Sunday, June 14, 2015

Malgudi Restaurant at Savera Hotel, RK Salai

Malgudi is one restaurant that I have been following close to 10 years now. First time I visited it was in Hyderbad, in 2005. In Begumpet area they had an outlet in lifestyle mall. I used to go there once a while for eating Bisibele bath. Served with hot chips, it was a taste I recon. Rs 89+ taxes, it used to cost close to Rs 100 back then. Whenever I go to Hyderabad next time, going there again will be on top of my list.

During my early days in Chennai, I was staying in  Savera hotel for 2 weeks till I could find a place to stay. I was happy to spot the Malgudi restaurant in the basement of Savera hotel. This post is a review of Malgudi South Indian restaurant located on RK Salai, Mylapore

Malgudi is a fictitious village,on which R K Narayan wrote the ever popular novel, Malgudi Days. The restaurant gets its name inspired from the same. Malgudi serves both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian food, broadly categorized under four themes- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh (they haven't added Telangana yet).

Malgudi has a traditional entrance. Usually an artist like fortune teller, magician etc could be found near the entrance. There're a few live counters for sweet paniyaram etc.

Seating are fine- you may either sit in the open spacious area or go into slightly more private area. If you are entering during opening time of say 7.30PM for dinner, reservations may not be necessary, but if you're going by 8.30PM, better to call and book.

We went there again yesterday after a gap of several years. While the core principles remained unchanged, the increase in price was very apparent. Bisibele Huli anna now costs Rs 350+ taxes, taking it to Rs 410 overall (20% tax in total). In 2005 it was costing around Rs 140 or so all inclusive.  When I had gone last time sometime in 2009, bill came to around Rs 290 overall. The taste is decent, but no match to one in Hyderabad. When I had asked the staff, they claimed same ingredients and process is followed all over, but something somewhere was missing. Also instead of serving potato chips which go very well with Bisibele bath, they gave plain appalam, a wrong choice.

We also ordered a biryani and a starter. Biriyani was fine, but the raitha had no soul in it. It contained roughly cut onions dumped on thin curd. For Rs 350 a bowl, a raitha with thicker curd and better cut onions/other vegetables could have been provided.

On the walls there're many artwork inspired from Malgudi days, which are worth taking a closer look while you wait for your food.

All the main courses are in the range of Rs 300-500+ 20% tax. So lunch/dinner for two people will cost Rs 1000+ minimum. On the last page of the menu, they seem to be selling items at Rs 3 per gram. A strange way of billing. Curiously I asked if I can order just 3 grams- staff said that is not possible. They measure the weight of the item, which will be in the range of 100 grams or more.

I have tried only few items on the menu. There is another Malgudi restaurant in Chennai, on ECR near ISKCON temple. Rates are little cheaper there as it is not part of a star hotel. But ambiance is also little less posh.


Vishal Grover said...

Nice theme restaurant. Inflation really hitting the pocket. Same stuff... but prices are up by 100% in last 2 years.

Shrinidhi Hande said...