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It would be a shame if you are ever visiting Chennai and go back without sampling some of its lovely southern food. If the city doesn’t offer anything else, it does offer fabulous food. Southern fare has come a long way from dosas and idlys. It is a selection of such hearty homely recipes unearthed from the trunks of Tamil grandmas. To fully understand and explore the beauty of South-Indian food, one has to go visit this iconic fine dining restaurant that stands for everything South-Indian. For authentic South-Indian food, there is no place better than ‘Dakshin’, which is said to be the godfather of South-Indian cooking in Chennai. The restaurant remains unchanged since it opened its doors in 1989 at Crowne Plaza hotel in Alwarpet. While the hotels changed hands from ITC to Crowne Plaza, Dakshin remained the same elegant self.
The beauty of Dakshin lies in its beautiful traditional décor that reflects the heritage of Southern India. It is one of those places that retains the timeless appeal over the years, filling their loyal patrons with nostalgia and charm. Dakshin has designed their dining room on the formal lines with small round or square tables filling the room. Placed on the table is big metal plates lined with a banana leaf, a quintessential part of South-Indian cuisine. The room is spacious and colourful, decorated with key pieces of South-Indian heritage. A large statue of dancing Natraj stands majestically in the centre of the room, reemphasising the South-Indian theme. On walls you will notice beautiful Tanjore paintings all around the room. Dakshin is classy, traditional, vibrant and exotic looking.
Menu of Dakshin is unsparingly South-Indian and includes cuisines from various different regions of Kerala, Chettinad and Andhra. Though expensive, Dakshin is bound to leave you with a multitude of lovely food memories. Its menu is varied and filled with a plethora of sublime classics hailing from all over southern India. Start going through the menu by sipping on refreshing spiced butter milk and continue with, Dakshin yera, nandu puttu, tomato pappu, meen moilee, vazhai shunti, urlai roast and veinchina mamsam. Main course selection is a melange of curries ranging from different states. Feast on, kori rassa, attukal paya, malai curry, vera avarai masala, chapa pulusu, chanaga pappu mamsam koora, Battani masala and avial. Pair the curries with appams or bisi bela bhath or kal dosai. Finale of basundi, badam halwa, vathalappam, coconut baguette and elaneer payasam is a sweet finish.