The Legendary Mylai Karpagambal MessMylapore, lovingly called as Mylai by the Tamil speaking population living all over the world, is a celebrated cultural junction and an important locality in the southern metropolis of Chennai. Located just 8.6 km away from the city center of Chennai (via Kamarajar Promenade), Mylapore is regarded as one among the oldest residential area in the region. The name 'Mylapore' reminds of the poet-saint Thiruvalluvar, Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Temple, Sri Ramakrishna Mutt and a few other things to many. But for foodies, Mylapore, especially the name 'Mylai' reminds of the legendary Mylai Karpagambal Mess!
One of the oldest existing eating houses in the neighborhood, Mylai Karpagambal Mess is a quiet little mess that always holds a special appeal among the gastronomists. Let's keep the epicureans aside for a while that at large, a trip to Mylapore will not be complete without a stopover at the Mylai Karpagambal Mess! Commenced its food service during the year 1950, Mylai Karpagambal Mess is a pure vegetarian eating house that is known for its 'variety-yet-homely and savory-yet-wholesome' food. According to the local people and the regular visitors of this eating house, Mylai Karpagambal Mess is an integral part of the history and culture of the locality that it values Tamil traditions through its food service.
By the look of it, Mylai Karpagambal Mess may seem modest but when it is about quality, variety and taste, the eating house never misses to earn great reviews from the visitors. Started as an eating place that primarily serve 'meals' (typical Tamil lunch), the Mylai Karpagambal Mess was thronged for its beans usili, lemon rasam, potato podimas and pineapple rasam. But then, during the year 1989, the Mylai Karpagambal Mess stopped its 'meals' and introduced a potpourri of tiffin items and variety rice items. The change in the menu was an instant hit and the mess continues to be a must-visit eating house in the locality.
Today, the Mylai Karpagambal Mess exquisitely blended their quality and taste factor with 'wellness' element that they serve numerous dishes that are valued as 'good for health'. Some of their unique 'good for health' dishes include pavakkai podi (bitter gourd powder), murungakeerai adai served with mixed vegetable avial (drumstick leaves adai), modakathan oorugai (ballon vines pickle), karuveppilai podi (curry leaves powder), pudhina podi (mint leaves powder), nellikkai podi (gooseberry powder), vazhapoo oorugai (plantain flower pickle) and so on. Spreading its wings, the Mylai Karpagambal Mess went through a major renovation, and now they have an air conditioned hall and a sales counter.
Much said, this write up cannot be considered complete without sharing some of the most ordered dishes from the menu of the Mylai Karpagambal Mess. Here we go - nei dosai, masal dosai, nei adai avial, nei podi dosai, nei vengaya dosai, nei oothapam, nei vengaya oothapam, podi vengayam oothapam, kal dosai, nei kal dosai, idyappam kuruma, chapathi kuruma, nei pongal, a variety of vadais, poor kilangu, nei rava kichadi, sambar vadai, thayir vadai, more kuzhambu vadai, sambar saadham, thayir saadham, lemon sevai, thengai sevai, nei thengai boli, nei sojji appam, nei Bombay rasapoori, nei carrot halwa, nei Kasi halwa, nei rava kesari, Mysore bonda, vegetable bonda, urulai kilangu bonda, idli and degree coffee and so on.
The eating place houses a sales counter. People can buy a variety of pickles and powders whose primary ingredients are herbs. To sum it up, do not expect posh interiors, luxurious seating arrangements and multi cuisine. Go for it and stick to the traditions with food served on banana leaf, basking the aroma of degree coffee and lip smacking dishes that are nothing but wholesome!
Location: Door Number 20, East Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai
Landmark: Opposite Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar Temple
Mess Timings: 7 AM to 10 PM
Price Range: Rs. 200 for two
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