Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jan 27, 2003

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Chennai Published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Looks are deceptive

'Chakkara Pongal' in T.Nagar, despite the ordinary ambience impresses with its original Tamilian fare.


ANYBODY EATING out, excluding those whose tabs are picked up by the corporates, knows the `bill effect'— indigestion and third degree burn on the wallet. The quest for value for money service has become more like a trail of the Holy Grail. Then suddenly it hits you right on your face. At the first glance, Chakkarra Pongal on the North Usman Road, T.Nagar appears a very unlikely hero. You cannot but notice the dirt on the floor, the grime at the wash area and the steel tumblers sporting the slick.

The menu is written in Tamil on a black board outside the restaurant. Inside, the English version comes on a small strip of paper. The entire staff, including the cleaning boys, was enjoying the histrionics of Bhagyaraj and Shobana on KTV. Despite the lackadaisical appearance, the service was prompt and friendly.

Since most of the snacks were over by nine at night, there was no question of starters. We plunged directly into the main course with a Morkali.

After the first spoonful, it vanished in a trice, why waste time on niceties when the food is good? The Tamilian speciality, Morkali was authentic.

This is the kind of stuff that helps you figure out why ancient Tamil poets waxed eloquent on food. Combined with Karakozhambu and coconut chutney it left a trail of pleasure all the way to the stomach. After the Morkali, I could barely wait for Adai aviyal, one of my favourites.

By the time it came all brown and gold, dotted with green curry leaves the saliva glands had gone into an overdrive. With jaggery and butter, Adais were dream come true. After the first two dishes what hits every foodie got me too, greed. So followed Parotta kuruma, Poori potato and Butter masala dosai. And each one of them was good. Even better were the prices. All the dishes except the Butter masala dosai that was Rs.18, were Rs.15 each! At the end of the wonderful meal, came disappointment.

The sweets, Pal poli, Parippu and Thenga polis and the inevitable Chakkara pongal were over.

Refusing to give up with out a fight, we wheedled some Chakkara pongal out of the kitchen. The waiter wouldn't have seen such a desperate case before.

The sweet was worth all that trouble and some more. The management seems to have a thing for the number 15. The Chakkara pongal too comes at Rs.15. If you are not one of those who get carried away by appearance, Chakkara Pongal (phone:28157611) is a true find. Personally, I will go back for more Morkali and Adai aviyal and the sweets.

MARIEN MATHEW

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2003, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu