Friday, 17 March 2017

Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy, Chennai

21:53:00


Contemporary Progressive Cooking has been in vogue for a while now and most common with Mediterranian Cuisines. Chennai has its own set of restaurants which serve such food. During one such experiences, I along with other foodies, wondered when South Indian food would get such a makeover.

Vola! Two years down the line from such a discussion, ITC Grand Chola takes the bold decision of serving up such an experience at Avartana - Contemporary Progressive South Indian Dining in Chennai.

I had the opportunity to dine here for a preview dinner. The entire meal was a MasterChef level experience. I was blown way by how a normal South Indian dish with humble origins could be made into a contemporary dish with such zeal and flair.


Food:
The meal started off with a amuse bouche -  Air like Fennel & Pepper with Avocado Fluff.  Indeed,  just like air, it vanished.



Next Herb Infused Tomato Rasam - Yes the simple rasam becomes a drink - served in Margarita Glass!


I love Brain Pepper Fry. Have had them a couple of times at Chettinad joints. But here it gets a twist as Lamb Brain Dumplings Wowie!





Cocktails and Mocktails too, have been given a treatment to suit the south indian fare - Mount Road 63, Nannari Slush & Raw Mango Coriander with Chilli.


Then the vegetable which I rarely consume - The Bitter Gourd, gets a modern twist which made the taste so irresistible. Dehydrated Bitter Gourd with Potato & Sauce


Stir Fried Lobster with Chili & Garlic, looks and feels very much like a Podi Idli


The veggies had Kulipaniyarum with Madurai Chutney which was simply delectable


Then one of my all time favourites- Iddiyappam & Stew with Asparagus & French Beans. The Stew was so delicate and at the same time reminded me of traditional south indian flavours


The Pepper Chicken served with Malabar Parotta & Sweet Meringue was the show stopper. Soft Malabar Parotta with Spicy Pepper Chicken reminded me of my grandma's cooking, but the platting was totally reimagined.


Lamb Congee served with Aubergine Pachadi was simple yet tasty.



Finally the piece of resistance every south indian meal should have - Curd Rice / More Kulambu with rice, here in a different avatar - Butter Milk Noodles with Pickle.




Finishing off with Birds Nest - Finger Millet Vermicelli with Coconut Ice Cream & Caramelised Milk - Yumm!

Beeda Time - but here it takes a new route with Nitrogen - Winter Paan.

Ambiance:
Common South Indian interiors but reimagined. Carpets resembling banana leaves and wall motifs like Kerala Boats finally a open kitchen -a first for a south indian restaurant. The restaurant also has a private dining which can seat about 10 people at a time.

Price:
Avartana offers tasting menus ranging from Rs 2000/- and upwards for a seven course meal.

Calling this experience 'mind-blowing' would be an understatement. Having a Masterchef style experience from a south indian cuisine will have you raving. Avartana is here to redefine the food with simple and humble origin into Michelin experience.

Disclaimer : Invited Review

Avartana is located inside ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Roll Factory - Swiggy

16:59:00

Just another lazy night post work. My wife and I decided to have a light dinner at home in front of the TV watching some random flick on Amazon Prime. Zoom! Swiggy to the rescue! After a few minutes of scrolling through Swiggy we settled on The Roll Factory.


Food:
We had the Egg Bhuna Chicken Roll and the Reshmi Chicken Tikka Roll. Both the Rolls were delivered in a neat packing and were HOT!



My pick between the two would be the Egg Bhuna Chicken Roll. It was a tad spicier than the latter. But not spicy to the level were you would be reaching out for some water. The best part about the rolls were the Whole Wheat Base Roti which was soft and slightly crispy. Big thumbs up!

Ambiance:
NA

Service:
Swiggy again does a fantastic job the delivery. Pipping Hot food.

Price:
The price for this meal was Rs 270/-

Food - 8/10
Service - 10/10
Price - 9/10

Disclaimer: I paid for the meal

If you wish to do the same head over to your App Store / Play Store and download the Swiggy App and get goodies delivered in a Jiffy

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Friday, 10 March 2017

Dhaba By Claridges, Ishpahani Center, Chennai

10:05:00

Dhaba By Claridges has been my on cards ever since they opened shop in Chennai. I decided to surprise my wife with a Valentines day dinner here. So I made my reservation for a table on Feb 14 and we walked into the restaurant only to be declined a seat. The manager informs me that the reservation made was a temporary reservation and it would take another 45 minutes to get a table. So we decided to walk off and celebrate our First Valentines Day elsewhere.

