Bringing authentic street food from across the state, is the Street Food Festival at The Park
Think street food, and there’s a platter of options available in Chennai – from mango-spiced sundal on the beach to a plate of fluffy white barottas or even idlis and a side of salna-like gravy. Bringing all these flavours from the street to a restaurant setting is not easy, but Chef Raghavan, the kitchen executive at the restaurant seems to have pulled it off with ease. If you’re looking for some classics like a kuzhi paniyaram, a veechu parotta or naatu kozhi kalakki, you can find all this (and more) at Six O’ One’s ongoing Street Food Festival at The Park.
Streets to kitchen
We are welcomed with some crispies – vadams and appalams – that came with a side of prawn and mango pickle, the taste of which is bound to take you back to your hometown, eating from grandma’s kitchen. The Karandi Omelette with Kozhi Chukka, are bite-sized, fluffy omelettes stuffed with shredded and spiced chicken, served with a salna are delightfully tasty. For the vegetarians, there’s the Mylapore Palaharangal, a thali-like starter platter which has ragi adai, kuzhi paniyarams and raw mango sundal. The star of the starters is the Ilai Kozhukattai, rice cakes steamed in poovarasam leaves. The rice cakes stuffed with a chana-and-coconut mix may be bland on their own, but dipping it in a spoonful of the panakam reduction accompaniment elevates the dish to a whole new level.
From the mains, the Veechu Parotta with Kozhi Salna and Naatu Kozhi Kalakki is a light-meal with the crispy parotta adding just the right amount of crunch to the gooey kalakki. Vegetarians must sample the Paalkatti Chettinad and Podi Kal Dosai – melt-in-the-mouth paneer in a Chettinad gravy base which has a staggering 16-spice mix that the hand pounds, giving it a flavour unlike something you’ve never tasted. The Dubera Idli with Boti Kuzhambu is another classic from Madurai’s popular street food joints. While the idlis are steaming hot and fluffy, the boti kuzhambu (essentially, lamb intestine gravy) could take a little getting used to. Dessert is a simple affair, elaneer payasam, with plenty of chunky bits of tender coconut, served cold, ends our meal on a sweet note.
The Chennai Street Food Festival is on until February 10, at Six O’ One, The Park, for lunch and dinner. Meal for two: Rs 1,500; Details: 42676000
— Nandita Ravi