When Gujaratis dished out the Southern platter

Published: 15th July 2013 10:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2013 10:39 AM   |  A+A-

Long-time Chennai residents would be pretty aware of the Neo Roxy restaurant adjacent to the Roxy theatre. Thronged by people from all walks of life, the restaurant was a landmark in Purasawalkam for as long as it survived.

However, the biggest USP of the restaurant was the fact that though run by a Gujarati, Champaklal Bhatt, it served one of the most authentic South Indian food. Satyan Bhatt reminisces, “My father came to the city in the late forties as a teenager. We don’t know what brought him to the South, because we didn’t have any family or friends here. Working at the Arya Bhavan restaurant, he was later made in charge of the restaurant in Purasawalkam and eventually took over the place.”

When Gujarati travellers visited Chennai, they made it a point to visit the restaurant. “Gujarati tourists came in hordes by buses. My father insisted a lot on quality and taste and that’s what made the restaurant so popular,” he adds.

The restaurant closed down later, but the memories of the eatery and the food served are still afresh. “Even today many people tell me that they remember my dad and the restaurant,” says Satyan about the earliest identity of  a hotelier that his family has been carrying for decades.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp