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Springing a surprise

The menu at Shree Arusuvai Arasu is just right for South Indian foodies



Delicious spread... at Shree Arusuvai Arasu.

IT IS not that I needed convincing; the aroma wafting from the hot adai swept away the last of my doubts. Arusuvai Arasu is a brand name you can trust. I am aware that the name has been around a long time to make my statement trite. Still certain things are worth repeating.

How many like to venture out in the rain at night? Not me. Many in Mylapore too thought that way. The streets were deserted by 9 p.m. At the Shree Arusuvai Arasu restaurant (ph: 52108495) on North Mada Street, we were the last customers. The restaurant closes at 9.30 p.m.

With the closing time looming over us, snacks were out of the question. The menu read like that of a standard multi-cuisine restaurant — a combination of South and North Indian dishes and Chinese items. By the way, the ambience has a lot in common with the other Arusuvai joint in T. Nagar — shabby and utilitarian. One wished the grimy staircase to the restaurant was cleaned up once in a while.

Back to the basics, it was Kanchipuram idli (Rs. 15), adai-avial (Rs. 26), spring dosai (Rs. 30) and poori (Rs. 18) for us as these were the only South Indian items available at that hour. And it didn't make sense to go for the Chinese or North Indian food.

The adai, my favourite, was superb. Ah, the aroma. Whatever the cardiologists may say about saturated fat, nothing can replace ghee in Indian cuisine. It was with reverence that I ate each mouthful. The idli was also good.

The spring dosai needs special mention. It is a Chin Li-meets-Nataraja Iyer creation, something of a dosai wrapped Chinese surprise. The filling is a medley of vegetables sautéed lightly. To suit the dosai wrapper and the Indian palate, the sauce inside has enough bite to make this fusion item a success. This Arusuvai original is a must try.

The gulab jamun (Rs.7.50 a piece) and Mysore pak (Rs.8) were a let down.

At Arusuvai Arasu, there are special treats for Deepavali. On the menu are 60 different varieties of dosais! It's time to make that trip to Mylapore.

MARIEN MATHEW

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