So, you think you have a humungous appetite? A Bahubali of an appetite, maybe? Then the Ponnusamy Hotel in Nungambakkam is where you should head to!
Gird up your loins and dig into their fully-loaded Bahubali Thali, comprising a mind-boggling 50 - yes, fifty! - dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The three-course meal runs from starters through mains to dessert. There's Chicken Chettinad Roast, Vanjaram Meen Varuval, Mutton Nalli, Mutton Sukka, Prawn Masala, Mutton Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Dal Fry, Sambar, Rasam, Naan, White Rice, Kesari, Rasgulla, Gulab Jamun, Jangri…the mouth-watering list goes on. And on.
The 32-inch thali, billed as the largest in Chennai,can easily feed two to three adults or a family of four. The quantity of each dish ranges from 60 g to 400 g. It is available both for lunch and dinner, with some the addition of chapatis and a couple of other items on the dinner menu. While some items such as white rice and the chicken and mutton, gravies, the sambhar andrasam are unlimited,the starters, biriyanis and desserts are served in limited quantities. But there are so many dishes on the menu that rarely do people ask for a second helping of anything.
The Bahubali Thali gave food blogger Rishi Krishnamurthy the feeling of being in Paradise, as "load of south Indian dishes on a single plate" gave him "a feeling of completeness." The Naatukozhi Biriyani, Mutton Sukka and Chicken Gravy were his favourites, he said, because of the home-ground spices. And among the desserts, the Gulab Jamun topped the charts!
The price tag of Rs 1780 seems steep at first glance, but on reflection, this lip-smacking culinary tour-de-force of southern India is well worth the expense....