Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Copper Kitchen, Saligramam - Iftar Pack 2015

13:07:00

My 2nd Iftar Pack for this Ramadan season was from Copper Kitchen. Picked this one up from their Saligramam outlet. They have retained the design of the box from 2013, which was quite nice to begin with.


Moving to the box contents.

Grape Juice - 1
Bottle Water (200ml) - 1
Haleem - 1
BBQ Chicken - 1
Mutton Biryani - 1
Chicken Kothu parotta - 1
Dates - 2
Assorted Fruits - 1
Kheema Samosa - 1
Kheema Roll - 1
Raita - 1
Gulab Jamun - 1

The box is priced at Rs 199/- net


First this box has had some items deleted from it since the 2013 and hence the mark down on the price. At Rs 199/- it was fantastic value for money for the dishes it is loaded with.


The positives first. I loved the Grape Pulp Juice. It was fantastic. Absolutely refreshing! The Haleem was really nice and almost comparable to the Sea Shells Haleem. The quantity served in the box is quite less, but never the less it was tasty. Also a huge improvement over their previous attempts. BBQ chicken was juicy and tasty.


Kheema Roll and Samosa were decent in-spite of it being a little dry. Chicken Kothu Parotta had loads of flavour, but sadly I could not consume more than a few spoonfuls as it was spicy hot. I strongly believe they should reduce the spiciness of the Kothu Parotta as consuming spicy food at the time of Iftar is quite difficult.  Finally the finishing touches with Gulab Jamun was quite nice.


My only gripe with this Iftar box was their Mutton Biryani which was way off the mark. It tasted more like ginger rice.

Smaller but significant touches which I liked were the small fork given for consuming the assorted fruits and also separate pack containing cutlery, tomato ketchup, paper tissue, toothpick and mouth freshener.

This box is fit for a consumption by a single person only. But for the price it is well worth it.

Food - 8/10
Price - 8.5/10

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Copper Kitchen Saligramam is located diagonally opposite to Prasad Studios.

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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, 26 June 2015

Galouti King, Harrington Road

22:25:00

I am a sucker for Galouti Kebabs. If a restaurant has it on the menu, then I need to sample it. Such is my love for Galouti Kebab! I had recently come across a post on a social media forum about Galouti King located in Harrington Road. The description went on to say a lot about it. Light Bulb!!! I just had to relish it.



Food:
They have a fairly small menu, in which chicken and mutton Galouti in both Mumbo and Jumbo sizes were included. Since Mutton Galouti is the true one between the two, I went with it. As I like super size, I picked the Jumbo one as a take away. 5 mintues flat the Galouti Kebab was ready as a wrap and ready to go. Zoooom!!! I reached home took a few clicks. Wrap was quite warm even after I was done clicking the pictures.


Now about the Galouti itself,  I was disappointed! The good news ends with the aroma and the size. Bad bits start off with the Saffron Roti which was thick and mildly chewy. Next I was expecting the meat to melt in my mouth which it did not and it needed a little muscle work. Finally I wanted the wrap to be juicy which definitely was not. Maybe a dash of chutney will help this cause. But the meat being hard cannot pass off as a Galouti as it kills the essence. Call it a Katti Roll!!!



I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to them as I had a take away . I wish to see how it fares in a dine. But I am still skeptical as my commute plus  taking photos would not have crossed 15 mins at the max.

Ambiance:
NA

Service:
Quite quick and Friendly!!

Price:
I paid Rs 300/- for two Jumbo sized Mutton Galouti Wraps. For the price the size was quite substantial but definitely need to improve on the quality.

Food - 5.5/10
Ambiance - NA
Service - 8/10
Price - 7/10 ( based only on the size and not on the taste)

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Galouti King is located inside Cuckoo Club Diner on Harrington Road which is 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.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Friends Restaurant, Karaikudi

11:46:00

Wish there is a guide like Zomata for small towns as well. If there was one like that I would have quite clearly stayed clear of this restaurant. Yes the only chance to dine out at Karaikudi was ruined all thanks to Friends Restaurant. This restaurant came highly recommended by a friend of mine who had dined over a year ago but I guess the restaurant has taken a dive for the worse.


Food:
It was a Sunday and we entered the restaurant around 2pm and were waiting to place our order. Meal started off with a disappointment when the waiter said it is closing time and not all the dishes were available. Since we were really hungry and did not want to hunt for another joint we went ahead and ordered our meal.

7 Chicken Biryani
2 Scrambled Eggs
2 Prawn 65
1 Prawn Pepper Fry
1 Crab Pepper Masala
1 Fish Fry
2 Chicken 65
1 Meals
2 Bottles of Water
2 Bottles of 500ml Pepsi


We wanted Mutton Biryani which they informed  us, was over. So we swapped it for Chicken Biryani. When the Biryani was served it was really cold, they didn't even make an attempt to heat 'em up before service. This really put us all off. Next Carb Masala did not feel really fresh. Scrambled Eggs and the Prawn 65 were the only saving grace, were decent.


Meals service was totally disappointing as the rice was dead cold and we had to keep calling them to serve rice and gravy.

Ambiance:
It looked pretty decent, but they definitely need to maintain it in a better manner.

Service:
They had only one waiter manning 4 tables. The worst bit was, he used his hands to serve the fish off from the plate and after a while had the same hand scratch his head. I was totally disgusted.

Price:
The meal for nine of us cost Rs 2980/-, not worth a single penny.

Food - 4/10
Ambiance - 4/10
Service - 1/10
Price - 1/10

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal

I have no clue where it is located. I had used Google Maps.

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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, 21 June 2015

Sea Shells, Anna Nagar - Iftar Pack 2015

14:02:00

The holy month of Ramadan is here with Muslims all over the city fasting and mostly Iftar is a close family affair. But the current world scenario has changed to a great extent that everyone is held up at work. So the working man's on the go meal is what all the restauranteurs are targeting with the Iftar in a Box deal.


First up for this Ramadan month I decided to try out Sea Shells. Not much has changed here from the previous year's box. Apart from the yellow/green box turning purple. I wonder which brilliant mind at their marketing department changed the box. The color combo on their previous years box looked really upmarket. This I have no words.


The Box Contents:
Fresh Juice - 1 glass
Bottle Water - 1 (250ml)
Dates - 1
Assorted Fruits -1
Chicken Samosa - 1(Large)
Chicken Shawarma Roll - 1
BBQ Chicken - 1 piece
Kubus - 1
Kerala Parotta - 1
Haleem - 1
Mutton Biryani - 1
Chicken Gravy - 1
Mayo - small container

The entire box costs - Rs 320/-



Firstly the fresh juice served in the box was the Mango Juice which could be the perfect start to breaking a fast. I am guessing the juice is changed everyday based on the availability. The Chicken Samosa was large and tasty. I did not feel like sharing it.  Coming to Chicken Shawarma, this is by far the best shawarma which came out of an Iftar pack. Really juicy and loaded to the brim with chicken. BBQ Chicken with the Khubus was perfect. The chicken remained tender even though it was cool. 



Haleem in this box is the best in the city this season. If you are a Haleem lover do not miss it. Perfect soft texture, combined with great flavor beats the other haleems hands down. Yes I have already compared it with the Haleem from Pista House. Link - http://goo.gl/VSUtlo

Biryani was quite decent. The only annoyance to me was the Chicken Gravy were the pieces were present with the fat. 

Food - 8/10
Price - 7.5/10

Disclaimer - I paid for the meal

Sea Shells, Anna Nagar is located near the main roundtana in Anna Nagar East.

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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, 20 June 2015

Haleem Wars Part 1 - Pista House Vs Sea Shells

20:43:00


The holy month of Ramadan (when Muslims fast for 30 days) has started. The Ramadan spell has begun in  earnest in many restaurants in Chennai.

Haleem a recent entrant into Chennai has received loads of love from the city which also loved Nombu Kanju (Rice Porridge) before.

The word Haleem gets its name from Persian for patience because of the time and effort  needed to prepare it. Haleem is made of wheat, barley, meat, lentils and spices sometimes rice is also used. This dish is slow cooked for seven to eight hours, which results in a paste-like consistency, blending the flavours.

I decided to pit two of the most famous Haleem in town. One which has won numerous awards and is shipped over to Chennai from Andhra Pradesh and the other a local grown. Pista House Haleem Vs Sea Shells Haleem.



Food: 
So first about the much acclaimed Haleem from Pista House. It is priced at Rs 160/- every where. That is what is given on the web. But I was charged Rs 180/- at Star Biryani. Never mind that.


Going forward: After breaking my fast I pulled a spoonful out of the nice looking jar. Firstly it was soft and easy take out, soft in consistency and tasty. But as I had a couple of spoons I started getting pieces of bones which became an annoyance. 


Next up to complete the comparo I took a couple of spoonfuls from the Haleem in the Sea Shells container. This haleem was a part of the Iftar box and I had not purchased a separate container.



The haleem was much thicker in consistency, maybe they use a different meat to lentils ratio. But it is very apparent that it was much richer and had better flavour profile. The best of all, the important aspect of relishing haleem was not hampered by the presence of bones. 

Winner - Sea Shells Haleem, but only by a small margin. I did like the haleem from Pista House, but just that I liked Sea Shells better. It is just my opinion and it is subject to change between individuals.

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Pista House Haleem is available at many outlets in Chennai. This was picked up at Star Biryani
Sea Shells had many outlets all over Chennai. This was picked up at Anna Nagar outlet.

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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, 19 June 2015

Hotel Kannappa Chettinad, Trichy

17:21:00

Finally had an opportunity to relive the fantastic gastronomic food at Hotel Kannappa at Trichy on my recent drive to Karaikudi. Big thanks to the married couple Mrs & Mr. Sathapan for making this trip happen.

What happens when a bunch of carnivores walk into non-veg paradise and go on an all out attack? Here is the rest of the story.


