Wednesday, 30 May 2012

5 Senses, KNK Road

05:52:00














If you want to splurge on a special occasion and are on the look out for contemporary food in a place with sleek ambiance, look no further.  5 Senses is the place for you. This contemporary Mediterranean restaurant has the 'IT' factor to make the day special. The restaurant has numerous images of yesteryears Hollywood stars on the walls, which gives you the feeling of dining with the stars. There is a nice L- shaped mocktail counter, also a fabulous patio with LED lights twinkling like the stars to set the mood  and modern furniture to go with it. The modern style does not stop there, it heads into your menu which looks like a travel guide. The menu is a rich mix of food from France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Lebanon and other countries around the mediterranean sea. One look through the menu can have you confused on what to order. Lucky for us,  Chef Jiten himself was present to help us through.

We were served some of the softest breads. It tasted awesome with a dash olive oil, vinegar and creamy cheese. After which Divyan jumped in and started of the proceeding by ordering Spanakopita, but unlucky me, by the time I was done clicking the pictures, spanakopita had vanished. Chef went about ordering the rest of the dishes for the evening. Panka Crumbed Jalapenos was crisply fried, and tasted amazing, the cream, added taste to the Jalapenos. I had got myself a Caramel Mudslide to quench my thirst. But I must say, the drink was not to my liking, it was way too light. Some other drinks which made the rounds were Hot Chocolate, Iced Cookies, Mid Summer, Watermelon & Habanereo Tea.

After the scrumptious jalapenos, I sampled the stuffed mushrooms. It was soft, tender and juicy, with a fabulously crispy outter covering, which was more like the local Bajji!. After such excellent vegetarian starters, I wondering, what could be in store for the non-vegetarian section of starters. Just when my thoughts went wandering and also as I was getting a bit mesmerized by the flavors, we were served with Chef's Non Veg Sampler and Tapas Platter. One platter had lamb on skewers, batter fried prawns, chicken wings, and crumb fried fish, while the other had smoked salmon and mushroom bruschetta The smoked salmon, batter fried prawns and the crumb fried fish made me go ga ga!. Each item on the platter had its own unique taste and flavor. And the presentation of the dishes rocked.

After the wonderful starters, we ventured to the main course. My favorite dish by far, among the main course was, the Smoked Salmon on Fusilli. Guess I have become a sucker for Salmon. The salmon was torn into small pieces and mixed with the pasta. The smoked flavor was well incorporated into the fusilli as well. This dish was the fastest to disappear off the table. Very, very delicious and an absolute must try. The other pasta to be served for us was the Chicken Skewers on Spaghetti. The chicken was well cooked and juicy with loads of flavor. When mixed along with spaghetti, it was fantastic.

After some lip smacking pasta, I tried the Lamb Chops and Lamb Tagine.  Both the lambs were well cooked, making them very tender and juicy. The lamb chops had copious amount of flavor and tasted fantastic with the green chutney. The Lamb Tagine tasted a bit different, with a gravy kind of base. Both the dishes were served with Couscous, which was very similar to Upma ( a local dish ). Last but not the least, there was a very delicious lip smacking Veg. ravioli,  which had a  mild chilli hit to it. I would definitely want to try the veg. ravioli the next time I am here.

No meal is complete without desserts, and we were served with Alphonso Creme Brulee and Callebaut Crostata. Some people were disappointed to see that the Creme Brulee did not come in the traditional crispy top form. But I did not mind it, and gorged on the lovely mango and bailey ice cream combo. Callebaut Crostata seemed the favorite among the lot. Crostata was like a chocolate tart. The chocolate flavor was deep and very rich. The ice cream and tart duo was heavenly.

This maybe my the 6th visit to 5Senses. On my previous occasions, I just could not click a proper pictures, because of the dim lighting, lucky today we were seated in a hall with bright lights, so voila you have some lovely pictures to see. During my 1st visit here, I was literally in tears seeing the NANO portions served here. But they seem to have improved the portions a bit. It seems to have moved from Nano portions to  about-normal portions, which seems just right. The pasta portions seemed large and the pizza retained its proportions. They have maintained their top quality and also the fabulous presentation. Would I visit again? YES! With a big smile.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Price - 7.5/10

5 Senses is located on Khader Nawaz Khan Road, next to Barista.

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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Corner House, Bangalore

21:27:00

If you are the kind of person who loves nice gooey sticky rich ice cream, then Corner House in Bangalore, is the place for you. If you are planning a visit to Bangalore, please do visit this place, You are not going to be disappointed. My favorite dessert here, is the Death By Chocolate (DBC). The amount of chocolate, the nuts, the cherries and the fudge, is unparalleled to anything else you might have tasted before. It makes my mouth water, just writing about it. The fudge is served piping hot on top of the vanilla ice cream and the chocolate cake. The ice cream makes you go Ummmmm!!.

