Address: Old No.63/1, New No.62, 3rd Cross Street, 2nd Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600020
Time: 12 Noon to 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 450
Cuisines: South Indian, North Indian, Chinese
Facilities: Vegetarian Only, Wifi
Great Indian Canteen, Adyar, Chennai: DECOR
Angles and colours welcome me on a bright, sunny October afternoon. I love the pushcart visual outside welcoming guests in. Inside, GIC is quite large, pleasantly cool and artificially lit. Divided by walls and arches, one section doubles up as a PDR when needed.Basic but comfortable furniture with fabric upholstered sofas and chairs, cooking serving metal utensils decorate walls. Not spilling over with guests, it is a restaurant waiting to be discovered during weekday lunches.
Great Indian Canteen, Adyar, Chennai: FOOD
As soon as I was settled, two glasses of chilled sherbet arrive. One is clear pink and rose, the other a clear green, topped with tiny bits of paan. Both share one thing in common: they are refreshing and organically made in a Rajasthan village.There, on the first page of the menu, I see Madras Mulligatawny Soup. Fragrant with coconut and curry leaves, it is a light meal in a bowl, with a little rice.
Long fingers, called Veg Bullets, have cab bage, carrot, corn, cap sicum and spring onions all minced, mixed with cornflour and deep fried to an even brown finish. They are crunchy on the outside and textured on the inside. Addictive. Papad Paneer is very different from the usual. Sliced paneer chunks with limboo aachar filled in, are coated with finely crumbled papad and deep fried. Hot, crisp, soft with thought-provoking textures. The classic Paniyaram comes coated with podi, and is called Podi Paniyaram. An instant hit with its crunchy, pungent podi, it is even better when you dot on some fresh coconut chutney, which mutes the powerful podi. I notice the chutney is room tempera & ture and fresh instead of old and fresh from the fridge.
Lasuni Methi Chaman, its leafy textures blending in nicely with the finely crumbled paneer into a semi gravy, has garlic flavors that are strong, familiar, sharp yet sweet. It is best had with a plain whole-wheat roti.
For all the rose lovers, Gulkand Ice Cream is a must. It is a perfected combination that has been arrived at after much trial and error and has the added fun element of nuts. If you still need a shot in the arm, do try GIC’s personalised blend of three bean filter coffee. Formulated by GIC partner, Kantharaj, it is mild, and without chicory.
Great Indian Canteen, Adyar, Chennai: PLUS AND MINUS
I really appreciate that the masalas, paneer and podis are all homemade. Efforts in the food business are always ongoing. At GIC, there is a willingness to take positive feedback about the few dishes that need some tweaking.