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Wharf

Wharf

A nice looking shack, complete with wooden chairs, tables and tree barks running through, with fresh fish, lobster and prawns on display and multiple stand alone tables facing the Bay of Bengal is what you see when you enter the area of the Wharf at the GRT Temple Bay Resort in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. The view tells you that this is no ordinary place and the food later on will prove it to you. You are served with the Beverages menu, and needless to say in a 5 star property, you have a choice of Indian and Imported Liquor. Apart from beer, all of us ordered only mocktails so I cannot comment on the Liqour. The menu strives to serve a variety of cuisines, but in a restaurant like this with shacks, they could have stuck to grilled, tandoor and the likes. Among the meat eaters, we ordered for a Moroccan Chicken Steak which is four nice juicy chunks of chicken marinated and grilled with some kind of spicy sweet sauce. The next was the catch of the day which is the choice of fish coo

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Opal Inn

Once known for its steaks and 'Meal by itself' dishes, Opal Inn somehow went into hibernation for quite sometime. With reports that the place was not up to its mark and poor food and service complaints, I did not feel like visiting this 'once upon a time' restaurant. The last time I remember going there was in 2000, when I did not really enjoy the food. But last Saturday afternoon, after debating for a long time between Opal Inn and Sparky's, we tossed a coin to make the decision and headed to Opal Inn! Soon as we entered, we could not help but notice the cleanliness of the place. The interiors were neat- definitely not like a worn out old restaurant! We were seated and we decided to order 3 'Meal by itself' and one of my friends wanted to try kulcha and gravy. I was surprised to find 'Diamon Grill', my 90's favourite from Opal Inn. We ordered one each of Diamon Grill, Devilled Prawns and Grilled Fish, with 2 kulchas and buttered vegetable gravy

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JewelBox Restaurant

JewelBox Restaurant

This place is almost as old as Madras itself! Started in 1974, as a part of the Blue Diamond Hotel, it was, apparently, at one time in history, the 'in' place! No renovations, no upgrading of the restaurant, no change in interiors, in fact some of the waiters have been around for a few years too and no change of arrangement. But if it is comforting, the quality and taste of the food has remained the same too, atleast for the time that I can recollect. Delayed at a meeting, 4 of us headed to and were hunting for a place to eat at 330 pm. With some reputed restaurants being shut at 3, we were hovering around and decided to enter this place. For me it was a kind of nostalgia, for I have not eaten here in a very long time, though I always knew that this place served great food. And there were about 6-7 tables that still had clients in them and the waiters were kind of busy too! So we settled down and placed our order for starters. Finger Fish and Fried Crab- the fried crab in

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Barista

Chances are you will find a Barista outlet every time you turn either left or right! Most outlets are eclectic and yeah, most of them have a guitar, however, only a few outlets have a guitar with all 6 strings intact!  Onto the thing that matters, the choice of coffee here. Choices of coffee is quite wide with cappuchinos and cold coffees in a million flavors. My personal favourites are the Barista Blast which is a nice tall glass of cold coffee with chocolate sauce, ice cream and whipped cream. Apart from this, most other cold coffee is just, well, cold coffee in different flavors. I must say that the Hazelnut flavor is one of my favourites there, though the black currant is not bad either. They also serve decent Iced Tea in a couple of flavors and they are not great, but not bad either- passe. Hot coffee are really not my cup of 'tea' so I would refrain from commenting on them. Among the short eats and cakes, the double chocolate and the chocolate excess cakes are too good

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Fisherman's Fare

Located in the crowded Casa Major Road-Hall Road junction on Egmore just before the Don Bosco School, Fisherman's fare has carved a name for itself. Originally set out to serve good seafood, the place has evolved as a good source of comfort food spanning both sea and land food (no pun intented).  The chicken and lamb dishes are as good as their seafood and branding is probably they have not changed the name of the restaurant. Fisherman's Fare serves good combo lunches for busy executives. The combos are well thought out, filling and well priced. For most of the East Asian and Tandoor combos, you have a choice of rice/noodles/naan with a small cup of gravy, a small portion of dry/semi gravy dish,  a small salad and a soft drink served in one go and priced between  Rs 140-Rs 170. The Indian combos are relatively cheaper between Rs 100-Rs 130 and served with Rice/Chapati, Gravy, Rasam, salad, pappad and a soft drink. The oriental combos are tastier and do justice to the price. T