Chennai seriously misses out on some amazing places which Bangalore boasts of. This ice cream joint is a must visit for chocoholics and ice cream aficionados.

DBC costs Rs140/- for a portion. My other favorite ice cream at Corner House is Brownie Bomb. I could not have it this time as my visit was a short one. The place is a neat, no non sense and simple joint with self service. A portion of DBC severs 2-3 people.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - Self Service
Ambiance - 6/10
Cost - 8/10

Corner House is located in Koramangala next to Sweet Chariot. They have many branches around Bangalore.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Fillin, Gopalapuram

16:04:00



If you guys likes Indian wraps and subs, then you got to visit Fillin in Gopalapuram. It's a fairly small place. As you enter Fillin, you notice that it's a self service joint, with Subway like layout. I was here with my friends for dinner. My friend picked Chicken Sheek Kebab and Chicken Tikka Sub. I got myself Goluti Kebab Sub and Chicken Tikka Sub and my other friend who was not so hungry ordered the Panner Punjabi wrap. I must say the Goluti Kebab sub was simply awesome. Mutton was really soft, it was like paste on the sub. This is the Sub you must tryout if you like mutton. Then I tried the Chicken Tikka Sub. It tasted good, but I felt there were not many chicken pieces in it. It did not feel wholesome. I took a bite of the Chicken Sheek Wrap. The kebab was very tasty and tangy.

We also ordered a Walnut Brownie and it was also very good. It tasted really yummy!. The meal put us back by Rs 560/- including sub take away. I was expecting that day's dinner to cost us over Rs.800/- so I was a bit surprised that it was easy on our pockets. Fillin prices the food very reasonably. The ambiance was neat and cosy. The kebabs which are used in their food is really fresh and  tasty.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - Self Service
Ambiance - 7/10
Cost - 8/10

Fillin Restaurant is located in Gopalapuram, opposite Indian Overseas bank.

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

New Town - Coffee House, Injambakkam

07:12:00








ECR ( East Coast Road ) is buzzing with activity these days, with loads of eat outs opened. Gone are days when you had travel a bit before you see a joint. I was at the newly opened New Town Coffee House, opposite to the VGP recently. We guys reached around 8pm for dinner. IPL was playing on the large screen outside. The ambiance outside was great. But it was a little dark so, we decided to go indoors. The indoor ambiance was good. It somehow reminded me of Main Street in Residency Towers. We took the Sofa Seats at the corner of the cafe. Seats were plush and comfortable.

After the lovely drive to the place, we were quite hungry. For starters we had the Peri Peri Grill Chicken and the Cheese stuffed chicken ( I am not really sure of the name ) We were initially fixed on picking the Chicken Crostini. But the waiter suggested us this dish. Must say the waiter had a very good knowledge of the dishes and was able to explain the ingredients and suggest us the dishes.
The Peri Peri Chicken came in skewers and was served with tomato rice. The rice had sweet chilli taste which I liked. The chicken too had the same sweet chilli hit to it. I have not had the peri peri chicken at Nandos, so I am unable to compare these to them. But this chicken tasted delicious. Then I had a bit of the Cheese stuffed chicken. I must say this disk rocked. It had a nice sauce, which complemented the chicken. It was a chicken leg, in which the inner contents were removed and stuffed with a mixture of chicken and cheese. I wonder how it retained the shape despite all that stuffing. The dish was mouth watering.

After the nice round of starters, we ordered for our main course. I picked Sago Tawa Fish with Tandoori Aloo, where as my friends picked, Crusted Chicken with Tarragon Sauce and Chicken Mie Goreng. We also order for a Strawberry banana shake, Black current shake and a Berry Granita ( I am not sure of the names, was very hungry to remember them ). The juices tasted nice, felt the Strawberry banana shake to be very sweet.  The Granita was soothing for my dry throat.

My Sago Tawa fish was spicy, and the pudina sauce and mayo complemented it. The fish was fresh, soft and tasty. Just the way I like. All in all a tasty dish. I took a small piece from my friend's plate, Crusted Chicken with Tarragon sauce. The chickens outer cover was very crispy, it felt like it had a hint of rosemary to it. The tarragon sauce was slick, it gave the chicken a nice full bodied taste. After this I decided to disturb my friend who was having the Chicken Mie Goreng, the noodles was rich and the chicken was like KFC, the combo made the dish very rich. The next time I am here, I would like to try this out.

After the main course, we decided to try the Roti Bomb, just to satisfy our sweet tooth. This was a parotta which was dipped in honey and drizzled with milkmaid or something like that. The honey and milkmaid concoction on the crispy parotta made it royal. Loved the dish.

