Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wok a Toque - Food Trials

16:46:00


Rome wasn't built in a day, the same applies to restaurants these days. The food served in a restaurant goes through rigorous testing before its served to the general public. I was at a food trail session recently at Wok a Toque, a restaurant which serves oriental cuisine, located inside Chariot Hotel in T- Nagar. There are many restaurants which keep springing up in Chennai which serve Continental Cuisine and Indian. Now Wok a Toque is an entrant into the chinese cuisine. I personally feel Chennai is a little deprived off some tasty Chinese food. All the available options seem a little old. This should be a welcome change for the lot.




Food:
As I entered the place, I was greeted by the restaurant manager. He explained to me about the concept of food which is going to be served here, and also he was very kind enough to show me around the property. The manager informed me upfront that the cuisine will be more Indianized to suit our palate. Now coming to the food.

Like all the usual chinese restaurants you do get lettuce and assorted veggies in sweet vinegar. While we sampled it, we were handed a make-shift menu which contained the list of dishes which would be served. This menu had a huge collection of dishes a solid 9 pages for just the starters and mains.

Since we were just going to sample, we made sure we were served only half portions and we went about choosing dishes at random.



We started off with Wasabi Prawns. These were a mix of Mayo and Wasabi, crisp fried. It was Wow! I found it to have a perfect mix, while some others felt they would not mind a little more of Wasabi. I personally felt a small cup of the sauce would be amazing.


In between the starters we were served our soup. I had ordered the Sweet Corn Chicken Soup (SCCS) and while Mr.Srihari had ordered Clear Soup with Crab Meat (CSCM). The SCCS was actually a little bland, the corn in it did not feel fresh enough while the CSCM was fabulous, though we could find only one tiny piece of the shell of a crab .


Then came the veg starter for the only veggie in the group: Stuffed Lotus Root Fritters. This was a lotus root stuffed with potato and chilli fried to perfection and served along with sweet chilli sauce. I must say this was the first time I have ever had lotus root. It was mind blowingly delicious. I was blown away by the taste and the way it had been fried to the proper crispiness.


Next came the Chicken Yakitori, which is a relative of the Chicken Satay. The chicken is marinated in  soy sauce and was grilled similar to a satay. It had a  lovely, rich, earthy flavor. Since we all loved  duck-meat, we had Spicy Duck Roll. This had shredded duck with a good coating of chilli sauce and wrapped in  pancakes. I found the  duck really tender and fabulous.


Finally our last starter arrived. This was a TaiChung Chilly Beef. It was very similar to chilli beef served in all other chinese restaurants. The chilli heat seemed to be just right in all the dishes.



After being blown away by the stunning starters, we headed into the main course with high expectations. For the mains we decided to have a veg Kwai Teow Flat Noodles, a veg Ginger and Capsicum Fried Rice and a Spicy Crab Meat Fried Rice. Kwai Teow Flat Noodles had a slight issue of not being mixed together properly. So some of us had good flavors while others said it lacked flavors. On the other hand both the Fried Rice were mouth watering. They went well with the sides we had ordered. The vegetarian sides were the first to arrive. Of the two Bamboo Shoot and Mushroom in Chilly Bean Sauce and the Tofu gravy. I loved the Bamboo Shoot gravy. It was tasty. Again this was the first time me having Bamboo Shoots, I have only heard people say it being hard and not great. But this was soft and delicious. I would not mind to go back again and have just that with the veg fried rice. But the tofu smelt like it had been stored for while, which put me off.


Since I had loved the duck in the starters, I very badly wanted to have a duck in the mains. So we picked the Braised Duck in Hot Bean Sauce. The sauce was similar to the bamboo shoots, but the duck was cut into nice chunky pieces and cooked until it was tender and made amazing.


Also we ordered a Five Spiced Beef with Glass Noodles. This beef too was similar to the chilly beef, but the addition of the glass noodles made it very visually appealing. The beef too was cooked to perfection. Loved the taste.

Finally we had to wait a bit for our Crispy Chicken in Chiili Honey Sauce as there was a mistake in the service. But the chicken was worth the wait. I even saved it up until I had finished my rice. It was like dessert. The honey made it really sweet and the chilli in it gave a late heat to it.



Finally after the scrumptious mains, we were served with some Chocolate Cake, Elaneer Soufle and Sweet Roll which may not be a part of the menu. Of the lot it was universally accepted in our table that the Elaneer Soufle was heavenly.

Apart from a few dips, the food was fabulous. This maybe the best way for any restaurant to announce its arrival into city, filled with restaurants in every nook and corner. I sincerely hope that they can maintain the consistency of the food. If they do, I bet the other restos will  have trouble in their hands.

