Sunday, 29 September 2013

Crimson Chakra, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar - A CFG Showcase

19:10:00

I was at Crimson Chakra, Adyar for a CFG Showcase. I must say it was really nice to get back to familiar crowd. Ah! One of my favorite food destinations! We were invited to try-out the new dishes which would soon be added to the menu. Also it was kind of the unofficial launch  of CC@Night which basically a food deliver service which extends up to the early hours of the morning i.e. 3am. I must say this service is an absolute treat for the city of Chennai, which is deprived of food services beyond 11pm, save the star hotels. I can keep going on and on about this But its time to get down to  discussing the food.




Food:
The meal started with Vendakai Meen Soup. I must it was one meeeen soup. Fabulous is not the word which describes it best. The fish was fresh and devoid of any smell. Also the vendakai in small pieces added flavor. It reminded me of the chicken pepper soup which my grandmom makes, but this was with fish and ladysfingers, The first of the starters to be served was the Thiranga Paneer Tikka. The paneer was exceptionally soft with nice infused flavors. Served along with accompaniments such as the chutneys. 



The first non-veg dish to be served was the Machi Tikka Jodhpuri. It was a deep fried chicken with deep flavors. But the best among the starters was Mutton Sheek Kebab. Move over veg Patiyala Sheek Kebab. Stop imitating the true form of sheek kebab. Nothing can come close to beating this taste. There was also a Singapore Chilli Chicken. I wonder why the name Singapore got stuck to this dish, but it was mediocre in taste. Round one of starters, our clear favorites was the Mutton Sheek Kebab.


As we were getting done with the starters we were served with Paneer Pitha Roll. Of the all the dishes served that night, this was the most disappointing. Inspite of paneer being fresh, it was unable to lend a shoulder to help this dish. The dish lacked a punchy sour cream, which was further compounded by crumbly pitha bread.



The next to follow suit was the Indian Bread Basket, which was an assorted selection of butter naan, roti puthina parathas. Each different in its make. But really soft in texture with great flavors. To compliment these we were served with Buna Gosht and Reshmi Butter Chicken. Buna Gosht which is essentially mutton pepper korma. This was really tasty with the Butter Naan. If one thought this combination was great, then the combination with Reshmi Butter Chicken was even better. The Butter chicken was clearly the winner, which was creamier, richer and definitely tastier.


Finally we were served with the last main course which was the Chicken Biryani. It was better than many restaurant biryanis by many yards. But it no way compares to Muslim wedding biryani. But this is good enough, I would say.


After binging on these items we were finally served with Kulfi. This one was really rich and creamy. In fact I had one extra.

Ambiance:
The ambiance remains the same at Crimson Chakra, Adyar. It definitely is one of the best places to dine.

Price:
A meal for two roughly equate about Rs1500 - 1800 odd. But with many fantastic dishes, one would want to try  them all i suppose.

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

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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, 22 September 2013

Dreamer's Cafe, Auroville, Pondicherry

13:19:00

Auroville, is a place were people come in search of peace and well being.But this was not the case for my bunch of friends. The first word which came out of my BF's mouth was Pasikuthu ( I am Hungry). This was inspite of us having a heavy lunch at Promenade. So we walked into the Dreamers Cafe. This is located inside Auroville visitors center.





Food:
 Since my friend and I are coffee lovers, we ordered a Cafe Latte, while the others ordered a Watermelon Juice. Then we saw Chocolate Mint Brownie and Biscotti we had one of each.

The Latte was decent, a little Indianzied for taste. The Chocolate Mint Brownies are to die for. Super gooey, very rich and has a minty effervescence. WOW!!! I would not mind driving all the way for these delights. The watermelon juice was neat. But I am pretty sure nothing beats the brownie.

Ambiance:
The cafe is more like a shack with a few seating around it.

Service:
NA

Price:
In total for the various portions of coffee and juices it brought a total of Rs 430/-

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

Dreamers Cafe is located inside Auroville which is a few kilometers away from Pondicherry.

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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, 20 September 2013

Salt, Forum Vijaya Mall, Vadapalani

21:02:00


Salt is essential for life and as the body can’t produce by itself, it has to be got in packets from grocery stores.The word Salt bring  one thing to my mind : beautiful Anjelina Jolie running with guns blazing in the movie Salt. 
Enough of short talk. I was at the newly opened restaurant called Salt at Forum Mall with a friend for lunch.

Food: 
Since we both were very hungry, we ordered the Subz Bahar which is a chefs selection of vegetarian kebabs platter. The Platter contained  two pieces of Malai Makai Seekh, Bharwaa Mushrooms and Tandoori Duo Kile Phool.  The Malai Makai Seekh which is spiced sweet corn and cottage cheese in the form of a roll. Bharwaa Mushroom had mushrooms stuffed with grilled spinach and finally Tandoori Kile Phool, which is barbequed Cauliflower and Broccoli in a spicy marinade and grilled to perfection. Served along with Mint Chutney. All kebabs were fabulous in their own way. Very very mouth watering, inspite of them all being vegetarian.


