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.


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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Aasife & Brothers, St Thomas Mount

22:38:00



Following the lackluster biryani the previous outing, I craved for lip smacking biryani. So the following day after my classes I convinced a few of my batchmates to come along with me for biryani at Aasife & Brothers. This could be the best decision I have ever made.

Food:
We ordered  chicken biryani, since the mutton briyani was over by the time we had arrived. Also a full portion of Tandoori Chicken to split among the five of us. Tandoori Chicken was the first to arrive at the table. We split four pieces of the chicken between the five of us. The chicken was deeply marinated and had the deep tandoori flavor. The chicken biryani was the next to arrive. I devoured a full portion of it. The biryani was perfect and light. It was not as rich as a wedding biryani, but still it had enough spices to make it just right. Also combined with the presence of 3 pieces of chicken in a single portion is great. But one of the drawbacks was the dish in which it is served is very shallow and combined with more amount of chicken, you are practically left  without the rice. So its advisable to order a Kuska along with a biryani in case you require more rice.

Ambiance:
It is nothing great to write home about. It has a good dining with no frills. Just enjoy the biryani here!

Service:
The service here is decent. We did not really get to test the waiters knowledge on which dish would be a great accompaniment.

Price:
The bill for five came to a total of Rs 730,  which is good, since we ended up with  full bellies and not so empty wallets.

Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Service - 7/10
Price - 8/10

Aasife & Brothers is located on the road leading to Kathipara Junction from Porur.

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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.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Classic Fast Foods, Taylors Road

18:18:00


There are days when you crave for some biryani and when you do not get a tasty one, that can be so disappointing. I was at Thrissur a few days ago with a company of people who tempted me by saying 'Saffaire' serves up one of the best Kerala Biryani. To my bad luck, only chicken biryani was the available then and the taste of it was a little off. So on returning to Chennai, I had only one thing on my mind, wipe off that taste and have a good Briyani.  After some thinking and persuading, I decided to buy biryani for dinner. at home The place I selected was Classic Fast Food. I had sampled the biryani here a few months ago and  had liked the taste,  so I wanted to introduce the others in my family to it.

Food:
Since we were five hungry members, I had picked up 4 Mutton Biryani and 1 Chicken Biryani for the chicken lover and also a Tandoori Chicken. The tandoori chicken was well marinated and grilled, imparting a good flavor to it.  Good show! But the biryani on the other end was a total disappointment. It was spicy like as though it was loaded with red chili powder. The rice lacked the quality and the aromas which would go with a biryani. It seemed as though both chicken and mutton biryanis came from the same pot with only the pieces added as an after thought. Atleast the chicken pieces were edible, where as the mutton was totally undercooked and chewy. In fact  I felt that even the biryani at Kerala was much better than this. Also one of the Mutton Biryani had pieces of stone in it. (see picture above. Ughhh!)

Lesson learnt: Do not buy biryani from  substandard places.

Ambiance:
This is a small potti kadai, so dont expect much in terms of ambiance. Can get smokey occasionally since both kitchen and dining hall are interconnected.

Price:
A portion of Mutton Biryani is priced at Rs 120/- which is almost in par with restaurants which have A/C dinning. The pricing seems ridiculous when compared to other restaurants, I can opt for a proper restaurant for these prices.

Food - 3/10
Ambiance - 2/10 ( Road side shop )
Price - 3/10

Classic Fast Food is located in Taylors Road next to Tandoori Tadkka.

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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.

Goluti Kebab - Round Up!

18:15:00



If you are one the people, who love Goluti Kebab, then this one is for you. A round up of places which serve Goluti Kebab. I will try to keep updating this post, if I do find other places which serves them.

1. Great Kebab Factory - Radisson Blu, Egmore
http://chennaisoru.blogspot.in/2012/11/great-kebab-factory-radisson-blu-egmore.html

2. Ayna - Hilton, Guindy
http://chennaisoru.blogspot.in/2012/11/ayna-hyderabadi-food-promotion-hilton.html

3. The Crown - Residency Towers, T-Nagar
http://chennaisoru.blogspot.in/2012/10/the-crown-residency-towers-t-nagar.html

4. Al Maza, Anna Nagar - I have not tried the goluti here, but they do serve em!!

5. Fillin, Gopalapuram
http://chennaisoru.blogspot.in/2012/05/fillin-gopalapuram.html

Monday, 12 November 2012

Great Kebab Factory, Radisson Blu, Egmore

20:39:00

I know I had said Ayna is the best Indian Fine Dining restaurant, but then if you are a foodie (make that glutton), and one who loves variety and quality then Great Kebab Factory is the place for you. Between Ayna and GKF , the former trumps in it's the ambiance. GFK is not far behind. I saw this really cool tiffin carrier at GFK which was part of the decor, I could only wish, that they would pack me a few of those lovely, delicious Kebabs in it to take home with me. I was at GFK along with my family for the buffet lunch on a weekend, only to notice that we were the only people here. I must say it was a fabulous lunch with all the attention on us.





Food:
Lunch buffet started off with a simple welcome drink- Rooafza . The drink had a light refreshing feel to it. I would have liked a thicker drink, but then again I had atleast 4 of these...The first kebab to be served was the Goluti Kebab. It was served along with a golden fried saffron bread. One touch of it and you know it is perfect. The mutton was mashed to the perfect consistency and shaped into a cutlet. The taste of it is almost similar to the Goluti at Ayna. A few onion rings and a dash of mint chutney, twisted into a roll, wollaa!! thats how you have a Goluti Kebab. Taste - Heavenly. 



Next we were served with a Chicken kebab (name, not able to recollect). This was unlike your other regular kebabs had a nice lemon twist to it. Tastes best with chickpea sauce.


Then we were served with a Sarson Mahi Tikka aka Fish Tikka. The fish was perfectly cooked. But I have had better fish tikka else where. Still this was decent.


In between all this, we were served with buttermilk. Buttermilk is not my favorite drink, so I would not like to comment on it.


Then came a serving of the assorted bread, names of which I am really not able to recollect. Guess I should start making a note of them. The thicker and fatter bread was sweet while the thinner one was full flavored and had a good helping of saffron. Neat and Rich!!...


In between the breads we were served with the Gosht Pyazki Seekh ( Mutton Seekh Kebab) which was very juicy. But it had that mutton and ghee combo smell to it, which was not to my liking.


Finally the last starter Chicken Tikka which was superb, with over powering richness to it. With the end of the starters we  asked the waiter for an another helping of the magnificient Goluti Kebab which he served us immediately.




After the main course, we were soooo stuffed that the entire main course was more like a sampler for us. We were served with some Lacha Parotta accompanied with some amazing Dal Makkani, which is the richest, I have ever had. Also a chicken gravy known as Saag Murgh, which is your palak and chicken combo, which was fabulous. I have always loved palak paneer, so this was even better with chicken in it instead of paneer. What more would I want. I sampled a little of the Gosht Biryani, while the others skipped it. The biryani was heavy with saffron and oozed with richness. But if you are used to the Muslim Biryani's, I would suggest you give it a miss.




Ending the main course, we were served with deserts. Only one portion of each for the entire table of 5. I wondered if they were kidding, only to realize that it was way too heavy for us. Pineapple Kesari was decent and was the least sweet in the entire lot.  Rabdi and Malpua were top notch. The Strawberry Pirini was in between  in the taste and sweetness. Every  desert was rich, as though they were prepared for the royalty. Finally to finish off the scrumptious buffet, we were served with Pan Kulfi, which was beautiful. It balanced out the sweetness of the desert and left a minty aroma in our mouths.

Ambiance:
The ambiance in the restaurant is good and I felt that the sturdy furniture here would last a life time. But a little more deft touches to the decor would be fine and worthy of the superb food served here.

Service:
The service is awesome. The waiters were super courteous, they even give you suggestions on which sauce would compliment which particular type of kebab.

Price:
Priced at Rs 1100/- plus taxes/head for the weekend lunch, is perfect value for money. If you are in the mood for some lip smacking kebabs and would not like to burn a hole in your pocket, this is the place to go! 

PS: Sorry, but I cannot help but say one more time  "The Goluti Kebab is fabulous!"

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 9/10
Price - 8/10

Great Kebab Factory is located inside Radisson Blu, in Ethiraj Salai.

