Looking beyond Sagar Ratna for South Indian food

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In a city that truly doesn't look beyond Sagar Ratna as the end all for South Indian food it's nice to see a place like Kaustubh trying to carve a niche for itself. In just over six months the relatively new Southie food joint has seen an increase in its patronage. The restaurant enjoys a fantastic location in the District Centre, behind Select City Walk Mall in Saket. Additionally the spacious interiors only help as the huge area ensures no dearth of seating any time of the day. The place is very functional and dhoti-draped waiters are the only thing fancy about Kaustubh. But once you get to the food you won't any bones about Kaustubh's simplicity.

Looking beyond the rudimentary dosa and idlis, the exhaustive menu tries, and to a great extent manages to include many of South Indian cuisines signature dishes. Going beyond the obvious, the menu has a wider range of goodies from all four states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the usually overlooked Karnataka. The Chef Picked Special Menu is the place to start the journey. Can you imagine a South Indian restaurant that offers mushrooms as a dish? Well not only is the choice of the ingredient unique even the name, Kaalan Thoran makes this dish of mushrooms tossed with Malagaodi Chutney worth trying.

This fantastic preparation of button mushrooms is fried in a rich batter of rice flour and garnished with coconut. Unlike some eponymous restaurants that charge for gun powder, every table at Kaustubh is laden with three varieties of gun powder. The Special picks also have a nice little snack called the Cocktail Idli (Deep Fried Idli with podi) that goes down very well with Elaneer (Fresh Tender Coconut Water). Kai Stew (mixed vegetables cooked in coconut milk), Avial, Bendaikai Polusu (Okra in Tamarind curry) are some of the picks of the main course selections that are all priced below Rs 200.

But if going the whole hog is what interests you then look at the thalis to choose from. The Executive Thali (Rs 275) is unlimited for a single person and has three options from the main course, rasam, sambar, rice and either parotha or appam. The appams are fresh and really fluffy and if you are really experimental try out the Veech Parotha. Made on a griddle, a variation of the more famous Malabar version this one is a flaky delight with a crispy exterior and really tender interior. There is nothing more exciting than discovering some thing new every time you indulge in some epicurean adventure and Kaustubh offers many. If you still have doubts about the joint then sample Palakatti Masala which gives Cottage Cheese, some thing that is usually conspicuous by its absence on any South Indian menu, an extraordinary Chettinad makeover!

The author is an entertainment news editor and works for many websites related to event, bollywood, music, movie, concerts and theater. Visit one more interesting article of author: Naresh Iyer or visit: http://www.buzzintown.com/artistes_type--artist_naresh-iyer--id_258.html

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