Downtown

Kollywood flocks to this restaurant for a quick bite

Pushing boundaries: Samco is reported to have expansion plans. Photo: M. Srinath   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

Getting to Samco does not require having to give elaborate directions. Someone new to the city who wants to visit Samco has to only give the name to the autowallah. This restaurant, strategically located on Eldams Road, earns maximum patronage for its delicious dishes. Its regular customers include the who’s who of Kollywood. Samco has also made many special appearances in movies and TV shows.

Over the years, this restaurant might have undergone many changes, but it has retained its essential character. “In 2009, it underwent some renovation. It was inaugurated by the celebrity neighbour Kamal Hasan. After the launch, a range of dishes were added to the menu. The interiors were redesigned to attract people who enjoy fine-dining experience,” says Manzur Aman of Samco.

Three friends – Soopi Haji, Aboobacker and Mohammed Manno Haji — had come to Chennai from Kerala in search of business opportunities in 1962. They first started Samco as a bakery and later turned it into a full-fledged restaurant. For the name of the venture, they came up with a simple idea. They used the first letter of each of their names and they had SAM & Co. aka Samco. Eventually, one of them parted ways.

Now the third generation of the founder-members handle the business. Sadique Aboobacker says that even before he finished his school he knew that he would have to work for the restaurant. “While I was in standard VIII , my friends would hang out at malls or cafes and I’d come to the restaurant and help out in the kitchen or at the cashier’s counter. I’d observe things keenly because I knew that it would be helpful in future.”

Their Samco Special Biriyani, pepper paya, kutthu paratha has some loyal fans who come from places as far as Guindy and Ambattur. The restaurant has not only long-time customers, but also staff who have been a part of it right from the beginning. “One of our biriyani chefs joined when the place was started. Despite years of experience, he takes personal care of everything that is served,” says Manzur.

Samco recently opened their second branch near SIET College and plans to expand further and provide more services. The restaurant is at No.174, Eldams Road, Alwarpet. Ph: 2431 3111.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:31:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Kollywood-flocks-to-this-restaurant-for-a-quick-bite/article11057345.ece

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