Sunday, 28 December 2014

Jewel Box, Hotel Blue Diamond, EVR Periyar Salai - Christmas Specials

17:11:00

Christmas & New Year is time I go on an overdrive on binge eating. My favourite is the turkey hands down. This Roast Turkey and the Turkey Biryani are the specialities of the season and every restaurant in town is serving it left right and centre. For the restaurants which do not have speciality dish for the season, they have gone the route of serving up a lavish buffet. I have found no better place to have the festive dish than the place which introduced me to Turkey!!!. I have returned here every year for the yummy, tasty turkey roast and biryani.



Food:
What happens when two foodies (ChennaiSoru and ChennaiFoodie) set their mind on having the best Christmas lunch - we end up ordering the best dishes on the menu. Our meal comprised of Turkey Biryani, Turkey Roast, Special Parotta, Fish Fingers and finally Butter Chicken Masala.


I do not think anyone even in the western world would have thought about this combination. Bringing the two elements together, Turkey Roast with Special Parotta. It is a WoW! combination. Its best had dine in, as the parotta can loose the crispiness if eaten later. My company for the meal suggested a different combination for this and we had it along with Cheese Sandwich. Stuffing the Turkey in the sandwich brings a different western perspective to the dish.


Fish Finger was soft, fresh and delicious. It has been my all time favourite since I was a kid. Next we moved to gobbling down the Turkey Biryani which is slightly mild biryani, works well. Finally we could not finish the meal without the famous Butter Chicken Masala. Another lip smacking dish.


Just to treat the sweet buds we had the Caramel Custard Pudding and Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream. An absolute decadent indulgence. It is true testament of its worth, that the restaurant has stood the test of time, managing to serve up amazing dishes .

Ambiance:
Yes it is true the ambiance is just okay and has not moved ahead with the time. But for the people such as me it brings back many nostalgic memories.

Price:
A meal for two with a mix of turkey dishes should set you back by about Rs 1000 to 1200 for two depending on how many portions you order.

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Price: 8/10

The Turkey specials are available only in limited portions so it is advisable to dine in at the earliest. They do have full birds of varying sizes for party orders which need a days notice.

Jewel Box Restaurant is located in Hotel Blue Diamond on EVR Periyar Salai.

PS: Thanks to Chennaifoodie for the photos. www.chennaifoodie.com
All the photos were shot using Nokia Lumia 730

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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, 7 December 2014

The Forum Vijaya Mall - Chennai Food Festival, Vadapalani

15:41:00

December is a month events I suppose. I was here at Chennai Food Festival by the Forum Vijaya Mall at Vadapalani. A food festival showcasing the various restaurants at the Via South Food Court at the mall. I have been to Forum Mall many a times. My visits here have been highly restricted to SALT save one visit to the food court. So this was more like a first visit.

The Chennai Food Festival is on from November 28th to December 14th 2014. New menu for food festival have been cooked up at joints. If they have not been able to provide a new unique dish, they have offered the existing dish at a cheaper price.


Food:
With the food court comprising of various restaurants which are not part of the Chennai food heritage, it was more like a food festival showcasing the food which Chennai has begun to love. We started sampling dishes from various joints.


The standout dishes were -

Chaat Platter from Kailash Parbat. This restaurant is known for their Chaat items, this was no different. They make some stunning Dahi pooris.

Chicken Pizza from Quiznos. This was a surprise to me. Because I am used to having Tortilla based Pizza at the other outlets. A mix between thin crust and fat crust it was. I must say it was delightful, On enquiring I found that, this is the only Quiznos in Chennai to serve this kind of pizza and also they do have Burgers and Crispy Fried Chicken apart from that.




Dragon Chicken - Wangs Kitchen. I know you would wonder how did Chinese dishes figure on to this list, but as I had mentioned earlier these are the food items which Chennai has begun to love. Dragon Chicken was surprise surprise!! loved it. You would not believe it, I actually did a mix and match with Banana Dosa :P

Banana Dosa from ID. Tasted exactly like Belosse (Banana Bhaji) which is a sweet dish from my native. Loved it. ID please make it main stream if it aint on your menu already. Kudos to the Chef!





