Only after I started blogging did I hear about the famous restaurant chain 'Anjappar', which is special for 'Chettinad' food. So, when I saw an ad for the first Anjappar in US opening at NJ, I decided to visit, which I managed to do last week. I donno what is it with South Indian restaurants here, they are too small and incredibly crowded during the weekends. There was space for only 50 people. This causes quite a considerable waiting time here, which was 1 hour on Sunday afternoon.
* Ordered a 'Gobi 65' and 'Chettinad veg thaali', to get an idea of the taste of several dishes at once. Gobi 65 was not like the sauced 'Gobi manchurian' for which I was a huge fan in India; it was more like Gobi pakoda but it was ok.
* The thaali had one chappathi, rice, potato curry, one gravy curry, sambar, rice, appalam and payasam. My expectation level on the taste was quite low - it has to be better than what I manage to cook, and it was, so no complaints. But it hardly contrasted with what is served at Saravana Bhavan, so I assume that the difference is in the tasty non-veg dishes of Anjappar.
* When I focussed on the non-veg eaters, I overheard that all the biriyanis (for which Anjappar is famous far) were exhausted an hour earlier; and that the quality of chicken was not at all good.
* The steward said that even though they cook twice the amount of the 'famous dishes' during the weekends, they run out of them by 2 PM. That made me wonder why they cant make thrice the amount. Anyway, their timings are 11-4 for lunch and 5-10 for dinner, so any excess dish from the afternoon can certainly be served during the dinner.
I have seen that several new restaurants keep appearing in the area and they all manage to pull the crowds, reminding me of Bangalore's restaurants. If only they keep the price moderate and provide sufficient space...