Contrary to popular belief, I do cook at home :) It's been couple of weeks since I have started my housewifing in Chennai and large part of it involves cooking. Of course, my husband and more importantly my father in law are my great helps there. but we do go to these nice restaurants in Chennai, visited four until now :P
So Murugan idli , one of the most popular eateries in the whole Tamilnadu, has a branch that is in the vicinity, and we go there. In fact, I have been there twice in just two weeks. Murugan has a decent amount of space, which can accommodate about 25-30 people, not to big and flashy, but the taste of food will make up for any lacunae this place might otherwise have.OK, so let us start over.
Murugan serves only south Indian food. All you can get to eat is variety of Idlis, Dosa, uttampam, and white Paniyaram (which we call appe back in Maharashtra) In drinks, it serves tea, coffee, milk, mineral water and their own product, Jigarthanda. That's all. No Menu card is served, of course because the choice is so limited. Murugan seems to be following the principle of serve little, serve the best.
You can swear by the quality of Idli here. well, people expect that while you are in Chennai, idli is one food which ought to be served best. It is not true. It is like saying whenever you are in Maharashtra, you ought to have Pohe and Misal served best. It is a local cuisine, and a staple to most of the people here, still there are places where Idlis are rice stones, and not cakes! Murugan serves Idlis which are an epitome of being idlis. Snow-white, extra soft, fresh and hot from the cooker direct to your plate. oh no, on your leaf.
Other aspect of Murugan being a Southie hotel is emphasized by it's absence of serving plates. There are banana leaves, one for each, laid out on the table by the waiter here. the customer is supposed to take some water, and wash the banana leaf with your own hands. Then There will be boys roaming around with bowls of different kind of chutneys (or Podi). And as soon as you are given a table and banana leaf is cleaned, samples of different Podis will appear on your leaf. your order is brought to you within 5-7 minutes, and as those super soft Idlis or other stuff appears, another waiter comes and your meal is made complete with Sambar and the normal white coconut chutney.
oh and most importantly, Whatever you might have ordered, just mix everything together, most presumably, make balls and start throwing them in your mouth. This is not a place to be sophisticated and eat your idli with a fork and get a taste of sambar with a spoon. This is a place to be totally Southie, eat that oh-so-tasty food with a typical south Indian fervor, and then, if you please, complete it with a filter kaapi :). Burrrp!
more on idlis and other stuff later. till then, sing my version of the song-
Idli dosa appam khao
tum bhi murugan ke gun gao!
mind it mind it! :)
mind it mind it! :)