CHENNAI: Fragrant biryanis, spicy kuzhambus and crispy fries — they are all part and parcel of military hotels. Prachi Mehta and Romaa Sharad find some lesser-known eateries that whip up a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast
Madurai Sri Thevar Hotel
This hidden gem near the High Court in Parrys has been running successfully for almost 30 years now. When we entered the hotel at 12.10 pm to have a chat with the manager, we had to nudge our way through hungry patrons, who start pouring in as the shutters go up. The biryani fragrance will guide you to the hotel that is jam-packed with 400-500 customers every day. Their lunch meals with a variety of non-vegetarian side dishes will keep you satiated for the whole day.
Muthumani Chettinad Military Hotel
Since 1999, Muthumani Chettinad Military Hotel has been synonymous to non-vegetarian meals. Served on banana leaf, their meals include authentic dishes which do not appear on menu cards of a star restaurant. The hotel is run by Dunasekaran. Serving close to 100 customers every day, the hotel is sought after for piping hot chicken biryani and tiffin items — available after 6 pm. If you happen to drop by, do not miss their egg parotta.
Naidu Military Hotel
In Chennai food circuits, Naidu Military Hotel is popularly known as Dhonnai Biriyani House. The year-old outlet that serves comfort food was started by Jeyendran Jeyam. With just nine dishes on the menu, all cooked and served by Jeyendran, the eatery is visited by almost 500 people every day. He starts working when the city goes to sleep, and ensures that no one goes home hungry. Every customer who comes to the hotel orders the Rami Amma Meen Kozhambu which is named after Jeyendran’s mother. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, be sure to visit their restaurant at 3 am to gorge on some piping hot biryani.
Sri Ganapathy Military Hotel
Tucked away on a narrow lane in Chintadripet is six-year-old Sri Ganapathy Military Hotel. Nestled between small houses in a violet-coloured building, the small multi-cuisine hotel was started by NV Srinivasan. Serving close to 80 different dishes, mostly non-vegetarian, the hotel has a around 150 customers walk in during weekdays and around 200 during weekends. Loyal patrons sing praises of their service and their specialities including egg dosa, chicken biryani and all the mutton dishes. Pepper paya is among the most sought after dishes.