Address: 14, Sterling Avenue, Nungambakkam, Chennai.
Phone: 044 30853636
Phone: 044 30853636
Cuisine: South Indian
Overall Rating: 4/5
Zomato Handle: Divya Srinivasan
Never Miss: Thalis, Paneer Ka Thakali, Vazhapoo / Mutton Kola, Biriyani, Puttu - Kadala Curry.
Grabbing a location at the heart-throb of city “Nung(y)ambakkam” sterling avenue (near loyola college) scores in favour of them. This ain’t my first visit to Maplai (My previous venture), so I did know what to expect in terms of ambience, food or service. But I did hope to venture into more dishes knowing the chef invited us in for some tasting. And Chef Kaushik didn’t disappoint when it came to filling our tummies. The ambience is good (isn't really a place with unique interiors) but I did notice they have revamped the setup cutting down huge reception area and more space for dine-in; that being one negative I mentioned during my first visit and I felt good seeing the changes.!
Let me get into food. They are launching the most exciting unlimited set/combo menu with never-ending array of dishes priced at Rs.599 INR for vegetarian and Rs.799 INR for non-vegetarian. Check out the temporarily menu picture. Being invited by Maplai restaurant, I really don’t get the luxury to comment about service and price.
Beverages - Green Apple Mojito & Gingerberry Margarita: Both the drinks would be refreshing for a sunny evening. I am a fan of the latter (margarita), the taste blend of berries and ginger were perfect accomplishment for the spicy south-indian food delicacies. The green apple mojito was never less, tasted good.
Soup - Nellai “Mani’s trone”: With the minestrone made by their Chef Mani gaining the name Mani’stone. Not a huge fan of soups in common but liked few spoons of their creamy nellai soup. The portion size seemed huge as we didn’t go for 1/n parts. The non-vegetarians enjoyed the “Naatu Kozhi Egg Drop Soup” which was indeed a bliss for any chicken lover.
The Starters Show:
|Kair Katti Kola & Paneer Ka Thakali|
Vazhapoo Kola Urandai - The veg version of Maplai’s famous “Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola” (mutton dish). Indeed need a lot of commitment towards food to slowly cutt-off the strings and gulp the kola’s. The taste was yum; was reminded of the vazhapoo vadai my mom makes. And good counter part so vegetarians did not miss the fun.
Paneer Ka Thakali - My favorite pick of the day! The sweetness of the tomato, right amount of spies, roastiness of garlic and curry leaves - Easily the Dish of the Day. The paneer blended with the thakali masala is a treat for paneer-lover. Hoping to try them at my kitchen!! :-P
Crispy Gundur Corn - The corn fries have become common at most of the restaurants so ‘what new’ I did ask. And there hit the different usage of masala. Each mouthful of corn made you want more; they hit your varied taste senses - sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Crispy and yummy.
Kalan 2015 - Not a fan of mushroom but I guess they do have the 2015 version of some more veggies. With the healthy intention to achieve fame as Chicken 65 did, after few decades I wish people remember Maplai’s Kalan 2015. I do think the mushroom lovers would like them.
Karukke Muruke Vendakkai - I say the best way to eat Ladies Finger / okra. The marination used for okra fry and the crispness makes you addictive. It didn’t take much time to wipe-off the plate.
Cheppankizangu (Colacasio) Roast - This is the most common dish at any south-indian house for Sambar or Rasam rice. This wasn’t new to me until I tasted difference in the spices used on cheppankizangu. The sticky texture was never to be found. Tastes good. If you are new to colacasio roast then would enjoy them along with the mayo side.
In the Non-vegetarian Starters: They offer Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola, Maplai Mutton Chukka, Nethili Fry, Cheesy Lollipop, Kozhi Kaal Nei Roast. With my fellow foodies comments, majority of them enjoyed Kair Katti Gola and Kozhi Kaal Nei Roast.
|Chicken Roast, Mutton Chukka, Nethili|
|Fiery Chicken, Rose Milk & Fiery Paneer|
It didn’t Stop there: Main Course - Gravy, Rice and Breads
The BREAD varieties, Parotta, Idiappam, Dosai and Puttu, the offer sumptuous amount. With that size of an parotta I wouldn’t dream about second rounds. My personal favorite was Puttu with Kadala Curry, the divine taste did some magic for me. I couldn’t get past them. A must try if you love the combination.
The GRAVY varieties:
Veg - Mushroom Chettinad, Mangalore Mixed Veg Curry and Maplai Paneer Butter Masala. My favorite was paneer masala obviously and they go well with the ghee rice. The mangalore veg curry was good, I loved the flavor of spices and garlic coconut paste (I suppose that’s what they used). Not a mushroom fan so no commenting.
Non-veg - Varutharichche Kozhi and Nadan Mutton Curry. Both the gravies tasted good; didn’t taste the meat but this serves to be the best pair for breads.
The RICE varieties, Briyani (Mushroom, Chicken, Mutton), Ghee Rice and Curd Rice, seems like never-ending when we reach that course of the meal. We settled for ghee rice and curd rice. The ghee rice with toasted cashews and caramelized onions was finger-licking with the paneer subji. They serve some good briyani and I know that eating their lunch briyani combos; so do not miss them if you could eat. Curd Rice isn’t something new but definitely necessary to end an happy meal.
They have an unimaginable array of desserts, check out the menu picture. I didn’t get the chance to taste them; hope to eat sometime soon. But the people’s favorite were Brownie and Falooda.
The taste, quality and food quantity was indeed a perfect match to the pricing they have decided for the set menu / combo. The service was on the slow pace during both my visits; but that shouldn’t worry you if you're with good company. I love it the rustic-way when you serve the South Indian food; so wasn’t worried with the presentation.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking (4.5/5): Biggest Positive. What more could they ask. Prime location in town with good parking. It grabs the people for sure.
Ambience (3.5/5): Good. As said, they are all about food. So ambience really doesn’t come much into the picture. A decent dining ambience.
Food Variety (4.5/5): Positive. There is quite a lot of options to choose from in case of A La Carte. And these combos have heavenly food choice that they cook best. And impressed with the veg options in a place during the recent past.
Taste (4/5): Positively Yummilicious. They do serve some delicious food. Though everything won’t suit our palate I liked the Starters and Briyani the most.
Quality (4/5): Positive. The food quality is good, both the presentation and taste.
Quantity, Pricing & Service (4/5): And more Positives. To get that much food for Rs.599 (veg) and Rs.799 INR (non-veg) is definitely a good deal when you eat heaps. The quantity is sumptuous. Service, they are slow, but they are welcoming to criticism.
Maplai, a savour south-indian with some magical twist in every food bite. At first, it might be their location and name that grabs you into the restaurant. And then it is the food and the taste which makes the experience memorable. Appreciate the effort to serve South Indian food with fusion to make the food experience enjoyable by more food lovers. Service on the downfall but they hit the score in all other areas!! Dei Mapla Sapiduvoma!!
Let's Eat da Mapla - Maplai, Savour South Indian Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 11:55 Rating: