This is the best 'total' South Indian dining experience in Chennai. Been here multiple times as part of Corporate teams.
Love the ambience. The awesome brass lotus / lily arrangement never fails to greet us :) Sprawling, spacious entry (within, its quite compact, but they also provide private dining area if an advance request is made).
Also love the way food is served - brass / copper ware. typical south Indian vintage style.
service is exemplary. five on five. when we had expat visitors, they even demonstrated 'filter coffee aathufying' (pouring the filter coffee from a pot to glasses in such distance that it frothes due to the impact and also cools down a bit from its super hot temperature) live on our table :)
food is a nice pick of many South Indian cuisines. My favorites:
this is the only place (other than our homes) that serves 'vazhapu vadai' (plantain flower vadai). a must try delicacy. they do provide lots of refills. they will then, themselves, present the 'Iyer' trio: its very nice: mini adais, banana dosa and some home like kuzhi paniyaarams. my fav is adai and kuzhi paniyaaram.
love the kerala style appam stew - try a course of appam with coconut milk, then try another with the stew. seriously, don't miss :)
accompaniments and dips galore, from paruppu poddi to a range of chutneys.
standard white rice (not basmati) is served with most dishes. love the way standard, plain yoghurt is presented - sometimes in terracotta earthernware. you can actually cut the curd - its that well cultured (only my home makes it that way for me, except this place :)
desserts are very good - but i usually (in a rare exception) feast on the starters and main course, so i am done before desserts when it comes to room :) most regulars never finish without hot filter coffee :)
it is super expensive. One person's outing might cost Rs.2500 I think. We have always gone in large groups of at least 10 folks and the group bill kinda sums up in five digit numbers, approximately Rs. 25000 so I don't exactly have an approximation of what it costs for a couple or for an individual. But amongst the most expensive and best dining experiences in Chennai. my take: try it just once :) at least :)
if i m right, there is also classical south Indian music - i have once requested for 'raagas' of my choice :)
I m giving this five on five on food, service and ambience. giving 3 on five for price :)