Chennai Restaurant Reviews

Mana Andhra

An absolutely unplanned dinner. Had to meet someone in Cafe Coffee Day, The Square in Nungambakkam. The meeting took much longer than expected and quite hungry that we were, headed straight into this place which is right next to Cafe Coffee Day in Khader Nawaz Khan Road, in Nungambakkam.

The place was previously Kryptos restaurant and now Mana Andhra. It was bright and very well-lit with wonderful interiors. They had nice shelves with neatly stacked bottles of podis and pickles for sale. Overall, the place looked very neat and clean.
I am not a newbie to Andhra food, and at the same time, I am very fond of it too. 🙂 Had a quick look at the menu and my first impression, it did seem quite pricey. I wanted to opt for a Thali since I would be able to taste a bit of everything, but then as I said, it was about Rs 425 for a Veg Thali and Rs 595 for a Non-Veg Thali. The Non-Veg Thali’s description in the menu had Fish Curry and Mutton Curry which I wasn’t going to eat anyway, so it would be a waste to order that. I wasn’t too keen on just a vegetarian Thali either. Since it was already 10PM, No time for formal 2-3 courses, just ordered 1 Mirapakaaya Bhajji, 1 Aavakaaya Biryani and 1 Guntur Bilal Kodi Biryani. Myself and my friend decided to share the dishes so we could taste a bit of both.
All the three dishes came roughly at the same time. Mirapakaaya Bhajji was awesome, absolutely loved it! The cut onion pieces stuffed into the bhajji was very typical of how it is served there. I wasn’t very impressed with the chutney though.  I was quite curious about Aavakaaya Biryani. Have heard so much about it, but never tasted it. I was expecting it to be bursting with flavors of aavakaaya, but somehow it wasn’t like that. It tasted very good, but definitely not like hot aavakaaya annam, it was more than that. Probably just a little aavakaaya pickle was added to the ‘normal’ veg biryani for a bit different taste. The accompaniments that came with the biryani – mudhdha pappu (dal) and raita were wonderful.  Guntur Bilal Kodi Biryani was very good. It came completely covered in plain thin egg omelette. The chicken pieces were boneless and were soft and succulent with a nice flavor. They were not bland like the ones we get in a ‘normal’ chicken Biryani in Chennai. I was able to eat all the pieces which was an achievement by itself. 🙂 Did not feel like ordering a dessert, just asked for the check.  The check came in a cute little jute bag.  The dinner set us back by a little less than a thousand rupees.
Food was tasty, but I would probably visit occasionally and not just like that for a casual meal.

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