Putting this incident behind, I still wanted to dine here and see what the fuss was all about. So we walked in,  the following week and got our seat.



Food:
We started our innings here with the Virgin Paan Mojito. Yes! I am a sucker for Gulkand and Yes! it was refreshingly tasty. I had recently introduced my wife to Galouti Kebab at Bombay Brasserie, so she was keen on having it, as she had glanced through the pages. So Galouti Kebab it was! She absolutely loved it. I on the other hand found it just above average. It seemed to miss the mark of a kebab and landed more into the cutlet territory in terms of consistency.



I being a Chicken lover settled on Murgh Malai Tikka. Cheesy juicy delights they were. This was followed by Mutton Seekh. I must say I was blown away. The best I have had thus far. They were juicy, tender and absolutely mouth-watering.


For mains we settled on a Chitta Butter Chicken and a Amritsari Kulcha. A single large Kulcha was cut down into 4 pieces. The Kulcha was served piping hot and the combination with the Chitta Butter Chicken was simply divine. By the end of the mains we were too full, so we skipped the desserts

Ambiance:
Dhaba by Claridges interiors looked and felt like a Dhaba with modern twist. Zing Zang Bling lights and quirky colourful interiors

Service:
Full marks here. Our waiter for the day Mr. Vincent was exceptional. He knew the dishes like the back of his hand and was able give valuable inputs

Price:
This rich experience cost us Rs 2435/-

Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 10/10
Price - 8/10

Disclaimer: I paid for the meal

Dhaba By Claridges is located inside Ishpahani Center, Nungumbakkam

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Midnight Snacking - Cocojaunt1728 - Swiggy

08:32:00

There are times I decide to skip dinner and just head to bed only to realize that I am hungry after all. Now this just ruins my very much needed sleep. Finally I have found a fix, thanks to Swiggy. They give you the option to dine at home from your favorite restaurants which remain open till 11pm but which do not do door delivery.


Food:
I chose to have the What a Bomb Burger and Grilled Chicken & Feta in Pita Bread.

Chicken was tender, served with fried egg and a big serving of mayo made it a proper greasy burger. Only grouse was that the bun just did not hold together till the end.


I was hoping for a pita pocket filled with the Grilled Chicken & Feta, but this was more like a deconstructed wrap. Filled to the brim with Grilled Chicken, Black Olives & Lettuce. The soft pita bread made the dish a delight.

Ambiance:
NA

Service:
Swiggy did a fantastic job of delivering the lovely mid-night snack way past 12am in the night. The deliver tracker is a boon.

Price:
The price of the midnight snack was Rs 390/-

Food - 8/10
Service - 10/10
Price - 9/10

Disclaimer: I paid for the meal.

If you wish to do the same head over to your App Store / Play Store and download the Swiggy App and get goodies delivered in a Jiffy

If you like what you are reading, Please share it with others.

*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Roll Over, Anna Nagar, Chennai

08:40:00

Chennai is a city which is strategically situated, which makes it have a peculiar climate. We have the Hot season followed by the Hotter season and then the Hottest season. So any ice cream parlor or juice joint is always welcome. One such recent entrant is Roll Over at Anna Nagar.

They serve up lip-smacking Thailand's famous Ice - Cream Rolls. It is an experience you do not want to miss.

Food:
We had the Lychee Rush, Mango Madness, and Roll Over's special Chocolate Karma. Lychee Rush had  Lychee flavored ice cream rolls with nice chunks of canned lychee pieces served with chef special cream sauce. While the Mango madness had Ice cream rolls drizzled with mango syrup and had the same chef special sauce. Both had similar taste. But my pick between the two would be the Lychee Rush just purely for the chunks of fruit which was served in it.






Finally the Special Chocolate Karma. It is a dessert, one would not want to miss. It is a treat visually and tastewise. When served it looks like a dessert straight out of the MasterChef kitchen. Ice cream rolls plus the Chocolate sphere served on a bed of brown sugar with hot chocolate sauce accompaniment. It is a true chocolate lovers' delight and one which you would relish.

Ambiance:
Neat decor which lets the dessert do the talking.

Service:
Self Service

Price:
The three desserts set us back by Rs 600/-  which was well worth the experience.

Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Service - N/A
Price - 8/10

Disclaimer: I paid for the meal

Roll Over is located next to Santhosh Super Store in Anna Nagar.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Miner Diner, Anderson Road, Chennai

08:51:00

Hello 2017!
It's been a really long time since I did a blog post, been totally restricted to doing short reviews on Instagram. Also, I had been cutting down on dining out after a quick increase of my waistline. So now back to this review. I happened to dine at The Miner Diner for brunch yesterday and ended up having a fantastic experience.



Food:
We (Wife and I) chose to have the Gold Miner Diner Combo which is priced at Rs 495/- person. This combo allows you to have the following








We had the Cream of Chicken Soup to start with, followed by Wasabi Salad and BBQ Salad. Must say they were all simply superb. May not be original in its right, but tasted good. Both salads were loaded with romaine lettuce, olives, cherry tomatoes, zucchini & cucumber. The BBQ salad had a mix of BBQ sauce and Mayo. While the Wasabi Salad tasted more like Kimchi.

Before our starters could arrive our shakes reached the table. Berry & Cookie shake and Kit-Kat shake. Both were just divine. I personally loved the Berry & cookie better as it was a little thinner  and so it just went well with the heavy course of food which was served





Next, we had the Chicken Cigars and Wasabi Paneer. Crispy Cigars were served with thousand island sauce which was fantastic. The wasabi paneer - grilled paneer topped with cheese and mayo along with a small sliver of olive was mindblowing. The mayo balanced out the spiciness of the wasabi making it a subtle heat.




By the end of the starters, we were so stuffed that neither of us could have the mains. I just decided to have a small bite of them and parcel the rest. Corden Blu waffle sandwich and Italian Twist waffle pizza. The waffle was perfect. It had a nice crispy texture with a soft interior. This made biting into the waffle an absolute bliss. The Pizza, on the other hand, was a little less crispy when compared to the sandwich as it might have absorbed the cheese's moisture. Nevertheless tasty.

We decided to pack the desserts as well as we had reached saturation point.

Ambiance:
Set in a car park of a house, with rustic interiors which make it feel like something else.

Service:
Fast, efficient and attentive.

Price:
Here comes the best part. This entire meal cost us Rs 1124/- for two people which is all inclusive is fantastic value for money.

Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 9.5/10

Disclaimer: I paid for the meal.

The Miner Diner is located in Anderson road next to Doner Kebab.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service, and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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Monday, 3 October 2016

Fabelle, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

21:01:00

As a dentist, one of the biggest complaints I hear from my patients is that they had excessive amounts of chocolates as a kid and now they have ended up with tooth decay. Or parents telling me to advise their children not  to have any chocolates as it is the root cause for decay. Now I play the role of educating the patient / parent that the entire ordeal of decay happened / happens because of improper brushing habits and not because of CHOCOLATES! This education session invariably ends up with me suggesting restaurants or food items to them. Now I have yet another reason to talk about chocolates to these patients!!



India is not known for the chocolate produce. Indian versions of chocolates from around the world are terrible. But thankfully some new connoisseur chocolates have finally arrived. The latest entrant into this scene is Fabelle which is located inside ITC Grand Chola.




Fabelle imports the best cocoa beans into India and handcrafts them into chocolate bars which are to be used for making the best chocolates and chocolate desserts.  Chefs take these chocolate bars and turn 'em into something quite irresistible.



For the regular consumer who does not have the knowledge to appreciate the quality and taste of chocolate, things get interesting here. Fabelle offers the Chocolate tour which is an eye-opener. Leaving all that aside if one is just interested in getting their mind blown by the delicacies then that is also possible.



Dark Chocolate & Milk Chocolate Ganache are ones to start with. Put them in your mouth and wait for the chocolate to melt which is pure symphony. Next the Elements box - various percentage of chocolates played with acacia nectar, cinnamon, ancho chilli and french sea salt to give you exquisite - Earth, Water, Wood, Fire and Air Chocolates







If this is not for you, then go to their chef's selection of chocolate cups or make your own chocolate cups with assorted ingredients. If chocolates are not your thing, then the MasterChef level dramatics filled Chocolate flower, will have you floored.

Price - The rich dessert should cost you Rs 525 and the box of assorted elements - Rs 400.
Fabelle has announced its arrival in a fabulous way. So if you ever crave for chocolates or desserts which is absolutely decadent ,head over to Fabelle at ITC Grand Chola.

Disclaimer : Invited review.

If you like what you are reading, Please share it with others.

*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.


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