Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year 2013

18:03:00

Guess this is the last post for 2012. I have had a fun filled 2012 and I am hoping my 2013 turns out to be equally great. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Since a couple of my friends kept calling and asking me to suggest a good dinner place without spirits. I have catalogued  the restaurants where you could head to, for the special night.

I am just listing the restaurants without partiality or favour:

1. Zaitoon - Anna Nagar : Special Buffet. Priced @ Rs 549/- for adults and Rs 399/- for Children.
   Contant No: 044 - 26140001

2. Falafel - Anna Nagar : Special Buffet. Priced @ Rs 499/-
    Contact No: 044 - 26200666, 9840800055

3. Mahamudra - Mylapore (Veg) : Special Buffet ( Candle light dinner). Priced @ Rs 1000/-
    Contact No: 044 - 43535555, 24991757

4. New Town Cafe - Injambakkam : Special Buffet. Priced @ Rs 1200/- for adults and Rs 750/- for children.
    Contact No: +91 89398 66235 / +91 91760 66866

5. Fusion 9 - Sterling Road: Special Buffet. Priced @ Rs 1250/-
    Contact No:  044 - 42664299

6. Jewel Box Restaurant, Hotel Blue Diamond - Egmore : Turkey Special. Priced/plate
    Contact No: 044 - 26412244

7. Dewberry's - R.K. Salai : Special Buffet ( Candle light dinner ). Priced @ Rs 650/-
    Contact No: 044 - 28473439

8. Coffeetales - Shanti Colony (Veg) : Cafe to hang-out post 12pm! Priced / order.
    Contact No: 9790750555

Happy New Year once again!!!!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Crimson Chakra - Set Meal, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar

19:11:00
I know I have raved about the food at Crimson Chakra, but this was the first time I had the "set meal" which is available for lunch. I was here with the same large group of ten people, of whom you might have read about in my previous posts on this blog. The restaurant was buzzing with activity even on a week day (lunch), I was a little apprehensive that we may not get a seat easily for our large group. But to our luck, we were seated immediately. Waiters gave us the options available - A la carte, Buffet or the Set Meal. The Buffet did not seem to impress me, it was a mix mediterranean cuisine. We were more inclined towards having the yummy aapam and smoked rice. The presence of these dishes in the set meal, sealed the deal.



Food:
The meal started off with a simple soup, which was the Sutta Kari Soup. The soup was really very hot!  It would have served as an excellent remedy for cold. 



Next up we were served with a whole platter of Non-veg starters. My God! It would bring a big smile on any carnivore. Easily 5 to 6 different starters of medium sized portions each. I do not think I would need to explain it further. "A perfect non-veggies paradise". The platter had the best selection of dishes from  the Indian end of the menu. The word limited starters here is an understatement. After we had stuffed our bellies with rich scrumptious starters, we headed for the main course.




Main course, was an  unlimited round. It consisted of Mutton Stew to go with the Crispy Appams. The combination of both was out-standing. Also this verdict was given by one of my appam crazy friend from Kerala. Then we had the Butter Chicken Masala to go with Tandoori Roti and Butter Naan. Butter chicken served here may not be really rich, but it had the right flavor and also a delicious naan to go with. Finally smoked chicken rice with chicken gravy. The signature smoked rice was fantastic and it did not disappoint. By the time we had the smoked rice, we ended up feeling really stuffed.


Finally when we are done with the main course, there was a single (limited) helping of Ice Cream and Gulab Jaamun. The Gulab Jaamun was simply the best  that I have had in a restaurant. The combo of the Jamun and Ice cream did not fail to rock us. Once we were done with the meal, we ended up with the realization that  the amount of money we paid for the meal was really worthy of the dishes served here. You would love the set meal, if you were a through bred South Indian.

Ambiance:
The ambiance at the Adyar Crimson Chakra is slightly better than the Nungumbakkam Branch. The restaurant has an old colonial house feel to it. Also there are loads of photos on the wall, which are for sale. Another plus here is the availability of parking space.

Service:
Service is proper, with the waiters giving you the best suggestion to enjoy the meal.

Price:
Priced at Rs 600/head + taxes, it works out to be the best set meal or and extended a la carte aka shrunken buffet at this end of the price. Had you had the same amount of food on a la carte , it would have worked out to about  Rs.1000 per head.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Crimson Chakra is located in Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, next to Gandhi Nagar Club.

