Restaurant Chennai Express opened the doors of its Fleet location to an already dedicated and committed clientele from its original venue in Basingstoke.

As it is one of the only authentic South Indian restaurants in Hampshire, Chennai Express takes pride in displaying the varied aspects of traditional Indian culture.

Stepping into its Fleet location, one almost feels transported to a different world; the bright decoration and open kitchen create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere very different from the bustling road outside. 

Many patrons, especially those from South Indian regions, have stated that the restaurant offers a small bubble where they can feel like they are at home, surrounded by the sights, smells and flavours of their childhoods.

Owners and chefs Sagar Barlawar and Vamsi Maddireddy both trained at one of the oldest universities in India, Osmania University.

Hampshire Chronicle:

They brought their “passion [for cooking], supported by their techniques” to the UK, and this is clear in the service they provide - each menu is carefully curated, the service is friendly and helpful, and the food is delicious, teeming with flavour.

This dedication to traditional cuisine continued even through the pandemic, which created difficulties for many businesses. Opening in 2018, they offered online deliveries for the duration of the pandemic, but got back on the ground after lockdowns ceased. Now, a couple of years after these events, they have not only survived this worldwide setback but thrived; two locations now offer delicious meals to the public.

Chennai Express claims to be different from its competitors not only due to the authenticity of the decoration, flavours, and atmosphere but also due to its use of high-quality ingredients and in-house preparation. Through the window into the open kitchen (a lovely touch that makes the space more connected and open), diners can see every aspect of their meal being prepared to order. Sauces and bases are made onsite, due to the varying flavour profiles of the dishes offered. 

A friendly and welcoming restaurant with artfully made and delicious food, Chennai Express is a must-visit if you’re in Fleet or Basingstoke.

  • This article was written by Lili Vikor, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young reporter scheme.