Friday, 28 February 2014

Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt, Guindy - Sunday Brunch

19:53:00


Dining out on Sundays  is becoming a regular feature of Chennaites. Restaurants are queing up with different offers, different varites to woo the restaurant goers. We friends had a job at hand, that is to throw a Bachelor Party for  the first member of our gang to get hooked in marriage. With so many options we were spoilt for choice but then we wanted to throw it at a new restaurant. So we finally setteled for Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt!

Food:
I was assigned the job of ferrying the soon to be Mappilai to the restaurant and we were a little behind schedule. This delay was quite enough for the rest of my gang members to start binging on the food. 




The brunch is an on table affair (buffet), so you have to wait for the food to be served at your table. Thats something I would not mind. Less work walking around. We were served with so many dishes, that I found it hard to keep a track of what we had. From the starters, I loved  the Duck Bruschetta, the duck complimented the crispy nature of the bread. Prawns in Lemon glaze was another dish which I loved. Perfectly grilled with a drizzle of honey and finally a open shell presentation. There was a selection of Kebabs - both veg and non-veg. I loved them all. But the Chicken Pizza was my favourite.



Moving to the main course, the only grouse was the Biryani which was not rich enough to be called a biryani. But the rest, Penne Arrabiata, Malaysian Flat Noodles and finally the Roti with Dal Makhani were too good.We were too stuffed from the various starters, to even try the rest of the mains and had to leave the them for another day.

Finally the desserts, I loved them all. I just cannot single out any one. Maybe thats because I had a few mouthfuls of all of them. Next time I will return with a bigger appetite.

Food here is well worth the money. The place is huge and I cannot believe that the place was packed for Sunday brunch.

Ambiance:
The ambiance here is simply stunning. We were seated in the Volvo Lounge, a little informal dinning zone, but that what the doctor had ordered for the occasion. I most certainly liked the out door dinning. A definite date/ romantic evening location.

Service:
I really don't have the best words to explain the superb service given to us. It would be an understatement to say the service was fantastic. Also a surprise bonus was the staff doing a flash mob to Gangnum style song.

Price:
The Sunday brunch without alcohol is priced at Rs 2000/- nett. Plus taxes should work somewhere around Rs 2400/- The food is worth the money paid here. So if you are looking for a great Sunday Brunch please do not give this place a miss. Flying Elephant truly flying!!

Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Service - 9.5/10
Price - 8/10

Park Hyatt is located on the entrance of Velachery High Road on 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.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Entree, Hotel E, Whites Road

23:05:00

I had received an invite recently from Entree inviting me to dine at the restaurant. For a proper non-vegetarian, dining at a veg restaurant can always be difficult. There have been times that, I have made it a point to have a piece of chicken to wash off the veg flavor. Since I have many veg friends I decided to put myself in their shoes to see how an all veg buffet fares. Entree is located inside the Hotel E. Or should I say inside Express Avenue. The restaurant looks more like a continuation of the lobby. There was a dj playing music and a large crowd dining. I was quite surprised to see the restaurant to be quite packed. 





Food:
The day I had visited, Entree hosted a Chinese food festival. There were many Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling trying to impart a festival feeling. I am pretty sure that's were the Chinese bit ends. Soup from the buffet was served on the table. It was a clear soup with various veggies in it. The soup tasted bland and required helping from salt and pepper plus spicy ketchup. While I was cleaning up the soup, golden fried baby corn with chili sauce was served. Corn was made crispy thanks to the golden batter around it. Tasty!!!










I did a few rounds around the buffet, I was quite surprised to see risotto, ratatouille and augratine being part of a Chinese food festival. But then I did not mind, I took a few spoonfuls of these. There were some Chinese style mixed vegetable gravy and teppan style cooked veggies and also a Thai style noodles. All pretty decent. Walking around the buffet I also found some mushroom pulao, curd rice which I did not sample. But the paneer gravy and dalmakani was really tempting. I sampled both with some Indian bread. I must say the Dal makani was rich and fabulous. I quite understood the reason for the large North Indian crowd at this point.



Just as I was thinking of venturing to the desserts, the chef offered us fusili pasta in creamy white sauce. I was quite stunned by the difference in flavor from the buffet and the ala carte. I quite understood the fact that the buffet is a buffet and ala carte is something else altogether. The pasta was served with a soft and crispy bread. The combination was quite deadly. Next there was a quesadilla which again was fabulous.




