Royal Food Memories
There is something special about staying in "The Bangala" the first Heritage Hotel in Chettinad, Tamilnadu. Built on a property that has been with the family for almost 100 years.
Come along with us and experience the visual art and culinary delight dedicated to famed traditional Karaikudi Chettiar's hospitality. Once you reach the place you will naturally feel elevated from the status of a guest and become an insider.
The extensive property retains its Chettinad charm, with quaint gardens, old-style furniture, extensive verandahs, and is also equipped with modern amenities like swimming pool, gym and massage center.
Renowned for its family kitchen, the Bangala is the ultimate destination for authentic Chettinad cuisine, with recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, creating a dining experience that cannot be missed.
The Bangala, situated in the heart of karaikudi is an 18th century mansion converted into a heritage resort. As the legend goes, it was a British style social club for the Aristocratic society at that time.
The mansion owner Mrs. Meenakshi Meyyappan, a very warm and gentle host, works tirelessly looking into every aspect of the property, making all her guests feel at home. She pays attention to every little detail - the starched napkins, silver cutlery, the old black and white pictures that adorn the walls, the scrumptious food, complimentary tea and coffee round the clock and interesting insights into the Chettiar way of life.
We had a chance to stay at The Bangala and sample the incredible cuisine and explore many different facets of chettinad food.
Breakfast is a mix of chettinad and continental cuisine. White, soft spongy steaming hot idlis with different chutneys, an aromatic tomato and drumstick sambar, kuzhi paniyarams, kavani arisi pudding (soaked and boiled black sticky rice with grated coconut and jaggery), crisp vadas, pongal, fresh fruits, eggs and steaming hot Indian filter coffee!!
Lunch was served on a traditional banana leaf; the waiters placed the items one by one, starting from the pickle to the numerous kootus, poriyals, pachadis, curries and appalam. This was followed by chicken chettinad, mutton uppu kari, and crab nandu curry with soya bean biryani. Last but not the least; the dessert was carrot halwa and homemade ice cream.
The food just keeps coming, each course more fragrant and robust than the next. Be sure to save up a huge appetite.
Dinner is a mix of international and local affair. As the chettiars travelled a lot, along with teak, marble and other artifacts they also introduced global cuisine. Dinner starts with a soup (celery) and is followed by appetizers, main course and dessert.
Over two dinners we had salads, Vanjara meen(fish), pumpkin curry, paneer and cultets. Appams with sambol, a tangy brinjal curry, prawn masala and dosai, mini uthapams with chutneys, Mutton paratha, pepper quail, and galawati kebabs to name a few. Desserts were bread pudding with ice cream and caramel custard.
The Bangala food experience was unforgettable. Right from the warm welcome, to the ambience, the communal dinning hall, water glasses with beautiful covers and the smiling staff. During each meal time at the dining hall, there was either Mrs. Meenakshi or her manager, Mrs. George to mingle with the guests. Every such occasion appeared to be like a family gathering. Home away from home!
Check out the video on "The Bangala"
Menu is fixed for lunch and dinner. Reservation recommended. If you plan to go for lunch make sure you call a night before or early in the morning.
Cost of lunch/dinner for two (non veg) unlimited thali - Rs 2000
Cost of lunch/ dinner for two (veg) - unlimited thali Rs 1600 appx
Website - www.thebangala.com
Closest airport - Trichy (80 kms) / Madurai (100kms)
Closest railway station - Karaikudi junction
Karaikudi is connected by rail to Chennai (456 km). The Rameswaram express (6701) from and to Chennai is the convenient option. All major Indian cities can be reached via chennai.
From Bangalore - Take th krinshnagiri > Salem > Trichy route. From Trichy take the NH210 which will get you at The Bangla. The drive is 7 hours appx.
From chennai : By road, the NH45 via Trichy will get you to the Bangala in about 7 hours.