The past week has thrown the entire country into a cash frenzy – Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, shocked nearly everybody when he announced the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 currency notes on the night of 8th November 2016. As the mad-rush to scrape as many valid currency notes continues across banks and ATMs in the country, those innocuous Rs.100 notes have never been dearer for many of us. While I am hardly qualified to comment on the merits and demerits of this bold move, Eazydiner can help you get the best bang for your buck! Here is my list of the best-value-for-your-money eats under a price-point of Rs.100
Seafood platter on Besant Nagar beach
Are you surprised? I sure was. A seafood platter under Rs.100 seems like an absurd proposition, much so if you are expecting plump prawns and delicately crunchy soft-shelled baby crabs. That is exactly what is on offer at the beachside shacks on Elliot’s beach in Besant Nagar. You take your pick, from a display of pre-marinated fish and crustaceans, choose your style of preparation (tawa fry or deep dry) and enjoy the meal with a complimentary side of sea breeze from the Bay of Bengal. The re-used oil can be dodgy, so stick to ever-popular stalls like Annai Fish Stall, which comes recommended to me by a Kollywood movie star.
Chennai’s best South Indian breakfast at Rayar’s Mess
The city has seen much change since the days of Madras Presidency, and old-timers often marvel how Chennai doggedly retains its ethos amidst breakneck development. The Marina Beach, winter music season, filter kaapi have seen decades come and go and I would wholeheartedly contend the inclusion of Rayar’s Mess in the same list. This little dining room in Mylapore, defies modern laws of running a restaurant. In-spite of being widely acknowledged as one of the best purveyor of South Indian breakfast staples, the owners fervently dismiss any consideration for expansion. Rayars has been serving the city’s best vadai and pongal from its sooty four-meter by four-meter kitchen to patrons since the 1940s, and devotees still wait in queue to pay their obeisance in its stuffy 16-meter cover dining room. Perhaps, they always will. A serving of two vadais, two Idlis, a pongal and a dabara of filter coffee will set you back by Rs. 95 only.
Amala Mess in Anna Nagar for a hearty chettinadu meal
While you are never too far away from the robust providence of a chettinadu (or Military) meal in Chennai, the one I keep going to is a little-known eatery in Anna Nagar called Amala Chettinadu Mess. A small family run place – the fierce reputation of the cuisine is beguiled by a rustic, almost homely, charm of Amala’s kitchens. Shell out Rs. 60 for their banana leaf saapad and Rs. 90 for sides like surra puttu (crumbled shark-meat)
Bonus: A blockbuster and Chennai’s best popcorn at Sathyam Cinemas
Disclaimer: You might to have stretch by a tenner for this, but it is undeniably one of the best cinema deals you will ever find. A tenth of the seats at multiplexes in Tamil Nadu (the front rows, often with wooden seating) are mandatorily priced between Rs.10-20; that leaves you with just enough cash for a small pack of popcorn. Now, there is a laundry list for why Sathyam Cinemas evokes a sense of unwavering devotion among Chennaites, but I am sure that their popcorn is on it. They are very generous with portions, are not stringy with butter and their signature DIY seasoning is borderline addictive.
A self proclaimed food geek and coffee nerd, Amit Patnaik enjoys his time in the kitchen as much as he loves dining out. He runs the food blog Pursuit of Yummyness and contributes to The Hindu in Chennai.