This is a post, short and crisp- to the point. I had recently been to Coimbatore for a conference. Hence there wasn't much time to see places in/around. I tried to make the best of the free-time I could manage, and did what I love the most- eat and shop!
(Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list- just a small one, with the places we liked)
Well, we'd heard a lot about the Annapurna chain of hotels and we went there one evening. But I must say I was kinda disappointed with the taste, which was quite mediocre.
We liked the Rathnam vegetarian restaurant attached to Hotel Grand Regent on Avinashi Road, right opposite the Residency hotel. The Podi dosai was quite good. This place also offers buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner which seemed quite easy on the pocket (veg though, we didn't try).
|Idiyappam, served with some yummy coconut milk|
2) Junior Kuppanna
This place is heaven for non-vegetarians. The clean, fresh banana leaf placed in front of you gets those gastric juices flowing. The biriyani is by far one of the best I've had so far, just melt-in-the-mouth types. The mutton is mixed in the rice rather than large chunky pieces, and is very soft 'n succulent. The basic meal also is quite good, with different types of gravies (chicken, mutton, egg, fish, Nat kozhi). We also tried two other dishes which were very good too. A special mention of the curd, which was thick and sweet.
Overall, a must-visit when in Coimbatore. All the dishes are quite spicy, and if you already aren't accustomed to spicy food, then it'd be a li'l uncomfortable.
Apart from the food, the interiors are nice too. I spotted a painting with some of the Greats of Indian music in one frame.
|Chicken Pallipalayam, an oil-free dish|
|Chicken pepper roast|
|Walls painted with scenes depicting life in Coimbatore from the older era|
This is the in-house restaurant at Zone by the Park on Avinashi Road. The interiors are just as the name suggests, set up similar to what a bazaar-place would look like. The food is very very good, the service impeccable, and we had quite a few meals here. The breakfast spread is quite big, with both Indian and non-Indian items. And for those with a sweet tooth, there are quite a few things to choose from, whether at breakfast or lunch or dinner.
The spread at lunch/dinner is equally good. They make fresh thincrust pizzas too, and were kind enough to make one the size of a saucer when I requested them to. I tried the thukpa once, and would suggest it for the health-freaks (tasted good).
|Sausages, pancakes, French toast, parsley potatoes, etc.|
|The egg never agreed with the bonda|
|Chicken Chettinad, served with rice and rasam|
(It's a little pricey compared to the earlier place)
The Mysoorpa (mind the absent K). One word- delicious! But some serious artery-clogging potential comes along, so beware.
5) The Pavilion at the Residency (Avinashi Road). A fine-dining place, with good food and great ambiance.
WHERE TO SHOP:
Go to the Big bazaar street/ Oppanakara street. There are quite a few HUGE showrooms there- Chennai Silks, Ganapathi Silks, PSR, etc. We particularly liked Ganapathy Silks, and ended up shopping much more than what I intended to (usual story). Go to Ramraj Store for some pure cotton clothes, classy dhothis and beautiful sarees too.
Hope this helps you if happen to go to Coimbatore anytime.