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All Day Fare and Other Novelties

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We are at the atmospheric Taj Mahal hotel at Abids. To be more precise, we are having evening tiffin at the vegetarian restaurant attached to it.

Although this is a restaurant that serves South Indian, North Indian and Chinese, their specialty seems to be South Indian tiffin – dosas and idlis and vadas in all their different avatars accompanied by a delicious sambar (Vidya might disagree, for the sambar is a bit sweet – culinary blasphemy according to her) and thick coconut chutney. Of course, their steaming coffee is to die for.

The printed menu, usually the source of much amusement in many a restaurant, is quite free of errors. However, it has a couple of curiosities that are worth mentioning. The first is the heading of the first two pages. All Day Fare, they proclaim. But each set of items is preceded by the time when they are available, rendering the headings rather redundant.

The second curiosity was that three items – samosa, puri and bread and butter – were grouped under the heading ‘Other Novelties.’ why were they other? What made them so special that not only were they novelties, but they had the privilege of having their own category, based purely on their otherness? So powerful was the debate raised by this that I couldn’t bring myself to order any of them.

The next time you are in Abids, don’t forget to check out the Taj Mahal hotel with its all day fare and other novelties.

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