Karpagambal Mess, Mylapore

 So, after much hype and a zillion friends, well, i exaagerate, it was just a handful of friends and a brother in law raving about the place, i finallly managed to visit the infamous Karpagambal Mess in Mylapore one sunday morning.

My uncles were visiting from Delhi and USA, and on a Sunday we decided to rise early, head for some fun in the beach and then maybe do breakfast somewhere before returning home.  We were all promptly up at 5.30am, including a tiny tot, and managed to get our cousin out of the bed as well.. 🙂 We had such a blast at the Marina Beach, and all that walking and running had built quite the appetite.

After a brief debate on where to head for breakfast, one of my uncles suggested Karpagambal Mess in Mylapore. It is adj to the Kapaleeshwarar temple, and is a fairly small place that you just might miss, if you dint know of its existence.

 

The minute you walk in, the heady aromas of sambar, chutney along with halwas and the agarbathi hits you like a storm. The man behind the counter looked like he was trapped behind the little box. Surrounding him were a zillion kinds of Halwa, sweets and savories… There was a shelf near the entrance that was brimming with podis and vadams.. The place is fairly small, and apparently after the renovation, they have included an air conditioned hall, well, its more of a cubicle, you either walk in or walk out, there is no space to amble, leave alone stand… 
We parked ourselves across 2 tables, and placed the orders. I had the pongal and Keerai vadai.. Both came steaming hot, landing plonk on the banana leaf. 
There was another vessel parked on our table- it had 3 containers in it, different kinds of chutneys and then we found a bucket with sambar.. There was also a stainless steel jug filled with water on each table.
 The food was good, hot and yummy… There are no frills or fancies here, what you see is what you get!  The walls inside the AC room and outside are covered with framed images of Gods and Goddesses, literally spanning the entire length of the place…

By the time we were done with our 1st orders, the waiter was back asking if we wanted anything else. Some ordered Poori- potato, while others [including me] ordered coffee..  The poori looked a little crisp and flat, and the potato was alright… 

The coffee was good, just right amount of sugar and strength..

 
We packed some for those at home and returned home happy and content…  When visiting Karpagambal Mess, 
dont expect a lengthy menu, smart waiters or spacious interiors.. You will none of these here…  
 
Walk in… Enjoy what you ordered.. pay your bill and get out!! Everything about the place screams Madras… 
The banana leaf, the hot filter kaapi, authentic interiors and the aroma wafting in the air…  
 
Service: 7/10
Ambiance- 7/10 [cant expect anything more from here]
Food quality- 9/10
Price- 9/10 [And a meal for 2 will likely cost between Rs40 – 70!!]
 

Address:

Shri Karpagambal Mess
E Mada St, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004

044 24642902
 Psst- unfortunately dint have my camera, only the Blackberry….  Took the coffee shot on uncle’s HTC Sensation.. 🙂

Fusion 9

Getting invited to Dine out midweek at a new swanky restaurant is
definitely one way to perk up the week. I was headed to Fusion 9 in 2nd
floor in Tulip Aruna Hotel, looking forward to meeting other bloggers
and foodies.

The lunch started at 1.30 and went on till 4.15 or so, there was plenty
of conversation, interesting discussions, and ofcourse good food.

 The main seating area

 The candle stand on the table
 
 Herbed bread

 Veg Dimsum
 Almond & Basil soup

 Bang Bang Mushrooms
 Veg Sushi served with pickled ginger, Wasabi and soya sauce

We were seated in a smart private room, and were given free reign to
order whatever we wanted. We all decided against the Buffet and went A
la carte. The last time i was here with a friend, we ordered some dishes
from the menu and they were quite good.. The portions i discovered were
quite large, which made the price they charged seem worthy!

Anyways, today, we were a near even split between Vegetarians and Non
vegetarians… We opened with a soup- Almond and basil soup, that was
served with a interesting flavoured bread stick in the soup. The soup
tasted good, but was quite thick and not very hot, not really my kinda
soup… We were then served a plate of Veg and Non veg dimsums…

These were quite nice, the veg dimsum had onions, garlic, ginger and few
finely chopped vegetables in it.  Within minutes they were devoured and
we were all set to order few more starters. In the veg category, we
sampled Bang Bang Mushrooms, Chilli Paneer Sticks and Veg sushi, oh not
to forget the Mezze platter.

