Tradition came in a large steel plate, with 3/4th of an inch of raised edge, and a green cut to the size banana leaf placed inside. Tradition came in 12 steel bowls, filled with different items like curry, daal, rasam, stuffed dried chilly deeply fried and few slices of cucumber to name a few. At the centre of the plate reposed another steel bowl filled with rice, of a variety that’s short and stout, it’s dazzling white colour and the aroma rising with the steam made pangs of hunger rise from the deep depths of my stomach.
Nahar restaurant is apparently one of the oldest eatery in Ooty. The eatery is actually part of a large hotel complex and once inside, first visitors like us would need to ask for directions to the restaurant serving the traditional Indian thali. The place is quite popular and when we reached the place during the lunch hour, we had to wait for about 5 minutes before a seat for two was found out for us and we were seated comfortably in seats adorned in shades of deep red. Red is the dominant colour in the restaurant, with tablecloths and servers’ liveried in shades of red, and probably chosen in the past to create an impression of warmth on people as they came inside cold and hungry. Much has changed with respect to the weather in Ooty since then and it may do well for the owners to contemplate on perking up the interiors with shades of bright yellow or orange in tune with the sunlight bathing the world outside. The place does have an old world feeling associated with it and while the mustiness and decay associated with things past their age is not necessarily repulsive, my personal opinion is that the place is in need of some make over to make it a more appealing place. In the process of this make over, retaining it’s old world charm would certainly be much desired.
Food at Nahar, the traditional veg meal that we had ordered, was made more enjoyable by the presentation of the thali and the fragrance of the steaming rice that forthwith set about the task of lubricating the taste buds of the tongue. We were hungry and enjoyed the wholesome and simple meal very much. If, however, one were to ask whether the taste was something unique, my answer, sadly, would be negative.