-By Ameeta Agnihotri
Located on the busy Arcot Road, the very grim frontage of Rathna Café, with its ancient glass showcases displaying the sweetmeats of the hour and climb up the stairs to the AC family room on the first floor. Once the food arrives, all the above is forgotten. If not the most delicate of idlis, served with a triple chutney tray, or the soft and yet crunchiest of dosas, vadas and other South Indian specialities, you will surrender to the excellence of their sambhar. It comes in special long-handled vessels, with an arrangement across the top of the vessel to allow you to dribble your sambhar in small installments. They do have sweets, of course, but having seen the fly-studded case downstairs, it’s better to go straight for the coffee. It’s again, one of those landmark experiences. The bearers are kind enough to whizz it up for you in the traditional way by pulling the hot liquid between two containers and serve to you by the yard. For some mysterious reason, the branches of the café do not manage to give you the same buzz, so it must be the location after all
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