The meal put us back by Rs 1670/-. which I think  is very decent for the amount of food we had eaten. Most of all I loved the ambiance. The outdoor seating looked great, and I bet it would rock during the winter season. 

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

New Town Coffee House is located in Injambakkam, opposite to VGP in ECR.

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Fresca Pizzaria by Sandy's, KNK Road

09:29:00





















Getting a preview ticket for a Rajni film is awesome. Attending a preview dinner of an about to be opened restaurant is double awesome, especially if its by the "Chocolate Dude" Sandesh Reddy of Sandy's. The restauranteur had organized a four course meal for the people of Chennai Food Guide ( CFG ) priced at Rs1000/-. Who would say no, to a four course meal preview, at rock bottom prices. So fifteen of us from CFG were present at the lovely, soon to be opened joint, Fresca Pizzaria at Khader Nawaz Khan Road.

Sandesh being a very good host, welcomed us all with a lot of warmth. He explained to us the various courses of the meal. Sandesh also enlightened us about the different types of cheeses, pasta and the pizza breads. He also explained the difference between the Neapolitan cuisine and Italian cuisine. From the way he explained the various things which constituted the meal, we could understand the labour of love and the amount of craftsmanship which had gone into making such a wonderful meal. He himself has had a month of testing of the pizza and pastas. I think thats enough prelude yapping.

Just to get our appetites revved up, we were served with a Veg- bruschetta. The bruschetta looked different from the traditional thick bread slice. It was more like an oval pizza. It had thinly grated cheese  with basil on it. This was definitely a different take on the regular bruschetta. The consistency of the bread was crisp and it tasted yumm!!. After to the lovely bruschetta, just to get a palate teased, we were served with smoked gorgonzola cheese with poached pear ( Thanks Aati ). When the dish was brought to the table, it was closed with a lid and once the lid was  lifted open, it gave off  an aromatic charred smoke smell. The taste of cheese and litchi was like entering a different level of nirvana. The combination was simply awesome.

After taking us to different levels of nirvana with the cheese, we were served with the starters. We chose different starters,  and so we could try them all. I selected Ajo Blanco. This is a cold soup made of almonds, stewed green grapes and gastrique. This is the first time I am having a cold soup, all previous attempts have been me consuming a hot soup after it had cooled down. Taste of the soup was fantastic. One sip will transport you to an entirely a different dimension. After the brilliant cold soup, I took a bite of the Carpaccio. This is a dish which has very, very thinly sliced beef, rocket, mustard mango and parmesan. The taste of the dish was exquisite. The mixture of basil leaves with the beef and cheese made it mouth watering. My taste buds were on an overdrive because these were some of the tastiest dishes I have ever had. I took a bit of the Stewed Figs with Boccancini and Roasted Zucchini. It tasted delicious as well. I just couldn't believe that I had, had just course one and with more to come.

Course Two, begins here.
After those lip smacking dishes in course one, we moved on to course two. I chose to go with Smoked Chicken Agnolotti, while the others chose the other options available, so we got to try them all out. The Agnolotti had Tomato, Basil and Parmesan along with the chicken. Agnolotti is a type of ravioli pasta, this dish was heavenly, with the chicken stuffed inside the pasta. The exact way to describe it, would be a Momo kind of feeling. The tomatoes were lush and juicy. Then I took a small portion of the Fromaggio Ravioli. This ravioli was made of three different varieties of cheese and Wine Butter and Pickled vegetables. This dish was an absolute gastronomical delight. After this I sampled Spinach Gnocchi, with butter milk and gorgonzola. This dish was flavorsome, with the spinach giving it a nice punch.

Course Three, over here.
The course three was the round of the pizzas. My God! these pizzas were delicious. I could see people going gaga over the pizzas. Some reactions really showed the inner child in them. There were two pork pizzas ( Spech & Bocamccini and also Pepperoni) which i avoided. I gorged over the Grilled Chicken, Quattro Fromaggi ( Quattro does not mean the 4x4 system by Audi ) , Pesto & Artichoke and Margherita. The Quattro Fromaggi is an 4 cheese pizza. This pizza was shouting "EAT ME". People who love cheese, will love it, unless you are lactose intolerant. This pizza was really rich and tasty. You could differentiate the different cheeses which imparted flavor to it. The Margherita pizza too tasted great, the tomato sauce was full flavored, with a good balance between sour and sweet. I tried a bit of the Pesto and Artichoke pizza, the pesto sauce complemented the artichoke, making it scrumptious. Finally the Pizza which I loved, the most Grilled Chicken Pizza. This pizza had the most tender and properly grilled chicken, that I have ever tasted. It had me going Bonkers!.

