Anjappar Chettinad in North Brunswick, New Jersey gives a bad name not just to the famed Chettinad cuisine but to all Indian restaurants in the U.S.
Disgusting service and a distasteful kitchen come together to deliver a dreadful experience to diners at Anjappar’s new outpost in North Brunswick, NJ.
A far better – and definitely more apt – name for this impostor of a restaurant would be Ambattar Chettinad because the only thing these imbeciles seem to be good at is shaving you off your precious time and hard-earned money (For those not familiar with the Tamil language, Ambattar means barber).
Anjappar Chettinad or Ambattar Chettinad?
Anjappar – Endless Agony
Our agony at the Anjappar Chettinad restaurant in New Jersey began at the very beginning.
We had to wait 36 minutes to be seated. Since there is very little space in Anjappar’s outer waiting room, a lot of people are forced out into the biting New Jersey cold.
After being seated, it took 15 minutes for our clueless waiter to take our order although the waiters were running hither and thither like headless chicken.
And it took another 20 minutes for the food to arrive at our table.
When the food came, it came in the most haphazard sequence possible.
Our Ceylon Parotta ($2.95) came before the appetizer.
Poondu Kuzhumbu ($7.45) came after the Ceylon Parotta had become cold.
Our waiter did not care to provide us with spoons, knives or forks or for that matter napkins until we pressed him for it.
Footpath tea stalls and highway dhabas in Tamil Nadu (a state in South India) are better organized and serve far tastier food than Anjappar Chettinad.
Below Par Food
We’d have tolerated the rotten service if only the food was exemplary.
But Anjappar New Jersey fails in the food department too. And fails very badly.
From the crisp-but-tasteless Onion Pakodas ($5.45) to the tiny half-ripe Bananas given at the end, Anjappar Chettinad falls woefully short of being a restaurant, let alone being a good Chettinad restaurant.
When you pay $5.45 for Onion Pakoda, aren’t you entitled to some Chutney or sauce on the side? No, not at Anjappar Chettinad.
Chettinadu Pepper – Disappointing
Chettinadu Pepper (Chicken pieces marinated in crushed pepper corns fried with chopped onions and curry leaves) was a travesty and turned out to be a lamebrain creation from a harebrained chef.
It appeared that an impatient or wannabe cook had just daubed some pepper powder on the chicken and rushed it out of the kitchen with a few curry leaves thrown into the mix. Not surprisingly, the Chettinadu Pepper that landed on our table was disgustingly pathetic.
We were supposed to get Chappathis with our Thalis.
It never came with the food leaving us mystified but we told ourselves it’d come in a little while. However, after 10 minutes one of the headless chickens sauntered over to our table and told us casually: “We don’t have Chappathi. We’ll give you half Parotta.”
By now, we were convinced that we were dealing with a bunch of escapees from the asylum or the local zoo.
What the heck is wrong with these fellows?
Ultimately, what showed up on our table was not even the promised “Half-Parotta” but a tiny “Quarter Parotta” that tasted really lousy. In our dictionary, this kind of poriki behavior by a restaurant constitutes plain cheating.
Anjappar’s Serial Sadists
Sambar was a tasteless monstrosity and we cursed our misfortune.
But the serial sadists in Anjappar’s kitchen must have worked in Stalin’s Gulags, because they showed us no mercy and continued their aggravated assaults on our tastebuds.
Beetroot Curry was a flavorless mess, Rasam a bit on the sour side and the Okra+Channa Curry a bland abomination that had more of a North Indian flavor.
Although we were initially taken aback at the small portions in the Thali, after tasting the food we didn’t have any regrets over the portion sizes.
So-So Chicken Masala
Anjappar’s Chicken Masala (supposedly one of the signature items of this restaurant) was so-so, not bad and not good. In short, nothing to write home about.
Anjappar’s takeout menu describes Chicken Masala as hot & spicy but what we got was just tepid and definitely not spicy enough for battle-hardened South Indian palates.
One of the exceptions in our outrageously bad meal at Anjappar was the Poondu Kuzhambu (described as garlic cooked in hot tamarind sauce to spice).
As promised, Poondu Kuzhambu was hot, spicy and very, very tasty. It was the rare aberration in an otherwise unedifying meal.
We were not the only ones at the receiving end of awful service at this Ambattar Chettinad restaurant…sorry…Anjappar Chettinad restaurant. Our neighbors to our left were mighty irritated by the service. They did not get what they ordered, got what they did not order and since it took forever for the coffee, they rejected it when it finally came. Our neighbors on the other side also seemed impatient about their Utthappam order.
After we finished our meal, no one bothered to clean our table or remove the plates. Then one of those clumsy Anjappar waiters turned up and removed two of the plates but for some inexplicable reason left one plate behind.
We waited and waited and waited for someone to take our desserts order. No one bothered. For nearly 25 minutes, we sat in glum befuddlement as to how these Anjappar clowns got a license to run a restaurant.
Finally, out of sheer frustration we called the restaurant on our cell phone and beseeched the lady at the counter who answered the phone to send someone to take our desserts order. She came down herself and took our desserts order.
As we waited for our desserts, the bespectacled clown at the door dropped by repeatedly to ask whether we were finished, in effect suggesting we get up and leave. We told him repeatedly that we were waiting for our desserts but it made no difference to this bozo who was wandering around with a notebook and a pen.
Since it was taking forever and life is short, we called the restaurant again to remind them of our desserts and Coffee, only to be told rudely by the lady on the other end of the line: “They are busy.”
In retrospect, we felt we shouldn’t have bothered with either the desserts or the Coffee.
Lychee with Ice Cream ($4.95) was pathetic. The Vanilla Ice Cream (included all of three Lychee pieces) was hopeless and tasted like chalk powder had been hastily mixed with some sugar and thrown into the freezer.
We actually wanted to thank our dumb waiter when he snatched the half-full Chalk-Powder Ice Cream from our table without even checking with us!
As for the Pineapple Rava Kesari ($4.95), don’t get us started on that awful abomination. If the ugly yellow mass that our waiter placed before us was Pineapple Rava Kesari, then we are Lawrence of Arabia.
Payasam, a common South Indian dessert, had not a single cashew or raisin and worse, was slightly short of sugar.
When we asked for an extra spoon for the Ice Cream, our waiter brought us the curry spoon!
If there was a Nuremberg Court for lousy Indian restaurants in New Jersey, then the entire crew of Anjappar would be handed down life imprisonment without any chance of parole.
In the final act of disgrace for Anjappar Chettinad, these jokers couldn’t even make a decent cup of Coffee. Our Coffee had too much milk and too little decoction. And there was no sugar on the table!
If a South Indian restaurant cannot make decent Payasam or Coffee and if a Chettinad restaurant can’t deliver tasty Chettinadu Pepper Chicken, what is it capable of?
Is profit the sole objective of a restaurant and customers be damned?
Surely, Anjappar Chettinad must have dredged the low end of the human gene pool to assemble the worst herd of waiters and cooks at its North Brunswick location in New Jersey.
How Anjappar Chettinad managed to get U.S. Visas for these sham cooks is a mystery.
Bottom Line – Avoid Anjappar
For ardent lovers of Chettinad cuisine, a visit to this fake South Indian restaurant called Anjappar Chettinad New Jersey would turn them away from this fine cuisine forever.
It takes enormous chutzpah to call Anjappar Chettinad New Jersey a restaurant.
Unless you are a disciple of of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and love to subject yourself to painful flagellation administered by the gaggle of Anjappar’s buffoons running this so-called restaurant, stay away from Anjappar Chettinad New Jersey. Hey, New Jersey is not short of Indian restaurants.
As for us, we silently left Anjappar Chettinad suffering from bodily and mental distress and reflecting on our bad Karma.
Anjappar Chettinad Related Posts
Anjappar Chettinad NYC Review – Middling Fare, Don’t Get Your Panties in a Twist
I went to Anjappar Chettinad, New Jersey on Sunday for Lunch. The food was great but the service was a bit slow due to a heavy crowd. I liked the music and the ambiance as well. I would go again for sure.
The above comment lacks credibility as an e-mail address similar to the one provided by the poster has been used recently by Anjappar in a “Help Wanted” ad. Go figure.
Given the time that one has spent to scrap too much a bad review on a restaurant transpires itself to be a deliberately sculptured fake make-over. I truly wonder your skills mate.
Anyways, Anjappar, NJ is a place where we had thoroughly relished our meal last Sunday and it is very evident that the efforts these guys have put in has turned it into a cherishable eat-out. Despite the fact that they are new entrants they managed to exhibit what could be called a â€˜Delightfulâ€™ service. The taste of food although not a commendable one, deserves kudos for these new buds. Am pretty sure time will help improve the standards.
