In Pics: Karpagambal Mess, Mylapore, A Foodie’s Delight

I am sure the Karpagambal Mess in Mylapore, Madras, needs no introduction. It is, after all, a Madras legend, well known for its quaint atmosphere and the gorgeous vegetarian South Indian food that it serves. I have been to the Mess once before, and I wanted to relive those beautiful foodie memories all over again, at our recent Madras visit. The OH had never been to the eatery before, and I couldn’t wait to show it to him. So, that is how we ended up at the Karpagambal Mess, bang opposite the famous Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore, and were thrilled to see it all decked up for Panguni Uthram.

I will not say any more, but let the pictures of the food we had there do the talking. Everything was absolutely beautiful, fresh, well-cooked and delicious, we found, except for the Avial served with the Adai, which we didn’t like much. And, of course, we didn’t leave without getting our hands on some filter coffee, but we greedily lapped it up before any pictures could be taken – so no pictures of that for you! πŸ™‚

The entrance to the Mess, all decorated for Panguni Uthram
The old-fashioned menu
Keerai vadai, served with sambar and chutney
Morekozhambu vadai – a first for me!
Idiyappam, served with Korma
Onion Adai, served with the Avial that we didn’t like all that much


Lemon Sevai
The extremely famous Badam Halwa
Beautiful, beautiful, fresh Sapota (Chikoo) Halwa

We are told the Mess has lost its former glory – what remains now is only a shadow of its old, glorious self, food included. Apparently, the food the Mess serves today is a far, far, far cry from what it used to be in the 1970s and 1980s. Well, if the lovely, delicious food we had recently at the Mess is anything to go by, I can’t even imagine how finger-lickingly awesome the food here would have been in years gone by!

Have you been to Karpagambal Mess? Do you think the food has deteriorated in taste and quality, over the years? If you haven’t ever visited this place, I recommend you remedy the situation soon – I am still drooling over the lovely food we had here, deterioration or not!


13 thoughts on “In Pics: Karpagambal Mess, Mylapore, A Foodie’s Delight

  1. I must be the only one from Chennai who has not visited this place. For that matter, I have always seen Chennai as my hometown and not from a tourist’s standpoint. Our visits are rushed, packed with family time. Sometimes I wish I can go to Chennai and just be a tourist – not a chance of that happening anytime soon.


    1. @Greenboochi

      Madras has always been more of a family trip for us, too. A trip to Madras is jam-packed with visiting relatives and spending time with them. We haven’t really explored Madras like a tourist ever, but this time around, we made a little exception.


    1. @Priya

      Dahi wada has a South Indian version, no? πŸ™‚

      I had heard of Morekozhambu Vada and Chikoo Halwa earlier,but this was the first time I got to try them out.

      Most of what we ordered was finger-licking delicious! πŸ™‚


  2. Next time, try nei-paruppu-poli, carrot halwa, cashew burfy & kichadi also. I love this place, but its been sometime since I’ve been there last. Need to go there soon to check out that sappota halwa πŸ™‚

    Destination Infinity


  3. I used to go there occasionally as a child. It would be combined with every trip to Kapaleeshwarar temple. But the last time I went there – maybe 4 years back, the food was quite a disappointment 😐 So I guess I would be one of those people that said the quality has deteriorated over time.


    1. @Perspectivesandprejudices

      Oh, that is sad. 😦

      Maybe we just got lucky because there was a festival going on in Mylapore for Panguni Uthram when we visited? Maybe that is why the food was so good?


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