The moment I saw a video about Petti Soru, a restaurant that opened in Selaiyur, Chennai that serves food packed in a palm leaf container, I was very eager to try. I was instantly reminded of Babu Bhandari’s Potti soru in Karaikal which serves biryani packed in a similar way. I missed trying the one in Karaikal, didn’t want to miss this in Chennai.
Ventured all the way to Selaiyur along with a friend, following google maps, only to be told that they were sold out at 14:30 hrs. Quite disappointed, but understandable that they’re new and settling down.
Next day, again with the same friend, went all the way. This time friend had called around 11:30AM and pre-booked 1 Chicken and 1 Veg for dine-in. It was a suggestion given by them the previous day, to pre-book before visiting to ensure it is reserved.
We went there only to be told that they are sold out, and a new batch of rice was getting ready from their kitchen, and would arrive shortly. Apparently it wasn’t coordinated very well and they missed to reserve it.
We were told rice would arrive in about 15 minutes, and we decided to wait. There were already close to ten people waiting and quite a few walk-in inquiries were being turned down too.
As soon as the rice arrived, I clicked some pics of their ‘petti soru’, a tightly-knit palm leaf container, filled with rice, a mud tumbler full of dalcha neatly seated in it, a dhonnai with mango pachchadi on top of it, Chicken curry on another dhonnai on the top and covered with the lid. A rubber band held it all together. I am not quite sure about the spillage, as we did not opt for a parcel.
For the dine-in, it is unlimited portion of rice, dalcha and gravy served in an areca plate. Firstly, its a stand-and-eat place, hardly enough for about 8 people to eat comfortably at the same time. We were lucky to be served first among that group of customers because we had pre-booked. 🙂
Coming to the food, I liked the ghee rice, small grains of rice which looked like seeragasamba and a nice flavor of ghee. I was told they cook it with Dum, quite similar to biryani. I could easily eat it with no accompaniments at all. Dalcha was good and went well with the ghee rice. In fact, I ate most of the rice with Dalcha. Chicken gravy was decent, but chicken pieces were hard and chewy, I didn’t eat them. They were bland and masala didn’t get to it, though well-cooked. Mango pachchadi was tasty and a nice accompaniment to Dalcha and rice. Friend tried the vegetarian option for which he got a vegetable kurma, it was tasty.
Overall, no major complaints with the food.
After so many teething problems, I had a chat with one of the owners and passed on the feedback about the experience, it was very well-received. In fact, as a restaurant owner, I would position this place purely as a takeaway joint with pre-booking and only allow walk-in customers to eat there, given the constraint of limited space. Another thing they badly need to figure out is the demand vs supply. They’ll be better off cooking a bit more than less, so they don’t have to turn away customers eager to try. With their video going viral, it is very likely that more and more people are going to turn up to try.
There was a promotional offer of 100 bucks for Chicken combo and 80 bucks for Veg combo. The actual price may be about 25-30 rupees more than that for a plate. Food on one side, and a nice environmental-friendly effort on another, I’d definitely try again after they settle down, for a petti soru takeaway.