Ambiance:
I was simply wowed by the ambiance. It was a fine mix of Contemporary and Chinese elements, which makes it worthy of the title - Fine Dine.

Price:
Most dishes on the menu are priced around Rs 220 -350. So meal for two should cost no more than Rs 1200/-.

I give a Thumbs Up to this restaurant for its quality food.

Wok a Toque is located inside Hotel Chariot, which is opposite to Vidyodaya School, T-Nagar.

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

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Cafe Latte, Anna Nagar

18:49:00




After seeing a pic of the burger served here at Cafe Latte on CFG page, my taste buds went on an overdrive. I was salivating, my stomach went into spasms seeing it. The urge to have this amazing looking burger was the only thing in my mind. So I headed here along with a friend, only to realize that  that pictures can be deceptive.

Food:
As this was going to be burger only visit, we ordered the Chicken Burger.   We also wanted to munch on something while our burgers arrived so we ordered a Chicken Satay. Then as the waiter described  the delicious Pana cotta, we ordered one of it as well.

The Chicken Satay was really spicy and pungent. It came minus  the peanut sauce which comes as an accompaniment and it did not have a drizzle over it. And the burger was poor imitation of KFC Burger. The burger lacked love and soul, even the tomato and lettuce inside it was soggy. Hope they could improve on this. The fries served along was alright. Finally the Pana Cotta was only the saving grace. It was quite exquisite with perfect balance of richness and flavor.

Ambiance:
This premises of the cafe is awesome. It has seating similar to the old Amethyst with a mix of Mocha with fabulous facility for car parking. Now if only they could improve on the food.

Service:
The dude who served us was quite knowledgeable about the dishes. But we were the only ones here, I dont think I would rate it on this visit.

Price:
This short snack set us back by Rs 900/-.

Food - 5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - NA
Price -4.5/10

Cafe Latte is located in Anna Nagar, in the road perpendicular to P.R.N.& Sons.

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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, 21 June 2013

Hotel Runs, Adyar

18:10:00


Hotel Runs in Adyar, has stood the test of time. This restaurant along with The Coronet, for a long time ruled the roost in Adyar. But many restaurants have sprung up all around and I was eager to see how they had adapted to the competition.

Food:
When a gang of 8 people head to a restaurant all hungry, it means heavy list of order and that is what happened recently. Six of us were non.veggies and two souls were veg and we got to try out both food groups.

Us non-veggies ordered a Grilled Chicken Full and Dragon Chicken for starters and Butter Chicken with parotta. As an after thought, since we were really hungry, we ordered Fish Biryani. Grilled Chicken was the first to arrive. It was a little dry, but never the less the masala was just right. While we waited for the Dragon Chicken, the mains Fish biryani and Parotta - Butter Chicken arrived. The Fish Biryani was nothing great to write home about. It lacked flavor and the punch. It was more like Fish Rice. The Parotta was soft and went well with the over sweet Butter Chicken. While we were munching down the main course, the Dragon Chicken finally arrived in huge plates. One bite of it, showed us, what real spiciness could mean. We were all running on boil. It was soo spicy that we needed sugar to reclaim our tongues.

The spicy chicken was enough to put us off. By the time we were done, we were all huffing and panting.

Ambiance:
We dined in the A/C section of the restaurant. The space looked really eery, not a place for couples. It can better serve as a gambling den.

Service:
Service wise cant say much, apart from the terribly late Dragon Chicken aka stomach burner.

Price:
The meal for 8 put us back by Rs 1900/-.

Food - 4/10
Ambiance - 4/10
Service - 6.5/10
Price - 6/10

Hotel Runs is located on Sardar Patel Road opposite to Style One.

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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, 18 June 2013

Moti Mahal Delux, Nungumbakkam - A CFG Showcase

18:20:00

I am returning back to the CFG Showcase scene after a long time and what better way than heading to the restaurant which pioneered the Butter Chicken Masala and the well known Tandoori Chicken. Even though I had visited Moti Mahal earlier, this was one opportunity I was not going to miss.

Usually when I write about a showcase dinner, I go on ranting about all the dishes served. But this time I want to try something different. I ll make it short and sweet. The dishes which I liked the most. Nothing more or nothing less, just the ones you need to try.



Food:
Of all the starters served, the following were sinful to my palate. I am not sure, how others would rate it. But I seemed to like them.
The Tandoori Chicken was simply fabulous. It was a perfect blend of masala, spices and color. I have had so many Tandoori Chicken else where, but ended up having regurgitation because of the masala. But it was not the case here. Loved it. Would have it 'N' number of times. 



The next dish which wowed me was the Chicken Kastoori Kebab. It was a tender boneless chicken cooked along with silky soft egg coating. A must try I would say. 

