The Mylapore Food Festival at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya is one of the most beautifully thought out food festival in recent times. Curated by Chef Rajan who has been with ITC for more than 45 years, this is a fresh take on a city’s cuisine. Mylapore was once the cultural hub of South India. The city of Mylapore abounds in temples, mosques, churches and is also a home to many music sabhas.
Many people throng to Mylapore for religious purposes along with the city’s penchant for Carnatic music. With the numerous temples around, the city had a huge number of Brahmin population. Consuming onion and garlic was considered unholy and thus the cuisine of Mylapore took a huge turn.
At the dinner at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya we were joined by at our table by Chef Rajan and Chef Sakala Sankara. I’d definitely say that alongside the amazing food, I absolutely loved the company of dining with Chef Rajan. He is an extremely humble person who walks around the restaurant with a smile on his face. Dakshin is one intricately designed restaurant catering to South Indian food. The pace is beautifully lit up and the traditional cutlery complete the South Indian feeling with aplomb.
We started off with Thakali Rasam and Bread Bom. The Bread Bom is a dish which has been created by Chef Rajan himself. He is famous all over the country for this unique creation of his which is essentially bread cutlets stuffed with loads of vegetables and cheese. The Thakali Rasam was absolutely heavenly and hit all the right flavors.
Even the menu does include non-vegetarian dishes, but Mylapore cuisine as a whole is completely vegetarian. Hence they’ve been classified separately as just Chef Rajan’s special. We decided to stick to the Mylapore dishes for the night as Chef Rajan talked us through the food.
Most of the dishes were simple, authentic and packed with flavor. If you’re a person who loves South Indian food, trust us when we say that you won’t be disappointed. The Malabar Avial had been beautifully cooked and paired perfectly with the steaming hot appams. Among the other dishes were the Urlai Roast, Thakali Purapu, Murmgaikai Vathakuzambhu. My favorite dish among the great line of dishes was the Bendakai Morkuzambhu which is essentially fried okra cooked with a chilly coconut paste in a yogurt gravy. It went perfect with appams and also the Bhahaam Sadam i.e rice tossed over in almonds.
Like we’ve already stated before and will continue to tell it once again, this festival is an absolute delight. It isn’t just about food of a city, but brings forward the expressions of the Mylapore city on a plate. And of course while you’re there, it’s hard not to miss the smile of Chef Rajan as he serves his patrons.
The Mylapore Magic Food Festival is on from 22nd-31st of July 2016 for dinners only at Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya. The dishes are available on a’la carte orders.
Address : Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya, Begumpet
Phone : 040 33194210