Saturday, 21 December 2013

Blue Elephant, Otha Vada Street, Mahabalipuram

17:05:00


Gone are the days when people say, " We are going to Mahabs to visit the Shore Temple" now it has come down to " Mahabs man, Moonrakers buddy! Sea Food!  After a long gap, I was at Blue Elephant a sister concern of Moonrakers for a delicious soul filling, protein rich diet.



Food:
Order comprised of our usual favorites, Golden Fried Calamari , Chili Chicken, Prawns in Tawa Masala and a Medium sized Fish in Tawa Masala. To go with these dishes a couple of Parottas were ordered.


First to arrive was the Golden Fried Calamari, which was served with lemon sauce. My taste was, avoid the lemon sauce. Have it with tomato ketchup. The Calamari is  always fresh and  has never disappointed me. The crunchy outer texture to the squishy interior is a nice contrast. Chili Chicken was the next to arrive for my brother who is allergic to Calamari. I just sampled a piece, it was nice and spicy with a hint of tawa flavors.



Next came the Tawa Prawns, Wow!!!!!! The best prawns one could have. This dish is best with smaller size prawns as the masala infuses better into the dish and also you get more pieces. A combo of this with the Parotta is deadly. Finally the Star item the fresh Fish in Tawa Masala, The Fish had a crispy outer texture with a soft and fresh inner portion. Nothing beats this fish. If you are an ardent fish lover, this is the place to have fresh fish.

Ambiance:
Since my 1 year old niece had come along and loves to keep running around, we chose Blue Elephant over Moonrakers. Its a wise decision for families with kids. The restaurant is air-conditioned, which wins brownie points during hot summers.

Service:
The people who serve you are not trained professionally in the art of serving, but they definitely go out of the way to help you out.

Price:
The price for this meal was Rs2300/- which was for 4 people. If you do go as a large crowd do not hesitate to bargain on the price.

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

Blue Elephant is located in Otha Vada Street, Bang opposite to Moonrakers in Mahabalipuram.

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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, 15 December 2013

Bawarchi, RTC Cross Road, Hyderabad

10:19:00


One of the heavy weight restaurants in Hyderabad is the Bawarchi. It goes highly recommended by all the food lovers in the City of pearls. Infact we travelled from Jubliee hills all the way to RTC cross road wading through heavy traffic just to dine here.



Food:
The order was simple for a group of eight. Two full Grilled Chicken plus a Chicken Lollypop and finally the decadent Hyderabadi Biryani in both Chicken and Mutton variants. We shared three of the chicken and two of the mutton biryani. Plus a few rounds of soft drinks.




The first to reach the table was the Chicken Lollypop. Eight pieces in all, which were crispy fried and tasty. The next to be served was the Grilled Chicken. This was a bit out of heaven. It was spicy as such,  if that was not sufficient, it had a chili powder as an accompaniment. This definitely is the right dish for the weather at Hyderabad which dips all the way to 19 degrees during the night.

Finally the famous Hyderabadi Biryani  which many of my  Chennai friends used to scoff as being more of white rice with masala was not so. It was quite simply stunning. I had both the Mutton and the Chicken Biryani, the taste was quite similar, but the mutton just had a slight edge with the extra bit of aroma. In-fact we were not able to finish the entire lot of biryani, in-spite of a large gang present.

Ambiance:
Very simple place, looked more like the Coronet at Chennai.

Service:
The place was jam packed in-spite of it being a thursday and the waiters were running around, but they definitely did not mind explaining to us the quantity.

Price:
I am pretty sure such a meal in Chennai would cost above Rs 3000/-, but this meal cost us Rs 1800/-. This just surprised us. I highly recommend Bawarchi to chennaites who are planning a trip to Hyderabad.

Food : 8/10
Ambiance : 6.5/10
Service : 7/10
Price : 9/10

Bawarchi is located in RTC Cross road in Hyderabad.

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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

Friday, 13 December 2013

Burgundy's, MRC Nagar - A CFG Showcase

20:30:00


Success and failure go hand in hand. Same applies to Burgundy's. When it opened to public, it was one of the best buffets in town. It was the place to dine in. You needed reservations to get you seats. But the last time I dined here about a year ago, that changed. The buffet was quite ordinary. Nothing really stood out. But it has gone through a sea of changes at various levels. Enter Burgundy's 2.0 and I was here as a part of CFG Showcase to check-out the improvement.




Food:
The buffet had a huge spread. It was a mix of Indian and continental with a slight oriental influence. The selection of salads available was large and one would definitely find something to their liking.

