Our pick of everything to taste and nibble on at Old Mahabalipuram Road’s fast-growing culinary destination.
WITH over 58 food stalls ranging from established joints like Ajanabi, Kumbakonam Degree Coffee and Tibbs to OMR-exclusive outlets offering delicacies from kebabs to kappa biryani, the OMR Food Street at Navalur has, since its launch in August, become one of the most popular food stopovers along the highway. Here’s our pick of what you shouldn’t miss when you are in the vicinity.
At Navalur, 9 am to 11 pm (open through the week). Details: omrfoodstreet.com
Facing each other on the left wing of the food street are Jigar Rose and the Soda Hub. At the former, enjoy a cold serving of the special Madurai beverage in addition to a range of mocktails. Their flavoured mojitos and Ultimate Bloody Mary are must-haves. Rs 60 onwards. Details: 9677198191. Meanwhile, Soda Hub has a range of fruit-based varieties, with their masala and litchee options being the most popular. Rs 10 onwards.
Revisiting the Malabar
Bringing flavours from Kerala’s hillsides, Malabar Camboose is sure to strike a chord with those who love the coconut-rich options of this cuisine. Treat yourself to some delicious kappa and beef fry, fish curry and soft Malabar parotas. Their semi-gravy Camboose chicken, complete with a strong coconut oil aroma, is bound to take you back to your tharavad. Also try their tea and pazhampori (banana bajji) while you’re at it . Rs 10 onwards. Details: 8939033309
For someone who enjoys a good plate of parathas with ghee and dahi any time of the day, Rasa Parathas comes closest to heaven. While the regular aloo and methi parathas are done to perfection, complete with thick fillings, don’t miss their capsicum and chanachur varieties. Pair it with a refreshing glass of lassi. Rs 40 onwards. Details: 9789895990
The Ajanabi outlet here is hard to miss, flanking the entrance with a familiar aroma of ghee. Their rasamalai and savoury items have loyalists across the city. Kumbakonam filter coffee has carved a space for itself with multiple outlets in the city and is a great way to start your walk through the area. If you’re more of an ice cream person, head to Milkyway to enjoy your favourite flavours.
The overwhelming taste and smell of mustard and serious dinner table political arguments mark Petuk, the Bengali restaurant. Its Kottivakam branch is quite popular among Bengalis and locals alike and the newly opened branch at OMR is drawing the crowds in large numbers. We pick the flavourful mutton kasha with its soft tender meat and spicy gravy, the traditional aloo poshto and fish cutlets, enjoyed best with a serving of steamed rice. Rs 50 onwards. Details: 9789826262
Starbucks isn’t the only place that personalises food orders with customer names. Hop over to Mexicana Food for customised sandwiches and tacos with your names on them. Gimmicks aside, the shrimp quesadilla, their range of burritos teamed with a refreshing glass of virjin mojito, makes for quite a meal. If you have an appetite for it all, be sure to try out their generously portioned meal combos. Rs 60 onwards. Details: 8056078370
If you’re not in the mood to head to the coast for your fish, head to Fish ’O Fish for fresh seafood, from crabs and pomfrets to sharks and squids. Prices seasonal. For everything else, the Xpress Market is the place to go. Details: omrfoodstreet.com
Calories are not the only things available at the OMR Food Street. If you’re a fitness freak, Flyerz Fitness Studio located in the premises offers Salsa, Zumba, Yoga, MMA and more. Rs 2000 onwards. Details: 9840084146
After the success of their Thoraipakkam and Navalur spaces, the Food Street will open new branches on East Coast Road and Guduvanchery, among other places, come 2017.
Text: Lavanya Lakshminarayanan