Fill up on erongba and more at a new North Eastern address in Egmore
The city is replete with restaurants offering East Asian and Oriental cuisines — from Thai and Malaysian to the ever popular Chinese. Every fast food outfit offers something Manchurian or Szechuan, but delicacies from the North Eastern recesses of our own country are barely spoken of, save for the hole in the wall Naga Regu and Kailash Kitchen in Choolaimedu. So we made haste when we heard about North East Kitchen in Egmore. Located on Ethiraj Salai, with capacity to seat just about 20 at a time, North East Kitchen is owned by Ramayon Keishing, a Manipuri who settled in the city back in 1996. After serving as the catering manager at Hyundai for 10 years, Keishing now hopes to share his cuisine with the rest of Chennai.
Their menu, that also has a small section of Korean specials, is concise, with Keishing promising to expand based on demand. For now, you get to choose between a chicken, pork, beef or fish meal, featuring dishes like chicken sticky gravy, pork with bamboo shoot, dry beef with mixed vegetables and fish gravy. Each is served with rice, side dishes and soup of the day. If you’re adventurous, they offer chicken stomach, beef spleen and liver, alongside starters like fried fish and momos. I treat myself to a pan-fried mackerel (`100) that’s done to crisp on the outside, and pairs well with the rice and spicy beef with vegetables. A good deal for `180 we’ll say, especially given the sides like bei (boiled spinach seasoned in sesame oil), erongba (a salty mash of banana stem, potato and fermented fish), raw kimchi and slices of boiled chow chow. Keishing has definitely convinced us to come back to try the Korean jeyuk bokkeum (pork stir fry). Meals from `160 onwards. Details: 9003542066
— Ryan Peppin