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    With art on theA� walls and a South Indian menu, Craft Cafe opens on Mount Road.

    AS I enter Craft Cafe on Mount Road, I cana��t help but notice the exquisite bronze and wooden sculptures adorning the passageway. I soon learn that the art and craft is from the adjoining Poompuhar showroom, while the place belongs to entrepreneur Mital Surendira who has converted a run-down 1,500 sq ft space into a quaint 45-seater art cafA�. The walls are lined with bamboo, as are the roofs, in addition to being covered with handmade mats that are used at Surendiraa��s packing and gifting solutions enterprise, Sanskrriti. The noise of the citya��s busiest road is drowned by a soothing Ilayaraja melody in the background. a�?I wanted to create a space where people can enjoy a laid-back nutritious meal,a�? says the mother of two, as she tells me about the cafea��s health guidelines. Less oil, fresh locally-sourced vegetables and palm sugar are the preferences in their South Indian menu. After trying a murungakkai soup,A� Surendira orders me her favourite, the Maharaja thali. I find myself looking down at a millet dosa, chapathi, kurma, a serving each of bisibela baath, curd rice and vegetable pulao, in addition to plain rice, sambhar, poriyal, appalam and a sweet. The bisibela baath is my favourite, of course helped by more than a dash of ghee. Then I try a masala vada that is tasty and surprisingly low on grease. The apple and pineapple bajji are also interesting options for those who like experimenting. A coffee junkie, I find their cuppa just right for washing down the heavy meal. a�?Every bite should remind you of your paatia��s cooking. I enjoy eating here for the same reason,a�? adds the 39-year old.A� She hopes to expand and set up another branch at Sanskrritia��s main outlet in Egmore soon.
    Rs 1,000 for two. Details: 30853504

    a��Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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