Comfort food varies from person-to-person and while many may rely on homemade food to dig into, a whole meal in one bowl can do wonders if you know where to get it.
Chennai has quite a few places to hit if you need to gorge on some steaming momos to start with before you move on to traditional cuisines. Kailash Kitchen in Choolaimedu is undoubtedly one of the best places in the city to eat momos and satiate your food craving.
However, you have to work for your hunger because getting to the restaurant is quite difficult. The Tibetan cuisine restaurant situated in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Chennai but the most easiest landmark is Christ Church in Nungambakkam. In the next apartment after the church, in a dingy doorway, the gem of Kailash Kitchen sits quietly catering to its loyalists which has definitely grown over the years.
With barely four tables, the restaurant boasts of a crowd that travels from all over the city just so they can eat delicious Tibetan food. The restaurant opens at 12 pm and closes at 7 pm but don’t bother about coming towards the end because you may just not get any food to eat because of the demand (literally).
The dimly-lit restaurant has bamboo stick interiors with a photo of Dalai Lama and colourful prayer flags along with a Buddha statue on a platform towards one corner.
Diners can choose from a one-page menu that offers Momos, Thukpa, Chowmein and Chopsuey among the popular dishes. If you like experimenting, do not hesitate in trying the Mokthuk, Tso-tse-mein or even the Dhangthuk. All of these dishes are offered in chicken, beef and vegetarian options that can be washed down with either Fresh Lime Soda (Rs 25) or other beverages on offer.
The menu is self-explanatory, uncomplicated and will instantly transport you to small Tibetan towns, of which you’ve only seen pictures till now.
We started our meal with Beef Momos (Rs 90 per plate of six). The steamed momos are filled with peppered beef and are served with a spicy chili chutney, making the perfect match. Next, we dived into a steaming bowl of Chicken Thukpa (Rs 90) comprising of soft noodles in a broth with mixed vegetables and shredded pieces of chicken. It can easily become your one-bowl meal because it is quite filling for an any average eater.
Deciding to go off the beaten track, we decided to skip the Chowmein and Chopsuey to order Dhangthuk (Rs 90), a seemingly interesting dish that did complete justice to our bellies. Made with noodles tossed in soya, the heaped bowl has a carrot, spring onions and cabbage salad mixed with batter-fried chicken pieces. The spicy dish is more like a snack and is a good option if you don’t want to indulge in a soupy delight.
The Mokthuk (Rs 100) is a double treat and is ideal if you can’t make up your mind. It is a combination of momos and a thukpah with chicken parcels dunked in a spicy broth of mixed vegetables and meat of your choice. It is for those who have a massive appetite.
The best time to go to Kailash Kitchen is exactly at 12 pm as the place gets full in no time. Given the ambiance and food, not many people budge from their tables so if you come later it is spent in wishing diners finish their meal almost immediately.
The closest railway station to the Tibetan restaurant is Nungambakkam at a mere walking distance while Arumbakkam is 20 minutes away.
Must try: Beef Momos, Chicken Thukpa, Chicken Dhangthuk
Meal for two: Rs 320 (inclusive of taxes)