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Bikes and Barrels

Bikes and Barrels

Placed on the first floor of Residency Towers on T. Nagar , this is a pretty sob re place for a drink and food, American Style. The place has two levels and any group without women only get to use the second level and I totally fail to understand why. A fairly neat ambiance, with a small party place on first level and a mezzanine second level from where you get to see some action below. Nothing brilliant, but very well organized with a nice huge Bike hanging from the ceiling. Apparently their bar tenders are not the best in business and many a times, my friends instructed the bar tender on how they want their drinks after tasting his skills (or the lack of it) at the counter. And so, I always have my recipe for my mock tails as I don't trust their skills with that either. However, their chefs, on the other hand, really know what they are doing. Food here is brilliant, has the best quantity among most places I have been to and in taste, it is on par with Zara and even the Leather

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Bombay Blue

Another addition to Chennai's food scene, Bombay Blue managed to find a place right in the heart of the city. Located right next to the Alliance France on College Road, the place seems to be packed every time in spite of a number of bad reviews. I don't understand what the fuss is all about because I had a satisfying experience there. We were a group of 4 really hungry guys, looking out for a nice Sat night dinner and decided to give this place a shot. 2 of us were against going there after reading a few reviews, but hey, I need to see how bad a new place is, or else I cannot be having a blog like this. So I forced them to get here. We had to wait for about 20 minutes, but they make you sit comfortably on their sit out, with nice chairs and a table even, so its a good place to chat around. Once we got in and got the menu, we were dumb struck. This place is aspiring to serve a little bit of everything around the world. Right from pav bhaji to steaks, they have every cuisine o

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Kabul

Kabul

Noted to be a great place for North West Frontier food, the service in recent times, especially during weekends, when they run full, leaves much to be desired. For example you might find that something you ordered might not be served at all, but worse, claimed that it was definitely served. We did bring it to the notice of the manager, but how would you complain about waiters not assigned to your table conveniently ‘not looking’ at you, rather than excusing themselves and asking ‘your’ waiter to come over? So you have to wait till ‘your’ waiter sees you waving your hand. But that said, the food at Kabul is still one of the best in its cuisine. Do not let a plain menu fool you, the food being served is definitely worth more than the simple printed 2 page menu and the prices. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian are equally good and close to authentic. You have a choice of fruit drinks served in decent sizes, my favourite however is the jal jeera-a great appetizer.

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Rain Forest

If I were to state that dinner at this restaurant was one of the best eating experiences of my life, I wouldn't be lying. Apparently they do not accept reservations on weekends and so I had to wait for 45 minutes, however being a group of 4 friends, time flew while we placed our orders while waiting. And this is the first time I am experiencing a restaurant actually serving free 7 Up for its patrons waiting to be seated. The atmosphere is brilliant. The place is dimly lit with fountains and stuffed dolls of animals all around. Its serene and lives up to its name of Rain Forest. There are speakers around which don't play music, but emit growling sounds. Indeed very well done! We placed our orders while we were waiting so as soon as we were seated, our food was served. We had Chicken Wanton and Tom Yam soup. The former was like in any other resto , but the Tom Yam here is very different from the ones I have had at noodle house, Lotus

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Pergola at the Accord Metropolitan

Pergola at the Accord Metropolitan

Cool breeze and a Fantastic Ambiance greets you as soon as you walk out of the elevator! A smart guy greeted us and showed our table, right at the edge of the terrace. The atmosphere is indeed superb. As I wait for the rest of my friends to arrive, I ordered a non alcoholic margarita, my choices were lemon and strawberry, and I chose strawberry. It wasnt great, but was not bad either and was a good time pass while I waited for my friends to arrive! When they finally did, we ordered 3 different drinks, all non alcoholic, from the limited mocktail menu. All 4 (including my margarita) tasted similar and that left us wondering if they have just one drink with different names and glass sizes! For starters we ordered one portion of Minced Chicken Keive which was the waiters suggesstion and one portion of 'South Indian' Fish Fingers. THe keive was exactly the same 'chicken balls' that you get in the ground floor shop at Chennai City Centre for Rs 50. The taste, the size,

