Address: 148/54, Kodambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai (Near Palmgrove)
Cuisine: Kerala, North Indian, Chinese
Overall Rating: 3/5
Zomato Handle: Divya Srinivasan
Indeed! Eating an Onam Sandhya meals has turned out to be a tradition for me. Though I plan for the same each year, I end up getting parcel and dining at home instead of dining at the resto. And this year, my birthday and Onam were the match made in heaven; and I took the oath of not entering the kitchen on that day. Kumarakom was one among the restaurants that didn't take up reservations and it was First Come First Serve. There were two Kumarakom resto's located at the high road that connects Nungambakkam and Kodambakkam. The one opposite to Hotel Palmgrove were packed enough so we entered the Kumarakom that's located next to Palmgrove. It shouldn't be hard to locate the restaurant; the parking was chaotic with all the crowd. With 15 minutes of wait, we were given out seats.
|Onam Sandhya - Kumarakom|
The only menu for the day was Onam Sandhya meals at Rs. 450 INR (excluding the taxes). It was a mad service; they were trained so well to do what wasn't meant to do while serving a customer. The beauty of eating in a banana leaf is the way the dishes are placed. The placement of each dish as a meaning and all the restaurants that shows-off traditional method of serving food should take up some classes about the same. Let me say the positives as that shouldn’t take long.
The food (Onam Sandhya Meals): It was a decent food and even good wouldn’t be the right word. I am no Keralite to know the authentic information about Onam Sandhya but I have a good knowledge about how the food tastes.
Here’s the dishes that were present at my leaf: Kerala Rice/White Rice, Pickles (Ginger, Mango, Gooseberry), Thoran (cabbage), Kootu curry (two varieties), Beans Poriyal, Avial, Pavakka Theeyal, Vellarika Pachadi, Raw Mango Pachadi, Pappad, Banana Chips, Sweet Banana Chips, Dal, Sambar, Pulissery, Rasam, Buttermilk, Milk Payasam, Paruppu Payasam and Banana.
Coming to taste: I definitely would prefer the kerala rice as they went well with all the sides and the white rice they served tasted bad (else maybe I haven’t tasted that type of white rice). The dal and sambar tasted divine with a sprinkle of ghee and pappad. I love pulissery but the taste of sour was overwhelming that I couldn’t eat more. The rasam, chips and pickles were good. Coming to the veggie sides (my favourite part of kerala cuisine), ended up being a disappointment. The beans poriyal and kootu curry were mediocre in taste and seemed to have made just to fill the plate. The avial, thoran, pachadi (vellarika and raw mango) were the best and tasted delicious. The pavakka theeyal was good but not my favourite pick. The payasams tasted Ok; could have been better. For the sake of name, they call it ‘Onam Sandhya’ but it was more like Tamil Nadu Meals.
Apart from some good things about food the rest of the experience ended up too bad. The ambience was chaotic and nothing to feel good about. The service was disastrous; one of the worst services I could have experienced. The crowd was over-whelming but that never should be pointed as the reason behind a bad service. Unbearable pain was the staffs, who weren’t good neither at English nor at Tamil at Chennai. With unlimited meals, there isn’t much to complaint about the quantity. Even with unlimited quantity the quality and service was a big let-down and stopped us from enjoying the food. And we were billed Rs. 1378 INR (including taxes) for the dispiriting food experience.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking (4/5): Biggest (only) Positive: The prominent locality and decent parking space would be a reason to grab people.
Ambience (3/5): Average: I couldn’t find anything unique to notice or remember about. They have chairs and tables to dine; could improve the maintenance.
Food Variety & Quantity (3/5): Let-down: With just unlimited Onam Sandhya being the menu, I really couldn’t comment here. But the variety in the meals are a big-big let-down.
Taste (3/5): Good: With few good tasting dishes I escaped the disaster. But I am not dropping here ever-again to taste any other dish.
Quality (3/5): Average: The food quality wasn’t impressive. I couldn’t taste the style of Kerala cuisine much in their dishes.
Pricing (2/5): Negative: Paying 450 INR for Tamil Nadu meals in the name of Onam Sandhya did make our hearts sunk. With almost 5-6 dishes never been served to us until we questioned them for less varieties on the leaf.
Service (1.5/5): Negative: I could even forgive bad food but not bad service. A 101 training on customer service must be the main agenda. And I am never looking back at them thinking about the horrendous service.
A bad service along with average food has made me take a vow, “Don’t go there again”. The experience was a big disappoint and Value for Money can never be brought into the picture. Respect for food and customer is important for any resto. People with memorable experience might visit back but I am not among them.
Name Can be Deceptive - Kumarakom Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 10:24 Rating: