs.35), mutton chukka fry (Rs.40), chicken pepper podimas (Rs.45), crab masala (Rs.50) and egg masala (Rs.20). The shark and chicken crumbles were the pick of the lot, simply scrumptious. This doesn't mean the others weren't good; it was more like a first among the equal situation.

The staples held up their part of the menu too. When the chicken biriyani (Rs.55) was average, what stole the show was the ceylon egg parotta (Rs.25). The mere sight of it might clog up your arteries, but hey, you live only once! The idiyappam (Rs.10 for four pieces) and dosai (Rs.12) were good.

For desserts, it was just ice creams, a multi-coloured faluda (Rs.45) and chocolate sundae (Rs.35). Both were quite pleasant. The only green we saw that night was the coloured sago at the bottom of the faluda glass. But the morning, after it was back to weighing scales and guilt trips.

MARIEN MATHEW

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