December—–a connoisseur’s delight

The music  season started with a bang with  Sabhas  hosting  kutcheris  of both big and small  artistes performing   to the delight of  music/dance lovers  of  Chennai. The  Sabha canteens too were buzzing with activity  trying to  compete with each other by offering  varied  fare to  appease   the taste buds  of  discriminating food  lovers. Added  to these are the food festivals  organized by hotels and restaurants  who have gone all out  to offer  the  best fare during the season.

Not  being  connoisseurs of art but of food we  found ourselves heading towards  the Parthasarathy Sabha canteen one evening. We were quite  flattered  at the welcome we had here –a person neatly dressed in a spotless white dhoti and shirt lead us to one of the tables and  wanted to know what we would like to eat. “Anything that is hot,” I said.

“Well,  bonda, bajji are moderately hot, neither too much or too little, but just right to eat. I can get you really hot dosa or adai, if you wish,” he said  and  he  brought  what we had ordered in a jiffy  and placed  the plates with a smile that appeared as inviting as the stuff before us.

When I found the coffee a little too strong to my taste, he immediately brought a small glass of  milk  for me to add.

Even as he was  collecting the payment, he  extended an invitation for lunch saying, “  why don’t you and Mami  come for lunch, I am sure you will enjoy the meal. Please  come  the day after since I will not be here tomorrow.”

We  chose to go there once again, though not for lunch but for the evening tiffin and what a disillusionment  it was ! The  cold  limp looking dosa served by a grumpy indifferent  server was enough to put us off. Where was the man with  the pleasing demeanor, I wondered.

In contrast  to this  was our   experience  at  the Narada Gana Sabha canteen  where a waiter not only  found a seat  for us amongst the milling crowd   that was  having a go at the sumptuous  fare  but  readily served what we had ordered  with a smile.

Intending  to give a fitting finale to the season( food season) ,we  chose a restaurant we normally frequented . We  noticed  there was not a soul there excepting for  the man  who took the order .A single menu card was placed before us which contained  various  kinds of biriyanis. Isn’t there anything else? I asked.

No madam, because it is the bitiyani festival, came the prompt reply.

Since it was too late in the evening  and an hour when the traffic was at its peek, we were left with little choice.

I wondered who  ever thought   a biriyani festival would  attract Chennai food lovers  wouldn’t have  expected the consequences  of his “brilliant” idea. More concerned was I about  the food that might be wasted.

Don’t worry, the staff will consume it, consoled my husband.  

 n.meera raghavendra rao 

One thought on “December—–a connoisseur’s delight

  1. The canteen at the Parthasarathy Sabha is again in full swing with ‘rasikas’ digging into the varied fare with aplomb.When I had a bite of the bonda which appeared overfried, I discovered it was undone inside and told the waiter the same. He promptly replaced it .I could appreciate his gesture but certainly not —-

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