Eating is an integral part of travel for me. I try to look up must visit restaurants and eateries even before I travel. So I had a list of must visits in Ooty and planned well ahead so as not to miss these. Some of the places I did not want to miss were:
- Earl’s Secret inside King’s Cliff
- Shinkows Chinese restaurant
- Nahar Sidewalk Cafe
- Pankaj Bhojanalaya
- Darjeeling Momo shop (not in my list, but could not resist trying when we saw it)
Armed with this information, we kinda planned our days so that we do not miss these places. In the end we tried all the above places except Sidewalk cafe. We just could not fit it in to our plans. We also ended up trying small road side eateries when we spotted them.
Shinkows Chinese Restaurant (Skip this place if you are a vegetarian):
We spotted this restaurant as it was close to the ATM where we stopped to withdraw money. Since it was in our list anyway, we decided to try it out immediately. After settling the cabbie, we headed to our room to drop our luggage. Immediately came back to the restaurant. It was already close to 3 pm and we were famished thanks to the hours we spent in the Q at the ATM. It so happened that it was a Saturday, so had to stick to veg food. Turned out to be a bad choice as their veg menu was rather limited. Since it was fag end of lunch time, we decided to grab whatever was available.
The order was simple, a Veg noodles and French fries. Thankfully, they accepted card. Oh btw, a scene in the movie Kapoor and Sons was shot in this restaurant.
Address: 38/83, Commissioners Road, Opp SBI, Upper Bazzar, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001.
Earl’s Secret in King’s Cliff:
I was so looking forward to dining here. It was about 4km from Rose Garden, which is where we stayed. We hired an auto and told him we will call him once we were done with lunch. We reached very early, and thankfully that gave us enough time to click some lovely pics of the beautiful property. And which is also why we got to pick a seat inside the glasshouse. We chose a corner seat just to soak in the view while we ate.
We ordered Broccoli soup, a mushroom starter, couple of mocktails, a lasagna and a blueberry cheesecake. Needless to say the food was definitely scrumptious. Though the price was slightly on the higher side, we definitely did not mind given the picturesque setting, serene property and great service. It was worth the travel.
Address: Havelock Road, Police Quarters, Pudumund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001. If you have trouble look for sign boards for Willow Hill. Earl’s Secret is little far (above).
I saw a review for paneer fingers in Where Chennai Eats, a Facebook group. We had trouble locating this place as no one seemed to know. We were so close to it but still could not figure out. After a short witch hunt, we finally located it only to realize they ran out of paneer fingers for the day. We told the aunty who take our orders we came looking only for that. She was very sweet and asked us how long we would be in Ooty. We said for couple of days. So she suggested if we happen to be in the area again she will ensure that we get our paneer fingers. We told her we would be back next day. So for that day we settled for a vada pav and a sandwich. The vada was huge and piping hot. Loved it. The paneer finger was quite okay.
From talking to the owner, we could glean that the place is haunted by school kids mostly. Not surprised as it was very pocket friendly. A nice place for the kids to hang out post school and shout at the top of their voice. Highly recommend this place for their pocket friendly price and tasty food.
Address: SH 15, Pudumund, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001. It is right inside a petrol pump, with a department store at the front. The cafe is inside the department store. This is the exact location in Google Maps, so you don’t struggle to find it.
I had been to this restaurant in one my previous trips with friends. Since we had couple of Marus in the group then, we were pampered a lot. This place was etched in my memory. We stopped here for lunch. We kept it simple. One masala papad and one thali. Since we were not hungry we decided to share one thali between us. Quite good food and very homely. Must try if you are a vegetarian.
Address: 1, Coimbatore-Ooty-Gundlupet Hwy, Upper Bazaar, Ooty, Tamil Nadu 643001. Bang opposite to Nahar Hotel.
Darjeeling Momo Shop:
Spotted this shop accidentally in the by-lanes off Charring Cross road. What other a plate of momos on a chilly evening. In the first visit we had a plate of momos and a Veg cheese roll. On the next day we settled for a plate of fried momos. We wanted to try the thukpa but somehow we couldn’t. A decent place to have momos and other “Chinese” stuff as we did not find any other place in Ooty serving these.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are always tons of eateries in any place. These are the must haves and highly recommended. The Commercial Road near Charring Cross has tons of eateries. Most of them are regular haunts and known names. We have tried to cover the famous local names.