A new place for Westerners to eat opened recently, out Perumpakkam Road, called Om Cafe. Usually I don’t cover such things in the blog, but this is a special place, with food not otherwise available here, and with a wonderful garden ambience.
The restaurant is about 1.5 k out on Perumpakkam Road. This road is west of Sri Ramanasramam, just past the college. If you are not familiar with the road, it is a nice ride or drive. It is just a few km to the town of Perumpakkam. The drive is through primarily agricultural land. A few very small villages line the way.
Harriet, a woman from England, and Happy, from Kerala, run the place. It is in the midst of “Rani’s Garden,” a local garden and park-like area created some years ago by other Westerners.
A green sun-screen is on the front of the building, along with the Cafe Om sign.
Inside is an open area with tables and chairs. The tables have nicely painted tabletops.
The seating area is open to the garden, for a wonderful ambience. Bring mosquito repellant, though.
Below is the southwest view of Arunachala through the entry.
The wagon wheels used to be what was noticed driving by. Now it is the green cloth front.
The menu is on a chalk board. It changes weekly. During the day, as items are sold out, they are erased from the board. I notice soup, sandwiches, falafel and humus, green curry, a Mexican plate, tofu lemon rice, and pizza today. There are many good sounding desserts.
Happy takes our order.
People around us are enjoying themselves.
Surrounding the restaurant are verdant gardens. Many people are in them today.
A parent feels safe with her toddler having the run of the place.
Today is one of the days when people have come to sell their wares.
Harriet spends a moment in the garden before getting back to the kitchen. The menus are her creation. She is also the main cook (at least for now).
She and Happy work hard to operate the place. It is open six days each week (except Mondays) from 11 am to 9:30 pm. They also are raising their toddler.
People seem to be enjoying the items being offered for sale. Below is a woman is selling hand-crafted pillows and fortune telling books.
There is a table with clothes spread out.
Many people are here today.
Interesting clothes hang from a line.
People stop and look, and talk. What is that to the left of this photo?
It is a turkey! These are found in the USA. It is surprising what one sees in Tiruvannamalai!
Here is a full view of the bird. I have sometimes seen this bird walking down Perumpakkam Road, wondering if I was hallucinating.
Veena talks with people about her art. She and her husband, Upahar, have bhajan singing at their house every Sunday during the season. She does colorful paintings of Arunachala (what else? Arunachala is a popular subject around here. Have you ever noticed how many pictures of Arunachala I include in this blog?).
A lone Indian woman sits at a table with more conventional merchandise that she thinks Westerners might like. No one stops by her table.
Carol did need a few items for the house and was able to find them at this table. The woman was so happy to have a customer.
On the grounds is also a meditation area, covered with a blue cloth roof.
We had an excellent meal. We have eaten there twice so far. The menu is interesting, and there are tastes and flavors here that are not available elsewhere. It was pretty busy this Sunday afternoon. The meals are a little pricey – from local standards. A meal, drink and dessert might cost rs 250 or so. We feel like it is a good value, and it is such a special place for an afternoon meal.
There is interesting food, and nice grounds in which to wander and sit. It will be one place that we keep going to.