The word ‘Maplai’, the dude of colloquial, the bro to ‘macha’, the hand in hand of Madrasi Tamizh, the name by itself means ‘son-in-law’. This house, run by Chef Koushik, a.k.a,
The Mad Chef, true to his name, is not only the coolest host but also one of the most creative chefs. His dishes revolve around innovation rather than fusion. The service staff get to pick their own nicknames on joining the Maplai family, we were served by some interesting people such as King Kong, Kabali, Captain, Thala, etc. which just creates a friendly and very amicable rapport amongst their colleagues. Special mention to how well we were served and how receptive they were.
The HIGHLIGHT and the most noteworthy point here is the MAPLAI VIRUNDHU, for
Rs. 699, offers a whopping 54 lip-smacking items which is a MUST TRY! They hold of a record of nobody having completed the meal except for the Chef’s wife (Appetite respect and applause!) so if you think you have it in you, go ravenous and try it out!
The Welcome drinks/Beverages which were 3 in number Rose Milk, Fruit Mix and Kuluki Sharbath. Fruit Mix contained crushed bananas, pomegranate, apples, etc. My favourite of the lot.
Vadagam, like onion rings but made with rice flour light and crispy tastes great soaked in the Coriander Pepper Soup. They are also served with 5 Dips, Curried, Mint, Avakkai Mayo, Chilli Onion Marmalade, Pineapple Chutney. Try not to get full, ’cause it was really hard to not keep munching on these yummy crispy rings.
Vegetarian Starters, 8 in number which I’m going to list in order of most favourite to least. Paneer ka Thakali is highly recommended, thick tomato masala marination with fingers of paneer, it was one superb dish! Podi Paniyaram with chutneys and mayo was simply amazing. Karukke Murukke Vendakai, crispy fried ladies finger/okra and Paneer Pepper Fry were equally good. Veg Kola Urundai or the banana flower balls taste so close to the non veg one too. Gobi 65, Urulai Kabab, Curried Paneer Tikka were all great but the former items surpassed them hugely.
Non-Vegetarian Starters, 8 in number which I’ll be listing like before, Tandoori Fish Tikka and Nethilli Fry stole the show. Nethili was oh-so-crispy you can lose count stuffing your face. Nattu Kozhi Fry, I know not of restaurants serving Nattu Kozhi exclusively, but choosing this over the regular broiler chicken you can certainly taste the difference and richness of better meat quality. Surprisingly Paneer ka Thakali tasted better than Chicken ka Thakali. Mutton Kola Urundai tasted best with Rasam Sadham. Chicken 65, Chicken Tikka, and Mutton Pepper Fry all did well too.
Vegetarian Gravies included Mangalore Mix Veg Curry, Mushroom Chettinad, Paneer Butter Masala, Kathirikka Kuzhambu, Onion Raitha, etc. 5 in number and Non-Vegetarian Gravies included Chicken Chettinad, Nadan Mutton Curry, Fish Moilee, etc. 3 in number served along with an assorted bread basket containing Malabar Barotta (flaky and layered), Veechu Barotta (thin and crispy), Coin Barotta (miniature), Chettinad Naan (topped with spices such as chilli flakes, sesame seeds, and curry leaves), Karaikudi Lacha (wheat roti topped with garlic, curry leaves and coconut), Idiyappam, Appam, Egg Appam and Kal Dosai. 9 in number. [Oh yes, the variety was just MAD!]
Vegetarian Rices, 3 in number were; Ghee Rice, Thalassery Veg Biryani and Curd Rice. Felt good to take a break from all the meat.
Non Vegetarian Rice varieties were Mutton Biryani and Chicken Biryani and as always Mutton won me over.
At this stage, food coma had kicked in and had almost floored us, when Desserts were announced we pulled ourselves together for the final lap. The last 6 items of the Virundhu were Jigarthanda, Lychee Payasam, Falooda, Brownie with Ice cream, Carrot Kheer, and Mango Cheese Cake, all of which were served in chai glasses, thankfully so we got to taste and finish most of it since they were in small but perfect quantities. Brownie with Ice Cream and Mango Cheese Cake evidently stood out. But the Chief guest of desserts, which was the most ingenious innovation by our very own Mad chef, Karupattimisu a tiramisu inspired dessert which has zero coffee but tastes exactly and better than the actual tiramisu (mind is equal to blown) Karupatti or the palm jaggery/sugar whipped into one of the tastiest desserts of all time, Hats off!
A highly recommended feast, which is totally worth the money and a party for your tastebuds!
“Nalla saapudunga maapila!”