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

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Triana, Valasarvakkam

17:44:00

The only time one can eat  freely without worrying about the cost,  is when someone else is giving a treat. I was out on one such occasion to enjoy my friends birthday treat. We had decided on Triana Valasarvakkam, since we had received a flyer about the restaurant, on the previous day. On reaching there, we asked the waiters , since that restaurant had been opened to the public. When the waiter replied 6 months, we were surprised, since none of us knew about the presence of this restaurant. One sore point was that the restaurant lacked electricity when we had reached around quarter past 1pm. We were informed that it would not be back until 2pm.



Food:
We were the only ones in the restaurant for the lunch, we dived right into placing the order. Since this was the first time for us we took the help of the waiters. They were really helpful in suggesting us some dishes and were able to answer our queries. For starters we ordered Beijing Pepper Chicken, Pahadi Chicken, Chicken Wontons and Crispy Fried Baby Corn with Mushroom. Beijing Pepper Chicken was the first to arrive. I am not sure on the authenticity of the dish, nor the ingredients used, but I can surely say, it tasted great. It had the right amount of spices, was also very tender. 




Before the other starters could arrive the vegetarians were served with the Hong Kong Noodles, which was part of their main course. Not that they minded about it. Flavor of the noodles was not very authentic, but it was palatable. The Cheese Naan which the vegetarians had ordered was the next to arrive. The vegetarians seemed really happy that they were being treated better than the non-veggie, who sat waiting for the next dish to arrive.


After quiet a bit of waiting, Chicken Wontons were served to us. The wontons were crisp, with decent amount of chicken stuffing in it. Crispy, crunchy & yummy.



Then came the Crispy Fried Baby Corn with Mushroom. One might wonder at the amount of Chinese dishes we had ordered in a North Indian Speciality restaurant. The Crispy Fried Baby Corn with Mushroom was fantastic, we even went on to order another portion of the same. After the crispy baby corn, finally came our Pahadi chicken. The pahadi chicken tasted like concoction of chicken tikka and tandoori chicken but with a little coriander seeds added to it and served along with mint chutney. The taste felt very much like a chicken tikka.


After the neat round of starters, the veggie finally got their gravy to go with the cheese naan. They had ordered the Stuffed Capsicum curry. I had a sample of the naan along with the capsicum curry, I must say it was quite nice. I really liked the mild flavor it had.


We non-veggie (Warriors) had ordered Chicken Chettinadu, Butter Chicken Masala and a Bread Basket to feed the lot. Since they had a big selection of biryani, we ordered a Mutton Biryani. The Mutton biryani was the first to arrive. This biryani can pass off as a masala rice with hard and uncooked mutton pieces.


The Butter Chicken Masala was all right, but I felt it lacked  richness. The pieces of chicken too, were small. The Chicken Chettinadu on the other hand, was spicy and oily. The mixture of both the gravies along with the roti was delightful. Somehow it seemed to compensate the error in flavor of both the dishes. Just when we were about to be done, we decided to have a Tandoori Chicken. Tandoori chicken was a little over  cooked, with edges of the pieces being charred. Overall, the food,  in-spite of not being authentic and true to its name, was delicious. Then coming to the final factor - the price, which is the most important factor to consider when you have to dole out money to  treat to a group of ten, is pocket friendly

Ambiance:
The place is located in an off shoot road in Valasarvakkam. Parking as such, is very limited. The place had neat white interiors. But at the time we had gone in, the place lacked electricity and when we had inquired, the waiter reported to us that they had power shutdown between 12 & 2pm. The restaurant  has been open for 6months and it still lacks a current generator  which seems a sore point.

Service:
The waiters were knowledgable, and knew the right dishes to suggest to the group. They also had the right idea about the portions of each dish.

Price:
As I had said earlier, the entire meal was pocket friendly. The meal for ten cost the birthday boy Rs 3140/-, which works about Rs 314/head.

Food - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Triana is located in Valasarvakkam next to TMB bank ATM. It can be a little hard to locate the restaurant.


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.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Le Cafe, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry

18:03:00





I was on an official visit to Pondicherry, this did not stop me from finding a  chance to explore the place. The city is built on a rich colonial history, with settlers from various regions of the world using it as their trading capital at various times. A drive around Pondy reminded me of the first few scenes from the movie, "Life of Pie". Since I had reached Pondy early, I decided to grab a quick coffee. I drove down to Goubert Avenue, to  Le Cafe which sits right on the shores of Bay of Bengal.