The Chicken Pizza and the Chat were served on the table along with the Chili Chicken and Chicken Kebab. Chicken Pizza is one of the best to be served in town. While the Chili Chicken and Kebab were decent in their own right.






The main course was a huge spread for both veggies and non-veggies. But some items were just too good they require a special mention here. The best of the lot was the Fried Catfish with Sweet Chili Sauce. The fish was fresh, soft with springy outer cover it was quite sensational. The sweet chili sauce was just a bonus to the dish which made it even better. The next dish which I remember was the Crumb Fried Chicken, which was almost similar to KFC but only a little less spicy. Finally I liked the Beef Stew which was proper soft infused in pepper. The combo of this with Indian Breads was great. Of the lot of Indian Breads served, I loved the Garlic Naan the best.

How can I miss mentioning the Ambur Chicken Biryani, which was quite good, much better than  those served at most star hotels but definitely not the authentic one. There were also various other Indian and Chinese gravies, but I found these dishes the best.




For Dessert, the spread was huge with Chocolate Eclair, Chocolate Cake, Peach Tart, Lemon Pie, an assortment of Indian sweets and finally a selection of Gelatos. Sampling little of each was just sufficient to fill my tummy. Burgundy's has definitely run a full circle, moving away from the slump.

Ambiance:
The ambiance is very upmarket, with loads of seats. If you do get the option of dining outdoors, I definitely would suggest you to do that.

Price:
The dinner buffet here is priced at Rs 975/- which is good value for money.

Burgundy's is located in MRC Nagar opposite Hotel Leela Palace.
www.burgundyrestaurants.in

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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, 12 December 2013

Goa Portuguesa, KNK Road

19:36:00


Goa Portuguesa is the newly opened restaurant on the Food Street of Chennai aka Khader Nawaz Khan Road. It is located at the place which once housed 5 Senses. I really do miss 5 Senses. But times have changed and now we have Goa Portuguesa. Guess this the first - a cuisine introduction of sorts at Chennai. I had recently fallen in love with the goan spices and peri-peri masala during my visit to Goa. So I was hoping a dine here would refresh my memory of the flavors.




Food:
Since the gang had a mix of people, that is - veggies and non-veggies, we ordered a mix of both. For starters we had the Golden Fried Squid, Corn and Spinach Tartlets and Paneer Bali Bali. Golden Fried Squid was quite simply delicious and was gentle reminder of Batter Fried Squid at Moon Rakers. I did not sample the Corn and Spinach Tartlets, and left the veggies to enjoy them. Finally the Paneer Bali Bali which had soft paneer dunked in a sauce which was some what similar to peri-peri. Both the paneer and the sauce were tasty, but separately, as the sauce just failed to bind with the paneer.




For main course the non-veggies ordered Peri-peri Chicken with rice, the same with fish for myself, Goan Fish Curry, Steamed Rice and finally Jeera Rice to go with the Mixed Vegetable Gravy. I did not sample the veg items so I would not comment on it. The Peri-Peri Chicken and Fish with Rice is a single serving main course. The flavors of both chicken and fish were similar, its a matter of personal preference. The peri-peri masala was nice, but a little off from what I had experienced at Goa. Finally the Goan Fish Curry with Steamed Rice. This is the best combo to have the Fish Curry was authentic with right amount of coconut milk and a mild vinegar taste. The combo of Steamed rice with fresh pieces of fish was just blissful. We were too stuffed to try the desserts.

Ambiance:
The place looks like it has had a small make-over to house the new restaurant. Also the number seats has definitely taken a hit. If the weather is perfect, I would strongly you to dine outdoor.

Service:
The service was pretty decent. Since it is a new restaurant, it should improve with time.

Price:
This meal cost us Rs 2750/- which is reasonable for a restaurant located on KNK Road.

Food: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Price: 7/10

Goa Portuguesa is located in KNK Road in the building which used to house 5 Senses.

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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, 26 November 2013

Le Cafe, Novotel, Hitec City, Hyderabad

18:44:00


"All you need is love. But a  little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -  Charles M.Schulz.

Let me start off my food expeditions in Hyderabad with Le Cafe, at Novotel Hyderabad. Novotel is located inside Hyderabad convention center. My this property is huge! I was here at Novotel for a conference and this lead to me dining at the cafe.




Food:
 I wanted to try-out the food and definitely did not have the intension of eating alone. So I asked one of my batch-mates to join me in sampling the dishes. We ordered a Chocolate Trio, a cookie shake and finally a Chicken Quiche.

