31 Reviews / 34 Ratings
This is a perfect place if you want to have some good south Indian food. I prefer to go for an early morning breakfast to this place.
Why you should go here?
Sambar Sambar Sambar
Why you should not go here?
Ambiance not that great
Not a very well maintained place
Crowded most of the times
I really like to go to this place because of their sambar but unfortunately I see that the quality has been deteriorating off late. If you want to spend a peaceful evening with your loved one please do not even attempt going here.
South Indian Delight!
The place is always crowded but that just shows the quality of the food. The food is really good and worth every dime. It is very cheap. I would always settle for a plain dosa and Sambar vada. The sambar here is really good.
The service is a little slow and the ambiance decent.
An Old Gem
Triplicane Ratna Cafe, as its affectionately called is one of the oldest surviving restaurants in the City . Located very close to the Triplicane temple , its famous for their huge quantity of sambar being served for even 2 idly's.
The quantity and quality is excellent and a really definite try , to get the flavour of Chennai .Don't expect big service and fancy ambience, as this is a very old place and its a no frills restaurant, though not comprising on the quality and taste of the food . People don't complain drop in taste over the years, but it happens to any restaurant and I guess to a fair extent is adjustable. .Do visit once and get a "Sambar bath" on your Idly or Dosa :)
Lost its charm
I used to go this place when I was a kid but recently I was very much disappointed with the place . The quality has gone down and the service has become worse . But the dosas especially the onion roast and rava dosa are my favorites of this place and I still like having them in this place . I personally feel they have failed to keep up with the improving standards .
One of the worst services ever seen
I use to visit ratna cafe Velacherry. One of the worst service and people.There will be no AC but two table fans inside A/C Hall. in the name of ac hall they charge all possible charges.. for example they charge 26rs for a water can (MRP 20). if you ask why you charge 26 they will respond rudely. Ambience is not good. It looks like restaurant in 1920s. Less crowd is only advantage of going this hotel.
Mouth watering 'Sambar Idly' :-)
One of the best destination's in Chennai for having 'Sambar Idly'. The idly that is served there differs from the normal idly that we make in our houses. The idly is made from idly rava that looks porous and absorbs all the sambar, giving us a feel of cutting butter with the spoon.
Other than the idly's, all other tiffin & lunch items tastes average.
Madras has its taste@
Well, I've was taken to this place after having heard about its history. Liked the degree coffee, the vada sambar, the idly sambhar, masala dosa ! Typical south indian and one can enjoy the taste ! As Annapoorna to cbe, i think it is one of the best for chennai. Service was poor and cleanliness can be improved. Old is gold, maintain your standards based on the generation change !
The famous sambar idly place. They must have special recipe for the sambar idly. The sambar had more dhaniya or coriander flavour. It was still tasty. The masal dosa was good.
They have renovated the place. A/C section is spacious nice ambience. The service is very good. They are changing with times yet maintaining the old recipes. Negative is no car parking.
One of the city's good old foodie's delights, the sambhar there is something to die for. Prices have shot up a bit from the last time I ate there couple of years back, but I see that that has been the norm all over the city. Go there in the morning, have couple of plates of sambhar idly for a blissful start to your day !
Once upon a time!
This was probably the best restaurant at the time my dad was a 20 year old...and this is from all the reviews ive heard from him..But now, theyve just increased the prices but the quality is really bad. The ambience will make your taste buds vanish. There is paan spit along the sides. dusty tables. dirty floors and the old unwashed kitchen area(partially visible) ...the waiters are very friendly but apart from that, there is nothing good about this place...the well acclaimed sambhar taste, you can get it in lots of places nowadays! better places! the ratna cafe name has really been spoilt, probably overwhelmed by competition.
Best South Indian restaurant
If I've to choose the best traditional South Indian Restaurant in Chennai, without doubt, it'd be Ratna Cafe. The Sambhar is the best you can get anywhere. When you order Idly-Sambhar, the idlies are placed in a small bowl and a waiter pours steaming hot Sambhar in it. If this is not bliss, I don't know what is.
Apart from the famous Idly Sambhar, my other favourite dish is the yummy Dosais.
I don't know why people talk so highly of Saravana Bhavan. In taste and quantity of food served, Ratna is way better than Saravana Bhavan.
I have tried several places such as Murugan, Sangeetha and other venerable destinations of south indian vegetarian fare in general and idlis/sambar in specific.
I must say, the sambar at Central Railway station outlet of Ratnas is truly lipsmacking and yummylicious. Worth a short fill and may be a refill for the parched souls yearning for authentic south indian simple fares but of absolutely delectable fare
Ratna Cafe pathetic in porur
I had been to all the Ratna Cafe restaurants around Chennai , I was very happy to see one in my locality Porur , but my happiness was short lived and a had terrible experience.First was shocked to see North Eastern girls employed as waiters , the worst thing was that they neither understood English nor tamil , the supervisor tried helping them , but was in vain , the ultimate sufferers were the customers who dropped in , the AC and the entire dining experience was very bad. I had ordered for an onion uttappam and after 45 minutes the supervisor came saying onion uttappam was not available , call this service ??!! In fact nothing came in time , given the buffer time for the preparation.I complained the entire experience to the cashier, he was in no mood listening to my words. The worst was that there was another fight going around in the parcel counter.
Hope someone looks into this , Ratna Cafe has a very good reputation around the city hope this one in porur do not spoil that. I promise i will not suggest this place to anyone to have your dinner.
Go there for the Sambar
For more reviews and pictures, visit: http://www.couchpotatoesonthemove.blogspot.com/
Having heard much about the place, I decided to catch breakfast here a couple of weeks back. Ratna Cafe is a small little South Indian breakfast and tiffin joint with branches in Triplicane and T Nagar. The ambiance is nothing great but the food rumouredly is. Its recent popularity has ensured more crowds and higher prices.
I ordered the uttappam (Rs.26, I think) and Johnny ordered a plate of idli (Rs.21). The idlis were HUGE. Quite different from the ones in Bangalore. I don't think they were the softest or nicest but they were pretty decent. But what you must watch out for is their superlative sambar. Thick, tasty and slightly spicy: it was totally yummy.The uttappam I had was quite good. They doused it liberally with molga podi and I loved the spice in the dish. Of course, team this with the sambar (actually, team anything with the sambar) and it's quite heavenly. We also packed a plate of poori-sagu (Rs.30) but if you visit this place, I recommend that you try something with the sambar. Everything else is more or less normal fare that you can obtain at a gazillion outlets across South India.
Unfortunately, they didn't have anything sweet so I ordered a coffee instead. There are very few places that go wrong with filter coffee in Madras and Ratna Cafe isn't one of them.
Strong and hot filter coffee might not be the best option to beat the heat but it sure does wake you up.
Service is efficient and fast like most of these idli-vada places. I do think the place is a tad pricey. Rs21 for a plate of idlis (no matter how big) seems a little high. But I suppose such things are inevitable when an establishment becomes famous. While the original branch is in Triplicane, I visited the one in T-Nagar and this review stands only for that branch.
Pricing: A meal for two here shouldn't cost you more than Rs.100 (at most)
Unhygienic, Excessively priced
If you are looking ONLY for the taste, i reiterate ONLY taste.. Nothing else..
One can never relish the taste in an Unhygienic place (Triplicane Branch), which is so unclean and dirty..! You can very well see cockroaches queuing up the corners of the walls. The plates are never cleaned up properly... The Velacherry branch has a small cooum running just outside the restaurant, which stinks always... l think t.nagar is kinda ok
For the rates they charge, guests definitely deserve more.. They have passed on the tasty menu from generation to generation, but they never thought of improving the ambience for the customers.
They jus Don't Care about the customers, I mean it. I know people who are looking for taste are still visiting this hotel and funding their sales. They have very goods sales, but people should also understand, we deserve better Hygiene and a clean, healthy environment...
that too at times like "Swine Flu" fear.. i have started AVOIDING this restaurant completely.
Its NO better than a road side shop, but for the brand name.
Sambhar for the South Indian Soul
I'm talking about Ratna Cafe.
The original one, in the dingy lanes of Triplicane, sharing space with cows, goats, hens and other forms of life that you won't usually find on their menu.
Strictly vegetarian. And it has been for almost a century.
This place is an ode to the humble lentil. It's a temple where the presiding deity is the Sambhar, and all else are just there to make up the pantheon.
It is, perhaps, the only place where Idlies and Dosas are served as accompaniment to the sambhar, which, btw, is ladled out in huge mugs. Come in on a sunday morning, like I do, and you'll see people of all shapes, sizes, ages and dispositions slurping away without a thought for propriety. You dont daintily pick at your food here; you devour it with an auditory accompaniment of grunts, squeals and belches.
For the faint of heart, and graduates of epicurean finishing schools, this is valhalla. For those who love to eat without allowing things like table manners to come in the way, this is manna.
So the next time any of you is in Chennai, and you want to check out some herbivore sanctuaries, u know where to find the 'Great Indian Sambhar'!
Idli & Sambar
Being born and brought up from triplicane, I know for sure, there is nothing to beat Ratna Cafe for their idli, sambar, coffee.. The best place ever to have idli & sambar.
I know the problems with service, cleaniness, etc, etc. But I'm in for Idli, Sambar & filter coffee all the time.
The day I land in chennai, everytime, I will be one of the first few customer in that place. And I'm proud to it. I love their idli, vada, sambar and coffee, all the time.
crowded, poor service, excessively priced
went to this place some time back after hearing abt its famous idly and sambar from my brother (who had lived in triplicane some six or seven years back)... the idly+sambar is ok.... but the pros stop at that... very poor service... u have to shout a hundred times to get a waiter to get him to hear ur orders.... food is again only ok, nothing superb.... and seating arangements put me off completely... very cramped space, too small seats, not enough area to place ur plates in the table!!!!! if u dont take the a/c room, u'l be boiled like an idly. real hot place... no proper ventillation.. and even the ac room is only maintained at normal room temperature...
has a lot of shortfalls... not my favourite.. by the way,i feel the food is excessively priced for their taste and service...
best place for idlis
well when it comes to ratna i will rate higher in any south indian restaurant..well v easily located in heart of tnagar jus next to temple tirupathi. lively enviroment fresh air and amaizng idlis..i prefer ratnas any day above murgan whic was always crowded....
well ratnas are such an old place but it never lost its shade.
they keep renovated and updated in keeping with modern amenities.
really ratna is 1 best place to stop over when 1 has to go 4 idlis sambhar
n ya its hot coffee is also very famous. guys.
Old is gold!
Guys the old Rathna which was known for its sambar is not what you actually get today! After the brand was bought over few years back they have been focusing on expansion and there are even branches abroad now. The typical 'Triplicane Rathna Cafe' has its brand name only and not the taste but if you are still satisfied with the taste may be you are just getting carried away by the stories told to you :)
Good Old Place.. But New prices..
Ratna Café, Triplicane has been around for the last 3 to 4 generations. My moms generation used to find the place to be a nice food point.. But currently its not the same Ratna Café..
It was said to be very famous for the way they serve sambar for 2 idlis.. They serve sambar in a big Jug for 2 idlis.. And the taste also used to be very good..
Still the taste of food esp (idli+sambar) is phenomenal. Overall Quality to an extent is intact here..
But since it is famous and now that there is a lot of IT Crowd with hefty wallets, these guys have taken advantage and conveniently changed the price structure catering to this crowd..
Ambience, if you are looking for ambience, this is not the place to look for.. Always crowded, cramped chairs are a feature of this place.. Cleanliness is fair..
The staff are not very friendly & professional, but they are able to manage the crowd..
idli & sambar - still the best
Although they offer a lot of stuff, their idli/sambhar is still the best on their menu.
I went to a rather large restaurant, with some hidden passages and all :), all to reach the air-conditioned room.
snippet from my blog....
Ratna Cafe is a regular 'udipi' style restaurant, and serves all the regulars, dosa, rava dosa, poori, pongal etc. But its claim to fame is the sambar and thats what will linger in your mouth and mind, after you dine there. The sambar is one of the best i have ever tasted, and they will simply pour it on. They are not shy or stingy about their sambar.....
Traditional and much touted Ratna café at Triplicane truly tantalize your taste buds. The café is usually flooded with people of all class craving for the delicious sambhar soaked idlis. The soft, steamed and flattened white ball was great to taste but what was missing was the chutneys. Nonetheless the winning combination of sambhar & idli was irresistible.
They also serve an array of authentic south Indian delicacies like dosa, pongal, utthapam, special South Indian meals and the list goes on. Got a sweet tooth you can try out the sweets from the ratna sweet section and folks if you are on a dosa date, for a change try out the chats from the chat section the snacks are lip smacking. The good food here is flavorful & wallet friendly.
The Ratna café uses R.O purified water for cooking & drinking. They also have AC hall available at the first floor for small parties & functions. The atmosphere was that of a college canteen but their good food & quick service is the reason why they call themselves THE CROWN OF SOUTH INDIA.
Awesome soft idlies
This is one of the oldest restaurants in Chennai. Idly is its specialty. They are soft and melt as soon as they are in your mouth. No one can ever come close to its idlies. Not even Saravana Bhavan or Murugan Idly Shop. Saravana Bhavan is a little expensive and Murugan Idly Shop's Idlies look like plastic toys.
The hot idlies are served in an ocean of sambar. That is, the waiter will place the idly in your plate and pour the sambar into your plate from a jug until you say stop. They won't stop even if the sambar starts overflowing from your plate. So stop talking over your mobile phone while the waiter serves or you might just wet your pants with sambar.
It is said that the recipe for its idly is secret to the family of its owner / cook and that is why no one else is able to replicate such idlies.
A couple of years back they even constructed an AC hall on the first floor.
It is almost opposite to Murugan Idly shop, just across the signal.