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> > > > The Madaras Kafe

The Madaras Kafe


  • 42010809
  • Ispahani Centre, Basement Floor, 123/124 Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai
  • South Indian, Snacks
  • Meal for 2 - 300

16 Reviews / 16 Ratings

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The Madaras Kafe Reviews






Niceyy !!

This little place is worth visiting if you want to have a peaceful time with your loved one and also be within your budget :P !!

The place is simple and calm. I liked the old photographs of “Madras” hanging on the walls of the café. The seating was a little cramped, but considering the small area, I feel they did a good job at that.

About the food :

First we ordered vadacurry idli – It was small fried idli pieces tossed in vadacurry. The taste was good, though it did not make me feel wanting for more.

Then we asked for the “Traditional Madras Filter Coffee” or “Kaapicino” as these guys have named it. How could we not order that especially after reading the tag “The best coffee in Chennai is being brewed here” which was proudly displayed on the walls of their cafe!! Well, Is it the best coffee being brewed in Chennai..? No, it is not. The coffee was good, but not the best. I would prefer Hot Chips or Saravana Bhavan coffee anyday.

The staff were courteous and they accept Sodexos. Overall, a nice place to while away your time. Hoping for a better coffee next time. :)


Best Cafe

The name itself indicates its the best one to have kafe.
Special for south indian food like dosa.
Snacks are really awesome --- wraps and sandwich.


Excellent food very poor manpower so 1 star less

After reading so many positive reviews made it to this place for lunch. South Indian food in fusion names. Small 40 seater cafe styled eatery. Looks bit cramped when its half full. Tried sambar vadai, podi idly ( signature dish), lime mint cooler.
The sambar vadai was one of the best I have had in any chennai restaurant. The vadai had been soaked well in sambar so it was soft and tasty. The vadai was typical home made with pepper and sambar with nice ginger pieces in it.
The podi idly was the best I have had well spiced, correctly fried with tasty coconut chutney. The lime mint cooler came very late after reminders.
The taste and quality was excellent more like home made. The spoiler was the time taken to serve the food. It's not wise to test a persons patience during hunger that too for lunch. Just one waiter for the entire place. Unless the service improves this place will be in the list of yet another good restaurants dropping out on the wayside. One star less for the eternal wait for food. Lastly madras kafe serving South Indian food playing Bollywood music why?


South Indian items in Western Style

Small dinning area with good service. Cost - Moderate with respect to the place / area it is in. The Patani - Sundal with murukku, reminded me the marina beach - tasted same (little costlier).
The menu names (western style) have been chosen to represent the dish aptly, like:
Barota rolls = wraps
Baroottizza = pizza
Vadawich = sandwich

The podi idlies (small) where awesome - very soft and tasty. Dosa was very crispy. They don't serve regular (big) idlies. The Paneer Tikka Barota (was sweet) roll and Brinjal (was sour) Dosa was not up to the expectation. The Chilly cheese sandwich & mint lemon juice was very good.
Didn't have chance to drink kape as it was dinner else would have tasted one.
Would like to visit again - for the taste and service. Its a small meet up place.




I suggest you to open your unique veg. restaurant in Ram Nagar, Madipakkam where there is not even a single sweets& veg. restaurant of quality. Its near to MRTS/Monorail./A big bus stand on the lines of koyambedu is all coming. Hence, you can think of opening a branch hotel from areas like Ram Nagar/kaiveli/pallikaranai/Vijay nagar near MRTS/ opposite to proposed Bus stand .your uniqueness is awesome. Moreover your quality food is good for people



Old world charm

It's a place thats quite close to my former college, so we used to go there for quick bites. It's a unique concept where south india meets west. Barotizza is the highlight here, as is the indochini idly! You should visit once just for the ambience!




I like the whole idea of this restaurant.... Its a complete fusion of various kinda foods... This s a brilliant innovation...Service is good... Menu s interesting... Cheese Paneer barotizza (Barotta+Pizza), kothu parotta, bhel puri sandwich.... interestinggg.... is it not????
decently priced.... Its a small place but ambience is classic :)
Its a nice place!! please try if u havent.... it worked for me :)


thor123 - Burrp User


11 Reviews

November 10,2012



Madras Kafe has been around for a couple of years, but I got the time to drop in only recently. I've been there three times since. The experience has been quite different each time. The coffee there is usually good. I was quite intrigued by the idea of the "barottizza", which is supposed to be a combination of the barotta/parotta, and a pizza. So basically, a fusion dish of sorts. I was expecting something more substantial, but the pizza/parotta base was exceptionally thin, and therefore, not exactly filling. Although I wouldn't usually advice a sandwich at a place which has a regional focus, the sandwiches are, in fact, quite good, and filling. Do give it a try. For the coffees probably :)


amaravind - Burrp User


16 Reviews

November 09,2012


Experiments in South Indian cusine!

