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    Crowds cannot get enough of the latest virundhu offer  at Maplai

    They say when a maplai (son-in-law) comes home, he is served a mega feast. Something similar will transpire if you sign-up
    for the recently introduced Virundhu offer at Maplai. The Nungambakkam restaurant founded by Chef Koushik Shankar (aka Mad Chef) is offering a total of 50 items at a reasonable cost of `699, covering everything from welcome drinks to desserts and all else in between.

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    And if the response is anything to go by (the offer alone generated over 200 orders on New year’s eve), it seems Koushik has struck gold. “We observed that diners could only have select items from the a la carte menu. The Virundhu is an attempt to help them have almost everything under our roof at an economical cost,” says Koushik, who adds that they are expanding the brand Maplai into ECR and abroad, very soon.
    We start with three kinds of drinks—a lemon-ginger-pineapple flavoured sherbet, a mixed-fruit blend and rose milk—that set the right tone for things to come. We follow it up with starters like karukke murukke vendakkai (crispy fried okra) and an ancient recipe called the kola urundai
    that was a regular in the palatial kitchens of Thanjavur (vazhaithandu or meat rolled and held together by banana stem rope and fried). The latter, especially, was delicious.

    The veechu parotta and egg appam scored full marks for its simplicity, while in the end the Thalassery vegetarian biryani satisfied the Malayali in me. But if it’s pure bliss that you seek, we suggest you try the podi paniyarams. Reeking with ghee with just the right amount of crispiness, this staple is a must-try.
    As for desserts, variety is the key, with options like brownie with ice cream and mango cheesecake sharing space with regional sips like jigarthanda and lychee payasam. All in all, you will return home a satisfied Maplai customer.
    Details: 30853636

    —Karan Pillai

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