After the three courses, we had small palate cleanser. An Apple Sorbet with lime juice. The lime augmented the apple really well.

Course four,
I picked the Tiramisu. while some others picked the Bocha Negra. The Tiramisu was marvelous with mascarpone being sweet as a nectar. The ladyfinger cake were soaked in rum. Me, being a teetotaller found it hard to have the rum soaked cake, alone. But along with the cream it tasted great. The Bocha Negra was a gooey triple dark chocolate fudge, with a Bean Vanilla Ice cream. This tasted very much like a Lava Cake of Dominos. But it was easily 10 times better than it.

By the time we were done with all the eating, it was 11:15pm. When we left, we certified that the food rocked. Hats off to Sandesh Reddy for giving us an awesome evening. Fresca definitely holds a lot of promise. Wish Sandesh and his team the best. Fresca Pizzaria will be opening to public by the end of this month. And I would love to visit it with my family and friends.

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

If Sandesh prices the food the way he says he would, a meal for two should cost about Rs 1000 to 1200/-, depending on what you order.

Fresca Pizzaria is located in Khader Nawaz Khan Road, in the basement of Cascade restaurant building.

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Kryptos by Willi, Khader Nawaz Khan Road

10:37:00


















Greek cuisine is a mediterranean cuisine, sharing characteristics of the cuisines of Italy and Turkey. When Cheese, Olive Oil, Breads, Eggplant and Yogurt combine together to produce fusion food, it is bound to be good. I was at Kryptos by Willi, for the formal unveiling of the bi-lingual menu of the restaurant. At first I thought it was going to be English and some Greek letters on the menu, but it was surprise to see Tamil subtitles in the menu. This was the first time I have came across a menu which had description of the food in Tamil. It was really interesting and funny to read the description in Tamil, as I had forgotten how to read Tamil. I must say it is a very brave move by the management to add Tamil to the menu. Kudos to the management for this decision.

Coming to the food, I had left the Vegetarian dishes alone, for the veggies to judge them. To start the proceedings there were varieties of dips with pita bread. My favorite was clearly Hummus. My love for hummus has been on the rise and this day was no exception. We were served either Ice Tea or Tangy orange drink. I stuck to Ice Tea  It was nice and soothing to the throat. Non-Vegetarian and Vegetarian Meze Platter were served on the table. The Non-Vegetarian Meze Platter comprised of Lamb and Aubergine rolls, Kotopoulopithakia and Crispy fried lady finger fish. The fish looked nice and golden brown. I took a bite expecting it to cooked right through with the bones being crispy. But to my surprise the bones were not crispy and that brought down the experience. The lamb rolls were juicy and delicious. Kotopoulopithakia is chicken apricot and feta. This was my favorite in the platter. It tasted heavenly, it had a nice phyllo pastry covering, which made it crispy. Think of it as a small and expensive looking puff. All in all the platter was very decent.

After the Mezze Platter, we were served with different variations of Potato. There were Wedges, Mash and Potato with sour cream. I selected the wedges, which were very crispy even after I was done clicking. There were also decent amount of salads. Of all the vegetable salads I distinctly remember the brilliant veg.club sandwich, I just loved it. There was also a cheese ball which tasted divine. I gave the other salads a pass.

We had some mouth watering choices for the main course. Kotopoulo me pilafi, is chicken breasts roasted with garlic and mint. The taste was luscious and I enjoyed having it. They also had Kolios sto fourno ( I am not using any bad language here ) which is an oven baked mackerel. I was expecting really big things from this dish, but it was a little disappointing, when I consumed it. The fish felt it was under cooked. It was chewy and rubbery, also difficult to pierce with a fork. The highlight main course was the Meatballs in tomato sauce. This dish was a gastronomical delight. It had nice soothing sweet trace. I am pretty sure I consumed atleast 3-4 meatballs. There was a garlic rice which I avoided. I washed this sumptuous meal with a Coke. The can was made to commemorate Sachin's 100 centuries.

After the lip smacking food, we had the deserts. The Chocolate pie was top-notch. It was moist with good amount of chocolate flowing when I tried to cut it with a spoon. If you are a choco freak, you would love it. There was also a Baklava, which was sticky with loads of honey drizzled on it. It tasted nice, but I have had better and even richer versions from the middle east made of Camel milk.

The ambiance is really wonderful with nice music playing in the background. They a big 20 seat table in the middle of the restaurant which can be used if you come in as large group. The place had a nice rock and granite decor which gave it a rustic feel.

A meal for would set you back by Rs 1600/-. If you love greek food or if you are in the mood for something different give Kryptos a try. I am sure you would return home impressed.

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

Krytos is located in Khader Nawaz Khan road, right opposite the old Mocha.

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