I had been to Annalakshmi quite a few times from 2003 onwards. The last time was on a saturday in Feb 2012. The restaurant is not worth it save for a few rare recipes you don’t find in any other vegetarian
restuarant like the spread of their podis, some as rare as veppam podi and some fried manathakkali and sundakk vatthal. Pineapple rasam was delicious. But, the quality of basic recipes like sambar rice and curd rice is pathetic. Beginning with a thin chapati and a thinner naan with north indian side dishes is a major turn off. The restaurant boasts of unique south indian fare but combines such north indian recipes and badly done ones.
Apart from the food, what is suppressive about the ambience are t he heady ’volunteers’. They act too demanding especially regarding the walk-in time, breathe down on your neck, slime in the juices choice that is not part of the thaali, confuse you, rush you up during the courses and dictate what you should eat and when. Instead of simply providing information when asked, they act dictatorial. Volunteers nowhere act that way. If they volunteer to wait the tables, they should behave like humble waitresses/waiters and not act equal or dominating.
People who come there dont eat for free. They pay and it is expensive. From my table, on a saturday, I saw that only a handful of tables were occupied. Many were empty. This is on a second saturday. Other families ate in an awed silence with fear in their eyes. None of them were relaxed. Is this what the saint who runs the restaurant prefers?
One haughty waitress (volunteer) came up to me after rushing me through everything and quipped on how you should eat the sweet kheer only after curd rice because their saint had told them so. It was unwarranted. She said that I will not attain a royal life because I chose to do it the other way.
Indian philosophy says that one should relax while eating. If you are mentally made upset, the food will not be digested properly. Annalakshmi restaurant began with a unique concept of eating to hearts content and paying based on your feelings. Now, it rests on the unique concept of contradictions and hypocrisy. If you still choose to go, it is at your peril.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC