How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

A melting pot of migrants, Chennai is property to myriad communities who have offered the city some iconic street foodstuff, from bread butter bun to hand-churned ice product. This Madras Working day, we fork out tribute

As locals, we know what to get at Chennai’s most legendary dining places and foodstuff stalls. Above yrs of sitting down at their tables, we have also learnt the tales driving these spaces. This Madras Day, we meet the faces at the rear of the spaces: folks who moved to Chennai from other States and towns, worked hard and developed institutions that now define the flavours of this town.

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

Thanjavur Armed service Hotel, Park Town

For KK Gangadharan, it is a subject of pride to hold on to a legacy that his terrific grandfather produced many a long time back. Several years ago, Kattayan Chettiar built the journey from Kothattai around Chidambaram to Madras in search of new alternatives in the metropolis.

He married the daughter of the founder of Kattayan Hotel. Now named Thanjavur Armed service Hotel, to emphasise its “non veg foods,” it still operates from the very same one place that can seat about 6 individuals at a time. Properly ahead of stay cooking and chefs’ tables grew to become well-known, in this article, the kitchen area and eating location merged into each individual other, and customers have constantly been ready to love seeing their dinner being prepared.

A staunch traditionalist, Gangadharan has caught to his roots and minor has adjusted right here about the decades. He even now likes to work out customers’ invoice utilizing a slate and pencil, the way it has always been completed.

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

The menu includes a well-liked meat and rice preparing, which he specifies is a pulao and not biryani. “The pulao masala’s key ingredients are inexperienced chillies and garlic. It is made in a copper handi which offers it a unique style,” states Gangadharan, introducing that it is accompanied by mutton gravy.

Thanjavur Military Lodge is a single of the couple of locations in the town that serves a non-vegetarian meal as early as 8.30 am. Their client activity is robust, with loyal diners throughout generations. Even so, as the clientele obtained young and small business turned a lot more aggressive, Gangadharan realised that his menu desired new additions. This is when his well-liked kari dosai and naatu kozhi fry had been included.

Tackle: 75, New No.60, Outdated Rasappa Chetty Street, Park Town.

Call: 044-25330955

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

Gopaul Diary, George Town

For a lot of students who have examined in the vicinity, Gopaul Diary is an emotion. K Pramod, who is the third technology proprietor, beams with joy when he mentions how their oldest customers however come to their shop, frequently with grandchildren in tow. One particular of Pramod’s finest reminiscences, in point, is when an octogenarian frequented alongside with two grandsons, who introduced him as traveling to Gopaul Diary was his past would like.

The tiny outlet was introduced about 75 several years in the past when V Venkatraman moved from his property in Bavani Sagar, Erode, to Chennai, looking for work opportunities. He rapidly realised that advertising “bun butter jam” to the Anglo-Indians in the place was a simple way to generate a continual money.

He began with two merchandise on the menu, and the format has under no circumstances been improved. Venkatraman’s son, V Krishnaraja, who is now 65 yrs old, took in excess of the business enterprise next. And, nine many years back his son, K Pramod, commenced to assistance him operate the company.

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

Pramod fondly recollects how for the duration of his grandfather’s time their well-known bun, slathered with creamy Uthukuli butter and jam, bought for a single rupee. Above the several years it steadily went up to ₹10, and is now ₹25.

Their modest studio area is usually hectic with locals in the morning and they are typically marketed out by 1 pm. Pramod is connected to both equally Chennai and his consumers: “We have witnessed cyclones, storms, tsunami and the pandemic,” he states. “But, individuals below have constantly assisted me bounce back again.”

Handle: 3, Philips Street, Parry’s Corner, George Town.

Contact: 9952954965

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

Kunhiraman Common Stores, Royapuram

When C Kunhiraman moved to Chennai from Kozhikode to start out a smaller departmental store in 1925, it swiftly turned a purchasing hub for the Anglo-Indian neighborhood in the region.

The division retail store, advertising provisions, obtained busier when he made a decision to sell juices from a special counter within the shop, about 75 years in the past. Then, 40 a long time afterwards, he introduced the ice product that created the shop renowned.

Akilesh Baskran, Kunhiraman’s grandson, now runs the retailer alongside with his cousin Lakshmi Vasu, the granddaughter of the founder. Even currently, their ice lotions are churned out from their very own device at the rear of their shop, subsequent an aged fashioned ‘hard ice cream method’ as opposed to the preferred smooth serve technological innovation. They are common for offering mango ice product by the calendar year, built from tinned pulp.

How Chennai’s migrants gave the city its iconic street food havens

Akilesh suggests there was a lull when quite a few Anglo-Indians moved out of the locality. Fortuitously, social media manufactured Kunhiraman well known all over again and individuals started off travelling from across the metropolis to get photographed digging into a scoop, and article with #Kunhiraman.

Handle: N Terminus Highway, Chetty Thottam, Royapuram.

Speak to: 044-25904889

Trouser Thatha Kadai, Mylapore

In 1977 R Rajendiran travelled to Chennai for the 1st time, from Vilampatti (Virudhunagar) for his daughter’s health care therapy.

Confronted with mounting charges, he introduced a tiny stall serving straightforward foods as a suggests for cash flow to aid his daughter’s health care expenses. Set in the coronary heart of Mylapore, the location turned well known for the non-vegetarian food stuff it served.

Even currently, he insists on cooking the exact same way he did when he began, working with hand ground masalas and wood fires.

Rajendiran, thoughtfully recollects how, in 1985, he changed the title to Kamakshi Mess from Arunagiri Mess although he does not keep in mind precisely why. Having said that locals, who turned loyal shoppers more than the yrs, came up with a different name: given that Rajendiran wore shorts as he cooked foods, they fondly started calling it the “Trouser Kadai”.

How does he keep the class? He answers with a one term, “Patience”. He adds that life and business enterprise have not often been straightforward, but tolerance has paid out off. That and tricky function. Despite the fact that his sons R Vijaya Raj and R Ramesh now take care of the restaurant, in the kitchen, with just one particular assistant, Rajendran is however cooking.

Address: 107, 56, Ramakrishna Mutt Road, Jeth Nagar, Mandaveli.

Contact: 9884380470