Food:
I chose to go with Cafe Latte since I wanted a drink which would wake me up from the stupor of the long early morning drive and the friend who came along with me decided to have a Cold Coffee. After a quick browse through the menu, we decided to have a Tomato and Basil Baguette.

The coffees were the first to reach the table followed by the Baguette. Baguette looked colorful with rich selection of finely chopped vegetables arranged on the plate. The baguette itself was toasted with a small amount of butter and had a nice amount of basil and tomato sandwiched between the cut pieces. The exterior was crispy, while the interior was moist, making it absolutely delicious. The latte must have easily had more than a double shot of espresso in it and was a tad strong. Cold Coffee was neat with nice helping of chocolate to it. I loved the entire experience and would love to go back and try the non-veg dishes on the menu.

Ambiance:
The place as such does not look great, but the location of the cafe just adds value to it. There is roof top open  dining area which is used only at nights. Nothing can beat that  fantastic sea breeze with the vast twinkling sky and a view to die for in roof top eating area.

Service:
The service was good, with the waiter explaining to us patiently as what goes into the sandwich.

Price:
The small snack cost Rs 260/-. This is an amount well worthy of the service, food and ambiance.

Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Le Cafe is located in Goubert Avenue, next to Chief Secretariat of Pondicherry.


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.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Burgundy's, MRC Nagar

18:51:00
It had been a while since I had caught up with my Undergrad batch mates. So one fine evening we decided to meet up at Burgundy's for dinner and do some catching up. We entered the restaurant half past 9 pm, only to notice the place was packed. But since we were a small group of four, we were seated quickly. We settled  for the buffet, as we were starving and wanted to start immediately.



Food:
We were immediately served with Chicken Broth Soup. Not the best broth, but then if you had a cold it would definitely clear it. Then we were served with a portion of Papadi Chat and Bhel Puri. Both these chat seemed like namesake dishes. I could only wonder why they were included. Guess you need them to attract the North Indians and Chat lovers. It seemed terribly out of place and the taste was not appetizing.





Then entered the boneless masala chicken. The boneless chicken reminded me of the chicken which my grandmom makes. It was soft and tender and melted in the mouth. One thing which I knew about the buffet was the presence of Pizzas. I knew for sure that they would not disappoint me. The chicken and veg pizza were the next to be served. They were good but they were not as great as the ones which are served at Tuscana. But then again, this was part of a buffet. So I had nothing much to complain about it. We would have had atleast four of the chicken pizzas.




The buffet spread was neat with a mix of Indian and Continental items. One of the dish which stood out  was the Barbecue Chicken. The chicken was well marinated in the BBQ sauce, and cooked to perfection. One could never stop with just a single bite. The combination of the chicken and Garlic Naan was fabulous. One other dish which I liked was beef, which was cooked in pepper sauce. Even though it was a little hard, I found it delicious. I guess the hardness was due to the dish cooling down. Biryani which was part of the buffet, could not be called as one. But then again I have become used to tomato rice-kind biryanis at buffets.



By the time we went for the desserts it was a quarter past 11pm. With most of the dessert  dishes being empty or close to being empty, we grabbed what was left of them. The selection of desserts served were quite peculiar, most of the cakes served were dry cakes. It would have been better if moist cakes were chosen over the dry ones. Finally came our ice creams. We chose to go with the houses recommendation. We were served with a awesome bitter chocolate ice cream and a fantastic black current ice cream. Two of the people who accompanied me, did not seem to like the taste of the chocolate. They kept complaining that it was way tooo bitter, but to me it was just right. Overall the dinner was an okay affair.

Ambiance:
The place looks every bit a fine dinning restaurant. The outdoor dining is quite simply fantastic. The air conditioning in the indoors could be worked upon. We found it a little warm.

Service:
Service was spot on, we did not have any worries with it.

Price:
Priced at around Rs 975 / head inclusive of taxes for the weekend dinner. If food is your top priority, there are other options were you could binge for a much lesser price. The buffet spread here seemed to have been prepared with an idea of keeping it within a certain budget in mind and this made none of the courses of the meal outstanding.

Food - 5.5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 6/10

Burgundy's is located in MRC Nagar opposite to Hotel Leela Palace

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.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Cream Centre, College Road

19:29:00

Yes! You read it right, veggie food review on Chennaisoru. I was at cream centre with a couple of my batchmates for lunch and this is one veg diet which I did not regret.



