Catching up with a friend and looking for a place to have dinner in T. Nagar is not something new, and most of the times this friend and I have ended up in Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai or Nellai Vairamaligai, for the love of parotta. This time, wanted to check if there was some new place that also served parotta. Chanced upon That Mallu Joint on Zomato and decided to go there. Kerala Parotta, why not !
Had no problems locating it, it was right above Starbucks on G.N. Chetty Road on the second floor. The place was nice and welcoming, and quite a few tables occupied when we entered. Settled down in one of the two-seater tables and we were ready to order. We were given an option of regular water vs jeeraga vellam, and opted for the latter. They served a complimentary small portion of cut raw mango and carrot pieces in what tasted like sugar syrup, it was nice to bite into. The menu wasn’t very elaborate, it was easy to choose from. My friend likes fish and I like chicken, so we ordered accordingly.
We ordered Kozhi porichathu and Tawa Meen Fry for starters, 1 Parotta each, 1 Egg Appam each, and Ghee Chicken Roast for main course, and 1 each of the two available desserts – Tender coconut icecream and parippu payasam.
Kozhi porichathu was good, soft chicken pieces deep-fried in coconut oil and with lots of fried coconut shavings and curry leaves with it, tasted yummy. Boneless chicken would have been better I felt, but this was with bones, that was okay. Tawa Meen Fry was decent, friend seemed to like it. More than the taste, what put me off was the laid-back attitude in presenting the dish to the customer. We’re not even talking about plating here, all that they needed to do was place the nicely-cut plantain leaf on the plate and place the fish fry on it. Perhaps they did that, but still when it was brought to the table, the plantain leaf was half hanging outside the plate and the fish fry was half on the leaf and half on the plate. Quite casual indeed!
The parottas came next, absolutely gorgeous looking! Typical Kerala Parotta, crispy and flaky and just-made. It was wonderful, perhaps just a bit smaller than other typical Kerala restaurants. Egg Appam was wonderful too. crispy sides and amazingly soft center, decently smeared egg all over, loved it. Now coming to the dish that I thought would be the showstopper of the evening, Chicken Ghee Roast, was very ordinary. In spite of all the efforts to taste ghee in it, neither my friend nor I could do so. It was a semi-gravy and went well with the parotta and egg appam, but certainly did not live upto the expectation. It paled in comparison with the yummy ghee chicken roast I had at Blackberry restaurant and Bar.
They had just two desserts on the menu, decided to try both of them. Tender Coconut Ice Cream and Parippu Payasam. Both were wonderful. Payasam was a bit too sweet to my liking, but that’s how I’ve tasted it in other places too, no complaints, we loved it. Friend relished the ice cream and so did I.
We paid 1176 bucks in all, a nice dinner, except for a few minor glitches. I asked for change for 500 bucks so I could tip the waiter, but they came back saying they didn’t have it. While I was feeling bad for not leaving a tip and I was about to leave, noticed that the bill had a 5% Service Charge already added to it. I was totally okay paying that, but it wasn’t obviously mentioned anywhere. I asked the owner about it to which he readily agreed to remove it. I told him I would gladly pay a tip for service, but just wanted to be informed about it, in advance. A prominent mention of it in the menu card would suffice.
Though the menu isn’t as catchy as Kappa Chakka Kandhari and is more a ‘standard’ Kerala affair, I would certainly like to come back and try more of the dishes.