This new Chennai restaurant boasts of a complete non-vegetarian menu inspired by Tamil Nadu cuisine
Exploring Tamil Nadu’s rich non-vegetarian cuisine, Murukku Meesai Mess is the newest restaurant in Chennai Ambattur’s OMR Food Street. Proud of their meat obsession, the menu is diverse and travels through the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and also has vegetarian meals on it. The interiors resemble a simple but vibrant mess in Tamil Nadu, and have walls depicting traditions in different regions of the south Indian state. A mural of two roosters fighting, greets us as soon as we enter the restaurant, which is lit by black lamps on the ceiling.
Crab meat soup?
A staple in most homes during the summer, we sip on a chilled glass of panakam, a mix of ginger, cardamom, and jaggery, as we work up an appetite. Excited by the variety in an all non-vegetarian meal, we start with a steaming bowl of Crab soup. The crabs, locally sourced from the Kasimedu fish market, are meaty and we couldn’t help ourselves but clean it to the shell; all this while we take regular swigs of a peppery soup from the bowl. We aren’t really prepared when three different plates of Chicken Kothukari Vada, Mutton Kola cutlet and Yera Varuval (prawn fry), arrive in quick succession to our table. As if ready to eat at a feast, we pop a few masala-fried fresh prawns which are best coupled with the fried curry leaves before we make our way through the mildly spiced chicken and minced mutton patty, which has a delicious hint of cardamom in it.
A classic dish of spicy chicken leg called Gun Chicken (owing to the shape), which comes next is unavoidable as it is meaty, with a hint of pepper, curry leaves, and lime, making it quite a treat. Getting ready for the next course, we wash the chicken down with the crowd favourite Lemon Goli Soda. It does not take us too long to spot a mouthwatering slice of Vanjiram Meen, tawa-fry preparation, coming towards our table. We could not ignore the sound of clanking glasses being used to make parottas. "Unlike traditionally made, we use steel glasses to make the parottas," Rajesh Kumar, Food Consultant for the restaurant tells us. Called a Murukku Meesai Mess special, it is raw-fried, and best had with the combination of sliced onions and lime. A mandatory special, the Chicken Kothu Parotta can be eaten as a meal in itself, if you like to keep it simple. However, the fragrant Ambur Mutton Biryani is also another option on the menu, which can be quite filling for a no-frills meal.
Our faces lit up at the sight of Idiyappams (string hoppers) being served with Aatukaal Paya. The spicy gravy poured over the flimsy accompaniment is definitely our favourite on the menu, as it is served with a juicy lamb trotter, making us dig in even more. With our bellies stuffed, we ended our meal with a cooling Rose Milk, leaving us absolutely delighted.
Meal for two is Rs 750 plus taxes