Get free deal with every meal
Confirm booking in 30 second
No charges on booking cancellation
Although Annalakshmi has not been around forever, no other restaurant has come to be as venerated in recent memory. There are fancier restaurants, and there are better kitchens. But Annalakshmi has trust. You sense it as soon as you enter the waiting area. Families patiently await turns having reserved a table weeks in advance. It is the kind of place relatives are whisked to after landing in India, promising an authentic ‘high-class’ Chennai experience. I get a table near the central Annalakshmi (the goddess of food and wealth) idol, brass lamps gleaming with a gingelly-oil flame. Service clad in silk kurtas moves softly, explaining the menu which spans vegetarian Tamilian dishes with a North Indian buffer. There are also a handful of Thalis on offer, ranging from 'Mahalakshmi Preethibhojanam' to healthy 'Aaroghyam' to 'Sampoorna', which need to be ordered a day in advance. You can make gluten-free requests and specific modifications to the Thalis. The music shifts from Illayaraja and Subbulakshmi to Yanni to that popular saxophone tune you hear all the time in elevators. My Mahalakshmi Preethibhojanam begins with crisp 'Mini Dosas'. It is followed by 'Rasam', 'Puliyogare' and 'Lemon Rice', 'Curd Rice', 'Kuzhambu' and 'Kootu' before 'Payasam'. The spicing is gentle and everything is served at just the right temperature. It is predictable but consistent, and that sums up Annalakshmi for me.