In the midst of this age-old form of dining, Andhra Annam has come to feed its customers something unique — dishes from the Telugu land that are more flavoursome than just spicy.
A glass of chilled panneer soda was placed on the table that brought relief to our parched throats. We got down to business right after, digging into the appetiser.
The first one looked like a chicken lollipop with one slice of drumstick poking out of deep-fried mashed potato balls. Subtle flavours of both the vegetables danced on our tongues making us fall in love with every bite. A curry leaf-garlic-mayonnaise was served with it as a dip but it tasted much better with the next dish, kothemeera kodi vepudu (chicken fritters with a hint coriander), than the potato.
Just as we recalled having a discussion in office about stuffed chilli bajjis that are a Telugu specialty, a plate of steaming hot mirapakayi bajjis was served. Mildly spicy with just the right amount of cheese, it was truly a delight. Every starter that came after brought out the innate taste of the primary ingredient that it was made with, once again establishing how the eatery’s palate game was on point.
In the afternoons, a set meal costing Rs. 130 for vegetarian and Rs. 180 for non-vegetarian is available for diners with a limited choice of sides. We were served steamed rice with three main courses from the a la carte menu available for dinner. The gongura mamsam (mutton gravy) was our favourite because of the tenderness of the meat and our undying love for gongura pachadi. The familiar aroma of the tomato pappu and the feeling of mixing ghee into warm rice and podi elevated the meal’s experience greatly.
The fish curry was a slight let down in terms of taste but that’s probably because our Malayali and Tamil communities have spoilt us in terms of seafood.
The sort of extra punch Kerala’s kodampuly and tangy tamarind add to the respective fish curries lacked here but dessert certainly made up for it. Warm kesari with sugar sprinkles lent it a cupcake batter-like taste, which left us wanting for more. We would certainly like to go back to try out the other dishes on the well-crafted menu.
Address: OMR Food Street, Opposite RMZ Millenia Business Park, Perungudi
Timing: 12 noon to 3.30 pm, 7 to 11 pm
Star rating (on 5): ****