Madras Dosa in Hazratganj: Winning hearts since 1951 with authentic South Indian fare

Madras Dosa in Hazratganj: Winning hearts since 1951 with authentic South Indian fare

Rediscovering Lucknow's iconic Madras Restaurant in Ganj:

Often one finds themselves craving for a simple taste, uncomplicated flavours, and no-fuss dishes. No super-spicy tang of Indo-Chinese on the streets nor the shosha of gastronomical delights at fancy eateries. And this is when South Indian food comes to the rescue!

Loved worldwide by people of all ages, South Indian cuisine is nearly ubiquitous, and is suitable for any mealtime. And when we talk about South Indian fare in Lucknow, the list cannot begin without the iconic Madras Restaurant in Hazratganj.

Since 1951, Madras Restaurant (formerly Madras Mess) has been delighting taste buds with delectable South Indian fare. And despite its modest setup, and competition, it has managed to stay relevant, even today. Read on to know all about the this iconic joint:

Madras Restaurant: Once the brunch destination for city elites

A establishment that started in the post-independence era, Madras Restaurant was a beloved spot for both the common folk and numerous prominent figures, including politicians, writers and notable journalists, all drawn by the promise of delicious fare.

Founded by KP Parmeshwaram Nayar, who journeyed from Kerala, the eatery holds onto its roots with pride. Nayar himself would painstakingly grind the rice batter for dosas using a flour stone mill. The stone mill is still preserved to this day by his son, the current owner of the restaurant.

Saurabh, the manager of the establishment today, fondly recalls, "Dadaji (Nayar) would roast the coffee beans each morning for our signature filter coffee, the rich aroma drawing crowds of eager patrons seeking their daily breakfast fix."

Serving pocket-friendly South Indian meals since inception

On the contrary, what truly bolstered Madras Restaurant's popularity was its modest pricing, which hasn't changed much today.

Saurabh further describes, "In the 1950s, a plain dosa would only cost just 2 annas, while it was a mere 3 rupees for the same dish in the early 2000s."

Today, Madras Restaurant boasts an extensive menu, featuring a wide array of options to satisfy every palate. From dosas to sambhar vada, idli sambhar, lemon rice and curd rice, the offerings showcase the diverse flavours of South Indian cuisine. Additionally, they also serve Indo-Chinese dishes, regular snacks, and a variety of beverages, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Tucked in a quiet lane, the spot is still favoured by loyalists

Like many other aged establishments, Madras Restaurant too has witnessed a wane in its popularity. The place remains hidden in a narrow alley behind the Sahu Complex, forgotten by many yet still favoured by loyalists.

If you're a South Indian food enthusiast, this eatery, which initially introduced Lucknow to the cuisine, surely deserves a visit.

Where: Madras Restaurant, Near Gandhi Ashram, Behind Amar Fax, Hazratganj

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