ID (Sathyam Cinemas), Chennai, India

30 Oct

Chennai, Aug 2011

the first thing i noticed when i entered ID was a photograph on the wall that showed the changing phases of the moon – from full moon to new moon. something was different though, and it took me a couple of seconds to realise that it was made of rava idlis!

i think you would have guessed by now that ID – although it serves idli, vada and other south indian tiffin items – is not your typical udupi restaurant.

located with the sathyam cinema complex, ID is a top-priority foodie landmark for those who live in chennai. luckily, you are free to visit the restaurant whether or not you are going to watch a movie at sathyam – and from what i recall, i have made more trips to the cinema complex to eat! 🙂

ID is not a very big restaurant, but whoever did the interiors made sure that space has been cleverly utilised. the teppanyaki-style kitchen with granite counter tops in the centre with white bar-stools around offers a direct view of the vadas as they fry merrily, or of the dosa- and appam being deftly shaped into perfect circles, a few minutes before they find their way to your plate. of course, there are tables and chairs all around, but would you really want to miss a piece of the action?

once you are seated, you are given the menu, a small rectangular card with curved edges that looks like a bookmark – i actually wanted to take home one of them ‘cos they looked so cute! there is one cuisine – regular south Indian tiffin items such as idlis, vadas, appam and dosas with complementing sides. each of these is sold by piece, and you can keep ordering as and when you want. once you have placed your initial order, the table is set with square metal plates, and cups of accompanying chutney, sambar or other sides. as soon as the food is prepared, it is brought to your plate, piping hot.

tuck in – and before you know it, you have had your fill with a sample of almost item on the menu. i mean, how could you say ‘no’ to the tempting appam with ullithiyal (a spicy gravy made with shallots) or the golden dosa with white coconut chutney, or the crisp vadas that call to be dunked into sambar? and isn’t it natural to want to round off the meal with a cup of filter coffee? if you have a sweet tooth, you could also order a cup of chakra pongal (rice sweetened with jaggery)! 🙂 no, you really can’t say no!

if you are coming to ID, come with an appetite. and if you are really up for it, a movie ticket. 🙂

*Photos courtesy of ID (


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