“I love Chennai. I have been to all the metros in the country and travelled the world, but I find this city to be the best. Not just because I was born and raised here, but because it has many advantages,” says actor Bharath, who is currently shooting for AR Murugadoss’ upcoming Tamil film, Spyder , where he plays the villain.
“You can travel from one end of the city to the other in an hour-and-a-half at the most. And now, with the Metro, travel can be seamless and faster.”
Bharath feels just as the city has grown in terms of infrastructure and development, so has it in the cultural and restaurant scenario. “During the end of the 90s, it was Ambassaor Pallava that was the place for clubbing and dining. But today, there are so many pubs and restaurants to hang out at.”
“I am a vegetarian with a poor appetite,” says Bharath, adding that food never excited him during his growing-up years. When in school, going to the beach with his family was the only recreation. The reason being it involved no expense. Hotel Kanchi in Egmore or the Saravana Bhavans were the two places his family went for special occasions. “Throughout my school life, I used to eat just one samosa and tube Rasna for lunch, from a bunk shop.” Today, Bharath is a body builder and is completely focussed on healthy eating.
“I made my acting debut in director Shankar’s Boys , when I was in higher secondary school, and during that time, fitness or health did not matter much to me. It was the same even when I was acting in Kaadhal . But it was Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu , directed by Sasi, that changed my mindset. I became conscious and started giving importance to fitness. For that film, I started body building, and even after completing the film, I continued to maintain my fitness,” he says. His diet includes vegetables, chicken, roti and fruits.
“There are occasions when I binge, especially when I visit my wife Jeshly’s parents in Dubai. I love the way my mother-in-law makes Kerala fish curry, and the chicken stew and appam that my wife prepares,” says Bharath. When it comes to vegetarian food, his all-time favourite is the appla-vathakuzhambu , that his mother prepares.
Bharath, who is strict about his diet, loves to experiment with new cuisines when travelling overseas. “Japanese food is on the top of my list, as it is healthy and tasty. The best Katsu Chicken Curry is in Wagamama in London. I like sushi too. When it comes to a quick bite, I prefer McDonald’s and Hardee’s, as the quality of meat is good. But one dish I discovered while in Budapest is the Hungarian goulash, which is prepared with pork, beef and chicken meat. That is my favourite.”
A fortnightly column on film personalities and their trysts with food