Phone: 044 42348777
Address: 16/1, Old 102, 4th Avenue, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Ashok Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 800
Cuisines: Biryani, South Indian
Facilities: Home Delivery, Indoor Seating
Puducherry Hotel Sri Kamatchi, Ashok Nagar, Chennai: Decor
A known name in Puducherry, Hotel Shri Kamatchi has three outlets there. In Chennai, they began as a take-away, and the demand for a dine-in has led to this Ashok Nagar place.
Modest, practical decor with large Formica-covered tables and brown sofas, Puducherry Hotel Sri Kamatchi is all about the food. There’s no mistaking that. The ground floor has a counter meant for delivery alone, with a standee announcing their Bucket Biryani, and two tables with seating for delivery people, I presume.
The first floor, though, is packed with diners. Everybody is busy eating off banana leaves and it looks to me that they are enjoying their meal. Here, fragrances of fresh cooking mingles with agarbatti, making the whole place smell like someone’s home in Madurai (if I close my eyes). I like how half of their glass frontage is frosted, so as to keep diner-attention on the food.
Puducherry Hotel Sri Kamatchi, Ashok Nagar, Chennai: Food
As they clearly say, they are an out and out non-vegetarian restaurant. So, here, it is all about the meat, fish (both freshwater and sea), chicken and biryani made using my favorite Jeeraga Samba Rice.
So, here’s my Malli Chicken or Coriander Chicken. There’s no doubt about it as I bite through the crisp outer layer and encounter the soft, well marinated chicken inside. It is not spicy at all. Yes, the coriander is prominent, which is quite expected.
Prawn Kamatchi, an out-and-out creation by the restaurant, is prawns coated with egg and deep fried for the first leg of its preparation. Then, the deep-fried prawn pieces get tossed in onion, tomato, curry leaves, garlic, etc. The end result is quite nice. Despite being double cooked, the prawn retains succulence.
I finally get at the Mutton Biryani. Jeeraga Samba Rice cooked with all the masalas, including mint and green chillies, is quite the winner by itself. But since it is accompanied by a mutton gravy, I mix some in, and find that the coconut milk mutes some of the chilliness in the biryani, giving it added taste. Of course, the Onion Raitha is always taken for granted, but I mix some in, enjoying the predictability of strong flavors and curds.
I end it all with some Rasam, which, again, is made using mutton stock. It is tangy alright, but with a distinct non-veg twist.
Plus & Minus:
This is a truly down-to-earth restaurant serving food made using age-old recipes, and is run by a family that hails from Muniyandi, famous for its temple and the Mutton Biryani served here. All masalas are all made in-house.
Wish they had more vegetarian options. When I visited, they had only fried rice, curds and poriyal during lunch. Evenings have more variety with Dosa, Sambar, Chutney and Kurma.