Aakshathai.

A great early morning spot, Aakshathai serves familiar and solid South Indian fare. What we've tried isn't as great as the one at Sri Surya's, (we're a bit biased where dosais are concerned), but as far as eateries are concerned in the North, this is easy to find, opens up early, and is spacious, large, and not a dodgy little kade if you're uncomfortable with those.

Food and Service

We walked in at around seven in the morning, and they were just getting started for the day. Despite fussing around getting things ready, the staff allowed us to sit inside until the kitchens opened, which was nice of them because they were busy getting things sorted around the dining area as well.

Keeping it simple, we went for a few Plain Dosa (Rs. 60 each), and Ulundu Vadai (Rs. 40).

The presentation of the dosai wasn't great and rather unappetizing when you're looking forward to fresh and crisp fermented pancakes, and you get something folded over into four, with small dishes of condiments plonked on top — but the dosai itself wasn't bad, and the chutney given with it was tangy, flavoursome, and refreshing.

The vadai was crisp and piping hot, but unfortunately not too fluffy or flavoursome on the inside. The friend outer layer though, was the bomb.

5/5 for freshness, but maybe 4/5 for flavour.

Ambience

A typical saiva joint, a bit larger and well-lit, and quite clean. A group of boy scouts from a Scouting Jamboree were there the same weekend as we were, and despite it being completely packed, it was spacious enough to not be claustrophobic.

Conclusion

Akshathai is your go-to place for a refreshing breakfast. I forgot to mention it earlier, but we saw a huge vat of fresh milk being brought in on a bicycle, so you could get that as well (fresh milk, not the bicycle). The staff are friendly and efficient, and you can get by with basic Tamil. There aren't many restaurants in J-town, but this, Green Grass, and Cosy's are a few which you could hit up if you want comfortable seating arrangements and a wide array of food.

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