Food:
Seven hungry souls enter for lunch. Let me just list out what all we had and then try to explain them down.
We had
5 Mutton Biryani ( 3 Basmati Rice & 2 Seraga samba )
2 Mutton Kola Urundai
2 Mutton Brain
2 Nethili
2 Chicken Chukka
1 Pigeon Masala
2 Sets of Parotta
2 Chicken Chettinad Masala
1 Chilli Parotta
1 Chilli Paneer.
5 Falooda
1 Tuti frooti

I know the list is little huge. But we licked each dish clean.


Firstly a comparison between the Basmati Rice and Seraga Samba rice. My pick will be Seraga Samba hands down. Basmati rice had a very mild flavour and just could not hold its head with the Seraga Samba. Both the biryani had wholesome pieces of mutton.

Mutton Kola Urundai Vanished at the same speed it was served. Yummy Yummy... Mutton Brain was sort of an introduction for a few people in our group. I must say they loved it. Too bad they missed it all this while. Nethili was crispy fry and fresh. It just kept going in. Chicken Chukka too was fantastic. But I was too occupied with Brain and Nethili. The only dish which was not upto my liking was the Pigeon Masala. Found the taste a little weird even when it had the similar masala to Chicken Chettinadu. Could be because I have never eaten pigeon before or I could not pull meat apart from the bone.

Chilli Parotta was kind of like a appetiser for us. We just finished that in no time. I did not get to taste the paneer so I will reserve judgement on it. All in all the Kannappa is a proper non-veggies paradise. A place to dine if you happen to pass through Trichy.

The Falooda and Tuti Frooti were almost identical except for the swap of vanilla ice cream for strawberry ice cream.

Ambiance:
The restaurant has an ambiance similar to your Anjappar and Ponnuswamy. No complaints here.

Service:
It was quick and efficient. Very attentive and they put up  with our over exuberance.

Price:
The bill amount for this fantastic spread of meal was Rs 3250/-

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

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Hotel Kannappa Chettinad is located inside Grand Gardenia at Mannapuram Junction, Trichy.

Link to my previous visit here : http://goo.gl/5vRPbz

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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, 18 June 2015

Puff, Puff What Puff Do You Choose? - Various Sources - Part 1

14:39:00


Puff, Puff what puff do you choose? Yes, I have been faced with this dilemma, time and time again. This happens when you expect guests to come home for tea. This puts you in a predicament that you need to serve up quality snacks. A Muslim hold has quite a few options

1. Chicken Puffs
2. Cutlets - Chicken, Fish and Mutton
3. Curry Poornum aka Patties - Chicken and Mutton
4. Samosa - Chicken / Mutton

Either two of these or go all out and put them all on the plate and impress your guests. When going all out its quite difficult to prepare them all in your house. In that case or when you are running short of time to plate up items its easier to buy readymade food stuffs of the shelfs.

So doing a part-1 round up of just the puffs. All the above the pictured Puffs are Chicken and were consumed at the same time after heating em up in a microwave for 30 seconds. So this eliminates all the bias. Pictured along with the puffs is Pound Cake from Jenne Ferrer


First up I had the Chicken Puff from Jenne Ferrer. Jenne Ferrer is located behind Ega Theatre, Kilpauk. The puff looks fantastic, the best looker of the lot. It does not crumble one bit. So your guests are bound to appreciate the aesthetics when plated up. There ends the pluses. The taste was totally burnt, did not have any layer of flavour. Priced at Rs 35/- I am not sure if this is worth a buy. Your guests are going to talk about the burnt food you served them for a very long time.

Taste - 3/10
Price - 1/10


Next I had the Puff from ever famous Mc Rennett Bakery which has stood the test of time, way before all your French Loaf, Cake Walk, Cake Square and your Hot Puffs. They ruled the roost. The absence of other cheaper bakeries initially gave them complete monopoly on the price segment also. Today they are a middle player. Coming to the puff. It looks completely anaesthetic. It breaks away very easily and crumbs all over the plate. Had a tough time plating it for the photo. But there ends the negatives. It is loaded to the brim with the filling. Whats more important, the filling was moist and flavourful. Something which your guests will like and will talk about for days. Priced at Rs 20/- it is definitely worth a buy. Mc Rennett Bakery is located at multiple locations in Chennai. This was picked up from the Anna Nagar outlet.

Taste - 8/10
Price - 8/10


Finally if I did not bring the ever famous Hot Breads into the equation it would not be a correct comparison. The puff looks much bigger than the rest here. Crumbs up a little bit. But the ratio of puffs to filling is a little off. I felt the puff bit was a little more than the filling. One bite no filling in it. Next bite and then comes a little bit of filling and the third bite you get the full load of filling. Filling was quite nice, but a little spicy for my liking. I did like the puff, but the filling was not as moist as the one from Mc Rennett. Some might like this. I did like it but not to a greater extent. Hot Breads has many outlets all over the city. I had picked this up from their Kilpauk outlet. Priced Rs 35/-, it is somewhat a value proposition.

Taste - 7/10
Price - 7/10

I have not taken other bakeries such as Hot Puffs, because they are not up to a certain standard which one would venture to serve your guests.

I have not mentioned any further details about the cake as I would do compare in the upcoming posts.

Disclaimer : I paid for them

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.