No need to go to Chennai for a ‘Madras filter’ coffee to complete a perfect south Indian meal

Only a non-south Indian’s eyes will brighten up at the mention of a crispy dosa and plateful of fluffy spongy idlis with a perfect cup of filter coffee — for a treat. Right, because every dosa and idli and a cup of filter coffee isn’t the right one. Filter coffee on the menu isn’t always the right cup and if you were one of those who waited for a friend or a colleague to offer you the right ‘south Indian filter coffee’ then your days of being nice to him/her for fear of losing the invite is over. Vasanta Bhavan doesn’t just offer you your filter coffee in a glass and tumbler but does so with the right taste which will make one go, ‘hmmm just like a coffee in Madras’.

Vasanta Bhavan, the famous Chennai eatery serving speciality vegetarian food has come to town and will be spreading across the city, meeting the ‘authentic’ sambar and filter-coffee needs.

Vasanta Bhavan isn’t hard to locate, it is the same building that once housed the famous Zaika restaurant on Banjara Hills, Road no 2. The place has been renovated and made way for some more ‘good’ south Indian vegetarian fare.

So what does one begin with. If you are an early riser go for breakfast. And when there remind yourself of the famous health saying ‘breakfast should be heavy and healthy.’ Half your problem is solved and let loose on the menu. Open with pongal or a plate of idli followed by a tomato bath and then a dosa. Heavy is the mantra so, let that food settle with a steaming filter coffee. The fragrance of the coffee as it comes in a tumbler is enough to assure you of a good drink.

Before you gulp it down, don’t forget to do the traditional pull to get the foam.

So after breakfast, there are other items which can be ordered according to one’s choice. Allow the interiors and the décor to only stun you and not scare you. The elite and elegant place isn’t a big blow on your pocket. The interior in wood and gold gives it the rich look with Tanjore paintings adorning the walls.

There is a non air-conditioned section as well and that open air section gives the much needed green feel. With the deep mahagony shade letting the green play peek-a-boo makes this space look like a spacious verandah of a palatial Victorian bungalow. A perfect place to sit by yourself with the company of the filter coffee and enjoy the mood… only when it rains or the weather cools down.

The place also boasts of ‘pure’ veg thalis and unlike the other vegetarian places that serve thali, this eatery gives you ‘avakaya’ when lemon pickle is on the table and it is not up to your choice.

Most of the dishes in the thali is typically home styled and low on spices and oil. The dessert like all thali places changes.

The menu might offer you north Indian specialities as well, but stick to the saying ‘when in Rome be a Roman’, so when in south eat south Indian.

Vasanta Bhavan

Where: Banjara Hills Road no 14

When: 7a.m. to 11 p.m.

What: Pure veg meals, south Indian ‘tiffins’ and filter coffee

USP: Pongal filter, sambar and filter coffee

Valet:Available

Table for two:Rs 400 approx

Phone: 040 23540473