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iXiGOers Jun 28 2013

What are the specialties of Southern Spice in Chennai?

Sonia Wigh Jun 28 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Southern Spice reopens with aplomb and presents a menu that reinvents the culinary traditions of South India for the new-age gourmand. Take a look at the new specialties of Southern spice in Chennai:


The restaurant has reopened after 10 months and delivers beyond expectation. The bulky pillars have a brushed silver look that complements the dark ebony-hued wooden and granite walls, vintage bronze villas (traditional lamp) and kolam carpets. As you enter, you are spellbound by the temple architecture from the Chola, Pallava and Pandya dynasties. You cannot miss the heavy borrowings from Chettinad, Kerala and Andhra architecture. This magnificent 100-cover restaurant is extremely pleasant.

The Meal in Southern Spice

The starters are served in the special, handcrafted, peacock plume-shaped plates. Nibble at the colorful vadams and vathals accompanied by tomato, curry leaf, coconut and ginger chutney that is ground fresh. Sip the mildly-spiced, herbal nenju elembu saaru (lamb ribs soup) that comes in a miniature white porcelain cup. The rasams can be savored as well and they have a separate menu featuring the myriad varieties.

The kola ururandai (fried meatballs) held firmly by banana fiber, is fun to eat as it seems to be a game to untie the knot with just three fingers. This delicacy, widely popular in Thanjavur and Nagerkoil districts, is traditionally known as sundiya. The meat is coarsely ground with coriander, garlic, shallots, and spices and tied with banana fiber and deep-fried carefully. The paniyaram (fermented rice and lentil dumpling), a popular Chettinad tiffin, was, however, a disappointment as the batter was under-cooked and also struggled to deliver its typical crispy-on-the-outside- and-soft-on-the-inside taste.

Paniyaram is one of those easy-to-make recipes yet challenging as it comes perfect only with practice and even the kuzhi chatti (cast iron pan) has a major role to play. The service associate now brings in the golden fried, soft shelled crab dusted with semolina that are lightly crispy, without being oily and can be had as a whole. The trick, of course, is in the hands of the restaurant Chef Anand Ramesh who has even brought his grandmother’s signature sambhar into the menu.

There is always a smiling face that brings you the summery chocolate poornam mousse. The sealed, warm jaggery oozes out as you delve the fork into the centre of the chocolate and take a bite to realize that coconut and lentil paste complete the exotic taste.

Chef Recommends

For Starters, the chef recommends the Kair katti yerachi kola urundai and denji rawa fry. They are followed by the Thalachery neimeen biryani, asparagus paruppu usili, Arachivitta sambhar and steamed rice as the main course and topped by their very famous dessert, the Elaneer payasam.

Their Expert chef Alok Anand has traveled extensively in and around Madurai and adapt and improvise the age-old recipes from village households. His major task was to present a South Indian restaurant in a new style to South Indians themselves!

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