Address: 1-A Rama Rao Street, Bazulla Road, T. Nagar, Chennai
Time: 8 AM to 10:30 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 250
Cuisines: Sweet Shop, North Indian, Street Food
Facilities: Vegetarian Only, No Alcohol Available
Ajnabee Sweets, T. Nagar, Chennai: DECOR
Ajnabi, Ajanabi and Ajnabee belong to the same family. Twelve outlets bearing the same name, only the spelling is different. This strategically located 24-seater Ajnabee is barely six months into existence. Just as I enter, I see packets of namkeens, Wagh Bakri Chai, and Khakras (I did not check on the GST aspect). Wait. Why are the rectangular ones called ‘Mobile Khakra’? “Well, that’s because they are shaped like a mobile phone,” the salesperson’s response is quick.I promptly decide to shop for it all before I eat.
Nothing much in terms of decor, it has a semi-open kitchen, red-and-white chairs and a large counter showing off the namkeens and sweets, replenished from their central kitchen at regular intervals. I see batata vadas, samosas, jalebis, fafdas.
Nostalgia takes over… till my food arrives in disposable thermocol plates.
Ajnabee Sweets, T. Nagar, Chennai: FOOD
Bhel Puri for lunch? Why ever not? I think as I dig my plastic spoon into the tangy-sweet, crispy-moist puffed rice and sev mass with flat, brittle puri, raw mango and onion: just what I need as the rain begins its tattoo outside.
If there’s Paani Poori on the menu, I will have it. This one disappoints. The green chutney totally lacks the punch one has grown to expect from it. Sigh.
My expectations from the Grilled Sandwich are high. I am an ex-Mumbaikar and am completely justified when I get nostalgic for the city’s street sandwiches. This one is made using three layers of bread filled with chutney, sliced onion, tomato, cucumber, potato, cheese, etc, and it is good.
Ajnabee Sweets, T. Nagar, Chennai: PLUSES AND MINUSES
This name belongs in Chennai’s food history. Down to earth, and pocket-friendly, I wish the new generation of Ajnabee would stick to their legacy: Gujarati food and Mumbai street food, instead of dishing out mediocre Aloo Paratha, Chole Bhature, etc.