Friday, 23 October 2015

Awadhi Food Festival @ The Verandah, Taj Connemara, Binny Road, Chennai

09:36:00

India is a country of vast cultures and different types of food. A single dish varies across the length and breadth of the country. Of all the different sub-cuisines available my favourite has always been Awadhi or Lucknowi cuisine. One simple reason as it was the seat of power the Mughal empire, with which came the influx of Kebabs into the Indian Subcontinent.


Taj Connemera or Vivanta by Taj or however one would call it, has an Awadhi food festival on till the 25th of October 2015 at the Verandah. Also has flown in a Lucknowi chef for the same. This is a kind of food invitation which I should not miss. But sadly I had declined as I was held at work. But then as I was done with work on the day of the event, I gave a buzz to the foodies who had ventured in for the Boomastic food festival. To my luck they were just about to enter the Main course. Zoooom!!!! I went and joined them. So here goes the rest.



Food:
Starting of with the mains and then venturing into the starters has its benefits as you get to enjoy them together. My star pick among the main course was the Nihari Ghost which was one of the most succulent lamb Indian preparations I have come across in a long time. It was absolutely fantastic. Combine them with Romali roti or Shermal or Chicken Biryani - BLISS!!! I sampled a little of Dum Kofta Biryani along the Nihari and I must say, I continued raving. At this time I was served with a bit of starters both veg and non-veg. But I loved the veg Khoya Khubani ke Kebab the best. One of the best use of apricots I have come across.






The desserts were nice. But something was missing. Yes Yes! It was the Galouti Kebab. So we had a word with the Chef and returned again on Monday to check out the Galouti Kebabs. Soft succulent Galouti Kebabs along with Shermal and Pudina Chutney and a bit of onions rolled into one decadent wrap. WoW!!! Absolutely mouth watering! If you are a sucker of succulent Galouti Kebabs please do not miss the food festival.

Ambiance:
The typical Verandah ambiance, but looks like Taj has painstakingly restored the hotel. Looks much better than the last time I was here.

Service:
As always top notch.

Price:
The Awadhi food festival is available as a part of buffet for dinner and it is priced at Rs 1500 + taxes.
This food festival is on till the 25th of October 2015.

Disclaimer : Invited review.

PS: Thanks to Chennaifoodie for the food pics.

Taj Connemera is located on Binny Road next to Spencer's Plaza.

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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.


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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Fusilli Reasons, Kilpauk

21:04:00

All veg dine-outs are becoming popular of late. One such amazing shops is the Fusilli Reasons which has opened its doors at Kilpauk. Though it has been here for a while, I have never had the chance to click proper pictures, as I have failed to carry my DSLR with me. Thankfully my Samsung S6 is doing the trusted duty. So here goes the story.



Food:
A short foodies meet up. So we decided to share, yes SHARE! Nachos, Garlic Bread with Beetroot Mayo, Pasta both Pesto and Cheese types and last but not the least Ice Tea. Nachos was bloody brilliant, loaded to the brim with cheese. Never been a big fan of Pesto, so the Pesto pasta was just flat for me.


The Cheese variant was much better, yummy yumm yumm! To finish it off we had the Garlic Bread toasts with Beetroot Mayo which was simply superb. They do have different toppings for the garlic bread, but we just know that beetroot mayo works the best. To wash all these dishes down we had the smooth Ice Tea.

Ambiance:
A small cafe kind of setup which seats around 12 people at a time. But jam packed all the time.

Service:
Self service.

Price:
The total cost for this meal was Rs 240/-. A very pocket friendly meal.

Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Price - 9/10

PS: Pictures shot using Samsung S6

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Fusilli Reasons is located on the road opposite to Vaishanavs Kitchen on Ormes 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.


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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Plan B, Greams Road, Chennai

18:38:00

Plan - B, yet another resto-bar which I have been wanting to visit for a long time, mainly for their juicy, tasty burgers, finally happened last night. Chennai Foodie and myself being TEETOTALLERS had fun with mock-tails yet again, while the only the non-teetotaler friend had fun downing some spirits.


Food:
We kick started the proceedings with mock-tails, Fluffy Duck and Crazy Colonel. Fluffy duck was lychee based drink which had a nice sharp kick to it, while the Crazy Colonel was orange juice based drink which was nice too.


For starters we had Chicken Loaded Potato Skins, Fiery Chicken and Beef Chilli Cheese Fries. I definitely can't single out which one of these would be my favourite. Each great in its own right. My only grouse was with the Beef Chilli Cheese Fries. I was expecting the beef to be served on a bed of fries but it was the other way around. More meat and less amount of fries to be used as a dip. Nevertheless it was amazing!




