Vegetarian Food Review of Maplai Restaurant, Neelangarai, Chennai
Maplai restaurant is quite popular for their virundhu (feast) and their curated selection of dishes from the Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka region centric cuisine. Right now, Maplai is celebrating Andhra Pradesh food festival during the month of July 2017. The Neelangarai unit is new but we could see a good footfall on the Friday we were there. We arrived early and was well received by Mr. Vinu Shankar, Marketing Manager of the establishment. It was interesting insight onto the process and the honesty in claiming their approach to being near to the authenticity of the dishes to the traditional way of making it. We arrived early and hence could not participate in the virundhu (feast) but did partake various items in the menu.
We opened our tasting session with Vadams and Chili Curry leaf mayo. Never knew the mayo could make such a good combination with the curry leaves. If you want to provide curry leaves to your kids to have it without complaints, you should try this out. 🙂
We had Nannari from the coolers collection and it was well prepared and had the right balance. We felt Panagam could do better with a bit more jaggery and we conveyed it to Mr. Vinu. He was so receptive to our suggestions.
In the starters list, we had Manavadu Bendakai (Ladies finger fry), Sticky potato fry and Kaigari Vepudu. The unique feel about the starters were the spices that stood out in each. Crispy, crunchy Okra was well balanced with mild crispy sticky potato and soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside Kaigari Vepudu. It was evident that every dish’s ingredients are carefully sourced and selected to make sure the dish nears authenticity as much as possible.
Next came Vazhaipoo Kola Urundai. It is certainly the specialty of Maplai in the vegetarian sector. This was the favorite of Chevalier Actor Sivaji Ganesan who would specifically visit this woman in Thanjavur for her exclusive preparation. Maplai team has brought in this lady to prepare this for their restaurant. Needless to say, tied in plantain thread, this kola urundai was traditionally made and is a Must TRY. How the plantain flowers hold out without disintegrating though there is no binder is certainly a wonder.
In the main course, we tried out Thalassery veg biryani. The ghee rice has a punchy thick gravy under the rice and is eaten along with it. The coconut milk in the gravy and the rice make it tasty and it is an experience to taste than talk about it. We had brinjal gravy, korma and raita as accompaniment but we never needed them.
In the dessert section, we had Qubani ka meetha (Apricot compote based sweet with custard, a Hyderabad specialty), Double ka Meetha (Fried bread soaked in masala milk), Ksheer Kuruma (Semiya kheer), Paan icecream ( Icecream with betel nuts and gulkhand) and Brownie sundae. We last tasted Qubani ka meetha in Hyderabad and was hunting for it. It was a pleasure tasting it here. Ice-cream, custard used as the part of desserts are made in-house.
Virundhu should be booked in advance for the minimum of 6 pax. The Virundhu menu at Maplai during this Andhra Pradesh festival comes with over 50 items with both veg and non-veg items.
Thanks to Mr. Vinu Shankar for his time in walking us through the menu and giving us an understanding on the centralized kitchen and the care they put in preparing this menu. Do try it out!
Maplai ECR restaurant is located at
Posted on July 20, 2017, in Food, Restaurants and tagged andhra food, food blogger, karnataka food, kerala food, maplai restaurant, restaurant review, review blogger, tamilnadu food, vegetarian food. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.