Tenali – the Andhra kitchen (green park main market, delhi)

This is a series about how eating out is, post COVID lockdown. Read about the previous dining out experiences after the COVID pandemic lockdown here – amar Jyoti tres spectra threesixtyone

In a NUtshell

A nice theme restaurant, great place to catch up with friends to chit chat over a meal, warm staff, good food for people new to the cuisine.

Address & other details: tenali

Meal for 2: ₹500 onwards

Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster

Short description- in case u r in a hurry

After a wonderful meal at Amar jyoti restaurant in delhi few weeks back, we decided to drive to delhi again this weekend to eat out. we thought, why not check out a different cuisine since we had north Indian dhaba food last time. We zeroed In on South Indian food & then to tenali.

As we reached the restaurant, we found it to be in a building with stArbucks at the ground floor & quite a few good stores around. Parking was not difficult on a Saturday afternoon.

The restaurant is in 3rd floor. The lift has been shut citing ‘COVID’ – I stay in 25th floor of a building. Should it mean I should climb up & down on foot? honesty would have been appreciated. Everyone understands that there is need to cut cost when business is so bad. But silly lies look silly.

As we entered the restaurant, a gentleman walked up to us to check temperature. He also gave us a sanitizer for cleaning or hand. There was a touch free sanitizer dispenser outside the restaurant as well.

When we reached after 1 pm, we were the only guests. By the time we were leaving, another table was full. Hope this situation gets better soon & restaurants spring back to business.

Alternate tables were marked with a cross to maintain distancing between two tables

We loved the decor. I absolutely loved the logo in general & the post covid rendition….

On one side of the dining hall, there was a railway station signboard kind of look. There were small elements that reminded of the region whose food was being served.

There was a black board with ‘today’s special’ written on it.

The menu card was short & crisp. 1 sentence Description wud hv been better.

Service was warm & excellent. The people were really nice.

Loved the cutlery. They were made from heavy steel & had a hand made feel to it. The plate in which they served thali had a sal-leaf base.

Like I mentioned above, food was good in general but it was midway from being the real, flavorful Andhra food that I remembered from my travel days. The non vegetarian food here is super hot – that part is similar to how I have eaten in Andhra. However, the flavors at Tenali are not as pronounced as I remember from my travels. Cud b the ingredients, freshness of spices, use of coconut oil there vs. something else here…. I cud not point it out. I Wud have loved it to be more flavorful than just being super hot.

The vegetarian thali that we had was quite good. However the one at Andhra bhawan delhi is miles better. The latter is way more rustic in texture & pronounced in flavors.

We Went to Tenali in search of flavors that we have not had in a while, since COVID lockdown. Tenali served that purpose well. In normal times I wud not recommend this place for the well travelled. However, For everyone whom ‘South Indian food’ means going to Udupi restaurants (idli dosa places) only, Tenali might be a pleasant surprise. The choice is much wider here & they also have non vegetarian options.

It’s Great place to catch up with friends over a meal, post lockdown, when very less number of good restaurants are open.

When we dine out, we usually do not bother much about the food price. We forego other expenses at times to eat out at places we want to. However, sometimes after a meal, while paying, the price comes up in my mind. That price is not about the absolute value of what we pay but the perceived value from the joy of a meal/ time spent / experience. While paying at Tenali, I felt way less value for money than I felt after paying ₹20,000 for two at wasabi by morimoto.

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

As we were choosing items from the menu, we were told that they are serving Only chicken, mutton & prawn. Fish, crabs etc have not yet resumed after COVID lockdown.

We ordered two non veg starters & a veg thali. Later we added a non-veg main.

Prawn eguru came first. The prawn pieces were cooked optimally – perfect texture. Not rubbery, soft, juicy, just the right bite. The dry gravy was super hot but it was enjoyable. The spices were cooked well & taste was very good. Flavors of spices were less pronounced. Flavors of prawn in the dry gravy was absent. We kept eating it & polished it off. Rate it 4.25/5

Mamsam fry (mutton) was the second dish to arrive. This was also super hot but we liked that – reminded us of our food on roadside shops on highways in Andhra.

The dry mutton gravy was good but the prawn one was better. After few sips of water & plain chaas (buttermilk), the prawn taste reduced but a bit of it stayed back. The gravy again lacked mutton flavors (probably because mutton was cooked separately & tossed with spices b4 serving). The overall spice flavors were less pronounced. The taste was very good though. Rate the gravy taste 4.5/5, flavors 2.5/5. Overall gravy rating averages out to 3.5/5.

The mutton pieces were boneless. They were bad – smelly. Looks like FIFO has not been followed or someone defrosted it for long hours in the summer. Rate them 0/5.

Overall rating of the dish averages out to 1.75/5

Nilagiri kodi kuda was chicken gravy. We asked the server what it meant – he said ‘chicken cooked with vegetables’. That sounded interesting. We ordered. Within a minute the dish arrived.

