I always been a phone-in service (sometimes tweet-in service) for restaurant recommendations in the city and most of the times I have been a good help to my friends when they want to hog in as a group or take their most loved one for a date. A few of my friends have always been asking to document all the food reccos in to blog posts. Here comes the series of posts which will introduce different restaurants of the city, some you may know, some you may not. It’s just my take on these restaurants

Madurai Saradha Mess (Triplicane)

The best restaurant reccos can be got from drivers. One of the pharma company drivers, who usually drives my dad around in Chennai when he is here recommended a small time Madurai mess in Triplicane.

Myself and my bunch of friends who go any extent to eat the tastiest food in Chennai took a short trip to find this place in Triplicane. Madurai Sarada Mess is a small dingy restaurant locked next to the flashy Hotel Assembly in Wallajah Road. You will miss it if you drive little faster in that road. When you enter the place, you will definitely have a feeling that this is not the place where you get hygienic food but sometimes taste and hygiene are two different ball games.
I was told that they are the only restaurant to serve Ayirai Fish (Mackerel) regularly in Chennai. Ayirai is very small fish and it’s one of the toughest to clean up. Bunch of ayirais are put in to the bowl of milk and they drink the milk which will in turn clean the inside of the fish. Later, the fishes are cooked directly. Most of the restaurants don’t provide you with Ayirai Fish curry because of the difficulty in the cleaning process.

The best condiment to go with fish is Plain rice and we ordered them along with a plate of Ayirai, Viral (type of Snakehead freshwater fish, my favourite) and Kezhuthi (Cat Fish). They serve you the fishes separately and the curries separately. There are options of fried varieties in Viral, Vanjiram(Seer) and Nethili (Anchovy).
Boy I tell you, they have one of the best fish curries I have ever taken. The extra spicy with apt mixture of masala, took me back to my home in Tanjore. The fishes are rightly cooked and very cleanly done. Nethili fry is not like the other hotels where they make it like murukku instead of a fish. Vanjaram fry was usual fare while Viral fish fry was delicious.

One of the best things about these guys are they make the egg podimas like we used to do at home. The eggs are not beaten. They also have chicken dishes which we are yet to taste but the chicken curry they provide is awesome. Biriyanis are available and it’s better to buy bottled water.Interestingly we saw many Bengalis coming to the restaurant. They have a separate menu and service for Bengalis. It’s better not to take the AC hall because its even more dingier. The food is served in plantain leaves.
A sumptuous meal for 4 will cost you around Rs.500. The fishes are priced at around 60-70 Rs and it’s a delightful meal that gives ample value for your money.When we walked back, we saw a host of magazine articles on the restaurant and we were amazed at the celebrity clients of the place. Quite deserving I should say

Food – 4.5/5
Ambience – 2/5
Hygiene – 2/5
Service – 4/5 (you can listen to some great Madurai Tamil)

Known for – Ayrai Fish

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Posted by Sylvian

Marketing Analyst by profession, a quizzer by passion, a blogger by choice, a poet by chance, a non-conformist by gene and a rebel by birth


  1. This place sounds like the Annapoorna of Calcutta in Egmore.. Which is a haven for Bengali food, but is so dingy, we would cringe sitting there… but the food is yumm!!


    1. Perfect comparison Aarti. In fact Annapoorna is my favourite for Bengali Food- got introduced by a few bengali friends. The food is yumm in Saradha Mess, I can guarantee you that.


  2. hey…isn’t this place closed now? and, ayirai meen is different from aila, which is called mackerel (a sea fish). ayirai is called some loach fish in English. is there any other place in chennai that serves this delicacy? tasted it in amma mess, madurai and have been dreaming of it ever since.


    1. The last that I heard was they have closed for renovation. Hope they open it up again. And I haven’t seen Ayirai fish in any other place in Chennai. It takes lot of time and care to wash the fish. So I think most restaurants stay away from that fish


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