Mayo Chicken from Arab Kitchen. Crispy Fried Chicken with Mayo, who would not love em. Tasty.
Finally Mutton and Valapoo Platter from Pandi Kadai. Both soft and delicious in its own right.

All the restaurants at the food court do have their regular dishes as well, if you feel to be a plain jane and skip the Special Menu.

Apart from the different menu, the food festival also showcases
- Cooking demonstrations
- Comedy Chef Performance
- Fusion Music Show


So head over to Forum Vijay Mall for some fun filled foodalisious activities.
Big Thanks to Forum Vijay Mall for having me over to Enjoy and Relish the Chennai Food Festival.

Forum Vijay Mall is located on the Vadapalani main road next to Hotel Green Park.

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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, 13 November 2014

Brick House Bistro, Anna Nagar

19:07:00

Okay, no place has created so much buzz in less than 1 week of its opening. So that speaks volumes about the joint. And  I visited this place on two consecutive days! So now that is another proof of how good the burger is. Without further ado, let me pronounce its name.  The restaurant in question is Brick House Bistro located in Anna Nagar.

For BURGER lovers and American food enthusiasts  the quest for the perfect beef burger ends here. I am out of words to explain the taste, the burger carries. My benchmark for a great burger is Wimpys which was located in Alsa Mall back in the days. I used to frequent Wimpys as a kid with my Granddada who was a connoisseur of food. So any burger, must stand up to that standard. Later the reference point became the Gallopin Gooseberrys.  Now it is Brick House Bistro!

So here it goes. The pictures are from the second time I dined here.


Food:
Our order was simple. Stick to the basics. We ordered a Double Ground Beef Burger, Double Dog and a Stunner King Club Chicken Sandwich.


Double Dog -  Hot dog stuffed, mustard loaded on a perfect bun. Tastes delicious.


King Club Sandwich - Sandwich based on chicken sausage filled with mayo inside a nice toasted bread. Just divine.



Double Ground Beef Burger - I had the single the previous day. I think it is safe to say I will stick to single. Double is just too much. The bun : meat ratio is just much for me to handle. But once in a while I definitely would not mind  having  it. The bun is perfect, does not break down, caramelised onions perfect, cheese loaded, just bit of tomatoes. Ahhhh!!!! that perfect combination. One bite, two bites, three bites............  Foodgasam!!! Tastes just like Wimpys!!! Those memories!


To quench our thirst we had a Dark Chocolate Shake (DCS) and a Cold Coffee. DCS just kicked cold coffee's @$$.

Finally we decided to just nibble on something sweet. We ordered the Lemon Cheese Cake. This is something which is not made in house and it shows. The base was so-so the cheese was melty. The lemon in essence was kind of like a hint which at times was equal to absent.

Ambiance:
Simple decor. Could seat 20 odd people at a time. Works perfect for the kind of food on offer.

Service:
They are definitely trying hard to find the groove. I am pretty sure, a few more days and things will become silky smooth.

Price:
This meal cost us Rs 1450 /- including a beef burger take away. Best value for 3 people.

Food - 8.5/10 (Not counting the cake)
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 7.5/10
Price - 8/10

Brick House Bistro is located next to Yamaha Showroom in Anna Nagar in the road adjacent to K4 Police Station.

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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, 23 October 2014

Maplai, Sterling Avenue, Nungumbakkam

19:03:00

I was always under the impression that if it is South Indian food, it is best had at home. Because the options available is not anything more spectacular than the common food which one could have at the comfort of his home, nor does it feel like a healthy option. The choices available up until now have rather been mediocre rip offs of the original which are a speciality of certain locations down south. Enter Maplai!!! aka BRIDEGROOM!!! into the food scene which is already crowded, with a strong name like that. A Maplai means he is special. There is a certain speciality associated with the term Maplai i.e. he gets what he desires. Also the Maplais of the tamil culture are not treated to non-veg food on their wedding day. Usually this is on the following day where the in-laws serve up a lavish feast to revitalise the groom. So what you really dream off when you enter the restaurant, is a feast which is fit for a Maplai.


Food:
As this was the my first time here, I was going about ordering the dishes based on what I have seen on social networking sites and heard from other people. So we started of with Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola, Travancore Chicken Fry and Nethili Fry. For the mains we picked Kozhi Virundhu. To quench our thirst we picked a Strawberry Margherita and a Lemon Ice Tea.



Firstly the Thanjavur Kair Katti Gola was simply something one should try, the mutton is so so so soft. Something like kola urundai but only given a royal treatment here. Super sized and given decor update, it looks fantastic. Every bite is a bite into absolute decadence. Then the Nethili Fry was crispy and fabulous minus the oil which you would associate with fried items. By this time we were served with our mains. So the Travancore Chicken Fry had to wait.


Mains the Kozhi Virundhu was absolutely a Virundhu aka feast as the name suggests.
It comprised of :
- Panagam
- Neer More
- Barotta
- Tohaiyal
- Onion Raitha
- Pickle
- Masala Vadai
- Omelette
- Payasam
- Veg. Kuruma
- Parupu Keerai
- Ladysfinger Poriyal
- Rasam
- Applam
- Curd
- Rice
- Sweet Beeda
Mind you all the above mentioned are unlimited. Finally Kozhi Kuzbambu and Chicken 65 which are limited.


This virundhu is so large that myself and my friend really struggled to clean up the dishes. Infact we ended up parceling the starters as we were simply overwhelmed by the shear number of dishes. First the Panagam and Neer More (butter milk)  were simply superb. Mainly given in south India to give the groom his much needed electrolytes. Barotta was medium sized soft and simply superb. Consuming the barotta actually makes the rest of the meal heavy.

Tohaiyal, Onion Raitha and Pickle is served in small quantities, if you like em ask for more. Masala Vadai the only thing which I felt out of place in this entire virundhu. Omelette yeah! it is unlimited. Payasam was okay, could do with a bit more of sweet.


Veg Kuruma, Parupu Keerai and Ladysfinger Poriyal were all stunning. Mainly they felt cooked with less amount of oil. Finally the curd was sooper rich. Served up in a mud pot, it looks amazing.

Combining Kozhi Kuzbambu with the rice and mixing it up with Poriyal, Applam and Omelette simply transports you down south were this a traditional meal for a new bridegroom. Okay I am not a Maplai yet, but have definitely have had such a meal, many a times (or at least twice. I have two older brothers).  The starter Travancore Chicken Fry was rich, but then we had moved on to having the virundhu which had the chicken 65 which was almost similar.


Hogging down this meal we had our drinks waiting to be gulped as well. Iced tea and Margherita were both great. No complaints here. Finally when we thought we done with our meal, we were served with Tirunelveli halwa based dessert on the house. Or should I say Tirunelveli ke halwavaa?? Now deconstructing it, Halwa served on a bed made of biscuit with jaggery and ellu and finally a dash of wipped cream. One word WOW!!

The entire meal was all about the name MAPLAI!!!! An absolute magical Maplai virundhu.

Ambiance:
The decor here is very simple but looks classy. No authentic South Indian touches to show its south indian incline. They have definitely let the food do the talking. I liked the nice touches where they had knobs on the table to standardise the space between the table and the wall.

Service:
A proper Maplai experience. No better word to tell it.

Price:
This meal for two cost us Rs 1420/- inclusive of all taxes. Which I felt well worth the meal.

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8/10

Maplai is located on Sterling Avenue in the road opposite to Loyola College.

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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, 16 October 2014

Cuckoo Club Diner, Harrington Road

19:07:00


There is usually a part 2 for movie... But prequels are rare. This meal at Cuckoo Club Diner was the prequel to most fabulous burgers at Tovo Infusion of which I had written in a previous post. A meet with a bunch of foodies, means one thing, we were sure to try most dishes on the menu. Since we guys had not meet up in a while, we decided to try this new restaurant.


