Meena Tai’s – Foodies Meet
Few weeks back, Le Foodies group got an invite (On the house ofc) to try out the food at Meena Tai’s, a swag new Maharashtrian restaurant that’s been opened at Alwarpet.
Surprisingly, for the first (and probably the last time), I arrived here first, well before the rest of the gang (OMG!)
Location & Ambiance
Located on Venus Colony, near Tangerine, Meena Tai is at the ground floor of a multi-restaurant building, owned by the same management.
The other restaurant here is Batlivala and Khanabhoy, a Parsi restaurant, on the first floor and an Ethiopian restaurant is coming soon as well (Excited already!)
PS: It’s a house that’s been remodeled into a restaurant. I definitely got that “at-home” feeling while I was here. Special kudos to that.
To while away time, I went around clicking few snaps of the surroundings and the interiors.
Meena Tai is tastefully styled with a vintage decor, and paintings adoring the walls, you’re sure to get that nostalgic vintage feel when you visit the place.
The tables, windows, paint, lighting, even the props cupboard thrown in – Every single thing gives a vintage feel and a relaxed ambiance.
Launching into Food
Aligning our taste buds with drinks
We started off with a couple of welcome drinks to align our taste buds for the impending food launch:
Limboo Sarbat: This was the good ol’ lemonade with a twist in the tale – Cardamom and saffron infused into it. Loved it !
Matha – This was spice-infused, masala buttermilk that was an instant hit ! Rajiv and I helped ourselves to multiple rounds of this concoction from heaven (Ok I know I’m exaggerating – I love anything that’s curd/buttermilk – But this one was really good)
Ignite the engines with Salads & Starters
We tried couple of their salads:
Peruchi Dahyatli Koshimbir – It was yogurt based salad made using carrots and Peru (Guava). The name means Peru Raita (Guava Raita). Loved this one.
Papad Koshimbir – This one was a regular salad with crunchy, crushed papads added for a twist. It was a little salty, but nothing unmanageable. I took only a single serving though, to keep room for what’s to come.
Then came the starters:
Mini Matar Karanji – It was a samosa like savoury pastry, with peas and coconut filling. Goes well with their spicy chutney.
Surnaache Kaap – Thin slices of Yam marinated and fried, to be served with chutney. I liked it
Sabudana Vade – Sago based potato vada is the simplest way to describe it. Served with a peanut dip, this one was a total hit amongst us !
Pushing ahead with the Main Course
Vaangyache Dahyatle Bhareet – Roasted eggplants on yogurt with peanuts; That’s how a simpleton (Like me) would call this divine dish ! Though it’s technically a side, you could choose to make meal out of it and you won’t be disappointed.
Nagpuri Vada Bhaat – Another traditional Maharashtrian dish, this one was intriguing – This one has steamed rice with lentil (paruppu) vadas.
But wait ! The vadas are crushed on a grinder and sprinkled over the rice, with some oil and mild spices applied over. I liked this dish for the difference in taste it provided.
Thalipeeth – Multi-grain flatbread served with Thecha, another peanut + chilly based side. Though the bread is bland, Thecha makes up for the blandness with its spice quotient.
Jowar / Bajra Bhakri – These are basically breads made from Sorghum (Jowar) and Pearl Miller (Bajra). I had them with Thecha and Vaangyache Dahyatle Bhareet and loved it so much that I went for the 2nd serving as well.
Sealing the mission with Desserts
Piyush – Lovely Shrikhand, mixed with Yogurt & dressed up with nuts. This one is a hit for the sweet-toothed. Surprisingly, being someone who’s not so much of a sweet-tooth, I still enjoyed this dish. Kudos to the balance struck by the yogurt and nuts.
Chirote – A flaky puff, dusted with powdered sugar. It was quite good, but it was too sweet for my palate to enjoy. My friend Gopi A.K.A. Mister Madras tried it with the Piyush and ended up euphoric.
Meena Tai is not for those who want to jump-in and jump-out like a fast food place. Be prepared to spend few hours here, since that’s what the place is about.
Overall, the service for us was very personalized and friendly. They took the time to bring each dish, let us relish it at our own pace and were patient enough to check on us if we required additional helpings or anything else, without being intrusive.
Learning the Ropes
Mr. Uday, the proprietor of Meena Tai spent the entire time with us (Some 3.5 hours of it), passing on his knowledge of the dishes, explaining the roots.
The amount of time he has spent on learning the cuisines, his travels to accomplish this, and the efforts he has taken to set this up are mind boggling and his enthusiasm was infectious.
Cost: NA (It was on the house for us)
Some more pics of Meena Tai + Batlivala & Khanabhoy: