South Indian Chettinad style food at Aachi Aappa Kadai in Santa Clara

I am a sucker for good spicy food. Not the one where my tongue is burning so much so I lose the flavor of what I am eating. But good spicy food which tingles my taste buds without having me reach for water, again and again.

On of my colleagues is heading to India to get married and we decided to take him to a new south Indian restaurant that has opened up in Santa Clara in the last few months. I had noticed Aappa Kadai from a distance few days ago and promised myself a trip before the year was done. I didnt have to wait for long.

Aachi Aappa Kadai is a Chettinad style restaurant on El Camino Real, not too far from the San Tomas Expwy-El Camino Real intersection. The owners trace their roots to the popular Madura south Indian vegetarian restaurant on Homestead Avenue in Cupertino. But unlike Madura, Aappa Kadai very much specilizes on everything non-vegetarian. Native to the cuisine is their seafood delicacies but I am not hear to review food I dont eat. I will review the vegetarian delights I sampled on my trip to the place.

We were a famished lot when we entered the place. We had made reservations which was a smart move as I noticed the crowd swelling as lunch time hit its zenith. We ordered vegetable pakoras as appetizers and appams with different curries based on our leanings. I ordered appam with vegetable korma. The pakoras arrived quickly and were piping hot and crisp. It was delicious and had a nice spicy finish to it.

Soon after the appams started arriving. Each order consisted of two sizeable appams with a cup of stew to go with it. The appams were excellent. The stew was fantastic. It was pretty spicy so make sure you can handle it before you head to the place. Two appams were not sufficient. Thankfully I could place a side order of just one appam to finish my meal. I finished it off with a nice cup of masala tea and felt fulfilled.

Overall, the place is a nice addition to the bustling food scene in South Bay. It offers an alternative to Anjappars, the only other Chettinad place in the vicinity. Food can be spicy but also extremely tasty if you are willing to give it a shot.


Ambience: 7/10. Nothing special about the place. Parking can be a challenge.

Service: 9/10. I was definitely impressed with the personalized service. Maybe there was a need to impress given the place is new. Or maybe it is their style. Definitely happy with the attention.

Food: 9/10. Loved it. It may be a tad spicy for some people but I liked it a lot. Just for the record, I am not a spicy food junkie. It was at my upper tolerance level and worked great.

Price: 8/10. Nothing too pricey. Portion size can be challenging especially while ordering a idiappam or appam. Two dishes maybe required to fulfil a solid afternoon hunger.

Restroom: N/A.

Overall: 8.5/10. I welcome the addition of this location as a South Bay Indian option and plan on going there again. Recommended.