The Chocolate Trio was just fantastic. It was a moose of sorts with a base layer of dark chocolate, followed by a  layer of regular chocolate and then a layer made of white chocolate. It was topped with a thin chocolate slab bearing an orange made of white chocolate. Every bite was heaven. 




Chicken Quiche was awesome too. The thick cheese layer mingled with chicken was just magical. The only let down of the lot was the cookie shake, which is cold coffee with cookies broken into it. The drink was not sweet and also lacked the coffee punch.

Ambiance:
A very neat looking cafe along the corridor of the hotel. Could seat around 20 people at the max, I suppose. There were also a couple of paintings put up for sale.

Service:
Service was more like the types which we experience at Barista. Waiter was in no moods to let me click pictures of the food and kept saying it was for security reasons. Still I managed to snuck a few clicks.

Price:
The 3 items made my wallet light by Rs530/-

Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Price - 7/10

Le Cafe is located inside Novotel Hotel which is inside Hyderabad Convention Center, Hitec City, Hyderabad.

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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, 24 November 2013

CCD Square, KNK Road

18:44:00



I was here with a friend at the newly opened outlet of Cafe Coffee Day called the CCD Square at Kader Nawaz Road, Nungumbakkam. Actually we were waiting for a friend to join us. Since we both were not in the mood for coffee, we decided to have a light snack.

Food:
Since it was just the two of us, we ordered French Fries in BBQ sauce and Crispy Chicken in BBQ sauce. We were given the option to select how the BBQ sauce was to be served : BBQ sauce along the side or mixed with the dish. My friend thought it would be bold and new to try the mixed variant.

Firstly the fries when mixed with BBQ Sauce became very soggy and chewy. Not a worthy combination. But as for the Crispy Chicken, it remained crispy inspite of the sauce and tasted good Definitely worth the order. I did not get to try-out the other stuff. Maybe some other time.

Ambiance:
The place looks swanky, posh and screams out luxury.

Service:
Service is really good, also a note, it feels like you are pampered by an air-hostess!

Price:
Posh ambiance plus air-hostess service sends the price sky-rocketing to Rs 390 for the two dishes.
CCD has really tried hard to re-invent itself in a luxury avatar, however I still find the CCD tag tied down to cheaper coffee and poor service at the regular outlets.

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

CCD Square is located on KNK Road bang opposite to the old Mocha building.
Interestingly, there are 3 CCD outlets in KNK Road. From the regular CCD to high-end Square.

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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

Friday, 22 November 2013

Spice Haat, Hyatt Regency, Teynampet

20:47:00


I know I have been away from my blog for a while. Been busy with college work, which has kept me on my toes. This one has been a long pending review of a lunch buffet at Hyatt Regency - Spice Haat. From my previous experience here over a year ago, I knew this buffet was all going to be about the starters and desserts. I just wanted to see if it had changed.




Food:
I skipped the soup, as I had, had a heavy breakfast. I headed straight for the starters.The starters comprised of two non-veg and two veg starter. There was a huge spread of salads plus few a chaat items. Chicken Hariyali Kabab and Fish Tikka for the non-veggies and Tandoori paneer and potato for the veggies. I skipped the potato and helped myself to the Fish Tikka & Hariyali Kebab. Both were very yummy and the paneer was pretty decent.



I just could not let pass  the hummus and pita bread. Hummus was rich and the soft pita bread made the combo heavenly. Moving to the chaat, we had a choice of 3 items, but the one we wanted was the dhai poori. Unfortunate for us, the waiter offered us the other chaat items apart from the dhai poori as the poori had broken down. But we really insisted that we would like to have a chaat item which had some curd to it, Volaa! a mixture of dhai and papadi chaat was presented to us. Yummy!!!! we just couldnt resist it. In-fact we had 4 servings of the same.




I just had a sample of some of the main course which was available. I took a bit a romali roti and sampled the mutton rogan josh and a bit of the grilled chicken from the salads. It was decent, but I was saving up some space for the dessert.



The desserts were just divine. Tiramisu, Mango Mousse, Chocolate Pudding, Raspberry Yoghurt, Black current Mousse, phew the list goes on. I had one each. Now that is called sampling!

The entire buffet has remained unchanged from my last visit, with nice starters, decent main course and finally outstanding desserts.

Ambiance:
The decor has remained the same. Just one grouse though. On this particular day the A/C was a bit off. We found it  hot and sultry through the entire meal.

Service:
The service was fantastic, the waiters were kind and courteous.

Price:
Finally the price for the meal at Rs 1799.- per head might sound a little expensive, but you just cant resist the desserts which are served here.

Food - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Spice Haat is located inside Hyatt Regency on Anna 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