The canteen at Tamil Nadu House, luckily for me, is not yet as discovered as Andhra Bhavan. So when I enter there for lunch, it still has a seat for me. This is a no fuss place – spartan and functional. Trying to match the efficiency of the place, I quickly place the order.
The logical starting point is the much recommended mutton fry (120). This dish is divine, and more. Perfectly cooked, succulent as succulent can be pieces of boneless meat, with just the right amount of khada-masala spice warm up the heart’s cockles. The accompanying porotas (25) are a perfect compliment to the dish – soft and fluffy. Kya baat hai!
Now it is time for the quintessential Tamil dish, chicken chettinad (120). Unlike what I have had elsewhere in Delhi, this dish is very authentic. Not oily, not over spiced, but very homely, and peppery-tasty. Another revelation is the mutton biryani. The first sight of a bowl full of what looks like rice topped with a boiled egg reveals itself magnificently when it comes to the taste profile. Here is a biryani that is not out to show itself off, but an understated, confident expression of what good Tamilian food can be all about. One of the mutton pieces served was under cooked. Not expecting any action at a state run canteen, I still bought it to the notice of the server who without blinking his eyes served the replacement which was meaty and well cooked.
Tamil Nadu House canteen is going to be my destination of choice whenever I am in the area. The food is awesome and the prices bring a smile to my face. What more can one ask of a good restaurant?
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.5 | Ambiance: 3.0 | Service: 3.5 |Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 500 | Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes|
Address: Opposite Chanakya Theatre, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi | Phone: 011-24193470