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Chettinad platter

A RESTAURANT with its own parking lot in Pondy Bazaar, next to Rathna Store? It's hard to believe. But that's what the Anjappar Chettinad restaurant (ph: 4334144) management promised. The reality was the `cars only' space had two wheelers parked haphazardly.

And now for the menu, there was chilli chicken rubbing shoulders with Chettinad kadai roast and tangri kebab. We stuck to Chettinad cuisine. The Chettinad special chicken roast (Rs 43) was a tasty starter. The well-defined somph or fennel flavours authenticated the dish. Poondu kuzhambu (Rs 31), prawn masala (Rs 50), nethili fry (Rs 36) and mutton biriyani (Rs47) were our choices to go with egg dosai (Rs 26) and Ceylon kheema parota (Rs 47).

The garlic curry seemed to be suffering from an identity crisis. With an overdose of onion and tomato, it tasted more like channa masala. The fish fry was delightfully crisp and tasty. The prawns were enjoyable too.

But the biriyani didn't rise above average. Both the dosai and parota were good. There were not many vegetarian options in the Chettinad section except the 65' fries and kormas.

Since the desserts were only ice creams, we did not venture into that area. But we did try out a Cola Storm (Rs 36), which is a cola with vanilla ice cream. This is touted as an executive cool drink.

Anjappar seems still trying to make up its mind even after opening three branches. The neither-here-nor-there stance leaves one unsettled. The ambience and the banana leaves give a `military' hotel feel, but the menu and the food are more like that of a multi-cuisine restaurant.

MARIEN MATHEW

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