My command over the cuisines of India was something I felt proud of, then I got into the subcategories of North Indian Cuisine. That’s when I realised that what I learnt is a drop in front of an ocean of information that’s just waiting to be conquered. So while I was waiting for a prospect to quench my thirst (Pun intended) me and a couple of my foodie friends were invited to a meet at Meena Tai’s restaurant. Another gang of friends who were lucky enough to try them before me gave quite a positive review and their Maharashtrian cuisine was something I was looking forward to try. Given below is my take on Meena Tai’s Alwarpet.
Location & Parking
Meena Tai’s is located in Venus Colony, Alwarpet. It’s next to Tangerine. There is ample car parking space and it’s manned to help us with the parking effortlessly. Meena Tai’s shares the building with another restaurant called Batlivala & Khanabhoy which specialises in Parsi cuisine. It is owned by the same management who will also be bringing our state’s first Ethiopian restaurant to this venue soon. Meena Tai’s is located at the ground floor.
It’s ambience and decor is simple, minimalistic yet elegant and exquisite. They’ve renovated a house into a restaurant and fortunately they are distinctive as sections and not as rooms, in other words, it’s just a long corridor and not a mazy puzzle. The old style carved dark wooden door is what I first noticed. They’ve coupled the furniture with the same colour which is in contrast with the yellow walls and blue lighted chandelier. The shelves and chest of drawers are given a tainted look to look old and they are visible distinct when compared to other furniture.
Food & Beverages
We were welcomed by the proprietor who was kind enough to sit through our dinner explaining each dish and the story behind the inception of Meena Tai’s. We tried a plethora of items, with equal emphasis given to both veg and non veg. Given below is what we had and how it fared.
- Limboo Sarbat: The classic Indianized lemonade with a Maharashtrian twist of cardamom infusion and piece of saffron. It was an invigorating drink that received thumbs up from us all.
- Mattha: This non salty yet sweeter version of the well known ‘Chaas’ was butttermilk with spices imbued. We loved this drink.
- Peruchi Dahyatli Koshimbir: I’ve heard of the Gajar Koshimbir which is a yogurt based salad made from carrots but using Guava (Peru), is an impeccable touch that leaves us with an ethereal feel.
- Papad Koshimbir: Another salad but this time it’s a dry one with crunchy papads in them. Unfortunately this was way too salty and I wasn’t able to cherish it’s actual taste.
- Mini Matar Karanji: Almost every cuisine in the world have it’s version of pastries, either sweet or savoury. Served with green chutney, this version has green peas and coconut as it’s fillings. I really enjoyed it.
- Surnaache Kaap: Roughly translated into yam chips, think slices of yam are marinated and fried before being served again with green chutney. This was an interesting dish but it didn’t satisfy my taste receptor cells as much as it did my brain cells.
- Sabudana Vade: Probably the best out of the veg starters, this dish contains potatoes and sago which gives it a soft yet chewy texture. This delicous yet mild tasting dish went really well with the peanut dip that was served.
- Mutton Kanda Lasoon Masala: Apart from the word mutton and masala, I didn’t get the rest of the name. What I did get was a healthy portion of this dish and I devoured it merrily. Though the meat was perfect, it couldn’t match the taste of Saoji Mutton which was served as a mains. Succulent pieces of juicy mutton with the perfect amount of spices to give that kick, this dish is a sure winner.
- Malvani Kombdi Sukke: Super soft chicken chunks with masala, this dish must be the best of the non veg starters. The meat’s quality was excellent.
- Chutney Che Paplet: Fillets of pomfret cooked with green chutney inbetween, it was a welcoming change to see a delicious fish after a while. Basa has ruined the tasebuds of restaurant going seafood lovers and dishes like these are a blessing in disguise. The meat was cooked to perfection. Found a few fish bones and hence got my plate replaced and the second one was just too perfect.
- Vaangyache Dahyatle Bhareet: Probably the most intriguing and alluring dish of the evening, this contains roasted eggplants on a yogurt dressing with a hint of peanuts. It is one of those sides that can be had on it’s own. Been a while since I enjoyed a vegetarian dish so much and it’s even more amusing that it’s made from one of my least favourite veggies of all time, Eggplants.
- Kelphulachi Bhaaji: Made with banana blossoms, this dish wasn’t as appealing as I expected to be.
- Saoji Mutton: Succulent pieces of juicy mutton with the perfect amount of spices to give that kick, this dish is a sure winner. It tasted way better than the Mutton Kanda Lasoon Masala which was served as a starter.
- Surmaiche Kaalvan: This dish apparently has it’s origins from a royal kitchen. King fish pieces in a soupy gravy that has an intense flavour of garlic. Though the pieces were excellent, the gravy was too runny to have it with breads. A pulao, on the other hand, would be an excellent combination with this dish.
- Kolambi Bhaat: Rice and prawns cooked with their house special sauce is a delight to one’s tongue. A bite into one of the prawns proved how fresh they were and the fiery yet flavoursome dish tasted heavenly.
- Nagpuri Vada Bhaat: This traditional Maharashtrian dish has steamed rice with lentil vadas, that are hand crushed on a grinder, sprinkled over the rice. Though I didn’t really like it’s taste, it did give the feel of trying something really authentic.
- Thalipeeth: This is a multigrain flatbread served with Thecha (Yet another Central Indian delicacy that’s got peanuts and chillis). The bland-ish bread with the spicy Thecha is a dish worth trying.
- Jowar / Bajra Bhakri: These breads are just different to each other from the grains that go into making them. Jowar is Sorghum while Bajra is Pearl Millet. Their nutrient contents don’t need an introduction and they make a perfect match with the Mutton Kanda Lasoon Masala.
- Piyush: The last time I said this word, it was the name of a fellow student who was in kindergarten with me. While my limited knowledge on Hindi was having trouble, my taste buds were experiencing ecstasy. Shirkhand and Yogurt topped with nuts is the perfect dessert to satiate the cravings of a pure Indian sweet tooth. It was out of this world.
- Chirote: More of a flaky puff with sugar dusting, this crispy tasted great on its own. After a suggestion, tried it as a scoop to get some Piyush on it and savoured both together and it was euphoric.
Service was very friendly and personalised. It is the exact level of expertise one would expect in a fine dining restaurant. It was a pleasure to meet the proprietor, Mr. Uday who has spent a considerable amount of time with R & D to create this menu. His enthusiasm to pass over the knowledge is definitely commendable and is actually contagious.
I had an excellent time, trying out some amazing dishes with a wonderful group for company. Some dishes, especially (and surprisingly) the vegetarian dishes did astonish this hardcore carnivore. I’m sure to return back with my family and try a couple more of these dishes. This place is highly recommended for those who adore North Indian cuisine and for those who would love to try some specialities from a cuisine that we aren’t accustomed to.
RATINGS BREAK UP:-
Customer Service:- 3.5/5