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 a shell is just too good a dish to miss. Its fried inside a shell, juicy and finger licking good. The place does justice to finger fish, one of the world's favourite finger food, however the french fries that come along leave much to be desired. Who cares? Head to a billion other places for good french fries, you come here to eat what this place offers!

For main course we ordered 1 ceylon egg paratha as my experience here says that it is too large for one person.......especially if you have had starters and are planning to have desserts too! The ceylon egg paratha is two thin sheets of paratha stuffed with egg and mutton. Costs Rs 140, and has two large pieces which is quite a meal by itself. The other two of us ordered half a butter chicken with 1 butter naan, 1 soft paratha, 1 tandoor paratha and 1 special paratha. The butter chicken in this hotel is very different from most other places. There is a lot more tomato, a little lesser butter and lots of cashews. The taste is very different from most conventional hotels and is well worth a try. Among the breads, the first three are exactly what they are at most places, but the special paratha definately needs a mention. Its like a paratha that is then fried in oil. Its oily, unhealthy, heavy and yeah, TASTY with all capital letters and a heart attack on the plate! You should have their chicken minced steak at least once, its a taste that you only get here! Things are Indianized and South Indianized, so don't expect authenticity, just good food!

For desserts we had one falooda and one chocolate sunday. The falooda was neat and the chocolate sunday comes differently on a cream base with one slice (not scoop) each of vanilla and chocolate ice creams with chocolate pieces, nuts and chocolate sauce with two waffers. Neat!

The final bill was Rs 780. The place does not normally levy a service charge so make sure you tip your waiters. I was told that when you are a gang of more than 6 people they levy a service charge which to me is a very fair practice. So you only add VAT to your original bill.

Waiters hardly know english, but they are very helpful and serve with a smile. Service is quick. Food normally takes about 20 min to be served so be prepared for some waiting.

Do not attempt chinese here, for the noodles are horrendous, but the fried rice is a popular dish here which people eat with butter chicken masala. The other popular dishes are the the Chicken Minced Steak which is a heavenly dish at this place, the fried prawns, the roast chicken and the pulao. Though they also serve some chop suey, I would not advice them, however some people with a die hard Indian taste will love the Indianization of these dishes and even the noodles! On most days the biriyani here is above average and definitely better than most 'tomato rice' being served in some places, but if you are there at one of their special days, biriyani will blow your mind.

A nice family place that has decent prices, no frills interiors and service.

Food 8/10

Service 8/10

Ambiance 5/10

Price 7/10

JewelBox Restaurant is located inside Hotel Blue Diamond on Poonamalee high road bang opp the old Dasaprakash!