Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Idly & Dosai

These days, the conversations surrounding ‘Idly & Dosai’ goes like this.

Me: “Hey, I went to Idly & Dosai”

Friend: “Oh, where did you eat”

Me: “I went 'to'  Idly & Dosai”

Friend: “Oh! You mean that’s the name of the place?”

Me: “Yes”

Friend: Yada yada (tell me more)

I chanced upon this joint a while back after the evening show of SDM. “Ah, another wanna be restaurant”. I assumed they were one of those guys charging INR 45 for a plate of idly’s. Post this I heard some great reviews about the place and chanced upon it while catching up with Pinky.  

How wrong I was.

Idly & Dosai is a great combination of semi-fine dining with the finger licking experience one wants to associate himself while relishing Rava Dosai and a tumbler of Sambar.

The designers have done a great job with this place. The Satyam multiplex never ceases to surprise and this place has done a nice job of holding on to the tradition.  The place is brightly lit and instantly cooks up a bright mood. The concierge’s do a good job of a warm welcome and seating you, help fully adding, “Sir, these are revolving chairs”. Once they usher you in, they leave you for a minute to catch your breath and soak in the place. The place is done up in a classic Black & White and all the specs compliment one another. The cutlery is contemporary stainless steel. Don’t miss the pictures of the idly’s in the wall depicting the different versions of the moon. Very neat.

They quickly fill up our glasses and stand by for the order. Wait a minute, where are the menu cards?

“Oh, here they are sir”. He flips out a paper book mark from his pocket and hands them over. Now, this is real neat. Their menu does not scream a plethora of options. The multiplex does, so I think they let saved the customers the angst of choosing what to go for.

The menu is a neat selection of Idly, Dosai, Pongal, Vadai and Aapam. That pretty much sums up the universe of South Indian Tiffin. And just behind the menu is the ‘selection side’ where you’re orders are ticked against. Now, I don’t know if this was some brilliant idea of their auditor (Kitchen Order Tickets are an important source of internal control in restaurants, remember?) or was a hand of a seasoned hotelier. Either ways, it was a neat mechanism of both the guests and the management keeping track of the flow of orders. And they tuck it neatly on the small menu holder in the table. 

So, we pretty much covered the entire menu. The kitchen is like a central open pit that epitomizes class as well as functionality. While you go ahead with your conversations you can hear the splash on the tava and you mentally tick off seconds before your orders arrive. For pongal of course, it’s the batch production system. They have it up and running for you in like 20 seconds. Dosai’s are regulation good. For the Appam with coconut milk they did what all big restaurants do. That is, over whelm you with cutlery. You have one plate with the appam, one glass jar with the milk and then another jar of sugar cubes and a tray with the spoons.

They also seemed to employ the ‘push marketing’ tactic very nicely. We had a dude hovering around with a bowl of Medu Vadas. His body language said it was complementary. But of course, you know what it was. Anyway, it could have been a tad crispier. The staff got a bit too friendly. One of them quipped “Okay.. you guys decide and then call me” Hello?!

Anyways, this is another fantastic grub+movie option and you need to worry no more if you want to tuck into a dosa before wanting to eat out of the movie studios. Good food, great ambience and good value for money.