South Indian cuisine, also referred to as Dravidian, usually consists of several (mainly vegetarian) dishes eaten with steamed rice. Tamil cuisine, famous for the use of a variety of spices, recommends that one includes in a main meal all the six tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salt, astringent and pungent. A Thali, here known as "meals", is traditionally served on a banana leaf. Look around and see how the other guests handle their leftovers and banana leaf, for good table manners.
Restaurants are often referred to as a "hotel" on the signs outside, on which it usually also states if the restaurant serves meat or not. Most of the good restaurants in Chennai are located in the city’s up-market hotels, and are known for their lunch buffets. Don´t miss out on all the street stalls that serves wonderful south indian food and note that some foods are only served during breakfast whilst others only are served during night.