Experience Burmese cuisine at this Atho Kadai in Chennai

Snack on some authentic Burmese street food in Perambur

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Chennai, like any other city, has its gems in kiosks nestled in narrow by-lanes dishing out delectable treats, not many care to explore. The stalls, vary by size, but manage to pull a sizeable amount of local crowd because of the aroma wafting through the streets.

Perambur in Chennai has one of these many stalls called Atho Shop or Atho Kadai among locals, situated on a busy street sharing space with Shopping Singapore. With a few red and blue stools for seating, the place is brimming with hungry people, both big and small.

The kiosk is manned by three people – two hardworking youth and a small stout woman directing them in Tamil, resembling the conductor of an orchestra. Ismail Meera is hard to miss – the conductor is a dark complexioned woman in her mid-40’s sporting a black skull cap keeping her hands busy swiftly making a basic but fast-selling egg preparation. The Egg Masala (Rs 10) is a simple preparation of slit boiled eggs stuffed with crisp golden-brown onion bits fried in palm oil and garnished with lime, coriander and chili flakes.

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Egg Masala at Atho Shop, Perambur

While the spiced eggs are only starters, Burmese cuisine boasts of Atho (Rs 60) – the equivalent of a salad. Served cold, the dish has boiled noodles, shredded cabbage, onions and bejo (papad-like ingredient) tossed in palm oil and vinegar to give a crisp, fresh and delicious amalgamation of various flavours. The atho is also available with egg called Fried Egg Atho (Rs 60) – noodles cooked with generous amounts of eggs are tossed in a pan with chili flakes, cabbage and onions and bejo to make an appetizing hot snack.

Also Read: This food truck serves mouth-watering biryani for just Rs 60

One of the star dishes of Burmese cuisine is definitely the humble Moinga (Rs 60) – pan-fried noodles, bejo, coriander, onions and cabbage are all cooked in a banana stem broth. The dish resembles the Tibetan Thukpah and could satiate anybody who is ravenously hungry or has a good soupy craving.

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Atho at Atho Shop, Perambur

Atho Shop is run by a beaming Ismail Meera, one of the many Tamil Burmese who came to India from Burma (present day Myanmar) in 1977 to set up the Atho kadai. After setting up shop at many places, she settled on Perambur and has been running the shop for the last 18 months, quite successfully. She, visibly takes pride in serving people good food from her origins and makes sure they have the perfect experience.  

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Moinga at Atho Shop, Perambur

Burmese cuisine has spilled into Chennai because of many refugees who settled in the city more than thirty years ago. The popular Burmese dish Atho originates from A thoke (Burmese salad). One of the main ingredients in the cuisine is bejo which is made from rice flour and features in almost every dish radiating a comfort food experience.

Also Read: This restaurant in Anna Nagar serves the best beef burger

Chennai has many places for Burmese food including Parry’s corner and Perambur, among others that one could check out.

Landmark: Shopping Singapore
Time: 6pm – 11pm
Meal for Two: Rs 140 (no taxes)

 

 

 

Craving steamy momos in Chennai? Head over to Kailash Kitchen!

Experience delectable Tibetan food to comfort your hungry soul

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.

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Kailash Kitchen in Choolaimedu in Chennai

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.

Also Read: This food truck serves mouth-watering biryani for just Rs 60

The menu is self-explanatory, uncomplicated and will instantly transport you to small Tibetan towns, of which you’ve only seen pictures till now.

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Chicken Thukpa at Kailash Kitchen, Choolaimedu

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.

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Dhangthuk at Kailash Kitchen in Choolaimedu

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.

Also Read: This restaurant in Anna Nagar definitely serves the best beef burger

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)

This restaurant in Anna Nagar definitely serves the best beef burger in Chennai

The new bistro manages to serve continental food at affordable prices like no other

Finding the perfect beef burger is hard and while the search is still on, The New Yorker at The Hideout Bistro in Anna Nagar East may just be the answer, as of now.

The New Yorker (Rs 229) is visually a very appealing burger with homemade patty of ribeye beef topped with smokey barbecue sauce, beef bacon, grilled onion and fresh tomatoes all packed into a beetroot-flavoured bun. The beef patty is fried to perfection and makes for a delicious burger loaded with sauce, crisp bacon and crunchy grilled onions with juicy tomatoes and is definitely a win for us.

Anna Nagar gets yet another restaurant in its already overflowing neighbourhood of food and drink in the form  of The Hideout Bistro. The cosy restaurant is situated on the left after the G block Anna Nagar Park near Dhabba Express, in a quiet lane.

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Interiors at The Hideout Bistro, Anna Nagar East

The less than two-month-old dining space clearly impresses with its interiors. Sticking to a white and brown theme with colourful prints for seating arrangement, the reliance on Edison bulbs to illuminate the dining area helps radiate a pleasant atmosphere.

The menu is extensive with a variety of options for breakfast divided into all-day platters, egg variations, sliders, waffles and pancakes. It extends to soups, salads and starters, followed by continental mains with chilled mocktails to quench your thirst on a hot Chennai day.

We decided to start with the simple Cheesy Enough (Rs 139) – Nachos served with a spicy jalapeno cheese dip; the crisp nachos accompanied with the creamy dip is a perfect snack to keep one busy while waiting on the mains.

Also Read: This Chennai food truck serves mouth-watering biryani for just Rs 60

A visually appealing Arancini Ala Milanese (Rs 279) came with a spicy chutney and an in-house orange chilli extract. While we were intrigued with the orange chilli dip, its combination with perfectly crumb-fried balls was a little unusual. The citrus-y dip lacked a thicker consistency that was unable to leave a lasting impression, making us rely on the spicy chutney, which was a perfect match.

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Unicorn’s Secret Potion at The Hideout Bistro,  Anna Nagar East

Magic Mushroom (Rs 219) – a simple sandwich with toasted mushrooms stuffed in a cream cheese sandwich is a treat for all vegetarians. The mushrooms and cheese blend perfectly to make a great sandwich.

We washed down our food with a Sunstroke Remedy (Rs 109) – crushed ice topped with rose-flavoured soda which got us reminiscent of rooh afza, a classic childhood summer drink. However, the Unicorn’s Secret Potion (R 129) was no secret at all because under the colours and glitter was a classic vanilla milkshake and didn’t dazzle us at all.

The Hideout Bistro succeeds in serving good food at affordable prices but disappoints with experimenting. However, the proximity makes it a go-to option for anybody on a budget looking to have a simple continental meal.

Must-try: Cheesy Enough, The New Yorker, Sunstroke Remedy
Meal for Two: Rs 750 + taxes