ポンディからチェンナイに戻る途中、海辺の街マハーバリプラムで昼食をとりました。土産物屋はひしめいていたのですが飲食店は数少なく、あっても明らかに外国人観光客向けの店の様子。でも1軒妙に混み合ってるお店発見。One the way back from Ponicherry to Chennai we stopped at the seaside town of Mamallapuram where we had lunch. The small town was packed with souvenir stalls for with local tourists, and it was hard to find somewhere to eat. We passed a few places where foreign tourists were eating by themselves, and then finally, having walked in the midday heat for a bit too long, we discovered this Mamalla Bhavan.

一見どこかの社員食堂風で、特大テーブルと椅子が店一杯に並べてあり、優に6、70人は入れそうです。ホリディの一家揃ってのかしましい食事風景があちこちで展開されています。興奮して走り回り奇声をあげる子供達、それを大声で叱る大人達…で、私達が入った時はほぼ満席でしたがようやく2人分の空きを見つけて相席しました。Imagine a company canteen for 60 to 70 people, filled with boisterous holidaymaking families. It was the same scene you can find anywhere in the world, from Takahama to Blackpool, with grandads and grandmas and over-excited children and tired parents slowly losing their temper.

入り口近いレジでまず食券を買い求めます。ベジタリアンメニュー2種類のみで、スペシャルかリミティッドタリ(定食)かを選びます。チェンナイのSaravana Bhavan(初ランチ IN INDIA参照)のタリの量の多さに驚いていたので二人ともリミティッドに。

Walking into the welcome shade  from the burning heat of the day, you buy a lunch ticket from the white-haired manager sitting at the cash register near the door. There are just two items on the menu, which is, as is often the case, wholly vegetarian: either ‘Special’ or ‘Limited’ thali. I remembered how huge the thali was at Saravana Bhavan in Chennai, and wisely opted for the ‘limited’ version; smaller, cheaper, but just as tasty.

ここでもバナナリーフシートが活躍しています。お盆に乗せられたカリーやサラダ、ヨーグルト、ご飯(この量を見よ。もちろんなくなれば配膳係が投入しに来る!)、ポパドム等をその葉っぱシートの上で混ぜこぜに手でこねて食します。一つ一つを加えるにつれ全体の味や食感が変わって行き、色んな側面を見せる過程が面白いです。本当にインド料理は奥が深いなと思います。

Once again they served lunch on the ubiquitous banana leaves. They brought curry, salad, yoghurt and rice on a tray (naturally, if you finish any of these the waiter soon zips over to your table to ‘fill you up’ with more). Eating utensils consist of your right hand and poppadoms. As you add a little from each dish to your rice, the texture and complexion of the meal changes, and you see the different faces of the food. It is simple but fascinating, and again I really felt the depth of India’s cuisine.

2時を回っていましたがまだまだお客はどんどん入ってました。ここも大繁盛店です。旅をしていて思うのは、現地の人達で賑わっているローカル店がやっぱり1番安くておいしいな、と言う事です。

The day-tripper Indian tourists were piling into the place. By the time we got there it was well past 2pm but they were still flocking in. Its so popular. Once again I thought that if you travel it really pays to seek out the local favourite.

やはりここでも大口あけてます。ここMamalla Bhavanは、バス停留所の前で、ビーチへと続く道を数分歩いた所です。見つけやすい所にあります。Mamalla Bhavan is easy to find, in front of the bus station a few minutes’ walk from the road that leads down to the beach (Beach Street, I think). 

Mamalla Bhavan

No. 212, South Madha Street, Tamil Nadu 603104, インド

Tel +91 44 2744 2250 ‎