Royalasthan, as the name suggests, is all about Rajasthan and royals. This is the theme of the newly-opened restaurant on R K Salai, Mylapore, that specialises in typical non-vegetarian cuisine from the desert land.
The walls outside are adorned with paintings based on the culture and the ambiance inside tells us more about the culture of the place. The colours and lighting are kept at a yellow tinge and this brings the feel of forts and palaces in Rajasthan.
“Every single thing you look at in the restaurant is hand-picked. Even the paintings symbolise the culture,” says the owner, Chemmal Manian.
“We chose the name Royalasthan since we wanted to serve people the cuisine that dates back to the kings. There were many communities in Rajasthan and the predominant ones were Marwari traders and Rajputs. The trader community moved across the country. But that was not the case with Rajputs. They never moved far and the cuisine still remains unadulterated. The Rajputs were hardcore non-vegetarians,” he adds.
As a welcome drink, the restaurant serves sharbath. Served at room temperature, the drink is refreshing.
Then came the thali. There were phulkas and different Rajasthan-based subzis. They also have three different kinds of pickles. A chicken subzi and mutton subzi were also served and it was all done in the traditional way.
“We also have a wide variety for vegetarians like Ker Sangri, Gatte ki Subzi and Papdi Subzi. In the non-veg section, the traditional Laal Maas is the signature one. It is a fiery mutton dish which is spicy. The dish is said to be the favourite of the Rajput royals which is prepared with whole spices and chillies and simmered for hours. Apart from this, we also have a range of mutton dishes common in this cuisine,’ he says.
The surprising part is that the owner Chemmal, who is a vegetarian, seems to know more about meats.
“This is not a business, but a passion for me. I wanted to do something different and had a friend, who comes from the royal family, help me with it. There are several vegetarian restaurants, but there are only a few non-veg places that served authentic Rajasthani cuisine,” he says.
To support this, Chemmal has brought his entire kitchen staff from Jodhpur. Even the masalas are brought from there.
“Rajasthan is not just about luxury, but also about hand work. That is the reason we have decorated the place with several handmade paintings,” he smiles.
Royalasthan (Original Rajasthani Food Experience)
Address: 5th St, Dr Radha Krishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
Timings for Lunch: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm
Timings for Dinner: 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm