Most regulars also keep coming back for their traditional Avakkai (Mango) pickle that they make in large quantities in the summer and store for the rest of the year. Every meal has five accompaniments – there’s a stir fried vegetable (Thalimpu), appalam (Pappad), pappu (Lentil based-gravy), chutney and a raita. The accompaniments change every day, just ask the regulars if you need more information; they keep track religiously. One of the bi-weekly specials is the Vada (lentil-based doughnut) served with Sambar. The Sambar is the first of five courses that include a Rasam, Challa Chaaru (spiced foamy buttermilk), Guddilu Pulusu (spicy gravy) and curd with rice. That’s when the atom bomb is usually dropped. Kota Ehirajulu coined the term to describe the fiery blackened chilly that is served at the end of the meal.65 years later, the meals cost Rs. 90 (Non-AC) and Rs. 120 (if you dine in the AC section). The regulars no longer just include the city’s Telugu speaking population or visitors from Andhra. The area’s large Marwari trading community frequent the restaurant especially on Saturdays – payment day for most business establishments in the city. Saturdays can be tough for Deepak but things start to quieten down by 4 pm. While the regulars keep coming back, National Lodge keeps adding newer patrons each year even though the dining experience or the menu hasn't changed a lot since the 1950s. It’s probably why this restaurant will continue to be relevant and crowded just like the busy streets of Georgetown that are still a beehive of commercial activity centuries after the East India company set up shop here.
About the author:Ashwin Rajagopalan is a cross cultural training expert and lifestyle writer. When he's not writing about food, he thinks about gadgets, trends and travel experiences. He enjoys communicating across cultures and borders in his weekday work avatar as a content and editorial consultant for a global major and one of India's only cross cultural trainers.Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.