The taste was pale & wierd. Added salt & life sprung into the dish. It became better but ok. Did not understand the ‘vegetables’ story. Chicken pieces were soft & nice. Rate it 2.5/5

The Veg thali was the best part of our meal.

Flavored rice was made from long grain aromatic basmati normally used in making North Indian dishes. The short, fat South Indian varieties of rice is something that Wud hv made a difference. The rice was good to taste & had good flavors. Rate it 3/5

Raw mango pappu daal was lovely. It was thick & had an optimum texture. The grains of the daal cud be felt, yet the daal was super soft. Raw mango flavors were very well expressed. Enjoyed this till the last drop. Rate it 4.5/5

Okra fry with scraped coconut, onions & peanuts was super interesting & cooked home like. Excellent. Absolutely loved it. Rate it 4.75/5

Gourd curry was another dish that we absolutely loved. The peel of the gourd was intact & that gave it a nice texture. Absolutely loved it. Rate it 4.5/5

Sambar was home like. Watery, super simple, textures of vegetables intact & a good balance of taste. Rate it 4.5/5

Rasam was hot but did not have any particular taste or flavor. It was ok. Rate it 2.5/5

The thali also had a bowl of Curd.

The Chutney was outstanding. We wiped it off with papad. Rate it 4.75/5

For cereal we were given Plain rice & Poori.

The dessert was a sweet made from semolina/rawa/sooji. It was good. Rate it 3/5.

We were planning to pack Haleem for dinner but after the chicken & mutton experience, we lost confidence & asked for the cheque instead.

Overall rating of food here averages out to 3.7/5

Just us, for a meal – Very unlikely to get here again.However, might go here to meet friends over a meal (in case we are around this location) or to give our firang friends a taste of South Indian food, in a good environment.

21 thoughts on “Tenali – the Andhra kitchen (green park main market, delhi)

  1. Honest review, I have been there same experience.
    Have you ever been to restaurant and it was good for nothing, do you post it’s review.

    1. Yes, I post whatever the experience is. Reason – we spend our time, money, health on the food that we eat at restaurants. So we read & ask people whom we trust on food. That narrows down choices to the relatively better ones. So u find more of our posts to be good. That’s coz we put effort I finding such places. If we eat out at a place that has absolutely trash food, write that as well. 🙂

  2. Sir have you ever been to Murthal (quite obvious for parathas). Could you please suggest any dhaba other than Sukhdev. When I am saying dhaba it should be dhaba no pomp and show. I have been to Bajwa da dhaba after reading your post, it’s a hidden gem. Is there something like this in Murthal also🤔.

      1. You are also one of the hidden food blogger in the country. You need to promote yourself not for monetary gain, but for like minded people like you.

      2. Hi yummraj, do try sunil dhaba at murthal for some rustic dhaba food and in case you like it do give me a shout out!

  3. Good and informative review. I haven’t been there yet but will try their veg dishes after your review.

    I saw a news story recently about a cluster of Covid cases that had all come from an asymptomatic person sharing a lift with others. Transmission is more likely in a close environment like a lift, so in their defence I think closing the lift is a sensible decision.

    1. Thanks for sharing your views with my readers.

      Yes, lift is a small enclosed space & can transmit. But that’s valid for AC taxis, narrow staircases where people cross each other, many places. There is no end to it. Each condominium in gurgaon mumbai bangalore etc – lift is the life line. What is done is to limit the number of people. Not to stop the lift. What used to be a lift for 8 earlier is now mandated for 4.

      However if someone were to tell me that ‘we are shutting the lift due to financial reasons. Please walk up to 6th floor.’, I would have happily gone, understanding the fact that businesses are in financial mess

  4. Like your reviews mostly despite your babu english. But you can be very patronizing at times. Eg. current review “For everyone whom ‘South Indian food’ means going to Udupi restaurants (idli dosa places) only” .. and some stuff earlier about chinjabi vs real chinese food.. and comments in previous epistles (look up the word) about saying for those of you who have started eating non-veg this might not be good for you.. Progress dude – a whole world awaits

    1. So if it’s not for you since you are a food lover, please ignore. But there are many out there who have told me ‘I like xyz types’ only & not the real Chinese food. Oh South Indians eat non-veg too etc etc. ‘ so pls ignore since you do not fall in that category. Infact people have rubbished many reviews of mine, of hardcore authentic places in the past due to that. So I give a disclaimer.

  5. So shoot me dude. Someone had to tell you. I like your blog but dislike the patronizing nature sometimes. True.. some of your followers are not so well educated as you became.. No harm in them rising up to respect you .. And as for the the others.. We are foodies … gourmands .. gluttons as well.. Do not be patronizing.. Will not work for us.. If you want us to follow you

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always good to hear a different perspective. I did not get the patronising part – kindly help me understand

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