Dindigul Thalappakatti Restaurant is a restaurant from Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. Most of their branches are around Chennai and the state of Tamil Nadu, and there are a few outside like Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Paris. Milpitas is their first branch in the US.
The restaurant started as a tiny 4 seat restaurant 60 years ago specializing as a biryani restaurant using the recipe from the owner’s mom. The Chennai community in the Bay Area already knew about the 2-month-old branch and gave plenty of online comments- a rather scathing Yelp rating of 3 stars from over 100 reviews . I had wanted to visit earlier but preferred to wait so the management has a chance to sort out the aspects of the operations that receive the most of the unflattering comments: service, wait time, uneven kitchen execution amongst other comments on portion size and price. I got a chance to get a couple of takeout dishes last week, and based on a very limited sample, I’d say that the food was very good, and I noticed nothing subpar about the wait/ service, and I’d returning soon to sample more of their Tamil Nadu specialties.
the Mutton Biryani- Their dindigul rendition uses the seeraga samba rice, which was a short grain rice from the Tamil region. Their biryani was fluffy, loose, very well seasoned with the grains separate from each other with a good texture. Much better than another dindigul from earlier this year at Bawarchi (the thalapakattu biryani). I only added a little bit of marsala to perk up the flavor- I thought the pilaf by itself was good already. The raita was the sweetest I have ever tasted so I prefer something a bit more yogurt-y. The pieces of mutton, buried within the pilaf, contained a mix of flavorful meat and tendons attached to bones. Some online reviews brought up the issue that the ratio of meat to rice was low, though I thought the amount was spot on, and the meat attached to bones, though not large in size, was more enticing to me than if large chunks of flavorless meat were used. The biryani dish overall was not huge like some was expecting, but its not puny either. Overall, a very good biryani dish, and my current favorite in the South Bay.
The pallipalayam chicken I wanted was out, so I got the kodaikanal chicken roast. I was quite happy with the biryani that they are known for. But one taste of the kodaikanal chicken, its clear the star of the meal was the chicken instead- chunks of dark chicken meat cooked just right in a creamy, milky, nuanced, balanced, fragrant, and slightly spicy sauce/ curry, and absorbed all of that wonderful flavor. It shared the same creamy and milky characteristic with the nihari dish from Zareen’s, but of course, was a completely different dish. The dish also came with an unknown-to-me small narrow pointy leaf herb that provides a cool refreshing balance to the sauce. Great dish. I could see why people might think portion was small comparable to dishes in other Indian restaurants in the U.S., but quality beats quantity any day in my book. And curry type dish is not supposed to be a humongous pot that requires 8x more carb to finish than provided.
Highly satisfying meal. Hopefully their other dishes measure up to high standards set by these two.
@klyeoh Have you been to their KL branch? Any dish to recommend?