Being a Vegetarian, I find the choice of food limited while traveling abroad, but never had a real problem. That’s because I like to try out different cuisine’s what ever vegetarian offerings they might have – whether it is just Tofu, Boiled Vegetables & rice in Japan or Tasty/Spicy Ethiopian food in USA or Rice & Boiled Vegetable from a Korean cuisine in Malaysia. My favourite has been the spicy Mexican food.
In Chennai I find the choice of good restaurants serving non-South Indian food very limited. For example, I could never find a good Mexican Burrito offering in Chennai. But finding other Indian state cuisines is not so difficult, provided you ask the correct people, get references and then go. If you want authentic food from that state, better avoid the 5-Star hotels, I find them to have a great ability to successfully make all food taste the same – bland and boring.
When it comes to good Gujarati or Rajasthani food in Chennai, I have known for years and liked Manshuk Restaurant in T.Nagar. But my Yoga master Mr.Gautham (who is a Rajasthani) has been recommending many other good places in Sowcarpet & Broadway area. Being a South Chennai (T.Nagar) person I have rarely ventured into those area and completely at loss there.
We have been planning to go for lunch in one of those places and today was the day we finally did it. From my office in T.Nagar, we took an Auto-Rickshaw and went to Broadway, the ride costing us a mini-fortune of Rs.120 (each way). The restaurant he took me was the well-known in the area, Sri Gujarati Mandal in Prakasam Street in Broadway (I guessed the place was run by some Gujarati local association). The restaurant was small, but the minute I entered I know the food should be lovely – as there was about 15 people in front of us waiting for their turn on a normal working day at 2 PM for Lunch. The food should be authentic “Gujarati” too, as many Gujarati’s too who stayed in the rooms above were eating in the same place. They are open only for Lunch & Dinner. The menu is just of one choice during Lunch, what we were served was unlimited Rotis (Indian Bread), 3-4 ‘subjis’ (Gravy Side-dishes) which are constantly refilled, Sambar, Rasam, White Rice & Curd. On the side were offerings like garnished green chillies, Aam Ras (Sweetened Mango Pulp tasting heavenly) and Gujarati speciality Shrikhand (which I learned is made from Curd & Sugar). The whole meal costing about Rs.80 per person and was worth multiple times of that. The place was clean and service was prompt & quick. I will recommend the place for a good Gujarati pure vegetarian meal.