Where I am staying in Chennai is just a five minute amble from The English Tearoom. In the two months I lived here last year, I stayed well clear. Of all the cuisines on offer, why on earth opt for 'English'?
But today, curiosity got the better of me.
The range of eating places within a few minutes walk is astonishing - from Ethiopian to Russian (I've tried the former - not bad ... I still have to sample the latter) through half a dozen different shades of South Indian. But English?
How many cities outside the UK - or even in the UK - have an 'English' restaurant? After all, are there any signature dishes of English cuisine: Sunday roasts? the more demotic fish-and-chips? There are, I suppose, the rituals of English eating: from the posh and slightly absurd - afternoon tea, with tiny cakes and cucumber sandwiches ... to the simply gut-busting - the "full Monty" English breakfast.
The English Tearoom doesn't do roasts or cod and chips. But it does do a traditional afternoon tea and - much more to my liking - a full English breakfast. And here it is! I asked for no eggs and got some additional sausages instead - and there was also a freshly squeezed orange juice and cup of tea or coffee included. The price? 400 rupees ... that's about a fiver. I was well happy!
The place opened eighteen months or so back, and it's doing well: at times today there wasn't a spare table. Chennai seems to be one place where saying you offer English cuisine is a plus.
And much to my pleasant surprise, it has quite a range of teas on offer - the coffee is good - and the cakes looked freshly baked and very tempting.
I didn't come all this way for sausage, bacon, beans and mushrooms, and I really like the dosas and idlis which are the local fare - but for that touch of comfort food when you feel far away from home, this is a real treat.
Ha ha ! I am getting ideas for my retired life , if it is in Chennai!
You will be on to a winner, Mani. I'll do the PR!!
Everyone can find the more and great thoughts about the term full english tearoom,basically observing the cuisines as well. The places for controlling the more cucumber sandwiches for signature dishes.
This is a very amazing post.
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