The mezze platter had pita bread… hummus… curd mix…. small steamed
samosa like things with spinach stuffing.. and then ofcourse there was
the infamous Baba ghanoush…

After an hour or so, as the conversations flowed, so did the main courses we had ordered…..

 Potato Gnocchi
 Arabian Platter [Shish taouk ,kafta kabab, Samak Meghoui(fish), Grevettes Malaki(mutton)]
Info source: Chennai Food guide on Facebook]

 Parmesan Risotto
Swiss Roasti Potatoes
[Info source: Raghu on Facebook]

I quite enjoyed my Parmesan Risotto, it was quite rich and filled with flavours.. The potato gnocchi was ok, the sauce was a little runny and the gnocchi felt a little heavy… The other potato dish was yummy, especially the way the vegetables served along with it had been cooked, so light and yet a burst of flavours when they hit the mouth…

I did sneak in a few fries from Ali’s plate and sampled Rocket leaves from Doc’s prawn dish… It was the 1st time i was seeing and tasting Rocket leaves, and must say they have a wierd taste… 🙂

For dessert, we each ordered something different, though Shalini and I ended up ordering the Apple Tart, which was good, but i dint like it enough to wipe the plate clean.. I prefer my apple pie and tarts hot , and so this tart was served cold and kinda limp…. The Brownie was divine, and so was the Caramel Custard… Dint try the Tiramisu, though the look on Ali’s face said it all 🙂

 Creme Caramel… aka Caramel Pudding
 Apple Tart
 Brownie with Ice cream
There was one other dessert on the menu, which i had sampled during my earlier visit. it was the German Chocolate Cake, and must say it was quite divine… but a tad sweeter than what i like… was deliciously sinful… 🙂
German Chocolate Cake

Oh, i nearly forgot.. Towards the end of the lunch, we all ordered a
glass of Lemon Iced tea- which was alright…  it was less tea, and more
lemon juice..

So, the Lunch was fairly good… Food was delicious, and i felt this was a restaurant was true to its “World cuisine/multi cuisine” title, especially in Chennai…. Though its a tad expensive when compared to other restaurants, the food portions as i mentioned are large and so it works out well at the end..

The main seating area is well lit and quite spacious. There is a bar island in the center of the area, and a buffet lunch daily.

Make a reservation before landing there, especially over the weekend, have heard the place gets quite full.. The seating options are sofa and normal table chair style with plenty of natural light floating in…

Food 8/10
Iced tea 7/10
Ambiance 9/10
Service – The 1st time i was here, the service was very good- 8/10, and 2nd time was for a review, so i shall not rate the service!

Fusion 9
Tulip Aruna Hotel
Sterling Rd, Nungambakkam
Chennai, Tamil Nadu

044 42664299

Pastas

The last weekend when i was away and travelling, i ate Pasta atleast once a day, not because i love it that much, but because it was the only item on the menu apart from the boring Rice and Roti…. 🙂

Back home too, i enjoy cooking Pasta- everytime i try to bring home a different kind of pasta, experiment with different sauces/pesto and recipes [ all of which are created by yours truly] and dish it out.. I can proudly say that till date it has not disappointed me.. Am happy about my taste palate… 🙂

Even though pastas originated in Italy, it has become quite common here in India too… And a good alternative to rotis, rice, pizza and sandwiches… 


Some of the different kinds of Pastas are- 
 
Farfelle– Bow Pasta, which is my alltime favourite- cos they look so cute 🙂
 
Fettucine, long flat noodle kind of pasta.. i like these, but grandparents find them difficult to eat, so they are the last resort
Fussili– twirly pasta… Love these as well..
 
Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta, ideal for pasta made with sauce
Conchiglie, these resemble little shells and come in 2 sizes, small and big…
Penne, the traditional small pipe shaped pasta… Most commonly found and used… These come in single colour and Tricolour as well..
Fusili pasta made with Wheat flour.. These take a bit longer than the maida ones to cook, but are healthier… 

 
Lasagna, pasta in the form of sheets that is used by layering the sheets between vegetables, topped with chees e and baked in the oven.. I havent made this, but have had it in restaurants..
I have seen a few more varieties on the net and heard from Friends who live abroad, but not seen them as part of the menu .. 
Which is your favorite????