Food:
After much thinking, the only veggie in the group let me do the honors. As soon as I opened the menu, a lovely pic of Nachos caught my attention. So we settled on it and also American Cheese Corn balls. The nachos which were served to us was not even close to what was given on the picture. The nachos were very thin but loaded to the brim with cheese. I personally found it difficult to pick the nachos as it kept breaking apart. The taste was brilliant along with the salsa sauce. It would have been even better if only the nachos were thicker. 



The American Cheese Corn balls as the name implies was very soft filled with cheese and a sprinkling of corn. It was served along with some potato chips and a single slice of tomato and cucumber. The only rue factor was the plate did not look very appealing to look at. The flavor was perfect. Cheese and corn combination made it heavenly. Guess a dose of cheese will make any dish awesome.


n between the starters I placed an order- Peach Ice Tea. When it was placed on the table I was shocked. It's a good thing we ordered only one, because it looked gigantic. The peach flavor was fabulous and very refreshing.



I For the main course we settled on Paneer Makhani, Lachha Parotta and Veg Dum Biryani. The combination of the Lachha Parota and the Paneer Makhani was fabulous. The paneer was really, really tender. We were all raving about the consistency of it. The super soft parotta complimented it. On the other hand the veg biryani was not up to the mark. We had  to eat little bit of the small button onions soaked in vinegar to make the biryani taste better. If you were to head here, I would personally advise you to skip the biryani. Overall the meal was great, apart from the  biryani.
 I would definitely love to visit again and tryout the other dishes on the menu.

Ambiance:
The meal was more of quick lunch. So I really did not get to check it out. But it was jam packed, which is a good thing.

Service:
The service was really quick, with waiters being very attentive to our order and also in giving suggestions.

Price:
Slightly on the wallet emptying side. The meal for four cost us Rs 1370/-.

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

Cream Centre is located in College Road, opposite to Good Shepard School.


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.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hajjiali's Faloodas & Cream, North Boag Road

21:52:00

A sweet tooth craving and a need to hangout with friends, led to us to Hajjiali's outlet at North Boag Road. It was quarter past 11pm and the place was still buzzing with activity. Small children screaming and love birds cuddling, the place was alive. We walked up the winding staircase and sat in the corner and waited to place our orders.



Food:
After a brief browse of the menu, we settled for Kesar Falooda and a Strawberry with Cream. Service was quick, with both the deserts arriving well under ten minutes. Cream & Strawberry was my clear favorite. The strawberry was fresh, cream was thick and sweet, combination blissful. I really would not mind having one more of these. The falooda which was served in a tall glass, with generous helping of tapioca, vermicelli, jelly and kesar ice cream. Looked fabulous, tasted great, but after having the strawberry with cream I just could not fall in love with the falooda.

Ambiance:
The ambiance is neat and pleasant. They should work to put out new cards, they look abused.

Service:
The waiters are really patient and helpful. They answer our queries with a big smile even at 11pm.

Price:
The overall bill for the two deserts was Rs 235/-, though slightly expensive, a very good experience and a good place to hangout.

Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 7/10

Hajjiali's is located on North Boag Road next to Cafe Coffee Day.


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.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Moti Mahal Delux, Nungumbakkam

16:52:00


Many North Indian Fine Dining Restaurants have sprung up all over Chennai. Most of these places have been able to capture the richness and authenticity of the North Indian Food to a certain extent. I was recently at a restaurant chain which has managed to stand the test of time for over a period of 80 years, and touted to be the inventors of the famous and delicious dishes-Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken Masala (BCM).  I was born into a family of foodies and my grand parents thought that the best way to indulge their grand children was to serve them with delicious Non-veg food. I have been told that I had my first sample of butter chicken masala at a tender age of 2 or even earlier. So this gave me great pride to dine at the restaurant which invented the BCM.




Food:
Since we were accompanied by a vegetarian apart from four other carnivores, we had to order some veggie dishes. Since the only veggie with us was happy to settle for a Masala Papad, we decided to binge on Murg Malai Kabab and Chicken Tikka. The masala papad was the first to arrive which made the veggie happy, which we did not mind while we waited for our kebabs. The Masala Papad had a dose of finely diced onions and tomatoes. I am guessing the papad had the topping on a little longer than it should since it began to breakaway due to the fresh juices from the vegetables. As we had begun to eat the papad, we were served with the kebabs. Both the kebabs were fabulous, they get top marks from me. Terrific taste and they were sooper tender.