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Cornucopia

Update: Cornucopia has moved to Adyar and is now a part of Crimson Chakra. Nestled in a quite old fashioned house on Cenetoph Road, little would you expect to find a culinary experience that is almost new to the tongue in every way. No, this is not the place to head to, if you want good chicken tikka masala or the Indianised versions of Chinese, burgers or anything of that sort, but if you do not mind experimenting and introducing new flavours to your tongue, then get here!!!! Cornucopia is supposed to mean plenty, however the portions of food are tiny and barely serve one person! But I must admit that the taste, the quality and the service justifies the price you pay. We decided to skip the soup and go straight to the starters and ordered Stir fried prawns and Stuffed Buffalo Wings. The stir fried prawns was gravyish and tasted good, but the size of the prawns leave you gaping, rather searching the bowl for the pieces cos each prawn is about a few micrometers in size. Tastes

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Mocha

Mocha

Update: Mocha has shut in KNK road is now at Adyar as Mocha Mojo Among all the 'elite hang out' spots in Chennai where you can do your own thing without people staring at you, Mocha probably has the best food and has more than something to do with its immense success. Though the place has turned out to be a teeny hoppers paradise, you will find quite a few 'adults' just chilling out with friends and spending long hours there. The atmosphere with the outside setting, the hall, the balcony, the famous toilet seating are all quite an experience, but quite a lot of people get the vibes of being in a 'drug dealers hideout'. The toilet seat in particular is unique, its basically a toilet that has been converted to seat people, so you can sit on the western closet and have your sandwiches or sink into the bathtub while you have your Current Cooler. The balcony is a nice place to hang out with friends with the privacy you need while you make a racket. The inside ha

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Cascade

Cascade

One of the Oldest Fine Dining Restaurants in the city, Cascade has been a favourite among elite food lovers for a very very long time. It has had its ups and downs and a change of location too, but the quality has been maintained all along. Known for its HUGE portions of food, the place is a bad idea if just two people are pay a visit, as you will not be able to do justice to the food and its quantity and will turn out to be expensive unless you are both big eaters. So its a bad choice for a date, but if a group of people are getting here, its worth every penny you spend. Soups are excellent and come in large quantities. Don't even think of having a bowl of soup all by yourself. The waiters will advice you to order one portion of soup for 3 or even 4 people. You will be served empty soup bowls and a barrel of soup will follow. The soups are priced between Rs 140 and Rs 160, but considering the fact that almost three people can have full bowls of soup, it is actually cheap. The s

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Mainland China

Mainland China

Probably, one of the best Chinese Restos in town, this place is not only great but continues to re invent itself at impressive intervals. The resto is spacious with a variety of tables and each having a decent amount of privacy, but is invariably full to the brim and more often than not, you need a reservation to avoid waiting crazy hours. The soup and starters are simply superb, the best among the soups being the chicken coriander soup and the chicken wonton soup. The prawn cocktail soup is not far behind either. Among the starters, the momos are awesome. Both the chicken and the prawn varieties are superb. Golden fried prawns are mouthwatering and so are the lemon garlic prawns. The lobster suggested by the waiter was stunning and I don't think it was part of the menu, but you can ask for recommendations and they are invariably good. Dragon Chicken goes well with most soups and also with rice so serves both as a starter and a good side dish. Among the main course, the Shanghai ri