We felt at home and truly enjoyed Chettinad food after a long long time.
1. You write above that “The taste of food although not a commendable one…”
Thank you for agreeing with us that the food at Anjappar’s New Jersey leaves a lot to be desired.
2. Your IP address shows that the above comment has been posted from India.
So, did you come to New Jersey just to eat at Anjappar? If so, you must be what they call Sapad Raman.
3. Our research on the Internet and your previous postings elsewhere on the Net suggests that like the first comment poster above, you also seem to be involved with Anjappar.
4. So your comments are not credible.
I am truly disappointed that you didn’t receive good service. My husband and I went to Anjappar (2 locations) in Canada, and the food was amazing and the service was awesome! Seriously, the Chicken Biryani took me back to childhood … it was that good, and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly (which was rare for an indian restaurant). Anyways, I expect the same in NJ, and I really hope that Anjappar improves their service and their quality of food. I hope they set themselves apart from all the other crappy restaurants in NJ. I had planned to go to Anjappar this weekend, and YOU saved me a trip.
We were not impressed with the food at Anjappar New Jersey except for the Poondu Kuzhumbu. Anjappar Chettinad sets a new low among the crappy Indian restaurants in New Jersey.
I went to Anjappar Mississauga (after a 2 hour hiking trip).
It was the best Chettinad I have had outside India.
Well, as the Bible says:
You were probably famished after the 2-hour trek.
That’s why during our trekking trips in the Kodai hills we used to pack tons of food!
I hope Anjappar can get their act together. Although I am not one to preach, I do recommend that Anjappar take this as unbiased criticism, and not get demoralized. If the management at Anjappar is listening, then they will make sure that the issues are addressed to the satisfaction of all. I have not tried this restaurant, but it is on my list of restaurants to visit as I am a big fan of Chettinad cuisine. I promise to come back and write a review.
I have tasted Anjappar twice and I have to agree with the author on service but would like to differ on the food.
I have tried Crab, Chettinad Masala, Ceylon Paratta, Poondu Kuzhambu and Pepper Chicken. Except for Pepper chicken, all the other dishes were very tasty ( as one would expect in Anjappar, Chennai). Poondu kuzhambu and masala were very spicy.
I ordered Paratta as take-out but did not get even Raita. My vegetarian friends had to take it dry.
On the service: I did not expect much as I can understand that it will be compromised, if it is over-crowded. C’mmon, give them a fair chance. I avoided Saravana Bhavan for the first few months, till the crowd steadied.
I agree with the reviewer on Pakoda.
PS: I am known to one member of the NJ management.
As we’ve indicated in our review, Anjappar Chettinad New Jersey in North Brunswick is a disgrace of an Indian restaurant. Anjappar Chettinad New Jersey brings shame to the food business and the service business.
We find your notion of giving Anjappar a break or fair chance to be ridiculous because these folks are not new to the restaurant business. Give us one sensible reason why Anjappar should be treated with kid gloves other than that the Anjappar management is known to you. After all, Anjappar serves lousy food and does NOT deliver on what they promise in their menu but has no shame in charging for what they do NOT deliver, which is nothing but outright cheating.
As you also say you experienced, the service is downright awful. Why should it take an eternity to serve Ice Cream (which is not made after a customer places the order) and then rudely snatch it away without checking with the customer.
The Anjappar management at North Brunswick comprises of a bunch of amateurs who have no concept of either good food or decent service. It’s still a mystery to us as to how these folks got a restaurant license and Visas for these Sham Cooks.
Bottomline, by their actions Anjappar has shown itself to be an Indian restaurant that does not care about the service or the food they serve to customers.
I’m shocked to read this review. I’ve been to Anjappar 5 times in the past 1 month. I’ll not say that this restaurant is perfect but no one is. But, this restaurant is one of the best Indian Restaurants that NJ is to offer.
Everyone who have been there with me, agree with me on that.
Everytime I went there, I tried something different. Their Thalis are really nice. Their Poratos and Chettinad Chicken as well Mutton dishes were excellent. I’m not a big fan of Fish so I can’t comment on that.
They might not have a great interior decor but the service was good. I can say that they know the etiquettes very well.
So, I feel that either the one who wrote this article has ulterior motive or mistaken a different restaurant for this one. Please, Please don’t come to conclusions based on this article.
Try it out yourself.
You write above “I feel that either the one who wrote this article has ulterior motive or mistaken a different restaurant for this one”
Fortunately, all of us are not blessed with your pea-size brain and atom-size morals, you nitwit.
Neither the food nor the service at Anjappar makes this a restaurant worth visiting.
When I first read your review, I thought maybe you had something against the restaurant owners. Even though I read your review, I went to this place because my brother recommended the restaurant â€“ he went there only once, on a Saturday, and he said the wait was bad but the food was good.
So I and my family go there on a weekday evening at 6:05 pm â€“ there was nobody in the restaurant. Even though the sign said â€˜wait to be seatedâ€™, none of the two people greeted us and when I asked â€˜can we sit anywhereâ€™ one of them nodded his head- so we sat down.
The menus came and my daughter asked for shrimp 65 because we never heard of shrimp 65 only chicken 65.
The waiter then brought us a steel water jug with no water in it and I had to ask for one with water.
The waiter then got us chicken 65 and when we asked for shrimp 65 he insisted that we ordered chicken 65. Since my daughter liked chicken 65 we had it but also ordered the shrimp 65. They were okay in flavor, small portions, nothing great.
The food actually came within 10 minutes â€“ why I will explain later.
My wife ordered 2 chapattis with vegetable kuruma. The chapattis were large but dry. The kuruma came in a small dish and was watery and had a few vegetables â€“ either they served from the top portion of the kuruma with the vegetables on the bottom or they made a watery concoction with no vegetables. I suspect the latter,
Their condiments are small portions and they charged for seconds.
I ordered prawn masala and the masala had gone bad and smelled bad. The reason why they had the food so quick was they made the masala and it was days old and they steamed/boiled/cooked the prawns and added that to the masala. This restaurant served us definitely days old food.
All the other food was substandard okay – nothing great.
I am not a Tamilian but I agree with your assessment this place should be called Ambattar Chettinad. I will not recommend the place to anyone. I have already told others not to go to the place.
People can get sick eating days old food.
Absolutely agree with the review. My wife and I went to this pathetic place 2 days ago. Both of us ordered Masala Dosa and Salty Lassi. We requested if we could get the masala on the side and not stuffed inside the dosa. The kitchen refused our request. Why? We weren’t given a reason.
Now, can a cook ever go wrong with the items that we had ordered?? The Lassi was extra extra salty and did not taste fresh. The dosa DID come with the masala on the side. Go figure. But guess what? BOTH the dosas were COLD! When we pointed this out to our waiter he just looked at us as if we were from another planet. No apologies offered. Ok, so he offered to get us another order. By the time the refreshed order came, the sambar was cold (yeah, we had to make do with the sambar from the first order). And talk about quantity?? Sambar was maybe three tablespoons. And the masala? Not more than a couple of table spoons. When we asked for more masala we were told that we will have to pay for it. I just lost my cool and cursed at the guy (though I don’t think he understood what I said – he had this stupid grin on his face after I cursed him).
Overall,the food was average and the service was crap.
unworthy food..! Anjappar restaurants in chennai are no better..
We thought they were a huge brand there and came over here to expand their operations.
The local Anjappars in New Jersey are buffoons going by the food and service.
No quality, they probably don’t know what tasteful means. I nearly fell ill after anjappar adventure..!!
When we went to Anjappar, there was a line outside.
But we haven’t gone there in quite a while.
Maybe, it’s time for us to revisit the restaurant here and see if they have improved.
Anjappar Chennai is amazing.
but Indian food are very addictive.
Which branch – NJ, California or India?
Eating at Anjappar or Saravana bhavan or any of the big chains is a game of Russian Roulette.
You could have a great meal once and come back 30 minutes later and have to be admitted in a hospital for chronic dysentery for food poisoning.
While I appreciate you guys providing reviews of food, its really a scary thought to walk into a lot of these restaurants who are the masters who dont care for health codes or sanitation. (Makes me reach for Maalox thinking of it).
Do check out their website, they have a reviews page where to no surprise its all hunky dory positive feedback.
You write: Do check out their website, they have a reviews page where to no surprise its all hunky dory positive feedback.
Any review an Indian restaurant puts up on their web site is suspect. The only reason Indian restaurants do it is to dupe the search engines.
Anjappar Chettinad in NJ is a blight on Indian cuisine.