Flavours of Karnataka come alive in Chennai, thanks to Eating Circles
If you love Bengaluru tiffin, you’d probably want to try the month-old Eating Circles. Bringing the famous neer dosa, sweet sambar and Madhur vada to Chennai, this stand-and-dine eatery located on Poonamallee High Road attracts crowds by the droves, as early as 7.30 am.
Owner Aashruth Rangarajan, who is all of 22, tells us that starting a food business was always his intention, but the choice of the cuisine was made when he found a gap in the market. “I’ve never been able to find authentic Karnataka-style tiffin in Chennai,” says the former HR professional and son of a popular motivation speaker and founder of infinitheism, Mahatria Ra. To ensure the authenticity of flavours, he recalls, “I visited districts across the state including Davanagere, Mulabagilu and Tumkur, about a dozen times.” This is apart from the fact that the cooks working with him were brought down from Karnataka.
As we walk in, the first thing that catches our eye is an installation of a cup spilling coffee that jumps right off the wall, with Chennai Central in the background. The sound of dosa-making draws us towards the open kitchen where different kinds of dosa batter are splashed across the tawa, to be served hot and fresh. The menu, we notice, is short and concise with about a dozen dishes and four drinks.
Neer dosa, the first dish served to us, is a Mangalorean delicacy made of rice flour, coconut and water. The dosa is soft and thick, paired with a mixture of grated coconut and molten jaggery, along with the usual red chilli and coconut chutneys.
Quick to follow is the steaming hot and crispy special butter dosa, which we love, but health conscious folks, there are also “zero oil” and red rice dosa options. To wash it down, a must-try is their Kaju Rose Milk, which arrives chilled and refreshing with a garnish of finely chopped rose petals on top.
With substantial portions and prices that go easy on your pocket, Eating Circles is open for early breakfast and dinner, and also provides valet parking. As for the inspiration behind the name, Aashruth shares, “If you’ve observed, most of the tiffin Indians eat, be it paranthas, pooris, idlis or dosas, are all circular. We literally eat in circles!”
At Old 151, New 132, Poonamallee High Road, Kilpauk.
Price for two: Rs. 250