Solid, canteen-style Indian food that’ll fill you up for under B200.

Average: 3 (1 vote)

Named after the Southeast Indian state from which Silom Road’s Mariamman Temple (or Wat Kaek) draws its architectural inspiration, this 27-year-old Southern Indian restaurant deals in both vegetarian and halal non-vegetarian dishes.

There’s little to distinguish it from the countless other low-rent Indian operations stretching from this part of upper Silom down to Surawong Road—the tinted windows, the sterile lighting, the steel, mess-hall-like serving dishes—but Tamilnadu has a devoted Indian-Thai clientele that ensures tables fill up quickly. Order up the masala dosa (B90) and you’ll quickly discover why. The fresh-from-the-pan rice crepe is huge and clearly cooked to order, still glistening with oil and perfectly crisp. In its center, the hefty ladle of masala potato is both filling and delicious. As is pretty much standard in restaurants like this, the sides are disconcertingly lukewarm, but the coconut and tomato pachadi (traditional Southern-style chutneys) both pack heaps of flavor.

Nearly every table at Tamilnadu can be found tucking into either the dosa or vegetarian thali sets (B180 for rice, two vegetarian dishes, curd and papadum), but there’s also a concise menu of meat curries with your choice of mutton, chicken or fish (also available in a thali at B180-250). Though we need to dig at the meat in our mutton curry (B200) from between bone and cartilage, the cheap cuts have been simmered to a point of perfect tenderness, and the gravy, while oily, tastes well-spiced.

But the focus here is really on the veg dishes, to which end we reckon they could do better work with the dal samba  (lentil soup) which, with its watery texture and weak spicing, tastes every bit worthy of its B50 price tag. This aside, Tamilnadu remains our pick of the neighborhood for anyone after solid, canteen-style Indian food that’ll fill you up for under B200. Don’t go looking for a beer (the short drinks menu holds nothing but teetotal options), but they’ll pour a solid lassi for B50. No alcohol

Venue Details
Address: Tamilnadu, 5/1 Silom Soi 11, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-235-6336
Area: Silom
Cuisine: Indian
Price Range: B
Open since: September, 1988
Opening hours: daily 8am-8pm
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