Started at a small nook off Nallapan Street, the Mess has been offering home-like food for over 15 years now.
However, following lockdown, the small eatery had to close for a brief period. But, it was back to serving customers soon after.
The past few weeks, it has been offering all its signature dishes – hot idlis, vadas and pongal for takeaways.
However, the lockdown has affected their business a lot.
Says S. Y. Ramakrishnan, who runs the mess along with his wife Lathakrishnan, “Due to restrictions in dine-in and lack of transport facilities, my customers have dwindled by half. Only those who stay nearby are able to come now.”
Some of his customers order via Dunzo for food delivery.
“With limited customers dropping in, paying salaries for my employees, shop rent and house rent has been very difficult. Besides rising prices of veggies, groceries and limited availability of packing material has also affected us,” he adds.
This has not limited their menu. Breakfast (idlies, vadas, pongal, kichidi) and lunch set – rasam, sambhar, poriyal, kootu (except rice) is ready from 7 a.m. every day.
“We want to support people, especially seniors who are dependent on our food. Hence, we will continue for as long as we can,” he says.
However, Ramakrishnan says bouncing back to normalcy will take longer for them. “Even if the government allows dining, it is unlikely that we will return to normalcy any time soon.”
The mess takes all precautions. “We have a foot-operated hand sanitiser and all our staff wear masks. Also, only 4 customers are allowed to enter shop for takeaways at a time.”
People can place an order the previous day via WhatsApp so it’s easy for them to regulate social distancing and pack food hot the next morning.
The lunch set is priced at Rs.60. The mess is open on all days from 7 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. at Mandaveli Lane near Thandu Mariamman Temple. Call Ramakrishnan at 9444108923.