Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mylai Sri Karpagambal Mess, Chennai

Walk into this place and you will immediately be accosted by a pantheon of well adorned gods and goddesses staring sternly at you. Every single space on the wall sports life sized pictures of the almighty. Now I know that this mess is right behind the temple and all but I found the decor a little disconcerting. 

Quickly I decided to pay my allegiance to the gastronomical gods and placed a rather large breakfast order.

Look at all those pictures! 
 The Special Vadai (Rs.18) was wonderful. Piping hot served with a no-nonsense sambar and chutney and oh so tasty. I especially loved the crunchy exterior. We ended up having 5 of these!

Special Vadai
As great as the vadai was, my favourite dish had to be the pongal (Rs.35). It literally melted in my mouth. This pongal-sambar combo is my current favourite breakfast item in Madras. 

I am not a huge fan of idlis (Rs.9), but the ones here were pretty good. 

We also tried the Poori Masala (Rs.20) which I would recommend you avoid. The Poori was oily and its texture was like papad. The aloo-masala was nothing special. There are way better things to be had here. 

Poori Masala

To indulge our sweet tooth we ordered the Cashew Cake (Rs.25) and the Badam Halwa (Rs.50). Both were OK, neither worth ordering again. 

Cashew Cake

Badam Halwa

The filter coffee was strong, rich and served in a steel tumbler/davra: good South Indian coffee.

Karpagambal Mess is not pretentious or fancy. The ambiance is a little intimidating but not as dingy as some people would lead you to believe (I've eaten at much, much dingier places). But everything from the agrharam style decor to the plantain-leaf plates screams Madras. If you want to taste the flavour of the city, have a bite here.

Pricing: Rs. 35-75 per person
Location: 20, East mada street, Mylapore , Chennai
(Click here for the Google Maps directions)

Thanks to Jayanth and Shweta for accompanying me on a weekend morning.


R Niranjan Das said...

You have a nice blog.

Unknown said...

Oh man, this made me miss South Indian food SO badly!

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