What: Flavours of Lalgudi
Where: 64, CP Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet, Chennai
Cuisine: South Indian, North Indian, Chinese (only vegetarian)
For reservations & enquiries: +91 9094444446, +91 9094444444
The weakness I have for TamBrahm (tamil brahmin) food was solely the reason to grab my hardcore non-vegetarian husband to this restaurant. And the main culprit was vathakuzhambu satham (I wholeheartedly wish someone cooks this for me every single day). The restaurant name, menu and wall-arts didn't seem to make any connection; that's when the owner enters to say his love for malgudi days and he had to settle for lalgudi cause there is already one malgudi at Chennai.
So enough with the history, let's talk about food. I had been to the place twice, (1) where I paid for the food (2) on-the-house invite for tasting, so here I am summing up both my experiences. And during my first visit, I had my eyes fixated on the Business Lunch and Tandoor Platter.
The business lunch comes with Bisibelabath, Vathakuzhambu Satham, Thayir Satham, Poriyal, Appalam, Chappati and Paneer gravy. Though I appreciate them owning up to their mistake, the half-boiled rice consistency in both bisibelabath and curd rice didn't leave a pleasant first impression. I wasn't quite satisfied with the bisibelabath flavour, maybe a tad less on spice level would have been great. But my favourite vathakuzhambu rice tasted just right and I loved it. The beetroot poriyal, paneer gravy and chappati tasted alright. And they replaced the curd rice for us, which was perfect.
I loved every single thing on the tandoor platter except the price. The three different flavours of paneer tikkas that were delicious; followed by naan that was served with paneer masala which easily is one of their best gravy. The mild zest of mustard potato and gobi was palatable but the cauliflower needs a few more minutes on the grill. And the cheese-chilli stuffed mushroom turned to be a favourite.
We also ordered Lassi and Carrot Halwa (this was the only dessert they had). I would prefer a thicker version of lassi and the carrot halwa is an overload of sweet so it's hard to say no but too much koya made the halwa texture grainy which I wasn't fond of.
And those four items were billed to Rs. 825 INR (including tax), which definitely did pinch a little considering the mishap in rice, food quality and quantity.
Now coming to the second part of my experience, the on-the-house tasting meet where the food choice was left to the restaurant and we did explore quite a number of dishes. So we kick started with Rasam Vada, loved the rasam but would have been perfect if vada was softer and had completely absorbed the rasam flavour.
Fried Podi Idly is and was the best dish as well as my favourite find there. The crispy idlies with a dash of podi is a perfecto. Also the soft and melting consistency of paneer is a delight. The Archari Paneer Tikka can be spicier and the Pudina Paneer Tikka was yum.
As I have mentioned in my earlier paragraph, the Stuffed Mushroom was a delight. Stuffed with cheese and chillies and grilled perfectly, the succulent button mushrooms is a thumbs up. Next on the line was Stuffed Potato, could easily be a favourite dish but missed the mark. The cheese and paneer stuffing with a drizzle of mayo was tasty but the roasted potatoes weren't crispy. Even the pudina paste coated on the potato skin didn't make any difference in taste.
Cheese Pineapple in hot garlic sauce, the sauce is a killer. The flavour contrast does the magic; the heat from garlic sauce and sweetness from crispy fried pineapple blends well. It definitely was hard to spot the cheese and all you get is overdose of oil, but still that's one great and unique dish.
Moving on to the main course, the North Indian dishes didn't appeal me. Especially the gravies, Mirchi Paneer Dahi Gravy and Matka Paneer were a total failure in terms of taste. My recommendation would stick just to their South Indian. The spicy and crispy Urulai Kizhangu (potato) Roast was out-of-the-world and the best side-dish to go along with bisibelabath and curd rice. But the Vaazhaikai (raw banana) Roast wasn't great, I was able to sense the raw smell of the spices so the taste did not come across well.
|Curd Rice, Vathakuzhambu, Sambar, Raw Banana & Potato|
Food from many cuisines but they haven't mastered any is what I felt. But a cup of filter coffee at the end to make everything feel right.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: On the same side as Kirthilals on the CPR Road. Easy to spot and just enough parking space.
Ambience: Simple and neat.
Food Variety: Vegetarian friendly. Enough varieties to choose from.
Taste: A few boundaries and a few dot balls! It definitely can be better.
Quality & Quantity: Food quality did differ during my visits and they must focus on their food consistency. I liked how they present the food and quantity is ideal for sharing among two but it's less for the price they charge.
Service: Friendly but can definitely improve.
Price: A meal for two would cost Rs.850-1000 INR approx., definitely high.
So my Verdict!
Flavours of Lalgudi! The menu looks flavourful but it didn't meet up to the expectation I had in terms of taste. Some of their dishes were truly delicious so I wish they work on perfecting the flavours of all their dishes.
P.S. A cumulative write-up of my paid visit and on-the-house invite to the restaurant. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.
Malgudi or lalgudi, Taste is all that matters - Flavours of Lalgudi, Alwarpet, Chennai Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 17:27 Rating: