What's up foodies?
HAVE YOU walked through the streets of the boulevard area recently? Apart from all the heritage buildings and shops, there are several new landmarks that have come from Chennai, Coimbatore and nearby Cuddalore.
The names are familiar here Kovai Pazhamudhir Nilayam from Coimbatore, Ungal Agarwal from Cuddalore, Adyar Ananda Bhavan from Chennai and Daily Bread started by a Pondicherrian.
Brothers and partners K. T. Srinivasaraja and K. T. Venkatesan of Adyar Ananda Bhavan have chosen Pondicherry to launch their latest venture, the A2B restaurant, which has come up on Jawaharlal Nehru Street opposite the Vak Bookshop. The restaurant serves vegetarian North Indian dishes, Tandoori items, Chinese, Continental, South Indian varieties and chat. It, of course, offers all the sweets and savouries that are available in the other branches.
A whole new range of tandoori items such as bhaaji paneer, paneer haveli tikka, shahi kabab, A2B lollipop and dhal handi has been introduced. The restaurant has introduced a new masala for its South Indian varieties and launched its own brand of ice creams.
A walk down the road to Ambour Salai will take you to Stanley and Natraj's Daily Bread bakery-cum-restaurant, which has a seating capacity of 50 people. Situated on the first floor of Stanley's other restaurant the Peepin, the latest addition has an inviting interior with antique chairs and tables.
In the bakery section is a variety of bread, rolls, pies, tarts, doughnuts and birthday cakes. The restaurant serves piping hot soups, fresh salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and Italian cappuccino and espresso. Peepin offers Continental food, Italian pastas, sizzlers and steaks, seafood and some French, Chinese and Indian food.
"We take care to keep the place clean and the food is hygienically prepared apart. Competition is tough with restaurants being opened everywhere," says Stanley.
After tasting the cappuccino and digging into the burgers, a walk to Ungal Agarwal sweets on M.G. Road, is worth it. The cosy place offers an unbelievable menu, comprising 225 items! Their all-time special is the Tirupati Balaji laddu. Other specialities include cashew sweets, ghee laddu and boondi paaku. What's more, savouries are available in plastic containers.
In the bakery section, there are many innovative items like mini sandwich and vegetable kebab. The range is wide when it comes to bread, rusk and cake. Badam kheer is also an attraction here. Chaats too are on offer. But for that, you will have to wait till 4.00 p.m., when the master (from New Delhi) commences work.
"We have five branches in Cuddalore. We get a whole lot of customers from Pondicherry too. That's why we launched an outlet here. At the moment, we prepare the bakery items here, while the sweets and savouries are brought from Cuddalore," says Ezhilarasan, proprietor.
Kovai Pazhamudhir Nilayam
For those who are health-conscious, Kovai Pazhamudhir Nilayam (KPN) on Chetty Street is the right place to go. On the racks are both exotic and common fruits and vegetables. Fresh juice priced at Rs. 10 and Rs. 15 a glass "does not contain water." They also offer fruit and vegetable salads and cut vegetables for those wanting to prepare noodles, pulao and curry.
"The juices are essentially extracts, and hygiene is taken care of. The employees wear gloves, aprons and green uniforms," says Senthil of KPN.
"Though we have forayed into vegetables, fresh fruits continue to be our strong point. Till a few years ago, the vegetable business meant bargains. We introduced the system of sticking to standard rates and ours are always lower than the prevailing market prices. All our fruits and vegetables are sold according to weight. The exceptions are coconuts and a few varieties of greens," he explains.
Variety is our hallmark. Just look around, there are 10 varieties of apples and eight varieties of mangoes. The numbers will increase as the season picks up. Fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, red pears and American apples are also available.
On the inaugural day recently, exquisitely carved vegetables and fruits were the cynosure. The entrance was decorated with hundreds of apples and pineapples hanging in bunches.
DEEPA H. RAMAKRISHNAN
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