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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.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ayna - Hyderabadi Food Promotion, Hilton, Guindy

21:55:00

I loved my previous visit to Ayna. So when I recieved an invite to Blog about the Hyderabadi Food Festival which is on upto 10 November at Ayna, I had no second thoughts. The restaurant had wooed me, with amazing ambiance and fine attention to detail and how could I miss out on the spectacular Indian food.
On my previous visit I was awe struck with the number of mirrors in the restaurant. This time around I examined the finer things. The thing which stood out, was the petal formation by light translumination through the glasses in which we were served with water. A very unique touch.


Food:
Since Deepa, Kartick Ganapathi and myself were the first set of people to arrive, we started nimbiling on the variety of papads kept on the table while we waited for the rest. I started my work of mixing stuff. I found the combo of the papad and onions bathed in vinegar great. Do try this if you are waiting for company.


At this juncture we were served with the welcome drink named Serbet -e- Shahi. I was hoping it to be a Gulkand Mojito, but this was one better. The drink was a mixture of almonds, cashewnuts, dates and gulkand with a dose of crushed ice. The drink was superb, but if you decide to drink it slowly, it is better that you ask for the drink without the ice in it. Since the ice melts and dilutes the drink.


The first dish to be served to us was the Dahi - ki - Kebab. The dish was made of yoghurt, cashews chili and to bring a slight twist a dash of chaat masala. It was simply mezmerizing!! I just could not believe that I was blown away by a vegetarian dish. 


Next we were served with Lal Mirch ka Jingha. It was a de-shelled prawn, with a little bit of shell present in the tail portion. The prawn had a good marinade of garlic and red chili flakes and cooked to perfection.


Next we were served with Hyderabadi Murgh Tikki. The chicken was really tender and the assortment of spices and herbs imparted a nice taste to it.




Then came the blow away Sami Kebab. Soft mutton texture, just delicious. After that we had Hyderabadi Mirchi Pakoda and Ambara Paneer Tikka which were good.


Finally came the amazing Goluti Kebab which was served with a small parotta. It would have been better, if it was served with a bigger parotta. Nevertheless this is the best Goluti I have ever had.




We took a small breather after the starters. For main course we were served with Hyderabadi Kache Gosht Biryani and an assortment of rotis. The biryani though not very authentic, tasted good. Also the mutton pieces were a little raw. We were served with a variety of roti such as Lal Mirchi paratha which was a paratha with drizzle of red chili flakes. But the chili flakes imparted only the flavor and not the heat. The other variety of paratha which I liked was Bhkarkhani. This was a paratha was made of soft dough and a nice helping of pista on it. A very royal dish!! As sides we served with Ambara Murgh which was not great in my opinion. Also a Dalcha Gosht was served. This was your very familiar Dal Makani instead it had a overload of Mutton in it. It reminded me of the Thalsa which is served in my Dad's native village along with the Biryani. Did try some of the vegetarian gravies, but somehow felt they could not match the taste of the non-veg. Overall the main course felt a notch below after the delicious starters.

After the delicious course of main course, the chef taunted us with  large portions of deserts. We were so full that we asked him to serve us a sampler for the deserts. We were served with small portions Khubani ka Meetha and Shahi Tukra. The Khubani ka Meetha was stewed apricots served with cream. I felt that it was a little too sweet for my liking. I loved the taste of Shahi Tukra, it was crisp and yummy.

It would be an understatement to tell that the food was brilliant. The food here is fit for the royalty: the Kings and Queens and The Nizams. Hats off to the Chef Vijay for blowing us away with the assortment of great dishes. Also a word of mention about the chef, who was with us all through the meal, explaining to us the ingredients which go into making the dish and taking our valuable feedback on all the dishes. Overall the food felt a little toned down to suit the foreign cliental staying at the hotel.

My advice to you would be to go big guns on the starters and have little of the main course and end with the fabulous deserts of your choice. 

Ambiance:
I had raved about the ambiance on previous visit, and this place still holds on to the same top quality ambiance. If you are on the lookout fine dining Indian restaurant, look no further. 

Price:
A meal for two would cost you around Rs 2500/- and upwards, but it is well worth the money you spend.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 9.5/10
Price - 8/10

Ayna is open only for dinner. So please do make reservations before you head over here.

Hitlon is located next to Olympia Tech Park in Guindy

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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.