For mains we had the Tenderloin Steak which was medium done and the Juicy Lucy Burger. The steak was served on a bed of Mashed Potatoes which was fabulous, no clumping what so ever with a slight hint of sweetness to it. The mushroom pepper sauce gave a nice spice balancing effect to the potatoes. The meat was soft and succulent, a perfect dish I must say. Reminded me of the steak I had at Cheesecake Factory in Abu Dhabi. Definitely returning for this.

The Juicy Lucy Burger on the other hand was nice, but just not the kind I was hoping for. I was hoping for a really juicy and greasy burger, but this fell a little flat being more manageable and clean.


We finished our meal with the best desserts I have had in a long time - Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Trio. Absolutely decadent!

Ambiance:
Lovely music played on one of the best setup acoustic systems I have come across. Loved every bit of it. If you are a person who loves HOUSE, CLUB, ELECTRO music and also loves to have a good meal, this is a place to be.

Price:
A meal for two should cost around Rs 1500 to 2000/- depending on your order.

Disclaimer - Invited Review.

Plan B is located on the road opposite to Sea Shells on Greams 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.


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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Nicky's Cafe, Ethiraj Salai, Chennai

16:37:00

A short meet up with the foodie gang, never ends without food being part of it. We headed over to Nicky's Cafe at Ethiraj Salai after the quick meet up. Surprise, Surprise this was a Eggetarian / Vegetarian Cafe. Well this may not be my 1st time to vegetarian cafe, but eggetarian cafe in Chennai was quite surprising.


Food:
The proceedings started of with Macaroon as the Chennai Foodie just loves them. Not the traditional Tuticorin kind, but the imported Frenched up Macaroon. I have never been big fan of bite sized dessert portions, because I fail to understand why they should cost a bomb. Coming to the taste, I thought it was pretty decent, but the foodie seemed to love it. Maybe someone who loves these kind of stuff will be able to appreciate it better.




Next we had a English Cheese and Egg Sandwich which was refreshing. Albeit a cold sandwich the filling and the bread gave it a great taste. Then we had Chinese Steamed Pau, the food that KUNG-FU Panda loves. This was the first time  that I have had a steamed bun. But I must say it was spectacular. The chinese filling was amazing, the chilli sauce and the steamed bun combination was WoW!!! Loved every bit of it. Will definitely return just for these. Since we were still kind of hungry we decided to get the Pesto Pizza Roll which was very average.



Just to satisfy our sweet tooth we had a Orange Chocolate Dome and the Chocolate Cheesecake. The Orange Chocolate Dome was decadent, with orange peels in it. Orange gave a nice zing to it. On the other hand the Chocolate Cheesecake was sweetness overload. I was done with just two spoons. The caramel was really sweet, with nothing to balance out the sweetness. Food overall was a mixed bunch, but the Steamed Pau and the Sandwich are just enough to tip the scales and lure me for another visit.

Ambiance:
A typical cafe kind of dining. Nothing over the top here.

Service:
Spot on!

Price:
Now this is where it scores big in my book. Our actual bill was Rs 549/- not a big amount, we did have decent food. But then we used Graaby Rewards and got our bill down to Rs 349/- Big value for money.

Food - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Service - 8/10
Price - 8.5/10

PS: Pictures shot using Samsung S6

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Nicky's Cafe is on Ethiraj Salai right next to Ethiraj 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.


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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Big Bang Theory - Bar & Kitchen, Kodambakkam, Chennai

19:19:00

The bar scene in Chennai is quite different to the other states in India. To have a bar in Chennai, you had only two options. One had to go down the route of TASMAC. If not, it had to be tied up with a hotel which had a minimum of 20 odd rooms. Finding a good 2nd option was really tuff. Thankfully the bar scene is improving along with it the bar-food scene as well. The recent entrant into the bar food scene was the Big Bang Theory - Bar & Kitchen.


Food:
I was here with a small group of friends for lunch. Since we were all TEETOTALLERS we had our fun with Mock-tails. They had a enticing package of 3 course meal combo for Rs 395/- nett including  choice beverages which runs between 12pm and 3pm. We were all interested in the lunch combo which seemed pocket friendly and had quite a few nice dishes on the choice menu. We decided to get different dishes so we could sample each others dishes.




For starters we chose the Buffalo Soldier, which was essentially a crumb fried chicken, Tommy Yummy - crisp fried chicken in Tom Yum sauce  and Gosht Rider - minced lamb kebab. Of the lot I liked the Gosht Rider, but the portions were really small, just two pieces, definitely not meant for sharing. The mocktails were decent. I had a cranberry based mocktail while the rest had Virgin Pina Colada and Pineapple based drink.