Just as I thought of moving to the dessert from the buffet, the chef surprised me by serving some heavenly delights. A hazelnut tart of sorts, a baked yoghurt with freshly cut fruits and finally a chocolate sampler. The chocolate sampler had 3 different types of chocolates, with dark, regular and hazelnut chocolates. Of the lot my pick was the baked yoghurt which simply was a bite into heaven.

The buffet menu keeps changing so it should be interesting. From the end of the meal I could understand that the restaurant is strong in Indian and Italian cuisines. 

Ambiance:
The ambiance looks like a continuation of the mall, but then again it feels different. I definitely liked the rotating chairs. Very stylish.

Service: 
NA

Price:
The buffet is priced at Rs 600/ head. Which is value for money. But if you are a little picky then have the ala carte. A meal for two should cost Rs 1300.

If Italian and Indian food is what you want here is a fine choice.

Entee is located inside Hotel E. They do have another entrance through the Express Avenue Mall.

If you like what you are reading, Please share it with others.

*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, 11 February 2014

Moon & Sixpence, Hablis, Guindy - A CFG Showcase

17:52:00

Located inside the swanky looking, newly opened Hotel Hablis is Moon and Six Pence. It is a Irish Pub, first of its kind in Chennai. Food served here is contemporary Pub food. Before heading here I did my homework as to which dishes tasted the best and how the entire fare was. Zomato rated the place as average. But I wanted to find out how it was.



Food:
The food section kicked off with the Stuffed Mushrooms. It looks like your usual mushroom balls served with Wild Rice. But Veg food at a Irish Bar seriously!! Anyways the stuffed mushrooms were nothing great to write home about, it was little soggy.



Next to be served was the Stuffed Scottish Salmon. I cant really vouch for the scottish part. But the Salmon was fresh and smoked to perfection and the stuffing of the crabmeat was just divine. Seafood lovers, please dont miss this. I am a T-totaler so I am not sure not what goes best with it.


Next up was the Sriracha Wings, which was crispy fried chicken wings in Sriracha sauce and topped off with Bleu Cheese. This was just heavenly! No other words to explain. The bleu cheese helped enhance the flavor in a big way.


Next dish was the The Moon and Sixpence Salad which had fresh assorted veggies such as carrot, beet-root, sundried tomatoes and cucumber. I managed to take few bites into it before the vegetarians stole it away from me. It was refreshing... a few pieces of chicken or tuna would have made the dish the non-veggies choice.

In between all these dishes I sneaked in a couple of mocktails with lychee, pineapple and mango as bases. Also got to sample some other mocktails the others had. But I liked my Mango and Red Bull mocktail the best.


Next to be bought to the table was the Supion which was pan fried squid on a bed of flat pasta. Yes! that green pan leaf kind of thing is the pasta. The squid was simply delicious. It resembled a lotus in a pond.


Next was the Sea-food Bisque. It was a prawn and spinach in a seafood bisque foam. I would advice you to avoid it. The prawn lacked flavor and the bisque was not to my liking. Then came a dish which was really different. Something which I have never had before. Wild Mushroom Cappuccino, which is a mushroom soup with a hint of Cappuccino served with toasted garlic bread. Bread + Mushroom cappuccino soup = heaven!! Do try this instead of the bisque, I am sure you would not be disappointed.


Next to be presented was the Moon and Sixpence Club Burger. They did look a awfully small and would not last two bites. But this lamb patty, cheddar cheese loaded, onion & lettuce burger was delightful. It would be great to see a larger version of the same, filled to the brim and be a greasy monster.


Next was the Lamb Steak and Mushroom Pie - braised lamb pieces with mushroom in a rich gravy topped off with Mashed potato crust. A dish in which I wished it had a Beef replica. This was the best dish of the day, by a mile. Loaded with goodies I sure the other would agree as well.


Fish and Chips was served after the lip smacking Lamb Steak & Mushroom Pie. Crispy light fried fish served with Tartar sauce with Fries. Amazing! The fries served were thick and none of the thin stuff here. A good pub is a place is one which serves great fish and chips and burger. I think they have got both these bases covered.

Blackened Chicken Supreme a grilled chicken served with blackened spice and grilled vegetables. I know you would have wondered how I had managed to eat so much? Keep thinking.. .The blackened chicken was another deadly dish of the day. It had deep peppery flavor to it. I just loved it. I am sure every one would.


Next there was a Oven Roasted Salmon. Some people liked it, it was not up my alley. Felt the lovely fresh salmon was wasted in this preparation. There was no flavor what so ever in the fish.






