Being a frequent traveler to Chennai, I am very particular about where to eat and what to eat! I prefer mostly the South Indian food precisely old Madras Style food whether it’s for breakfast or lunch. I have tried most of the good old places like Ratna Cafe, Rayar’s Mess, Karpakambal Mess, Palmgroves, Woodlands and recently Kayyendi Bhavan. These are undoubtedly best places in Chennai.
Today, I would like to talk about another must visit place thats Murugan Idli Shop, Madurai Based. Yes, it’s a chain of restaurants spread across Chennai, Madurai, Singapore, London and few outlets on Major highways connecting Tamilnadu.
An year ago, I have visited the one in Bangalore – Chennai Highway (Kaveripakkam). I wasn’t so convinced looking at those Cafeteria Tables, plastic Plates and massive dining area. But, the plantain leaf on plate bought some hope about the place. I really don’t understand the concept of serving South Indian food on those yellow & red plates. It gives a feel of McDonalds and KFC.
We were at 8am I believe and place was emptied on Saturday morning surprisingly. Ever smiling waiter came to us and said “எல்லாம் தயாராக உள்ளது” (Everything is ready)
Safe bet is always Idli, so we ordered Idli. It was soft, fluffy, steaming hot and non sticky. Beauty is that, they served multiple chutneys like Tomato, Mint, Coconut. Not just chutneys, they also served Molagaipodi with Ghee and Delicious Dal Sambar. While enjoying with these accompaniments, you will certainly look for waiter to order a couple more 🙂
Ok, done with Idli! What next? Podi Idli – Yes, you heard it right. It’s one of the Signature dishes at Murugan Idli Shop. I assume they literally dip Idlis in Ghee and then topped with Podi. Honestly, you don’t need any accompaniments to have. It just melts in mouth.
You shouldn’t miss ordering சிறிய வெங்காயம் uthappam (Small Onion). It’s extremely popular too and sold out very soon. Only a few know about the monotonous work that goes into delivering the perfect uthappam on your plate. They use only small onions for the uthappams. I was told that Peeling them is quite a task. So they have dedicated staff in Madurai who just peel onions and send them across.
In my recent visit, I have tried the Pongal which is absolutely delicious and goes perfectly with Sambar and தேங்காய் (Coconut) Chutney.
The service is phenomenal in every outlet and quite satisfied with their hospitality. The outlets Ambiance seems different from each other. The newer ones has bright ambiance and airy (Ex: Krishnagiri). The decor is pretty simple!
“Murugan Coffee Nilayam” grown into Tiffin shop in Morning & Night on Road side as “Murugan Idly Kadai”. In 21st year upgraded to Hotel operates full day. It is believed that former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Perunthalaivar Kamarajar was a regular customer of this hotel.
S.Manoharan CMD, Murugan Foods Pvt Ltd went to London to learn food and catering technology. On his return he opened many branches. Then Murugan Foods ventured into catering. It extended to railway catering contract.
Overall, it’s an apt place for good Madurai style Vegetarian Breakfast, Lunch and dinner!