Food:
We started off with a Garlic Pretzel which was served with smooth buttery mayo. Simple soft and tasty pretzel.


We  scrolled around menu for a while, hunting for a non-veg starter but finally we settled for a veg starter,  Zucchini fries served with ketchup. We were pretty sure we made the right choice. It was coated with crumbs, crispy and was deadly. Loved biting into it. This was the stage till which I really loved the dinner here. It wasn't like the mains were bad. But they were just okay.


The foodies with me chose the Mini Bagel Beef Burger and Cajun Ettofee Chicken while I had the Country Fried Chicken Steak with Cuckoo sauce. The mini burger was just okay. I was again expecting a juicy burger, it was more or less there. The meat was great, buns were fine. But somehow the overall feel was just okay.



My Country Fried Chicken Steak was served with Cuckoo sauce, which I thought would be some kind personalised sauce which only turned out to be thousand island sauce. Also the presence of the sauce was just too less for the entire dish. Though the chicken fillets were fried well, they just did not stand out. Finally the Cajun Ettofee Chicken served with rice was the soul saviour. The dish was loaded with ettofee sauce which I loved and the cajun infusion was nice. Overall the entire meal seamed just about okay.

Ambiance:
Fine looking garden kind of decor outdoors. Cuckoo clocks brimmed indoor dinning gave the place a rich appearance. Guys beware if you plan to take your girlfriends here keep your wallets stuffed because the place is brimmed with gift items.

Service:
We were the only ones to dine..... So not judging it....

Price:
The price of this meal for three was Rs 1374/- which we felt was on slightly expensive side for the just okayish food served.

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

Cuckoo Club Diner is located in Harrington Road right next doors to Costa Coffee.

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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, 10 October 2014

Jonah's Bistro, Besant Nagar

17:31:00


Dining at Jonah's Bistro has been on the cards for a while now. Only problem was it never materialised. So last Sunday I put the wait to an end. Took my cousin over for a sumptuous dinner. Getting a confirmation from my cousin was a pain, so we walked in without any reservations. We entered Jonah's a little past 9pm only to see the place jam packed. So we put down our number for reservations and took a short stroll. We get back to the restaurant by 9:30pm and vola we got our seats.



Food:
Since we were really hungry by then, we wasted no time in ordering the food. For starters we ordered Turkey Bacon and Grilled Chicken Wrap and Panko Fried Chicken. For the mains we picked Beef Burger, Chicken Burger and finally a Chicken Parmigiana. The Turkey Bacon and Grilled Chicken wrap was the first to arrive. It was served along with veggies on the side. The dish was slightly on the sweeter side. A dash of the Tobasco sauce and it was good to go. I would have loved to see this dish served with different sauce rather than the veggies. Next up was the Panko Fried Chicken. It was straight up dish. Crispy and tasty. Of course the spicy mayo complimented the dish in a fine way.



Moving to our mains, the burgers were a big let down for us. We expected a proper juicy, greasy and messy burger, but we ended up with burger which was more to a gentleman's taste. Later we found out that Jonah's serves  european style burgers. But they were more than happy to offer me the kind of burger I was looking on the house, the next time I was there. So I would like to reserve my judgement on the burger. Finally the Chicken Parmigiana was perfect. I had built up this idea in my mind as to how it should taste. I must say it was spot on. Fresh fabulous cheese on a bed of proper chicken filler and tasty Neapolitan sauce. Every element of the dish complemented and helped make a great dish.

On finishing our mains, we looked around, and we were tempted by the Strawberry Cheesecake, so we ordered one, and then we were informed about waffles and my jaw dropped. So we ordered for waffles with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream. First the cheesecake was simply decadent. Just when I thought, that nothing could beat this dish dessert, we served with the waffles. This took things to a whole different level. The waffle was warm, soft and ........ the maple addition was pure symphony plus the vanilla ice cream was a total game changer. A dessert with so many layer on which it is built on. An absolute must have.