After all these dishes came the Moon - Sixpence Stew. Lamb was cooked to perfection. Many raved about it. Again this was not my cup of tea. The lamb shank lacked flavor, but the stew by itself was loaded with flavors. Inspite of pouring the stew on the lamb, it was just bland.  After this came the Open Ravioli with Pepper Coulie which was a flat pasta filled with various veggies and cheese in red coulie. Since this was a vegetarian dish, I bet a veggie would be a better person to judge this. But I found it palatable. Finally after so many dishes came the Pot Roast Sandwich phew! roasted lamb with caramelized onions - very tasty.

A quick recap on the dishes to have -
1. Stuffed Scottish Salmon
2. The Moon & Sixpence Club Burger
3. Sriracha Wings
4. Supion 
5. Lamb Steak & Mushroom Pie
6. Blackened Chicken Supreme





After so many dish we were finally served with  desert. There was a warm Apple Pie & Ice Cream and Bailey's Cheese Cake. I would pick the Bailey's Cheese Cake over the later. It wins hands down. A very soft cheese cake. One of the best I have had in a while. 

They had a selection of authentic Irish coffee which is  blended with liquor.

Food is nice. With a little bit of fine tuning and tweaking they could go a long way.

Ambiance:
The place reminded me of the Mclarns Pub in the television series "HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER". It is also supposedly the largest pub in the city. There is a small snooker table at one end of the pub  in case you want to challenge someone for a free drink.

Service:
NA

Price:
The price points are very decent, with main course priced at Rs 400 odd. A meal for two should cost 2500 including the drinks. Again depend on what you drink.They have a unlimited domestic beverage plus 2 starters priced at Rs 2500 and the same with imported beverage for Rs 3500/- for a person. 

Moon and Sixpence is located inside Hotel Hablis, which is just before the Kathipara flyover when you arrive from Nandanam.

If you like what you are reading, Please share it with others.

*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, 8 February 2014

Laham, Kilpauk

15:46:00


Looks like Kilpauk - Anna Nagar has become the hub for Middle-Eastern food. With easily 18 outlets which serve up Shawarma and Grilled Chicken, its a non-veggie's paradise. The latest entrant to this food scene is Laham located near Kelly Signal. Laham with its contemporary interiors feels more upmarket when compared to the rest here. To add to  this there is a Bubble Tea joint called Tas Tea right next to it, which is more like a sub-let of Laham. Since this place is only a few days old, a small group of foodies decided to visit & sample what was on offer.



Food:
The group of foodies ordered Chicken Shawarma, Hariyali Kebab, Shish Tawook and Chicken Sheik Kebab. To drink a couple of bubble teas.


I was new to the Bubble Tea concept. Mr.Chennai Foodie, was raving about it on our ride to Laham. I chose a Lychee Ice Tea with Lychee Topping for my Bubble. First sip and it was just like a regular tea. Where did the bubble go! Next sip I pushed the straw to the bottom of the beaker and took a sip and then I felt the bubbles (jelly like substance) rush into my mouth with a fruity tea flavor. Very different and definitely a first for me.


Before the next dish could arrive, the owner recognized the group as his school mates and joined us. He disclosed his elaborate vision for the restaurant. He informed us that it had been only a few days since the place had opened up and so the entire menu was not available. He told us that he would be launching burgers to the menu soon. This is something I am really keen about. Chennai has a drought of burger joints. I surely hope that this fixes it.

Next came the Chicken Shawarma, it was kubbus stuffed purely with chicken and minimal amount of veggies and small dash of garlic mayo and sauce. I am definitely a person who loves more non-veg inside a dish and I sure liked it. The owner told us, the kubbus is being sourced from Zaitoon as of now as the kitchen is not fully functional and he hopes they would be able to make their own soft kubbus soon.

Hariyali Kebab and Chicken Sheik Kebab were tender and cooked to perfection. Shish Tawook was juicy but different. It had a distinct coal flavor to it. The menu has various other items such as the rices, roti and some gravies. Should return some other time to sample the full menu.

Ambiance:
Seats about 40 people at a time. Contemporary furnitures all around.

Service:
They have just opened up, so I would wait for talking about it.

Price:
Most dishes are priced at Rs 200/- each. So I am guessing it should work about Rs 1200/- for two.

Laham is located in Kellys junction right opposite to HDFC Bank Kilpauk.

If you like what you are reading, Please share it with others.

*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.