Situated in Mylapore, Chennai, Rayar Mess has been around the corner for nearly 70 years now. It is a popular restaurant comprising of 16 seats and is legendary for its reasonable and delicious breakfast. It is known for serving hot idlis and fresh chutneys since pre-independence. Action starts at 7 in the morning at Rayar Mess. Mohan, the owner of the mess was asked to start prior to 7 but says, "Our USP is providing hot food straight from the kitchen and that cannot be done before 7," hence no compromises on quality. Idli, Vada and Pongal are the only dishes served in the morning. It is the chutney that is the star of the show which is prepared with coconut, roasted Bengal gram, salt and a bit of green chilli. Dosas and Sambhar are served from 3 to 6 pm. With such home-like atmosphere and humble behaviour of the owner, regulars feel like they are invited to a friend's home! I have also been witness to debates by the ardent Chennai foodie on Rayar Mess serving the best idli in town.
Image Credits: Lakshmi Sharath