Ambiance:
It is simple bistro which should dine anywhere between 30-40 people at a time.

Service:
Kind and courteous. But I definitely felt, they had there hands full on this day.

Price:
We were charged Rs 1780/- for this meal for two.

Food - 8/10 (excluding the burger)
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Price - 7/10

Jonah's Bistro is located in Besant Nagar on top of Sri Krishna Sweets.

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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, 7 October 2014

Foodycall - Night Food Delivery

21:37:00

It has been a while since I had ordered from Foodycall. Burning mid-night oil meant feeling really hungry in the wee hours of the day. So I had a chance to order. Also the recent drop in quality meant, I was hunting for new night food delivery options. But then I decided to give them a second chance.



Food:
My usual order, Chicken Club Sandwich and a Chicken Steak Burger. I decided to fine tune the order, I instructed them specifically not to add the sauce on the burger thus helping the meat retain its tasty pepper flavour and not make the bun soggy. Maybe next time I will ask them to caramelise the onions, rather than raw onions which should make the burger one awesome one.

The loss in quality might have been a temporary one. The burger was spot on. Having made them serve the sauce separately only helped enhance the taste of the burger and made the chicken dominate the burger. While the chicken club sandwich was usual fare. My advise would be to add caramelised onions rather than the plain onions which would definitely help build on the flavours.

Service:
Time elapsed from the time of order at 2:00am was 45mins. Pretty fast service I must say.

Price:
The burger and the sandwich cost me Rs 420/-

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

FoodyCall is a home delivery joint, which starts functioning from 7pm to 5am.

For home delivery call - 044 - 42384444 or you can look it up at www.foodycall.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.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Tovo Infusions, R. K. Salai

22:53:00

Heading to two different restaurants back to back for the same meal puts many things into perspective. I have heard club hopping, but restaurant hopping? That is what the night was all about. I have heard different opinions about this restaurant, Tovo Infusion and I concluded from all the chatter, that it was - different! To put this term 'different' to rest, I decided to dine here with a bunch of foodies.


Food:
This was the second and final stop for the evening. After the first restaurant we went to that night, not being able to hit the mark, we walked in a bit hungry to Tovo and also in the mood experiment. We decided to start the meal with Rice Crepes with Chilli Garlic. I think they need to highlight the term CHILLI! It was unbelievably spicy.


We then decided to split a Smooth and Soft Chicken with Original Buttery infusion sauce, Hyderabadi Spice as regional topping and finally top notch seasonal topping. Also a Gourmet Buns chicken with Tangy Cheese and Herbs infusion sauce, Mogul Laces as regional topping and high seasonal topping. Smooth and soft chicken was too good. But I could barely feel the heat in the dish after the rice crepes aka chilli dosa. Nevertheless the chicken was too good.


Finally enter the Gourmet Bun that is, Burger!!!!!! - Best burger in town - Hands down! To put things to perspective, I have a sufficient mouth opening to take a bite out of Bili bunter burger at Gallopin Gooseberries. This burger with 2 hands working I could hardly make one bite. This burger is so big it will give other burgers a complex. I think that enough description about the burgers size. Taste was on a whole different level. Perfect Buns, Cheese, Egg and finally the winner the fantastic lip smacking chicken. I would sure love to see a burger which would challenge this burger. For now I am head over heels with this burger.


After the sensational burger we had a Butterscotch with Praline shake just to have small dessert kind of finish to the meal.

Ambiance:
Again this was classy. Black ceiling mated to contemporary furniture, where less is more.

Service:
Top - Notch.... By the way I loved the chap who served us - Karthi. He was really cool in explaining how Tovo works for us 1st timers.

Price:
The price of the meal was Rs 880/- Superb pricing for a fantastic meal.

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

Tovo infusion is located in R.K. Salai opposite to Hotel Savera.

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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.