We all love giving nicknames to our beloved ones either out of affection or to irritate the person. From Jeyam Ravi to Pepsi Uma, Daadi Balaji, Jangiri Madhumitha, Chennaites never miss any opportunity giving weird and quirky names.
No, naming person is not just enough! We also have many street-side shops in Chennai that have quirky and funny nicknames given by the locals. Some of them sound bizarre such as Akka Kadai, Paati Kadai, Sandhu Kadai, Koora Kadai and Meesai Kadai. One such eatery in Namma Chennai is known as “Trouser Kadai”. Isn’t it funny?
This name might instantly make one think of a clothing store but Trouser Kadai is a small shop that serves delicious non-vegetarian South Indian meals for 50 years.
What’s behind the name?
Formerly called Arunagiri hotel, Kamatchi Unavagam then Appa Kadai. Over time it became “Trouser Kadai” when the owner Rajendran’s trousers which he wears while cooking and serving became a trademark and customers began associating the shop with his trousers.
When did it start?
Established in 1977 by a gentleman named “Rajendran”. He arrived to Chennai seeking treatment for his daughter. In order to support his family, he started this small eatery.
Where it is?
Located in RK Mutt road, near Mandaveli Railway station – this small shop is hard to spot but when you ask where the Trouser Kadai is, every passerby will direct you where to go.
Sneak peek into the mess.
With no name, no fancy board to announce, paint peels from the walls and cracked floors, with just a worn- outboard that reads Sappadu ready (meals ready), still this shop has a loyal fan base all over Chennai including Kamal Hassan and Ajith for its mutton and seafood varieties.
Clad in his trousers, Rajendran “the jack of all trades” steps into the kitchen, cooks food single-handedly.
What makes it special?
Rajendran still uses “Viragu Aduppu” (firewood cooking), all masalas are grounded freshly by using “Ammi Kallu”(grinding stone) – these are the traditional cooking tools which gives the authentic taste to the Tamil cuisine.
On the menu, there’s rice and curry both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and the rest consists of Prawn Masala, Vanjaram Fish Fry, Chicken Gravy, Mutton Gravy, Fish Gravy, Mutton Kola Urundai(meatballs), Brain Fry etc. The typical home-style curry tastes as if it’s straight out of your amma kitchen. The aroma of the food will remain in your palms long after you leave the mess.
Note: Not just meals, they also serve some tiffin items in the evenings and briyani on Wednesdays straight from the kitchen to your plate.
Just like his trouser which is short, the food is also available at a reduced price. Most of the mutton fries and curries priced between Rs 80 and Rs 120. One can dine at this place without burning a hole in the pocket.
Lunch 11 AM – 5 PM
Dinner 7 PM- 10.30 PM
What could be better?
This mess is all about substance over style. If you are looking for the perfect ambience for your Sunday meal, then Trouser Kadai may not be the right place for you. Although maintained neatly, the place is too small to accommodate many, so you have to wait at least before you get a seat.