Maplai, Sterling Avenue, Nungumbakkam

I was always under the impression that if it is South Indian food, it is best had at home. Because the options available is not anything more spectacular than the common food which one could have at the comfort of his home, nor does it feel like a healthy option. The choices available up until now have rather been mediocre rip offs of the original which are a speciality of certain locations down south. Enter Maplai!!! aka BRIDEGROOM!!! into the food scene which is already crowded, with a strong name like that. A Maplai means he is special. There is a certain speciality associated with the term Maplai i.e. he gets what he desires. Also the Maplais of the tamil culture are not treated to non-veg food on their wedding day. Usually this is on the following day where the in-laws serve up a lavish feast to revitalise the groom. So what you really dream off when you enter the restaurant, is a feast which is fit for a Maplai.

As this was the my first time here, I was going about ordering the dishes based on what I have seen on social networking sites and heard from other people. So we started of with Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola, Travancore Chicken Fry and Nethili Fry. For the mains we picked Kozhi Virundhu. To quench our thirst we picked a Strawberry Margherita and a Lemon Ice Tea.

Firstly the Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola was simply something one should try, the mutton is so so so soft. Something like kola urundai but only given a royal treatment here. Super sized and given decor update, it looks fantastic. Every bite is a bite into absolute decadence. Then the Nethili Fry was crispy and fabulous minus the oil which you would associate with fried items. By this time we were served with our mains. So the Travancore Chicken Fry had to wait.

Mains the Kozhi Virundhu was absolutely a Virundhu aka feast as the name suggests.
It comprised of :
- Panagam
- Neer More
- Barotta
- Tohaiyal
- Onion Raitha
- Pickle
- Masala Vadai
- Omelette
- Payasam
- Veg. Kuruma
- Parupu Keerai
- Ladysfinger Poriyal
- Rasam
- Applam
- Curd
- Rice
- Sweet Beeda
Mind you all the above mentioned are unlimited. Finally Kozhi Kuzbambu and Chicken 65 which are limited.

This virundhu is so large that myself and my friend really struggled to clean up the dishes. Infact we ended up parceling the starters as we were simply overwhelmed by the shear number of dishes. First the Panagam and Neer More (butter milk)  were simply superb. Mainly given in south India to give the groom his much needed electrolytes. Barotta was medium sized soft and simply superb. Consuming the barotta actually makes the rest of the meal heavy.

Tohaiyal, Onion Raitha and Pickle is served in small quantities, if you like em ask for more. Masala Vadai the only thing which I felt out of place in this entire virundhu. Omelette yeah! it is unlimited. Payasam was okay, could do with a bit more of sweet.

Veg Kuruma, Parupu Keerai and Ladysfinger Poriyal were all stunning. Mainly they felt cooked with less amount of oil. Finally the curd was sooper rich. Served up in a mud pot, it looks amazing.

Combining Kozhi Kuzbambu with the rice and mixing it up with Poriyal, Applam and Omelette simply transports you down south were this a traditional meal for a new bridegroom. Okay I am not a Maplai yet, but have definitely have had such a meal, many a times (or at least twice. I have two older brothers).  The starter Travancore Chicken Fry was rich, but then we had moved on to having the virundhu which had the chicken 65 which was almost similar.

Hogging down this meal we had our drinks waiting to be gulped as well. Iced tea and Margherita were both great. No complaints here. Finally when we thought we done with our meal, we were served with Tirunelveli halwa based dessert on the house. Or should I say Tirunelveli ke halwavaa?? Now deconstructing it, Halwa served on a bed made of biscuit with jaggery and ellu and finally a dash of wipped cream. One word WOW!!

The entire meal was all about the name MAPLAI!!!! An absolute magical Maplai virundhu.

The decor here is very simple but looks classy. No authentic South Indian touches to show its south indian incline. They have definitely let the food do the talking. I liked the nice touches where they had knobs on the table to standardise the space between the table and the wall.

A proper Maplai experience. No better word to tell it.

This meal for two cost us Rs 1420/- inclusive of all taxes. Which I felt well worth the meal.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Maplai is located on Sterling Avenue in the road opposite to Loyola College.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.

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