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Movenpick

Movenpick

The funny shaped building behind KNK Road houses Movenpick on the ground floor. Probably the most eclectic of the ice cream parlours, Movenpick has probably gone through the phases of fantastic starts followed by falling business and is now trying to resurrect its old charm. The atmosphere is fantastic, with a mix of bar stools, regular tables, a library that is very private and cozy and an innovative floor seating. The place serves some brilliant ice creams and sorbets. In their bid to adapt to the markets, they even introduced sandwiches and paninis , none of which was received well by the crowd, though an occasional chicken panini is not a bad offering. Coming back to what they originally set out to do-serve good ice creams, they have more than just managed it. A few years back when they first started out, this place served fantastic ice creams and sorbets with never heard before choice of flavours. Their strawberry, lime, walnut and hazelnut flavours were almost like eating

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Havana

Havana

Havana has created a niche for itself with the Salsa Nights which is invariably their most popular day of the week from them, apart from the usual Sat night crowds. The place is pretty neat and has a nice 3 way bar counter and one side which has nice comfortable seating. Apart from this there are pockets of tables and a plasma screen at one end. The opposite end has a neat wooden dance floor which is slippery at most times. The place has the week nights dedicated for different genres of music and so you have Latin music, rock nights, desi nights and hip hop nights while Friday through Sunday is regular club music. The most popular is the Wed 'Salsa' Nights. They play good music with an assortment of Salsa, Jive, Cha Cha and Bachata and you can see some professionals and students from various Salsa teaching dance schools practicing there. The finger foods are alright and the non alcoholic drinks are a passe. My friends tell me that the drinks are alright and there is nothing

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Pelita

Pelita , a Malaysian cuisine resto in T. Nagar has had mixed reviews in view of its authenticity. Some people who have been to Malaysia say that it has nothing to do with Malaysia whereas a friend who has lived all her life in Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore swears by it. Well, the only thing that mattered to me was that the food was good and I dint care if it was authentic or not! Though I did keep telling myself that I was eating some Malaysian food. There are two seating areas, one outside facing the road amongst trees and bushes and one on the other side of the glass doors and windows which is air conditioned. You can keep seeing the Chennai roads while you have your meal. The outside is a good option at night, though if a polluting lorry passes by (which invariably it will at least once during your meal), it might spoil your meal for a short while. The starters, well, we had Chicken Satay which for me was one of the best dishes I have had. Though we ordered one plate for 4 of us

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Casa Picola

A great joint to either have a quick lunch, an evening out with friends, a place for a good first date or to even have a business meeting over lunch. The place started out serving only European dishes, did not do well, but like most good organizations learnt the Chennai market and adapted well to cater to both the average meal eater AND the clients who come looking for the 'old' Casa serving close to authentic Euro foods. There are three seating areas-the one on the first floor, a outside terrace that has about 2 tables and the roof top with cane chairs, sofas in a nice relaxed atmosphere (no points for guessing that its open for service only after the sun stops beating the water out of your body). The roof top is a good place to go for a date or to just chill out with friends. You also get to smoke hookahs in a variety of flavors here. The starters were not great, but some of the soups and salads are extremely good. The beef soup is something to die for. Nice soft chunks of

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Cafe Ashvita

This is an art gallery house that has a cafe at the rear end. The cafe has two seating areas-a garden area that has about 5 tables and the lobby area that has a few bean bags with funny chairs in many sizes and shapes, so its not really possible to quatify the number. Being an art art gallery, the owner decided to have a cafe to serve his guest spending time at the gallery and has not really concentrated on the cafe. However it just turns out to be a great hang out spot. Chilled out place where you can do your own thing and no one really bothers you. A place where we go as a gang and make a lot of noise and play the guitar and sing along, but you will also find a few men and women sharing a smoke at the garden,people coming up with movie scripts, some of them just reading books and a few couples cozying up. Its this chilled out atmosphere that is the attraction here and thus the food is not a real concern, however a few dishes are really worth the money you pay. The chicken burger that

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Cool Nature

Cool Nature

Pav Bhaji Style Ice creams is what it is at Cool Nature. Cool Nature at Ispahani Centre serves ice creams in an unique style-you choose your ice creams and toppings, and you get it smashed on a sparkling granite stone. How the stone enhances the taste of the ice creams (if it does that is) is beyond my comprehension, but the atmosphere is relaxed and chilled out. The place also serves pastas, sandwiches and other short eats, however its best to keep yourself away from them (you can have some food at Marrybrown and get here for the ice creams) and stick to the ice creams. When you get to the counter, pick a couple of flavors. The guy will place the icecreams on the sparkling stone and kind of mash them, however the ice creams do not get to the liquid consistency. He just kind of pokes at it with two large spoons and you can decide if you want your toppings to be mashed along with the ice cream or just have them as toppings on your icecream. The other option is to go for their fixed mixe

