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“Great Chettinad food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aachi Aappakadai

Aachi Aappakadai
3075 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
408 243 2778
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Ranked #37 of 365 Restaurants in Santa Clara
Cuisines: Indian
Restaurant details
San Jose, California
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Chettinad food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This place is on El Camino Real and is easily accessible. This is run by the same folks that own Madura Indian Vegetarian restaurant. The food here is authentic Chettinad and so can be spicy to people that are not used to spicy food. Mutton Roast is by far their best curry. They make aapams and serve with a variety of veg and non-veg curries. I also liked their soups. Of late they also have plate meals on week days - this is a combo of Biryani along with curries. Its a small place and tends to get crowded - but people wait because the food is so good.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    2
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Authentic South Indian restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I have never tried south Indian food before despite having lived in the self proclaimed capital of British curry. This was an altogether different experience.

First up, the menu included dishes with which I was unfamiliar. If I had not been with colleagues who had either been there before or come from that part of India then I would have been hopelessly lost.

For instance, I would never associate south India with deep fried and spiced anchovies. But then I've never been there so what would I know? They were surprisingly unsalty and yet had the sort of crunch I get from a similar dish (unspiced) served in Spanish tapas bars.

The aappam, which is a kind of chappati but made with butter milk and rice flour was a revelation - crisp around the edges and soggy in the middle and acting as an accompaniment to many dishes. In one dish, the cook had sprinkled it with keema.

The parathas were again different to those with which I am familiar. In the UK, these are thin, slightly crispy but hold themselves together. Here they are slightly thicker and made in rounds that fall apart. Nonetheless, they were delicious as an accompaniment.

Our colleagues selected for us but we tried fish, egg, mutton, prawn and chicken dishes, along with a keema (minced) dish. All were served at varying degrees of heat and in different spice combinations. A couple of my colleagues who'd never tried anything like this before found the heat in one dish (our colleagues called it Chinese chicken) a little too much but then the salty buttermilk soon solved any over heating problems.

You can tell whether a restaurant is offering authentic food when you see the majority of customers are from the same region as the dishes they are eating. Such was the case here.

Service was fast, portions were certainly shareable and small enough that we could have a good go at many dishes.

The problem with this kind of food is that once you start to appreciate it, it is hard to stop. I think we re-ordered at least twice.

We finished our meal with Indian coffee. To me this was very much like a well flavored but milky coffee. Surprisingly good and another treat I had not expected.

The crockery was nothing to write home about mostly being unmatched assortments of plastic plates and bowls. That didn't seem to matter as we tucked into some of the best asian food I have tasted in a long time delivered at 'street food' speed.

Prices were pleasantly reasonable and while I don't know the final bill - one of our colleagues treated us all (thanks Kaustav) I'd be surprised if it was much more than $100 with tip.

If I liked it so much then why four stars and not five? Well, the crockery wasn't exactly the best I've seen and the decor is more like you'd expect in a roadside take out but heh - perfection takes a lifetime of practice.

Would I go again? Absolutely. Subsequently, we discovered via Twitter that this place is a firm favourite among ex-pat Indians from the region. They say that apart from adjusting heat levels to suit a more Americanised palette and attract people from other parts of India, it reminds them of home. What better endorsement could you get?

I would have added photos but the food was so good I didn't get a chance before the plates were cleared.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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San Jose, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Good, tasty, south indian food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

had been there couple of times, and they manage the crowd well. They have good choice of menus, and all the dishes were good, and closer to native taste. On our 2nd visit, the Appam seems to very sweet but overall good.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Sacramento, CA
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Spicy, finger licking good Chettinad food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

Finally made it to this restaurant after hearing lots of favorable reviews. We tried the aappam with chicken curry, prawn karuvapillai and Chettinad mutton biriyani. The aapam and biriyani were excellent, while the prawn was just slightly above average. Service and prices were good as well.
Will definitely return to try their many other offerings.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Santa Clara, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Chettinadu (kind of south indian cuisine) food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2012

Loved the food. I generally don't like to eat non-veg until unless I don't have a veg choice. But I specially go to this place to eat Aappam with Chicken Curry. I simply love it. In fact I didn't liked their veg option of Aappam with Veg Khurma though I like veg noodles. This was a surprise because I never thought a South Indian restaurant would make such yummy Indo-Chinese food. I even liked their veg pakora. Nice place & yummy food. By the way if you pay by cash then you can save some bucks too.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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