30-year-old chain from Kovai, Rayappas, brings its brand of Chettinad to Chennai
In 30 years, Yoogamoorthy (popularly known as Rayappas Babu) has not found the need to take his Coimbatore-based Chettinad restaurant, Rayappas, outside the city. But now, after a lot of compulsion from a friend, K Kishore, Babu finally agreed to open the sixth branch of his restaurant (started by his father in 1984) in Chennai. “Our food is unique. You could call it ‘gramam samayal’,” smiles a confident Babu, whose restaurant in T Nagar has been running at full capacity since its launch, two weeks ago. Refusing to elaborate further, Babu insists that he will let his food do the talking. And after tasting what he had to offer, here’s our pick of Chettinad staples with Rayappas’ unusual touch:
■ Kongu Parota (Rs. 30): You will find no fancy descriptions on their menu. But the parota here is like a flaky bun. The soft South Indian flat bread is a detour from the almost rubbery versions elsewhere.
■ Rayappas Egg Dosa (Rs. 50): If you’re expecting a crispy dosa with egg smeared on the inside, you’re in for a surprise. At Rayappas, the egg is beaten in with the flour to give you a fluffy pancake-like dosa.
■ Karandi Omelette (Rs. 40): Available at a handful of restaurants and popular in the Southern recesses of Tamil Nadu, the karandi omelette is a must try. Cooked to a delicate crisp on the outside, it remains moist and pliant within. In Coimbatore, the omelette is made with coconut oil, we’re told.
You will also find that the gravies here are not masala-laden, but light and bursting with flavours typical of South Indian homes. They also offer an unusual chicken starter, designed for palates craving all six flavours. Details: 43564343
— Ryan Peppin