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French Loaf

French Loaf is a cake house that serves bread, sandwiches and croissants and of course cakes. The place is small and so are the tables, but its a good place to just chill out and the eatable are mostly very very good. You have four aspects of food there-the sandwiches, the bread, the croissants and other bread stuff stuffed with fillings and the cakes. For the sandwiches, you get a piece of paper with all the variables in it to make your order. You tick whatever you want and hand it over to the waiter and it will be served just as you asked, totally customized. Though the concept is all nice, the sandwiches are not, they are just alright. The bread stuff, are mostly very good. Especially the chicken quiche-creamy, yummy and fatty. The frankfurters are alright and the croissants are really nice. You have a wide choice of such food in both veg and non veg fillings. The bread- you have a host of choices of french loaves, garlic loaves, soup sticks, multi grain bread etc etc etc, in white,

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10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

Right amidst the chaos of T. Nagar with all the bridges coming up, a refreshing wide parking space with courteous valet drivers greet you to this wonderful place! After the formalities at the entrance that hosts big bouncers and a smart manager, you are allowed to enter this place! Welcome to 10 Downing Street or 10D as it is popularly known! A typical English atmosphere with nice music, very well placed tables, just the right amount of lighting and very courteous staff are the first few things that greet you when you step in. When your seated in the comfort of your chairs, you are not rushed into placing your orders, but given ample time to choose. My experience there is limited to non alcoholic drinks and finger food, but I can assure you that people who came with me had a good round of drinks and no one seemed to complain. In fact we visit there quite often so......... The apple margarita (and mine was non alcoholic) is one of the BEST EVER mock tail tha I have had. Wonderfully done

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HogDog

Hogdog is an 8X8 sized two men manned, hot dog outlet. At present, you can find it at Spencer's third phase on the first floor next to the Nike and Java Green outlets. You choose your choice of eating styles out of two options-on the stick or in the bun! Then you choose your meat (from chicken or mutton) and then the sauce mix you want on your hot dog (you can choose between mexican, bbq, chicago and tangy). You will get your hot dog in less than 1 minute after placing the order! I have tried all the permutation and combinations available and really have nothing to complain or rave about any of them! However its a quick meal, a couple of them will actually fill you for a while (if you are an average eater that is, we are not talking about monsters) and will not burn a hole in your pocket! The hot dogs in the bun are priced at Rs. 50 and those on the stick at Rs. 30 and will be a good munching meal while you shop!!!!

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Copper Point-GRT

A great place to go for Indian food. Slightly on the expensive side, but hey, what can you expect from a hotel of that standard. The food is authentic to a large extent. This review is based on the food served to a group of 11 people, 6 of those were vegetarians, and 3 people had alcohol. The setback- Rs 7800. The starters, we had murgh chicken, lemon garlic prawns, chicken porichadhu and a couple of fish starters, the names of which I cannot recall. All of them were excellent and very well made. The prawns were specially good and succulent and the right size, the chicken was also very good, juicy and well made. The fish was alright and the porichadhu was pretty good too. For the main course, we had murgh malai biriyani which was not bad, and some mutton gravy that was not on the menu. The waiter suggested that we try it and so we did. Pretty good! Desserts-were typical Indian desserts, nothing great, but not bad either. We tried gulab jamun, jelebi and vanilla ice cream. The service-

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Marhaba's Thirumana Biriyani