To wash down the delicious starters, we had ordered Mango Lassi. The lassi was based on a mango extract instead of fresh mango ( its wrong to expect that in this season). It was thick, but could have done with a bit more of sweetness.




For the mains we had Meloni Subzi, Daal Makhani and Awadhi Murgh to go with Butter Naan and Garlic Kulcha. The Meloni Subzi was a gravy made up of mixture of vegetables and stir fried onions and tomatoes. I actually liked this more than my Awadhi Murgh which was a boneless chicken with cashew nuts, yoghurt and spices. Very rich and reminiscent of the flavors from Delhi. Finally the Dhal Makhanai which is a rich slow cooked dhal. The Dhal looked really appetizing. The combination of the Butter Naan and the Dhal was fit for the Kings! The Garlic Kulcha was okay. All in all we loved our meal. 

Ambiance:
Fine food combined with funky interiors is what best describes the place.

Service:
Nothing describes it better than very attentive and neat! 

Price:
This meal for two made a crater in our wallets - Rs 1900/- quite expensive!

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

Salt is located on the 2nd Floor of Forum Mall, Vadapalani


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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, 16 September 2013

Toss-Up, Ramapuram

17:49:00

Toss - Up Ramapuram is located soo close to my college, but the chance to dine there has taken quite a while. I was here with a friend the other day for lunch. Here are my thoughts on the meal.





Food:
Since neither of us were interested in having soup, we headed directly to the starters. We ordered a portion of Cheesy Garlic Crostini, a portion of Crispy Veg Wontons and a portion of Chicken Cordon Bleu. The Cheesy Garlic Crostini was nothing great to write home about. The bread was hard and the amount of garlic in it was negligible. The Crispy Veg Wontons are best termed as decent, the wontons were crispy with good amount of stuffing.




 Finally the last of the starters the Chicken Cordon Bleu which was a chicken served with a stuffing of Cheese and Jalapeno, was definitely delicious, but not the best. It was little oily!  That is a drawback.



For the mains we had a Chicken Singapore Street Noodles and a Veg Mee Goreng. Both the dishes were very oily. It seemed like they took a swim in oil. Veg Mee Goreng was medium spicy with pieces of tofu in it. Tofu was a little harder than what we expected. The Chicken Singapore Street Noodles was so very spicy, I could not chow down on it without two beverages. Finally I made up my mind and roped in tomato ketchup to the rescue. One thing which was quite evident was that this place loves oil and it was added with loads of love, to all the dishes.

Ambiance:
The ambiance is pretty decent, with nice decor. But I felt it was little cramped with seats located very close to each other.

Service:
It was spot on. The waiters never left us to run out of water in our glasses. Very attentive and are always there at the table to serve the food.

Price:
This meal for two was Rs 880/-. Pretty decent meal. The food served here was quite reminiscent of the food served in my canteen - "OILY".

Food - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 7/10

Toss-Up is located in Ramapuram opposite to DLF.

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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, 14 September 2013

Promenade, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry

21:21:00

A long awaited two day weekend. This was the day I was eagerly waiting for. Vrooom! Away I went with a couple of friends to Pondy. The drive through ECR was scenic, the road curving and two 180+bhps  munching miles easily with sound of Kuthu songs on the stereo! This is the life.

We reached Pondy just in time for lunch. Had heard from a couple of people that the thin crust pizza at Promanade are treat to die for. We entered the hotel only to be disappointed. The thin crust pizzas are only available from 4pm onwards. Nevertheless the buffet spread was really inviting.




Food:
Buffet spread seemed quite decent. We skipped the soups and headed directly to the starters and mains. The starters had a wide variety of salads: chicken, beef, egg, fish WOW!! All very tasty. Some sooper soft pita bread and a great hummus. Off the lot, I liked the fish salad. There was also a Lemon Grilled Fish. Quite simply delicious.

There were separate live counters for dosa, puttu. Also some live counters for chaat and fritters. Chicken and Banana Fritters were the order of the day. Chicken was spicy and delicious, while the Banana was soft and sweet and similar to Belos (Unniappam).



Main course had a blend of continental and indian. I simply avoided the Indian part of it. The best part of the main course were the Mushroom and Fussili Pasta, Beef and Spaghetti and finally the Chicken Liver Strongnoff. Each very special in its own way. Infact I went for another round.


Desserts section was a little small, but I helped myself to Vanilla Ice Cream with a small piece of Brownie, cookies and Chocolate sauce. Heavenly way to finish a neat lunch.

