Why you should eat at North East Kitchen in Chennai’s Egmore

Relish the different flavours of North East India and even Korea with every bite

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Chennai has many restaurants serving delectable food but if one is actually willing to trade the comfort of velvety interiors and air conditioning for a rather authentic experience, the food makes it absolutely worthwhile.

North East Kitchen in Chennai’s Egmore area is quite deceptive with its interiors; however, the food will eliminate all doubts once you have taken the first bite. Almost always packed, getting a table at the restaurant for dinner can be difficult but is worth the wait.

The restaurant is bare and simple with white interiors, and a few potted plants livening up the place; the seating area for diners is made up of varnished chairs and tables. The vast menu, on the other hand, speaks volumes, with a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to serve, the latter obviously more than the former. It is divide into north-eastern and Korean dishes, which is certainly a delight.

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Pork curry as part of the Pork thali at North East Kitchen

The extensive non-vegetarian menu offers momos, noodles, rice and thukpah in chicken, beef and pork options. The restaurant also serves traditional North Eastern thalis with meats including even fish, among others.

Also Read: Experience Burmese cuisine at this Atho Kadai in Chennai

We decided to start with a favourite and ordered momos. The Pork Steam  Momos (Rs 120)  a plate of seven dumplings are perfect with spiced and minced pork packed and served steaming hot along with a spicy red chili chutney.

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Pork chilli as part of the Pork Thali at North East Kitchen

Instead of getting lost in the menu, we simply decided to order the Pork Thali (Rs 320) from the North Eastern thalis section. The thalis are served in small, normal and big portions; the normal is the most ideal option for an average eater. It comes with a bowl of steamed rice, a traditional spicy pork curry and a dry dish of pork chilli. The tender pork blends perfectly well with the spice and is a perfect combination. The dish is also served with Eromba (mashed potatoes and dry fish with chillies) and salad the side.

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

North East Kitchen is an ideal no-frills place for hungry diners to feast on north-eastern food and its different cuisines in Chennai. It clearly relies on its food to do all the talking or rather keep people quite while relishing it. The Korean food served is an added bonus and a comparatively cheaper option than many others in the city for both locals and expats.

Must-try: Pork Steam Momos, Pork Thali, Beef Chilli
Meal for Two: Rs 800 + taxes
Time: 12 pm – 11 pm

Experience Burmese cuisine at this Atho Kadai in Chennai

Snack on some authentic Burmese street food in Perambur

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)

 

 

 

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

Move over expensive biryani options and get to the streets of Mogappair to feed your craving

We all love our biryani and a regular fix is necessary for a mini-celebration or to even brighten up a dull day. Interestingly, not many places have affordable options to head to when you’re craving for some delicious biryani. However, Chennai boasts of ‘biryani on wheels’, in the form of a food truck called Biryani Bunk, serving a plate full of the treat, for a mere Rs 60.

Parked on the inner side of the 1st Main Road in Chennai’s Mogappair area, the seven-month-old red food truck is hard to miss. The truck started by 32-year-old Clement Wilson, a biryani maniac has a menu that changes every day with a few constants.

Being a childhood dream of Clement’s, after dabbling with various BPO’s, it was working at Groupon that gave Clement the idea of starting a food truck, and nurturing his dream into reality. It was also the absence of affordable restaurants serving good quality biryani that drove his passion to set-up the food truck.

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Biryani lover Clement Wilson (left) decided to leave his BPO job to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a chef

The menu has biryani served in a variety of non-vegetarian options. While the non-vegetarian option is only chicken and mutton as of now, Clement plans on introducing fish biryani; another option on the other hand, is an uncomplicated spicy egg biryani.

Also read: 10 Restaurants In Mumbai Serving Malayali Food That Is Pure Bliss

We decided to try out the Mini-biryani Combo (Rs 90) – chicken biryani served with a plate of chicken 65 on the side. The rice is loaded with spicy masala and generous amounts of chicken pieces. It is served with a mildly spicy aubergine (brinjal/baingan) preparation and raita (mixture of onions and curd) on the side.

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Mini-biryani combo at the Biryani Bunk

While Mumbai and Bangalore have food trucks serving all kinds of food, Chennai still has a dearth of food trucks serving good quality food at decent prices. Biryani Bunk is a breath of fresh air in the street food scene in the southern city, attempting to serve every biryani lovers dream at a decent price and quite rightly succeeding at it.

While being available on Swiggy, Clement also has a Whatsapp group where he releases the menu every morning so that people can browse through, before ordering their choice of biryani.

Time: 6:30 – 10:30 pm (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday), 12:30-2:30 pm (Sundays)
Must try: Mini Biryani combo
Meal for two: Rs 180 (no taxes)