Mar 25, 2008

American Anjappar

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...


xx said...

I had chicken masala and I couldn't finish it because of its awful taste (= rotten). I wonder if it is due to frozen meat.I've been experiencing similar taste in most of the Indian restaurants.

mitr_bayarea said...


We have a similar version called Munniyandi Vilaas here in the Bay area which was started with the idea of aping the original famous non-veg place in Chennai, have heard from friends that quality is not so great and the place is small, esp. feels so during the weekends.

Anu said...

I feel that here we are always trying to get a touch of home, and thats why even if the quality is not great either we tend to go back to the same the end its the restaurants which make good money with bad food

Raju said...

xx, hmm.. no idea about chickens. But, when I was glancing through the menu there, I found that they charge $2 for one boiled egg.. I think that is some atrocius price.
Mitr, oh, u have Muniyandi Vilas there huh? When I was eating there, I remembered that restaurant which is quite famous in Southern TN. It is not a chain of restaurants. In fact, that was the name most NV restaurant owners liked to keep to pull the customers.
Anu, yeah very true. We just end up eating out mostly for the sake of it, I guess.

Pappuli said...

I din like their food.. will never go there again. Imagine having birthday lunch there :(

I wonder if those are "golden" eggs

Anonymous said...

Talking about restaurants, when were kids, my brother found hair in his mutton briyani and started throwing tantrum " ma look there's hair". Our mom realizing the owner was standing just behind her replied " that's the goat's hair"

Ramya harish said...

When talking about crowd and waiting time..there is no difference b/w the US n chennai.. any hotel here(1 star to 5 star)r crowded in weekends.. minimum 25 min waiting prebooking after 7.. who feels like having dinner b4 7.. and after ordering other 30 min..pasiye tholanju poidum.. andha timeku veetla arumaiya samachu saapidalaam..

And Raju, Gobi 65 is supposed to be paneer 65(which we usually order) or chicken 65(jus to quote an a veggielover..)

Raju said...

Pappuli, oh food was that bad, huh? I wonder which one, bcos Veg was OK..

LOL on golden eggs.. sonnalum solluvanga..
Anon, LOL.. thats a good presence of mind by your mom.. Mutton Biriyani-le hair OK-nna Chicken biriyani-le feather ok-va? ;)
Ramya, hmmm.. with the fast modern lifestyle, everyone wants to eat out during weekends.. I agree with u.. Veettu saappadu is the best..

I know that Gobi 65 should be dry.. only that I expected some flavors added to it, to make it different from a gobi pakoda.

tt_giant said...

coming here after a hiatus!

i have heard of this "chain" but have not gone to one.

how have you been raju?

Raju said...

Deepak, hmm romba busy pola? I am good, Deepak.. how are u?

Ramesh said...

Hi Guys,

When I did search for Chettinad food in NJ, I came to Anjappar Chettinad. I went to Anjappar during the firt week of opening and happened to meet a couple and they told about the first chettinad restaurant in Edison/NJ called AACHIS Chettinad Restaurant. Last week I tried their food. The food was great and customer service was good. It was a small place to house 45 people. But I felt like home with personal attention and care they took. They even know youre the first time customer.

You guys should give a try if you love Chettinad Food.
Their web site is
128 Talmage Road Edison NJ )8817
Good Luck


Raju said...

Ramesh, Welcome here.. and thanks for the info.. It is surprisingly nearer to the Indian-rich Iselin.. Cool.. Will surely try it out sometime...