Thirumana biriyani... I must say that after a long time, I had biriyani close to the ones we make at home and close enough to the Muslim wedding biriyani...the biriyani with the brinjal curry was VERY GOOD!!!! It will cost your Rs 65 a plate and the chicken 65 ,Rs.50. They serve brinjal, onion raitha and sweet on the house and its unlimited. The serve pineapple kesari or pineapple halwa on most days and both taste extremely good. Though its on the house, its also unlimited so make the most of it! Rs. 115 seemed decent for a plate of good food.....Its crowded and you might find a stranger sharing your table if you are a group of 5. They seat 6 people on every table immaterial of the size of the group, so prepared to lose your privacy. Anyway, its not a place for business discussions. Its a place to eat and get out! They also serve pepper chicken, fried prawns and plain biriyani amongst other side dishes. Vegies, dont even think of entering this place!!! Thirumana Biriyani is locate

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Cedar's- Sunday Brunch

Here's a complete review of the Sunday Brunch (Dated Jan 2007) EXPENSIVE!!!! 375 plus tax, it cost us Rs 840 for two!!!! Book In Advance!!! Good that I booked early, because it was full when I went there and only the two reserved tables were free!!!! Its a small place so gets full early and people spend forever there so few chances of getting a table cleared. However when you call to reserve a table, do not be suprised if the guy at the other end of the phone seems lost. However do not judge their service level with the pathetic service on phone reservations. Their table service is in fact very good. Food If you like exotic food- 8/10 If you dont- 2/10 The menu is of four parts- The Buffet, The table, The pizza and The egg. The pizza and the egg are made to order and they are not bad...Not great either!!! The buffet Its a good spread.....The grilled minute steak was AWESOME!!! I could live my life on it....Try it with the brown bread and its bliss...Had a huge helping of that

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Casa Picola- Express Lunch

Had the express lunch at Casa! Hmmmm.....Lip smacking. You choose your soup, your salad, your gravy/pasta and a mocktail! The mocktail is served first. He offered us a watermelon with lime mocktail. Superb! The best part is that the whole lunch is served in one setting. So in a nice huge tray, you get the three things you chose along with two slices of garlic bread (it was fresh and super tasty today, and its the first time I am having such lovely garlic bread at Casa, hope they can maintain that bread) and a bowl of herbed rice. We had a beef soup (I cant get the name but there is only one beef soup, so ask for it, it was stunning), chicken salad which was like, well, chicken salad with macroni. Nothing special about the salad, just simple, cold and tasty. I had the stroganhof while my friend had the spicy oriental chicken. Mine was simply superb, however the spicy oriental was very average. It tasted like some local chinese hotel's dragon chicken gravy (but i guess thats how its

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BBQ Nation

BBQ Nation

Its a nice and spacious place. The concept is a lift off from Melting Pot, however you only cook your starters here, so I was not too exited about the concept, which, however I think it caters wonderfully to the Indian audience. You have a live grill on your table and the starters are brought on skewers and placed on the grill for you. The meat was slightly precooked, so you bbq them on your live grill for only a short time. And you have a choice of marinades to bast while your meat cooks, however the marinades are pre fixed for the day. And its not an electric bbq , but a charcoal one, so you get the taste that is close to authentic. The concept is not so exiting because you only do the last part of, should I say, full cooking, on your table. And today, we only had to do it with 2 or our starters. The others were brought fully done to our table. For the carnivores, you get 5 non veg starters. I did not try the fish, but the other four were excellent. The lemon garlic chicken and

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Great Kabab Factory

Great Kabab Factory

Its not a place to hang out and meet. Its a place about one word-FOOD. Loosen your waist and start. You cant order anything there and neither is it a buffet. Welcome to the Great Kebab Factory where the only choice you make is 'Veg or Non Veg'. They have a fixed menu and bring it in a particular order. And at anytime you can ask for any of those dishes, but I strongly suggest that you don't. Because when I did,I realized that as they kept bringing i was not able to eat towards the end because I had filled up my stomach with what I thought tasted great , only to realize that tastier dishes were coming up. So let them bring it to you, dish by dish. And at the end (after they serve biriyani with naan and dhal makhni ), the waiter will ask you if you want a refill of something, and at that time you can ask for whatever you think you have space for, but then again, remember that there is whole of dessert to come by too so leave some space for the awesome deserts to follow. B

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