When you stand at the entrance of The Madras Kafe and read the items listed on the boards hanging there, you know you are in for some very different experimental food.

The first visit really surprised me and I've visited the place several times now.
My fav here is the yummy Podi Friedly - mini idlies gently fried and fully covered with Idly-podi. The Barotizzas - Pizzas, in which the base is not bread but barotta - are quite filling and very tasty. There are several variants based on the toppings (like Bhel Puri Barotizza, Paneer Tikka Barotizza etc) and each one is just awesome.

The Vada-wich - Vada+Sandwiches - loved them at first, but got bored. They reduced the size of the Vada-wich during the last couple of visits. Grillwich - Grilled sandwiches with a variety of stuffing including Kondakkadalai, Paneer Tikka, Bhel Puri etc. I've tasted only Bhel Puri Grillwich and I really liked it.

As I don't like Brinjal, I never tasted the famous Ennai Kathirikkai Masala Dosai, but once my dad had it and loved it.

I don't take coffee, but my mom said this was the best coffee she ever had. I had Masala paal and this is worst thing that I've had here. What I got was a very watery yellowish milk, which had no flavour and no nuts/dry fruits. I'm used to having some amazing Masala Paal in places like Trichy and Madurai and it is usually very thick with lots of nuts in it. This was bland.

Overall, a very nice place.

Try: Podi Friedly, Bhel Puri Grillwich, Paneer Tikka Barotizza
Avoid: Masala Paal.



A good place to Eat out - Worth the Visit

Surely a very different place to eat out in chennai . I liked the name Madras Cafe a very economical place to eat out with tasty madrasi style food . The choco kaapi , fried idly , barotizza .. podi idly .. all worth the taste and spend . The service was good with decent ambiance . . A place u can hang out wit frnz and family . On the whole MUST VISIT tag to Madras Cafe




the idiyappam vada curry here is worth every penny you pay. For a meager 59 bucks, the idiyappam is soft and melt-in-your-mouth and the vadacurry makes for a spicy accompaniment. The grillwichs are also very filling. Try the corn and spinach one -it is good. Ask for the chilli chutney for more spice!


b! Review: The Madaras Kafé @ Nungambakkam

There was something defiantly different about this restaurant, even before we landed there. It had refused to succumb to calling itself Chennai Café. And to top it all, it spelt itself as Madaras, the way most Tamilians especially the ones with the heavy accents pronounce it. Popular amongst the college crowd, The Madaras Kafé recently completed a year in the business. And as per our burrp! notes, that’s a good time to test the kaapi. After all, the teething troubles are a distant memory, the junta has given its verdict and most regulars (yes, by then a good restaurant should have a bunch of regulars) have their ‘usuals’ set in their minds.

Our sixth sense was well rewarded, when we landed there and realized that it was one innovative food hub alright! Barotizza, vadawich, grillwich – no no, these are not nonsensical words from any new Tamil item number. These are actually the food items on their menu!
So let us begin with the barotizza. Mr. Somasundaram, Managing Partner of The Madaras Kafé explains that it is their Indian spin on the pizza, with a barotta base. Fancy that! The vadawich is a burger and the grillwich is the grilled sandwich. The novelty doesn’t just stop with the nomenclature but extends to the food as well. Excited, we began to dig in!

We confess we have a weakness for the vada or our South Indian fried lentil fritters, and so we picked the Mini Tower Vada to start with. Either the vada was very tired waiting for us all day (we got there only in the evening), or their microwave refused to reheat it – but the vada tasted insipid and was obviously not fresh. Despite being served with a dollop of cheese on a bed of diced tomatoes and onions it still couldn’t impress us. If only it had been hot, it might have succeeded to entice, but now, we were left with our imagination to do the needful.

Off to a bad start, apprehensively we bit into the next thing on our card – the Spicy Vada Holes. Bits of bun dipped in flour batter, deep fried and then rolled around in masala, these spicy vadas were a sheer delight (and according to the owner the hottest sell). We took heart again and polished off half a basket of these yummeats (well, we can invent words too!), generously dipping them in the lip-smacking spicy green chilli chutney. Throughout the meal, Mr.Somasundaram kept us entertained with stories about how college girls finish plates of SpicyVada Holes every evening, and explained to us the recipe(apart from the etymology) of the wondrous sounding dishes.

Then came the Podi Friedly (fried+idli) which had mini idlis deep fried in oil and dunked in idli-dosa milagai podi (aka gun powder… umm not the arms kind, but the traditional spicy masala powder usually served with idlis and dosas in the South). As Madarasis would exclaim, “It was a killer!” You could gobble an entire mini idli in one mouthful and experience the textures of the dish – the crunchiness of the milagai podi, the softness of the idlis with the thin crust thanks to a quick round in the frying pan. A must-eat every time you visit The Madaras Kafé!

The Kumman Kuththu Idli, supposed to mean an idli that has been punched and reduced to pulp, literally, came by next. Sadly, with idlis dunked in a gravy of tangy tomatoes, it did not live up to its violently-wicked name. It was quite an ordinary affair, almost as if the stunt man (read chef) who was supposed to thwack it got bored mid-way and hastily finished the kumman-kutthu (or punching) act.

The Cheese Vadawich had a soft bun you wanted your beds made from, with cheese filling its core and plenty of fried vegetables joining it in the middle. If only it did not have a sinful amount of cheese in its belly, you’d want this packed in your dabbas everyday.

Continuing on the innovation, the Yennai Kathrikkai Dosa (dosa stuffed with an oily brinjal gravy) was an interesting eat. It fell somewhere between good and okay in its taste. It lived up to its name, the oil from the brinjal seeping on to the dosa, making us suddenly aware that every item on the menu was just the arch rival of our diet charts *sigh*.

With the Paneer barotizza I think we have truly found our first all-Indian-pizza. The taste of the barotta and the paneer merged so (ooo) well with the pizza sauces. But what caught our fancy was the Panjambridham grillwich. Skeptical when we ordered, we were instantly converted into silly fans on first bite. This, my dears, is our answer to the pancake. Slices of fruits and chunks of dates soaked in jaggery grilled between slices of bread with a swirl of honey on top, the Panjambridham grillwich is the perfect dessert to a South Indian meal.

But in case you are still on your “I want to taste everything that is new” mode, like we were (*grin*), you must allow yourself a Paneer Payasam. Little pieces of paneer soaked in kheer made from condensed milk, sugar, cardamom and cashews, the Paneer Payasam seemed rasmalai’s cousin in terms of taste.

Finally, we reserved the signature item on the menu for the last, the filter coffee. It was love at first sip. True to their claim, it was indeed one of the best in the city – the aroma steadied our breath, the taste soothed our tongues and its appearance made us want to ask for some more. Order we did, despite being over fed like poultry chickens. Good coffee cannot be denied its due!

In case you are in the mood for some scrumptious innovation The Madaras Kafé is just the right place to head to.



Good Overall

I visited The Madaras Kafe late in the evening (around 9:00PM) on a Monday.

The decor and lighting are nice; the framed black and white photographs of different locales of Chennai as they were many decades ago is interesting. The dining-area staff consisting of a gentleman and a lady (I wonder whether they are the owners) was friendly.

The names of the dishes are amusing and catchy--vadawich, barotta roll, barottizza, etc. It would be nice to see a "moonjee-la adichcha thayir saadham" as well!

The vadawich was the best dish I had there--creamy and ideally flavoured. The Podi Friedly was pretty good too.

The Veg Manchurian Barotta Roll was a disappointment, however, because it was not the classic barotta/parotta (i.e., malabar parotta) which one commonly associates with the word 'barotta'. Further, the flavour of the Manchurian filling was not strong enough.

This place seems to be designed more as a snack outlet than a restaurant where one can have a filling meal.



definitely good

i went there aft reading a review. very nice n cozy place. definitely no big bang. very nice service with personal touch. interesting menu n snacks. spicy vada holes is my preferred choice. podi idli, rolls etc all are nice. have been there so far atlst 4 times now.both with family n friends. same smiling service. keep up the good work folks



New twist to traditional food; long way to go...

I have sought out this joint after a brief window shopping on Nungambakkam high road. Its nestled in the basement floor in between the attention seeking branded wares...very non-assuming but inviting by its charming little cozy solitude type of ambience and definitely a refreshing tracks of music. Service is great, traditional with human touch. Delicacies dont disappoint you though...what can be done better: quality of the food perhaps can be better...but certainly an interesting twist tothe traditional palette




I went there on Saturday evening while shopping. Ordered Lime Mint Cooler, Fried Podi Idly and Kumman Kuthu Idly. The service was very fast. The Fried Podi Idly was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Kumman Kuthu Idly was average, which is basically mini idli mixed with onion and tomato. I liked Fried Podi Idly the best. The price of all 3 were nominal. If I happen to be at Ispahani I might grab a bite, else this place is a miss for me.


Excellent and Homely food.

First time i went to this place along with my friends.The Name itself telling that it is a PURE SOUTH INDIAN RESTAURANT.Very good in taste.I like the podi idly and kumman kuttu idly and lot and lot..Once again i visit this place i make sure that i visit the idli kadai!! Their idlis are so soft and yummy and mouth watering .Nice place in the heart of the city