From kebabs cooked inside a container to a dinner under a thatched roof, our pick of all things new along the SH 49.
WHEN you’re talking about an 800-kilometre stretch along the country’s south- eastern shoreline—chock-full of amusement parks, wildlife conservatories, ancient ruins and the choicest adventure sports—food is a given. Earlier limited to the many beach resorts along the highway, travellers today have a variety of options ranging from nasi goreng at New Town and burgers at Double Roti, to dum biryani at Taj-Fisherman’s Cove. Even celebrities are trying their luck in hospitality here (think God-Ka by Simran). So if you’re planning to head out to Mahabalipuram or Pondicherry this weekend, take your pick from our list of the newest eateries on the coastal culinary scene. Read on.
Highway 49: kebabs
When he’s not working behind the camera as cinematographer MS Prabhu’s first assistant, Ganesh Raj serves delicious kebabs, rolls and beverages at his container-kiosk, Rollin’ on Highway 49, in Injambakkam. “I am a kebab lover, so I wanted the varieties to move out of niche restaurants and become available in the streets for an easier price,” adds the 29-year-old. The kiosk also has chef Mohammed Naimudeen, who has worked at the Taj Maldives and Radisson, among other places. The galouti kebab with its soft spicy meat, paired with mint chutney, is going to have you reaching for another plate. Their cheese chilly seekh- bajji molaga stuffed with mutton is bound to make you sweat, but nothing a glass of refreshing chilled Punjabi lassi can’t fix. Rs 95 onwards. Details: 9884977495
Chakraa: Big meals
Launched this March, Chakraa predominantly serves South Indian cuisine, along with other dishes. Already drawing in the crowds, the restaurant is going to introduce a special three-course meal for couples and families. Rs 700 for two. Details: 24491922
After largely catering to OMR’s IT crowd over the last nine years, Student’s Burger’s new outlet in Neelankarai offers pasta and burger options to those driving along the East Coast. Sample some delicious meat in their Jungle Burger, complete with a thick chicken patty, mayonnaise, vegetables and an omelette topped with barbeque sauce.
Rs 120. Details: 30257969
peri peri shawarma
Instant noodle baron Maggi isn’t the only one smitten by the peri peri bug. The spicy variant is a delicious addition to the shawarma kiosk, La Shawarma’s popular menu at Thiruvanmiyur. Another newcomer to the spread is the Hummus Shawarma, but we pick the former. Rs 200. Details: 42618888
Mascarpone: pastas and grilled fish
Armed with 14 years of experience in hotels like The Leela Palace and The Park in Bengaluru (as kitchen-in-charge), and as sous chef in Kipling Cafe, C Manigandan is well-equipped to launch his debut restaurant, Mascarpone. Serving an Italian menu, the three-month-old eatery is becoming popular for its handmade pastas (fettuccine and ravioli), thin-crust pizzas, risottos and more. Their desserts—think tiramisu—are a hit, too. The 65-seater has already got good reviews on Zomato, with patrons complimenting their Bolognese carbonara, Lombardy chicken pizza and more. “I am currently preparing an updated menu with new dishes like grilled salmon, tortellini pasta, and others,” Manigandan says. What’s more, the quaint ambiance will soon be complemented by an air-conditioned space, to be opened in around 20 days. Meal for two from Rs 1,200 onwards. Details: 30853604
Radisson Blu Temple Bay: offers
This weekend at Radisson, enjoy a range of French pastries, served alongside a multi-cuisine buffet. Enjoy crème brulee, profiterole (cream puffs), French macarons and more. At Rs 1,750 plus taxes. Coming up next weekend—a special dosa promotion. Details: 27443636
Thoondil:live sea food
A love for fishing and natural spaces drove M Raja, a former IT professional, to venture into hospitality with Thoondil, his 100-seater multicuisine restaurant. “I enjoy going out to sea and fishing. I find it hard to find places that retain the freshness of their fish and hence decided to offer people an option to pick their own, live,” says the 32-year-old. Located at Akkarai, the quaint four-month-old space, with thatched huts and lush greenery, is perfect for a lazy lunch or a private dinner. We are surprised by the tender meat of the tandoori tiger prawns and the flavourful aftertaste of their chilly crab fry. Don’t miss their sea bass and squid varieties and visits from Rocky and Blacky, their in-house labradors. Meal for two from Rs 800 onwards. Details: 9750333303
Titoas Resto Bar: new menu
Titoas Resto Bar may be an oldie, but guests were happy to welcome its revamped look three months back. One of the few places to offer shisha on ECR, the place is also known for it’s ambience. It’s coming up with a revamped menu in a month or so. Price from Rs 1,500 for two. Beer from Rs 300. Details: 33011508
Text: Lavanya Lakshminarayanan & Karan Pillai