It was hot, we had been on the road for an hour + [Chennai to Mahabalipuram with an hour & half at Dakshin Chitra]. It was nearly 2.45 pm and we were out looking for a place that would serve us LUNCH. Yes, we were hunting cos most places had shut for lunch and offered snacks or tiffin.
Some context as to why we were in this situation…
P & I had decided to drop off my uncle & aunt at Chariot Resort, Mahabalipuram where they would be spending a day before joining us onwards to Pondicherry. We spent some time at Dakshin Chitra, walked around, got Mehndi done etc etc and by the time we reached the resort and completed their check-in formalities, it was already 2.30 pm. Aunt wanted to go grab lunch somewhere in town and not at the resort, she wanted to experience the local style of eating. So, back on the road looking for open hotels. We did find a few, but not many were open.. Spotted Hotel Mamalla and drove in and enquired with the security about their restaurant.
His response stumped us.
He: We have a veg and a non-veg restaurant
Me: ok, where is it?
He: The veg one is here [ pointing near the main building] and the non-veg there [ on the other side of the wall]
Me: Umm.. we are 4 of us, 2 veg and 2 non-veg, so you want us to go to separate places?
He: Sheepish smile.
Me: ok thanks. (rolling eyes, we all chuckled at this setting)
We drove out, did circles and came to a consensus to all do Veg for lunch and came back to Mamalla. Parked the car and got into the restaurant only to be told they had just coffee, tea, bhajji, pakoda cos it was tiffin time..
Slightly peeved and hangry [yes, cranky, hungry, tired, hot, sweaty, all rolled in one], we then asked where we would get lunch. The staff was sweet enough to say he will reserve 4 meals for us at Mamalla Bhavan which was around the corner.
Back in the car, we drove down the road, towards the bus stand and parked in front of the hotel and made our way inside.
An hour later, four happy satisfied faces walked out grateful to the guy who’d managed to reserve food. The meal was delicious and hot. My aunt was thrilled to eat on the banana leaf, and devoured the dishes… Well, we all did for that matter…
There was rice, a whole range of sides, sambar, rasam, buttermilk, koottu, appalam and when we enquired about sweets/dessert, we were told it comes with roti in the special meals and so we switched 2 of the meals to that and got the milk sweet. [only downside was my aunt couldn’t eat the sweet as she is lactose intolerant]
It was one of the most satisfying meals in recent times. Subsequent to lunch, my uncle & aunt decided to explore the place and walk back, while we headed back towards Chennai.
The meal was priced at Rs100-110 per pax
Psst – they also have rooms, am told they are a budget accommodation property but decent~
Hotel Mamalla Bhavan ( Pure Vegetarian Restaurant )
S Mada St, near Sthala Sayan Perumal Temple,
Tamil Nadu 603104