Monday, January 8, 2007

Raaj Bhavan, Nungambakkam, Chennai, India

Raaj Bhavan is located at the major intersection in Nungambakkam, where Village Road and Nungambakkam High Rd meets. It used to be haunt for me, thanks to the easy access from the sterling road, bus stand. Even after starting work at NIIT on college rd, and the opening of Nagas (closed since then, and now some Sangeeta), Raaj Bhavan was a place to meet and eat, when the budgets were low.

Since moving out of the area, i havent visited the real Raaj Bhavan. They do have a section on top, where they serve stuff in an air-conditioned environment. Unfortunately since they serve stuff thats not in their domain (idly dosa etc), its better to skip these. Downstairs on the other hand is probably best now only for an early morning weekend visit, because the place is crowded with office going staff, like me. Except that i am now, never hitting a restaurant for weekday breakfast or lunch.

Their claim to fame if any, was again sambar. When i used to eat there, i remember that they had one of the better tasting sambars. I, off course, hadnt tasted the Ratna Cafe sambar. So now the reasons to eat here is even less, when you think of the one thing that would draw you to it. Also in my recent visit to the more 'posh' looking upstairs, left me very displeased. The place has been neglected and requires a lot of maintenance. The food is still very decent, but i think it safe to pass, considering there are other options in the city today.

Its sad, when you think of the possibilities this place had, and the start. Most important of it all, like they say in the restaurant business, location. Its quite possible that this place is raking in the moolah, and the management couldnt care less about spending additional money in its upkeep. Today the real estate price for this location will be way higher that the business potential of the current restaurant.

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