Ambiance:
The hotel sits right opposite to Pondy beach. It was slightly sultry so we had to sit indoors. But I think dining on the porch would have been quite a fantastic way to relax and have a killer meal.

Service:
NA

Price:
We used a friends discount card and attracted a 30% discount on the bill. This made the bill turn into Rs 630/head. Which is quite simply amazing.

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

Promenade by Hidesign is located on the Gorbert Avenue.

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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, 7 September 2013

Al-Maza, Chintamani

18:35:00


Al - Maza, the name definitely sounds like an Arabian Restaurant, but as it turns out, its proper North Indian food which is dished out here. I was here with my brother and sis-in-law for a small family dinner. The selection of this place came due to turn of events. My SIL(Sister in law) wanted to have good Indian food, my brother on the other hand did not want to drive far (Lazy I suppose). Wolaa!! I suggested Al-Maza. And Al-Maza it was!







Food:
We started the meal with 2/3 portion of Sweet Corn Chicken Soup. Nothing hits the spot as good as a this. It was a fine soup with good amount of chicken and corn in it. As my SIL likes coleslaw we ordered one. This was decent. Since we three were quite hungry that day, we ordered a Tandoori Platter and Tandoori Jhinga as prawns was not a part of the platter. The platter was great save the Mutton Kebabs. Also the Fish Tikka which was part of the platter was not really fresh. It kind of had that fishy smell to it. The Tandoori Jhinga on the other hand was great. It was spicy at its best. We loved it.


Since the platter comes with roti and Dhal Makhani, we just ordered two naans. The Dhal Makhani was a very small portion as  part of the platter. I would highly advice you to order a full portion of the Dhal. It was the best I have had by a long shot. It was rich and heavenly. Since we were non-veggies, we ordered  Murg Begum Bahar which was chicken kheema with various spices and dressed off with boiled eggs. I am not a big fan of boiled eggs so I skipped them while the murg begum was amazing but I just could not resist the Dhal Makhani. The Rotis were soft and they formed a great combo with the side dishes.

By the end of the meal we were really stuffed that we skipped desserts.

Ambiance:
Could seat 50 people at time and the place looks really upmarket.

Service:
Hardly 5 tables were occupied at the time of dinner, which they managed quite comfortably, so not rating this now.

Price:
The meal for 3 was Rs 2200/- which made a big hole in my brother pocket.

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

Al - Maza is located in 6th Street Anna Nagar which is behind Mc Rennett Anna Nagar.

PS : Sorry for the bad pics.

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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, 5 September 2013

Chao, Thiyagaraya Nagar, T - Nagar

23:27:00

I usually do not write a post about the same place within a short time. But the last time I was at Chao, I was invited for a Chef's table and none of the dishes served were part of the menu. So this post is totally different from the previous post. 





Food:
We were seated in a nice cozy sofa on the ground floor. The reservation which had made did help us in a getting a good seat. Since I was here previously, the company with me wanted me to place the order. 

We started the meal with Lung Fung Chicken Soup for all. Lung Fung is more a chinese soup than a thai soup. It was a medium thick soup with egg, carrot, boneless chicken and green veggies. The soup was perfect or perfect-indianized. For starters we had Chicken Satay, nice, but nothing outstanding about it.  But the Devils Chicken and Wasabi Prawns were fabulous. Devils Chicken is a crispy fried sweet and hot chicken. Reminded me of crispy fried lamb. While the Wasabi Prawns was the best I have ever had. In-fact we ordered an extra portion of the Wasabi Prawns. To wash down the food we had ordered Fresh Lime Soda and Lime-mint Cooler. 





For the main course we ordered a Thai Chili Fish to go with Chicken Char Kway Teow and Wok Fried Chili Chicken to go with Chicken Rice with Garlic. Of the lot only the Thai Chili Fish were not to our liking. The rest deserve a big thumbs up! Fabulous flavors. Chicken Char Kway Teow, which is rice flat noodles with veggies, egg and chicken inter dispersed in it. The noodles by itself was amazing, sweet and spicy. While the Thai Chili Fish was fresh, but it just wasn't upto our expectations. The combination of the Wok Fried Chili Chicken and Chicken Rice with Garlic was fantastic. The best I have had. We were so full with all the wonderful food, that we skipped the dessert.

Ambiance:
As I had mentioned in my earlier post. This place packs the oomph factor to blow you away.

Service:
Service was quite nice. The waiters were quite good at explaining the dishes and they helped us all through out the meal. 

Price:
The meal for 4 cost us Rs 5100/- A bit pricy but the meal was well worth the money spent.

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

Chao is located in Thiyagaraya Nagar, off North Borg Road.

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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