Should food festivals revolve only around continental cuisine……? No not necessary proved the recent food experience at Regenta Central Deccan’s Olives restaurant where Chef Arun and Kumbakonam Mrs. Prema Nambiraj ( Kumbakonam Prema mami) presented us with vegetarian nostalgic delights as a part of the Mylai Mami Samayal festival. The festival is on till May 6th – more details at the end of the review.
The immediate thought that came into our head was that of a relief that Chennai does celebrate its own cuisine with pomp and show. Very often, we face situations where people from outside Tamilnadu visit Chennai and request us to give them the option to have local food in home style. It was always a tough call and we end up hosting them in friends’ places. Regenta Deccan must be applauded for bringing in Mrs. Prema from Kumbakonam for this festival.
Authentic food is a different game altogether. So when it comes to scouting for one, it became a tougher search as we went from one restaurant to another, went through so many sites, reviews, people and yet the search was ongoing. Foreign foods in India undergo a change to suit Indian palates. Try the original and it is probably not the one you had here. Having been a lover of authentic Punjabi food ( the not so masala gravy type side dishes you get here) I was looking out for one to satiate my taste buds. After quite a search, found a small joint (has about 4 to 5 tables) but neatly maintained and run by Sardarjis. I have a great respect for them and their work ethics. This place called Pait Pooja is in Thuraipakkam (closer to OMR) on the 200 feet road connecting Pallavaram to OMR. Though my family had apprehensions for going all out to this place which was quite a drive from our residence, I was insistent that this might be the authentic Punjabi food experience we are looking for and we were not disappointed. This post is without pictures of food because they are not presentation conscious and serve the food in disposables. The look might pull the air off the interest to visit the place, nevertheless the food was class and lip smacking to the core.
Do you have amma, paati or anyone you know who can churn out lip smacking traditional dishes ?
Our star hotels are hiring homemakers to give our own dishes an authentic touch. Several hotels in the city have begun to realise that the best way to give their dishes ‘a mother’s touch’ is to, well, get her on the job. Chamundeshwari amma, Rathnam amma, Savithri maami – these are just some of the homemakers that star hotels across Tamil Nadu have hired in their south Indian specialty restaurants to give their dishes an authentic, ‘homemade touch’ .
Around four months ago, Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers in Chennai got Rathnam amma on board for their south Indian restaurant Dakshin. Rathnam, who until a few years ago, cooked for her extended family of 15 using firewood, now spends four hours a day at the hotel, whipping up filter coffee and evening snacks for the guests. She also makes two dishes a day for the menu. “Her coffee has become so famous that guests ask for Rathnam amma’s coffee ,” says chef Harish K. “It’s tough explaining to guests that Sundays are her days off and so they have to drink coffee made by one of us.”