Nagarjuna – Andhra Meals, Bliss.

Who doesn’t like Andhra meals? If someone doesn’t, then something wrong with them – terminate the friendship, if family tolerate them, but don’t be close.

I love Andhra meals – and have mostly had them from the smaller ‘Andhra messes’, which I guess are ironically more in Chennai than anywhere in Andhra. The only ‘proper restaurant’ where I’ve had the meals is Nandhana Palace and it wasn’t a great experience.

Sunday lunch at Nagarjuna was damn good though. There was a huge waiting list at 230 pm on Sunday! But the manager did a good job of managing the crowd – took down the names on a paper with columns that indicate how many seats you need – 2,4,6 or 8. Simple, elegant but rarely practiced. We got our table in 10 minutes.

Started off with the traditional rice, ghee and pappu (palak) – ah!! If there is a heaven, I am sure they serve rice, ghee and dal everyday. The podi was also on the money – not too spicy, and tasted fresh. Not to miss out was the green chilli and urad dal chutney, did a fine job on it’s own. I would have liked some more vegetables, we only got a carrot-beans poriyal of sorts, missed the ‘fries’ you get in smaller andhra messes. Wife recommended I mix rasam, ghee and podi – was a decent combo, podi kills it on its own.

Service was prompt and polite – there’s a dedicated guy for serving ghee, one for rice and the waiter for the table manages the curries, sambar, pappu etc. in addition to taking orders and billing. Seems trivial, but it matters when you are looking for someone to get you more ghee and that guy is walking around doing something else. Prompt arrival of food matters.

The non-vegetarian menu looks very very interesting – didn’t want to ruin my veg meals. I will be going back to try the biryani, fish fry and the various chicken curries. Looking forward to some lip smacking food!

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