Maplai, Nungambakkam

Vazhapoo Kola Urundai

Note: We had been to Maplai, a fusion South Indian restaurant in Nungambakkam few days back as part of a Food Blogger’s meet. This review is my own opinion of the overall experience and the event doesn’t have any influence on the opinion.

Note 2: This is going to be a long review, in virtue of the number of food items I had personally tried, which was less than half of what was served to us, to be honest 😛

So, recently one of my friends, Ajit Induchudan, a seasoned Zomato foodie got a call to review the launch of a new menu at Maplai, Nungambakkam. He was also asked to spread the word amongst fellow food bloggers, and thus, I became a part of the group that was to give Maplai folks a big headache that night 😉

After a bit of wait, for the group of have most of its participants in attendance (Few did turn up more than an hour after they were supposed to :P), we went upstairs, where the entire floor was cleared for our destruction spree.

It started with Chef Koushik A.K.A. The Mad Chef explaining to us about the whole concept behind his restaurant, and each and every item from the set menu that we were to review, including what’s special about it and what goes well with what. His knowledge of the food made me wonder if he has a doctorate or two on the food, a question I did ask him. He simply laughed it off.

With the introduction completed, the main purpose of our visit, the FOOD started coming in.

(Note: I would be reviewing only the Veg part of the fare, since that’s what I had tried and I would be elaborating on the highlights of the food items, for the sake of keeping this a post and not a book 😛 )

It started with Spiced Vadam and Green Apple Mojito. These are the usual fare like everywhere else, with the Vadam carrying a slightly raw taste of the spice.

Nellai “Mani’s trone” – This is a fusion dish where the Italian Minestrone Soup meets Nellai, courtesy of Chef Mani. I liked it, but it can be quite filling by itself, making you feel a bit full.

Then came Crispy Guntur Corn, which was quite similar to the crispy corn we get in most places, with a small amount of extra spice added to it.

Vazhapoo Kola Urundai – This is the Vegetarian version of the famous Thanjavur Kairu Katti Kola Urundai, that tasted real nice. Considering it’s an exclusive dish that’s made in limited quantities, I feel I was lucky already !

Karukke Muruke Vendakkai – Imagine Lady’s finger sliced into thin strips, and deep fried and spiced. That’s what this was. Apparently The Mad Chef hates having his lady’s finger the normal way 😛

Theeppori (Fiery) Paneer – Ok this one is not part of the set menu, but was offered for a challenge. I’m sure this one must rate somewhere around 15,000+ SHU on the Scoville range used for measuring spicy heat. It was that spicy.

And before you think, ok, it’s just 15K, I’d like to warn you to never try this or the theeppori chicken, without having a bowl of sugar or Rose milk near you, if you want to retain sanity.

Disclaimer: Neither The Mad Chef nor I would be responsible for any after-effects for the daring souls that try this or the chicken dish.
Next came the Kalan 2015, Paneer ka Thakkali, and Cheppankizhangu (Yam) Roast. Of the three, I enjoyed Cheppankizahngu Roast the most, especially with the dip that was supplied along with it.

Gingerberry Margarita – Fusion mocktail with Ginger and Berry, didn’t get too far into trying it, since I was trying to taste as many food items as possible.
I skipped few curries and breads and went to Ghee Rice and Maplai Paneer Butter Masala. The ghee rice was just out of the world, with those long grains of rice and crispy onion tossed together in a generous measure of ghee. Went well with the Paneer butter masala.

Finally, I closed the meal with Mansatti Curd Rice which is supposed to aid digestion and help with my stomach not getting burnt after trying that ferocious theeppori paneer.

I first tried the Skanda Shake, a fusion milkshake made with Panchamirtham and edible camphor. It was quite good.
Next I sampled Mango Saffron Panacotta, Jil Jil Jigardhanda, and Hot Fudge Brownie. I enjoyed all of them, though the Panacotta was still a bit on the frozen side, losing some of its softness.

Ambiance: It must be calm usually, something that went to a toss with our group 😛 Thankfully, they had the presence of mind of isolate us on the first floor, so that the rest of their customers weren’t scared off.

Service: The stewards were quite friendly and patient in explaining the dishes and helping me make the choices. That said, the speed of service must definitely be improved. Even when you consider that they had to serve a large group and a very large assortment of dishes, something that doesn’t happen ANY DAY unless on a meet like this, the service was still painstakingly slow. A bunch of us felt the pain especially when we had repeatedly requested for Rose milk for over 20 minutes, only to get a bowl of sugar after 25 minutes, and the rose milk finally arrived some 45 minutes later, when The Mad Chef came back to check on us and intervened. With the fiery dishes in place, my non vegetarian friends had to suffer the first round of luke warm fiery chicken, which had got cold after the 20 minutes wait. Arjun and I went through the first round of fiery paneer without rose milk, and the water/mojito we had only worsened the spice effect.

Cost: It was on the house for this meet, however, the package usually costs Rs. 599 for Veg, and Rs. 799 for Non Veg. Considering the unlimited quantity, it’s complete VFM.


Taste: 4/5

VFM: 5/5

Quantity: 5/5 (It’s unlimited)

Ambiance: 4/5

Service: 3.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Do give Maplai a try and you won’t go wrong !

Maplai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photos from the visit:

Maplai, Nungambakkan

  • 1

    Salted Caramel Akkaraivadisal

  • 2

    Salted Caramel Akkaraivadisal

  • 3

    Jil Jil Jigardhanda

  • 4

    Hot Fudge Brownie

  • 5

    3 Way Vattalappam

  • 6

    Maplai Falooda

  • 7

    Maplai Mud Pie

  • 8

    Maplai Mud Pie

  • 9

    Maplai Mud Pie

  • 10

    Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake

  • 11

    Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake

  • 12

    Mango Saffron Panacotta

  • 13

    Mango Saffron Panacotta

  • 14

    Maplai Paneer Butter Masala

  • 15

    Skanda Shake (Panchamirtham Based Shake, with Edible Camphor and Jaggery)

  • 16

    Paneer Butter Masala

  • 17

    Ghee Rice

  • 18

    Ghee Rice

  • 19

    Mushroom Chettinadu

  • 20

    Mangalore Mixed Veg Curry

  • 21

    Gingerberry Margarita

  • 22

    Rose Milk

  • 23

    Cheppankizhangu Roast

  • 24

    Paneer ka Thakkali

  • 25

    Paneer ka Thakkali

  • 26

    Kalan 2015

  • 27

    Theeppori Paneer

  • 28

    Karukke Muruke Vendakkai

  • 29

    Vazhapoo Kola Urundai

  • 30

    Vazhapoo Kola Urundai

  • 31

    Vazhapoo Kola Urundai

  • 32

    Crispy Guntur Corn

  • 33

    Nellai "Mani's trone"

  • 34

    Crispy Guntur Corn

  • 35

    Spiced Vadam

  • 36

    Nellai "Mani's trone"

  • 37

    Spiced Vadam

  • 38

    Green Apple Mojito

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About the author

Lakshmi Narayanan G

A stereotypical IT guy with a typical love for good food and good movies, not so typical love for books, rare love for the theatre arts and an abominable love for such lengthy sentences.

Naturally, with such varied interests, I come out with highly opinionated reviews ranging across categories and mindless blah blah blah.

I'm supposed to be living in Chennai, but I usually live in one of the social networks listed on my profile, since, hey that's so cool yo ;)

Please email me on [email protected] for a conversation

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