For mains we had Moscow Love - basically Chicken Stroganoff, Italian Job - Penne with beef Bolognese  with garlic toast and Mughals - a Chicken Tikka Masala Biryani. Of the lot my pick would rest on the Chicken Tikka Masala Biryani which was quite nice. Tikka complemented the biryani and was yum. The Pasta was nice, but had a severe buttery taste to it, while the Stroganoff was bland. It was quite apparent, the kitchens strong point rests in Indian dishes.


For desserts they had a choice of ice cream or a BBT Sundae. We chose the latter - Vanilla ice cream with small pieces of Brownie and Jello which was decent. Overall the food was decent if you knew what should be chosen. The portion size is kind of minuscule but the price paid was decent. I vaguely remember having bigger portion sizes at similar outlets, but just not sure.

Ambiance:
The resto-bars decor seems to be straight lift out of the sitcom Big Bang Theory which I feel looks funky. For the people who follow the sitcom it would look really cool.

Service:
This seemed to be their biggest minus. Our starters were served a good 1hour after we had ordered. Seemed like they had forgotten our order, which definitely killed our appetite.

Price:
Lunch combo priced at Rs 395 /- nett which includes a choice beverage was well worth it.

Food - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Service - 4/10
Price - 7/10

PS: Pictures shot using Samsung S6

Disclaimer : I paid for the meal.

Big Bang Theory is located inside the Brown Star Hotel on Dr. Ambedkar Road, Kodambakkam.

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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.


**Want instant reviews follow me on Instagram!!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Absolute BBQ, T- Nagar, Chennai

11:26:00



One restaurant which has announced its arrival to the Chennai food scene in a big way was the Absolute BBQ. I have witnessed its growth from strength to strength. Concept is very similar to an already existing restaurant, but then super sizing is just next level stuff, thats just what Absolute BBQ has done. This review is a compilation of multiple visits here at different times.


Food:
The only option here is the buffet and there is no ala carte fare here. But the buffet is just enough to shut any person about missing dishes. The items on the buffet remains same for the most part with a slight alterations here and there along the week.  Food service starts off with a mix of on-table grilling and a few starters served on plate. There is no discrimination between veg and non-veg foodies here. The same number of dishes for both, so one does not feel left out.



Usually I am stuffed by the time I am done with the starters and I just head over to the desserts. I did just the same this time as well. As this is a compilation, I thought I would list some of the dishes which were worthy of mention.



Firstly the Pineapple Strawberry Shaker drink served inside a pineapple is absolutely Bindaass!!!! Both the drink and the way it is served is top notch. BBQ Chicken wings part of the recently concluded Ay Caramba food festival was fantastic. Mind you I had atleast 4 to 5 pieces of the lovely succulent wings.



Then there was the tender, well marinated Jamaican style Mutton grill which was superb. Then there was this interesting looking chicken lollipop kind of dish which turned out to be a Corn-pop, was really good. Also they had a nice pepper grilled steak served with mustard sauce.



Apart from these, the usuals - the American Cheesy Potato and the Grilled Pineapple are simply outstanding. By the time you chow down the starters you are most definitely full. Next course you would move on to is the Wish Grill!! 

Here you have exotic meats and veggies to be blended in a way one would fashion. I ll just stick to my strength - the meat section. Rabbit, Quail, Shark, Octopus, Duck, Prawns, BBQ Chicken, Country Bird... Phew that's a large list. Mix them with egg, noodles and various selection of sauces and you could have  various combinations, that would be difficult to count. This concept is more like the live noodles counter at Chap Chay.


At this point I just move over to the desserts and pick my favourites Pan Ice Cream and the Saffron Phirni which was simply brilliant. I would just return for the Pan Ice Cream which is fit for Kings.

Ambiance:
Very, very noisy! It could be a turn off if you want a quite dine. If not, you would love the experience.

Service:
Simply fantastic, very attentive. The chef personally talks to the diners and is always willing to change the type of preparation according to the customers tastes.

Price:
The buffet here is priced on a average of Rs 699 - 899 depending on the day and time you dine in.

Leaving all this aside which sound interesting, getting a seat here is a big pain. I have been disappointed 'n' number of times trying to make a reservation. So if you could get a seat then you are in luck and make the best of the meal.

Disclaimer : Invited Review.

Absolute BBQ is next to the Hotel Residency, T-Nagar.

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.