Eat. Stop. Repeat on OMR Food Street
With 30 restaurants under one big roof, we were spoilt for choice at the OMR Food Street at Thoraipakkam last weekend. While this was one of their early outlets, (they have outlets at Navallur, Perumbakkam and Guduvancherry), we were told by many to take the long drive just to sample the atho at the Burmese Square here — we found ourselves delightfully distracted with plenty of other treats as well.
Even though we are hit by the strong whiff of fresh filter coffee from the Kumbakonam coffee shop at the beginning of the aisle — we keep that for later and head to the famed Burmese counter, one of the first restaurants to come up at the food street. The Burmese noodle along with hot chicken momos and boiled eggs stuffed with fried onion was satisfyingly chased down with some Bejo soup.
The owner Rajesh Kumar points us to the next stop, Table 9, also owned by him — however located on the right side of the aisle, where one has the advantage of air conditioning and a better seating area. Here we were kept engaged with a plate of their popular tandoori chicken momos, honey glazed chicken accompanied by steaming hot chicken fried rice.
We spot a brightly coloured Bubble XO kiosk on the left side of the aisle, through the crowd that had by now, started filling in. Owned by Dinesh Dhanraj and Shantanu Bhagyaraj, they serve the picture perfect bubble tea that was, not so long ago, an internet favourite. The cold Taro milk tea and watermelon smoothie, quenched our thirst, while the topping — a soft round grape jelly, surprised us at the end.
Meanwhile, Zuki & Co, that had started out with waffles and crepes, have switched to Malaysian cuisine. The owner Suhail Shaman lets on that their previous fare was not as popular. While we are not pleased that desserts didn’t make the cut here — we do end up gorging on a second plate of honey glazed chicken for the night, only this time around — the chicken was crispier with a spicy-sweet sauce. Those with a sweet tooth can track down their other outlet in Injambakkam that stuck to the old menu.
On our way out, we even manage to tuck into a a plate of Millet uthappam, topped with colourful vegetables like yellow bell peppers, tomatoes and french beans, with sambhar and chutney at Ki Mu 200 — a kitchen that serves all-millet based South Indian food. Finally, the white and dark chocolate coated sweet paan stole the whole show and a thick and filling cup of rabdi lassi from Banarasi Lassi. Rahul Chabbria, owner of Banarasi lassi tells us that these are street flavours from his home in Delhi. And yes, we did finish with a mandatory cup of South Indian filter coffee at the Kumbakonam coffee shop.
OMR Food Street, which was started by Ranjith Baba in 2014, is looking to
expand their reach to places within Chennai and other cities including Puducherry, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Talking about the idea of food streets as a whole, he says, “I think food streets are the future for the food industry. Nowadays, when restaurants are striving to implement new ideas to earn customers’ patronage, food streets bring a whole load of different ideas and cuisines under one roof
without the additional operational fee.”