December 15, 2012

Foodies day out at sabha canteens

The December season means different things to different people.

Artistes, PR companies, tourists, foodies and autorickshaw drivers.

In a way, all of these communities make the 'season' special and an event to look forward too.

The city's foodies always keep an eye on the buzz at the canteens at the sabha halls, the hub for classical music and dance recitals.

This is a season when food fests for the Christmas and New Year season are aplenty. But for diehard foodies every restaurant, every 'mess' and every canteen is a place to explore.

I had my first nibble of the December season food last Sunday at a sabha in Mylapore. A sabha that goes by the name of Mylapore Fine Arts Club - now to explain why a sabha took on the name that has 'club' in it is another story for another day.

The sabha's festival inauguration is an event I have not missed, for no particular reason. It always begins with the chief guest invited to hoist the sabha's flag.

Once, when I realised that this flag was no better than a dirty, large napkin used at the dining table and mentioned it in passing in a daily-sheeter that KutcheriBuzz publishes for the December season, the then secretary went red.

This time though all was well and having sat through what was a rather pedestrian opening ceremony where many speakers made references to dancer Shobana's saree (she was an awardee that evening), I dropped into the canteen.

Vegetable bonda, a plate of mini iddlis and coffee got my nod. But it was opening evening for the caterer. The food had to be good!

A colleague who was at the same canteen a day ago realised that it was serving amavasya food - no garlic, no onion! And I am told the snacks were good.

By Sunday, all the sabha canteens will be open and offering their very best.

Hungry foodies though will besiege these places on Sunday for the meal. I know of Toyota-loads of families from Vepery and Egmore who dine at the sabha canteens and spread the word to all their friends to join them too.

On FaceBook, the city's foodie community has begun to review the food at the sabhas.

Am waiting to see which caterer is the winner this December.

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