Even after eating at 22nd Parallel 3 times before, I want to visit them again because there is still so much on the menu yet to be tried. I am actually mentally ticking off items on the menu every time I go there. 22nd Parallel is an authentic south Indian food restaurant (started by a family, my guess is) located in the lane beside Barista near Chakli Circle. The first impression of the joint may not be good. My friends from Bombay had their doubts about it when I had excitedly insisted on bringing them here. But I am sure they weren’t disappointed.
This tiny worn out joint is capable of giving you your most fulfilling, almost gratifying, food experiences ever. My favourite time to come here is on a Sunday morning or noon. When the Neer Dosa melts in your mouth or the spicy rasam idli tingles your senses, you will admit openly that the forgone Sunday sleep was totally worth the cause.
The Neer Dosa with Avial is an all time favourite and a must-have for all first time visitors. No need to mention Rasam perhaps as we non south Indians find a south Indian meal incomplete without this spicy drink. Try their Crispy Dosa (beware of the quantity), Masala Idli, Dahi Idli, Curd Rice, Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice, Rava Dosa or Appams. If you are confused about what to order or what those complicated dishes mean, ask the friendly host (this little joint hardly feels commercial. It feels quite homely). He would patiently explain you and ask you how you want your coffee or idlis – steamed or fried. Strong or mild). The staff is also patient and friendly.
My favourite so far has been the Masala Idli – idlis fried with onions, garlic, coconut and traditional south Indian spices. The Rava Dosa, of the melt-in-mouth sorts, was so good that you need not accompany it with sambhar or the plethora of red and white chutneys that they give. Incidentally, their red garlic chutney does a good job at flattering every dish it is coupled with. The Neer More (Masala Chaas) makes for a pleasing accessory to the meal. A good filling meal for 3 people can be done in Rs. 500 total.
I am sure Payasam would make an excellent finale to the meal but I always prefer coffee. I usually go in for the medium filter coffee. That’s when I shut myself from the world and go away to a dreamland of my own.
I must warn you that as of now the place is quite small and has around 6-7 tables only. You can expect some waiting during peak hours. It will be shifting to Jetalpur Road soon (near Oven Magick). Expect a grander place and higher prices there.
Will I stop going there if prices increase? Nah.