Having passed by Cafe Chennai numerous times on our way back home, we finally decided to try the food there and found it to be delicious. Befitting being named after the biggest commercial centre in South India, Cafe Chennai specialises in South Indian cuisine. Free parking is available at the back, with easy access to the restaurant.
Pakora is an Indian snack made by dipping various ingredients in chickpea batter before deep frying them. The Onion Pakora was fried to golden brown and had a surprisingly moist interior, unlike the Pakora we had eaten at other places which were sometimes a bit dry. It came served with spicy tomato chutney, coconut chutney and spice powder for dipping the Onion Pakora in. The tastiest option is to mix all the three dips together into a single dip.
Another South Indian speciality served here is Dosai, a regional version of the crepe made with a batter consisting of a mixture of rice and black lentil flour that is left to ferment overnight before it is cooked. It tastes much better than it sounds, with the thin, crispy batter perfectly contrasting with the soft Masala filling we chose. Masala is the name given to the filling of spiced potatoes used in the dish. The dish comes served with a unique vegetable curry and the same coconut chutney and tomato chutney that were served with the Onion Pakora.
The various varieties of Parota at Cafe Chennai is very similar to the Roti Paratha served at Mamak in Sydney, with the meat Parota closely resembling the Murtabak served there as well. Their Beef Parota had a crispy Parota enclosing a delectable filling of spiced, shredded beef. It was accompanied by a serving of Salna, a type of South Indian curry, which can be spooned onto the Beef Parota to help bring out its flavour. The Plain Parota was also done well: it was golden brown, thin and fluffy.
The Chicken Biryani had the right amount of spiciness and a moist texture different from the Chicken Biryani that was served at places similar to this. A serving of yogurt sauce is provided with this dish for you to spoon over if you like a contrast to the spiciness.