Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Idli & Dosa, Satyam Cinema, Royapettah, Chennai

Idli & Dosa, or ID, as their funny logo shows, is a only-Veg restaurant right inside the Satyam Cinema complex. Satyam Cinema has been revolutionizing the concept of cinema going in Chennai for sometime, and this restaurant (not exactly new, now) is one such enhancement.

As you enter in, you can soak in some classy decor and bar stools. Yes bar stools around the chef's work area, so you can see him cook up some dosa, idli or vada etc. Watching fresh dosa being made, is not new, but bar stools surely are. The regular tables and chairs are different too. The seating chairs had wheels, and so they moved around easily. It also provided some avenue to spend time, while waiting for your food to arrive. The table was already served. Your plates (steel ones) were already laid out, and so you could immediately serve yourself some chutney and start licking your fingers. Although i first mistook these plates to be place-mats or some fancy holder for the food tray to arrive, and did have some misgivings about eating from it. The host arrived quickly and pulled out the menu card from his back pocket. Neat little menu cards, with limited options too, and moderately priced. What i didnt notice, until a little later, was that it could be used to place orders too.

The food took a tad bit longer than expected, but not long enough to kill us. But the best surprise was in store only on arrival of the food. I ordered plain dosa, and also munched down a keerai vada waiting for my dosa to show up. The other order from our table was idli. The keerai vada, was at best oily, very crisp or rather should i say hard. It tasted very mediocre. The dosa was a big bore too. The chutneys white (coconut), red (onion) and green (coriander/mint) didnt add major flavour either. If it werent for the sambar, i would have left the place disgusted.  I also ordered filter coffee, which came in a fancy cup, and was again just barely decent.

The experience was at best average, altho the ambiance did soak in nicely. I particulalry like a backdrop picture showing the different phases of the moon, using a rava idli. The waiters were attentive and quite courteous, although at times, they were lost, a case of too many chasing around few seated tables. So while it was nice that you could call out to anybody, lack of one dedicated person to your table, did reduce the personal touch.

On the whole, i would give it a pass, but wouldn't hesitate to try it, if i ever were to come out of a movie famished and starved. Considering that we down large popcorn bucket, puffs and sandwiches at most movie outings, i would think that this would be a rather rare occurrence. And then again, HSB's Swathi is just around the corner.