An impoverished state serving exotic food. A state known for a large population below the poverty line, claiming gastronomic ranking. Recommended by Sandip, a senior blogger (his blog ghoses.blogspot.com)said try it. We had two lady visitors Preeti from Mumbai and Seema from Bangalore we bundled into a few cars, a couple more guys and went into a lane in Chanakyapuri in New Delhi. Reached a wing of Orissa bhawan.
A large hall, with tower airconditioners which I think are quaint, we absorb the atmosphere. Its the kind of place, where if you know the staff, look Oriya, speak Oriya, you get better service.The methodology is simple, basic Thali, Deluxe Thali and lots of Veg and Non Veg addons. The thalis are, vegetable curry, dal, rice, puris/chappati.The interesting part are the add- ons, fish curry, fish fried which is a pair of fried fish like Kane/Lady fish, chicken curry, mutton curry.The fish smells and tastes like sea fish. The flavours are sweeter, the gravies are at best interesting. The platter of deluxe vegetables are very nice, mustard potatoes, greens as in spinach and some bitters (bitter gourd, wax gourd). The service is quick and begins to happen when you begin to connect with the waiters.
The coolness on a summer afternoon is good , our group has ordered everything on the menu, there are 5-6 of us and all the extras put together of which we ordered plenty and the check is Rs 550/- that is bingo under Rs100/ mark per head (qualifies for a salesman guide to eating out). When we begin to order we don't keep the Rs 100/- mark. It just happens to qualify.
The vistors Preeti and Seema were expecting Dilli ka khana, are a bit taken back but they are polite not to mention it. The other guys love it, Murli,Rohit etc. I have been to Orissa Bhawan, twice again with Nitin c and another time with Shantanu c.Have not been disappointed. Try it, its nice. Its differentiated. Its democratic to great a extent, becomes better once you get acquainted. The place offers a great paan when you step outside onto the lane.
Shantanu, a collegue a sales person for over 12 years, says, I have lost so much time in eating ordinary and passable food in my sales career as oppossed to the exotica you have introduced me too. For me it all began, visiting PSU (public sector) canteens on sales calls and sneaking in to savour a different and cheaper meal deal in the early 90s, which developed into an all consuming passion.
More on Tamil Nadu house, a recent visit.