Next we had ordered Kadai Panner for the veggie and Butter Chicken Masala for us. And we had gone in with both Missi Roti and Butter Naan. We preferred the Butter naan since it was soft, while the missi roti though good, it was a little hard. I sampled a minuscule portion of Kadai Paneer and I loved it. I served myself a lot more of it. The Paneer was really, really tender. I have never had such a tender paneer before in my life. It was soooooo soft! The dish - Heavenly. It worked great with the butter naan. The BCM was great, but I am very sure I had a better version than this in Delhi.


After the scrumptious main course we settled in on Paan Ice Cream. Though I have had only a few experiences with Paan as a Ice Cream. I am pretty sure this was the best I have had. The paan taste was a little over powering, nevertheless it was fabulous. If you are a sucker for paan ice cream, you need to try this. Once you are done with the ice cream, it leaves a nice minty aroma in the mouth. Loved it!

Ambiance:
Since this is a fine dining place, you do expect the ambiance to stand out and woo you. But thats not the case here. It is very subtle. If you need great ambiance look else where.

Service:
The service seemed really quick, with waiters being attentive and having a watch over your  water glasses.

Price:
The meal for five cost us Rs 2450/- but we used the 15% discount which is applicable if you use a CitiBank Credit Card, which brought the grand total to Rs 2134/-. I would not say it is value for money considering the ambiance, but it is worth the dine.

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

Moti Mahal Delux is located in Jaganathan Road, in the same building as Sam's Pizzas.

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.

PS: Goluti Kebab lovers will be disappointed to know that they do not serve them here.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Marry Brown, Ispahani Centre, Nungumbakkam

21:04:00
Marry Brown used to be one of the spots where I used to hang-out frequently, when I was in school. One of the main reasons being, the lovely crispy fried chicken, which used to remind me of  KFC at Bangalore, since this was the only city in India to have KFC way back then.  But when Marry Brown was opened in Chennai, they were able to capture the magic of the crispy fried chicken to an extent. This made the people who longed for crispy chicken to head over here. With their monopoly in the city,  Marry Brown enjoyed their success for a long time. But with the entrance of Big Giant and other rip offs its been tough going for Marry Brown. I myself have not visited a Marry Brown joint in the last couple of years. So when I was invited for a CFG Showcase, it was really intriguing for me to find out how they had changed over the years.


Food:
Since I am a proper non-veggie, I ll just stick to describing the non-veg dishes. We started off with the Chicken Poppers, which is something similar to your Popcorn Chicken, served in a small box which resembles the popcorn boxes given in theaters. Taste just okay!


Before the next non-veg starter could arrive we were served with some veggie starters, which I am not mentioning. Next up we were served with chicken lollypop. It seemed to have the same recipe as the crispy fried chicken but only a little less spicy. Overall taste just okay. It was served with a weird sauce, which is best said as a sweet sauce with chili flakes. I would recommend you to skip this.


Next came the Buffalo wings. Buffalo wings that I know is  a spicy tomato sauce based chicken which is grilled. But this was your wing pieces cooked in the same way as the crispy chicken again with no spiciness to it. Overall one thing was missing in the starters which was salt. Maybe they thought we were hypertensive patients. After the different varieties of crispy chicken we were served with chicken nuggets. Taste ? Nothing to write home about.


Then came the French Fries in a match-box kind of container. We were served with two different varieties. One being dabbed with Cream & Onion while the other had a dash of Mexican spices. Both imparted good flavor to the french fries. It reminded me of the toppings for popcorn which we use in Satyam Cinemas.

After some average starters, we moved onto  the main course. We were served with the familiar Crispy Fried Chicken and Zinger Burger. For one the chicken was less on oil and had a good spicy taste. Two, the bun used in the Zinger Burger did not break and fall apart. Two ticks here for these. Two standard dishes at MB maintaining their standards.




After a ton of chicken in our belly, we were served with the newly introduced Mango Smoothie. Many felt it was right, but to me, it would have been great if it were  a lot thicker. Then came two different deserts. The jelly with ice cream was decent. While the brownie with ice cream was disappointing. Since I had tasted both veg and non-veg, I somehow felt the veg dishes were better than  the non-veg. Overall the food was decent.

After the dinner, the management was all ears to take a note of all what we had to tell them. Hope they bring about swift changes to bring up the standards.

Ambiance:
The ambiance remains unchanged for over 12years. The place is a great remainder of where we used to hang-out during the school days. Lovely Memories!

Price:
Dishes here are priced decently. A meal for two should cost around Rs 500/-.

Food - 5.5/10
Ambiance - 5/10
Price - 6/10

Marry Brown-Ispahani Centre, is located in the ground floor of the mall.

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.