Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Eater's Digest - 12

The Nair Mess at Triplicane is over 60 years old. I am unable to indulge in nostalgia for what it was like, because for the longest time, I was not able to make it there for lunch. I have heard innumerable tales of how crowded it would be at lunchtime, and how the food there was to die for. And then, the place went and renovated itself, so there was now an opportunity for a level playing field. 

Still, it took a bunch of schoolmates to push me to get there. The instructions we were told were very clear. Be there by 12:55 pm. If you can't make it in time, then turn back, go away. Nervous about showing up late, we used the map to guide us. The map showed us where to park and how to walk in. But having parked on Walajah Road, it was not easy to get to the place. The map gave up, but our hunger must have showed on our face, for even before we could ask for directions, we were pointed in the right direction. Schoolmates, for a change, did not taunt us for being just that bit late; they had got in and held two seats for us, as we walked in at 12:58. The place was relatively empty, with only 3 or 4 of the 20-odd tables having diners at them.

In the 3-4 minutes it took us to complete our hellos, every table was full up and there was a crowd of people waiting to be seated. And yet, we never felt rushed. There is not much of a menu; you better know what they can serve you at lunch time and you ask for it. The waiters will remind you of several sides that you might like to order to enjoy the experience to the fullest, but they're happy even if you go for just the simple mutton-meal or fish-meal. We did gorge, and some of my foodie friends reminded me that even if the building has been renovated, the menu and the preparation continues to remain the same: a wonderfully flavoured set of dishes that fills you up, but never lets you feel bloated. That's a grand meal, for sure!

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