At Hot Vada, sample about 60 varieties of vadais and other south Indian treats

Hot, crunchy vadai. The one thing that leaves most people weak-kneed and results in diets flying out of the window. Now, imagine 60 varieties of vadais. That’s the kind of temptation you say hello to at Hot Vada.

The eatery, situated over two levels, is a recent addition to the city’s food scene. It has been started by four food-loving acquaintances, three of whom live abroad. Deepan Raj, the fourth partner who lives here, handles operations.

Hot Vada prides itself on serving traditional South Indian food with a twist, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, you get to partake of varieties of paruppu vadai, paneer vadai, tutty fruity vadai, chocolate vadai, heart-shaped vadai, super soft idlis, a range of dosais and more.

I sample the tutty fruity vadai with trepidation, wondering how a savoury delight would taste in another avatar. I’m left pleasantly surprised. Accompanying the vadais are sambar and a variety of chutneys.

Also part of the breakfast menu is delicious venn pongal, redolent of crushed peppercorns, jeera and ghee, some dosa varieties and buttery soft oothappam. The fare is hearty and basic, and focus is where it should be — on the food.

For lunch (Rs. 75), the outlet offers a lavish spread, with focus on native vegetables, served on an innovative plate that can hold 12 bowls.

But, Hot Vada stars sizzling from 3 in the afternoon to 6 in the evening, when its vadai special begins. That’s when the chefs shape a range of vadas (ranging in price from Rs. 8 to Rs. 60 a piece) by hand and using moulds. Each one different and bearing unusual tastes. Such as the one that marries a traditional paruppu vadai with a paneer-filled centre.

Evenings are when the family crowd visits to tuck into dosais, idlis and, of course, vadais. “How else can it be?” asks Deepan, partner. After all, our guiding principle is “let’s start with a vada’.

Hot Vada is at 49-51, opp Women’s Polytechnic, New Sidhapudur. It is open from 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. A meal for two will cost approximately Rs. 150. Car parking is available. Call 0422-4348855 for details.