Mango Tree, and Chettinadu food? This was the first reaction when I was invited by a friend for lunch. It took me quite by surprise as the name was quite deceptive!
The place is located in Jambulingam Street, off Valluvarkottam High Road. A lovely 70-year-old house, renovated into a cozy restaurant, serving yummy Chettinadu food made with home recipes passed down through generations. The owner Ms. Chitra Ramu was kind enough to explain each of these dishes in detail. In the company of three other foodies, it was a very interesting insight.
We started with Mutton Nenjelumbu soup, Chettinadu Kozhi Varuval, Vanjiram Fry, Kari Uppu Kari, Brain Fry. With restrictions to eating meat, I was happy with the chicken varuval, while the rest of them relished other dishes. I tried a bit of Kari Uppu Kari, a distinctly different and wonderful flavor of the red chillies, it was good.
We decided to order two Thalis, a Karaikudi Special Thali and an Executive Thali and share from these. In addition to it, we also ordered Parotta and Nalli Kari, recollected the scene from Vikram Vedha about eating parotta with nallikari 🙂
The Thali was quite heavily loaded, with 3 different gravies – Mutton, Chicken and Fish in addition to the veg accompaniments. There was a Boiled Egg tossed in pepper, ghee rice, masala vadai and also one Parotta in it. The paruppu payasam was the dessert in the Thali. Special mention about the chicken gravy, loved it with the rice. I got a second serving of it too. The parotta and nalli kari was also very good. I tasted the gravy only and was quite satisfied with it. Likewise everyone loved the food. For the desserts, we stuck to the Chettinadu flavor, ordered one with Kavuni Arisi and Chettinad Dal Halwa. Both were tasty. Couldn’t quite figure out the presence of Tres Leches, Brownies in the desserts section in the menu. Then realized, it was called Cafe and Restaurant, perhaps thats why! I thought it would have been much more focussed if they stuck to Chettinadu dishes only, to be classified as a speciality restaurant. The bill was less than 2K and one of my friends paid it as he hosted us.
Overall, absolutely tasty food. There’s much more in the menu to try out than what we just did! That’s for another time.
While we were leaving, saw the huge Mango Tree right outside after which this place is named.