Next up I loved the Panner Tikka. I am not big fan of Veg. food, but this panner just blew me away. It was so soft and heavenly. The best paneer I have ever had. The secret to it, it's really fresh and a direct procurement from Hatsun dairy farms. 

Finally I loved the Hyderabadi Chicken, I am hoping I caught the name right. This dish was mildly spicy and was welcome change when compared to other dishes which are just right.




There is nothing better than having the Butter Chicken Masala along with the assorted rotis. This was what was served to us. I just loved the flavor the chicken had. Off the lot of assorted roti, I must say the stand outs were the Garlic Naan, Butter Naan and the Chilli Roti. If you guys go as a group, I would suggest you guys try the above mentioned roti. I am pretty sure, one would not be disappointed.


The Mutton Biryani served here, is standard affair. It was very much similar to the Biryani which one would be used to in North India. I am pretty sure if you like the Tamil Nadu style you will not like this.


Last but not the least, one should never leave Moti Mahal without having their Kulfi and the best I have ever tasted Paan Ice Cream. I have had paan ice cream all over the town and I am pretty sure this is the best one, one can have. It has nice deep taste to it.

If you guys love North Indian Food and are a sucker for kebabs, this is a must have restaurant. I do wish they have a small buffet offered on some odd days.

Ambiance:
The place stands true to my previous verdict, very subtle and neat.

Price:
A decent meal for two should cost around Rs 1200/-

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


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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

Monday, 17 June 2013

Coros, Dona Paula, Goa

21:47:00


I know, I have been away from my blog for a while. Review updates have become slow. Not to worry. I am back! I am going to keep updating my blog henceforth. I was at Goa recently for a small vacation, after an awesome conference in Dharward. I was really excited about Goa. Pulled up the list of shacks which I wanted to dine at. But all that went down the drain since it was off-season. I was a little disappointed with the food expedition not going in my favor. But there seemed a small light at the end of the tunnel and that was this dinner.

Myself along with a couple of batchmates where in search of food at 11pm and we happened to see this restuarant Coros in Dona Paula. It looked really posh from outside. We entered with misgiving, as our pockets were on a diet.





Food:
Since the entire lot of us loved seafood, the main selection of order comprised of seafood, save the Butter Chicken Masala. Seafood lovers all ganged up and we decided to have the Fish and Prawns in Goan Masala and Crisp Calamari. I must say that the three were fabulous. Imagine the peri-peri masala on the fish and prawns cooked to perfection. O WOW!!! My mind seems to race back in time even as I type this.




For the mains, we ordered a Butter Chicken Masala (BCM) to accompany the soft rotis. The BCM was rich perfect and the combo was fit for royalty If this was not enough, we had ordered a mixed seafood risotto. It was a blend of fish, prawns with heavenly cheese to it. The duo was simply outstanding. It was an symphony on the taste buds. We loved it so much that we ordered another portion of it.

Ambiance:
The ambiance here could be compared to Tuscana Pizzaria, but only with the added Spirits to the menu.

Service:
The waiter who served us was really patient and took care of us more like a patient. I wonder if he knew we were Doctors!

Price:
The dinner which knocked us out and which we which we most talk about, cost us Rs 2200/- for five people.

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

Coros is located in Dona Paula by-pass road. Not sure about the location. But I pretty sure people around should be able to direct you.

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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, 2 June 2013

One MB, Kilpauk

21:03:00



Once upon time when Chennai was dying for some main street chaat items, the only place many would flock to was Ajnabi in Fountain Plaza. Now there are chaat stalls in every nook and corner of the city. With every shop wiping up delicious treats its become really easy for the common person to have these North Indian Savories down south. I was at OneMB, which is a recent entrant into Kilpauk's food scene.

Food:
Since this visit  here was more like a pit-stop, we got try only the Pani Puri, the Papadi Chaat and the Chili Cheese Garlic Toasts. Pani Puri, now thats something everyone likes. You get to binge on 5 puris with the tasty pani and one chukka puri. The Papadi Chaat, one of my favorites was clearly very soggy with loads of sweet sauce. The Chili Cheese Garlic Toast is an absolute must have here. I loved it. So did my brother who had come along. Perfect crispiness with almost near perfect chili to garlic ratio.

Ambiance:
It is a simple place which can seat about 45 odd people. So no worries if you are here with a large crowd.

Service:
When I had visited the joint, we were the only people here, so service was fine. Should visit on a crowded day to really ascertain the service standards.

Price:
3 items plus a bottle of water came to a total of Rs 176/- . I am no chaat food junkie to tell if the price seemed alright or too high.

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

OneMB is located on EVR Periyar Salai opposite to KLN Chevrolet Showroom.


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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