المساهمون

Powered by Blogger.

Search Modal

Saravana Bhavan - A ramble

Saravana Bhavan - A ramble

The photo is not from Saravana Bhavan. In Chennai, very few restaurant chains are debated so much. Lots of Chennaites, think this place is crap, a whole bunch of others swear by this place. But in the preceding week, three incidents happened and in two of them, I had to have lunch here. First. My friend who came down from the US was telling me that his and his wife's families wanted to go out for dinner to a 'nice place' and I casually asked him where they were going and the answer was Saravana Bhavan. WHAT? People go to Saravana Bhavan for a nice family get-together dinner? Really?  Second, we had a business meeting and three people flew down from Bombay. Two of them landed first and the the third guy landed after 3 hours. The first two were reasonably adamant that they wanted to eat 'Only at Saravana Bhavan. ' While we were having lunch there, the third guy calls and when we asked him if we can get him some sandwich or something to eat, he immediate reply w

Learn More
Kapila Dasa, EA

Kapila Dasa, EA

Dasaprakash was a landmark that not too many Chennaites will forget, but strangely for me, the mention of Dasaprakash takes my memories to Mysore because during my childhood, the annual Ooty, Mysore, Bangalore holiday had the Mysore stop at Dasaprakash and I still remember the crisp masala dosa. Briefly there was a mini Dasaprakash in Kilpauk which folded off soon and to see the Dasaprakash in a whole new 'fine dine' avatar at EA mall was quite overwhelming. From English speaking staff to an elevated dining area within the restaurant to the expansive window side seating; everything was new about the place. And I had a few grouses as well. But the food, was excellent. Mysore Masala dosa, pongal  and sambar vada was our order and I quite liked them all, but I must add that I am used to a different 'Mysore Masala' and this one was a simple masala with lots of podi inside. Tasted good nevertheless. I am not a big fan of pongal, OK, I quite hate it, but I w

Learn More
Tryst Cafe, Gatsby Village

Tryst Cafe, Gatsby Village

The only other time I had something at the Gatsby Cafe was when there were present, I think, they lasted 10 minutes, on RK Salai, but the stuff was so good that I was craving for more. On the way to Mahabs on Sunday, we stopped at Tryst Cafe and I was quite wowed at their offerings. Tryst Cafe, apparently ships fresh bakes every day from Pondy, but I don't know if that is true. I did not expect a full fledged cafe and so the setting with a small but nice outdoor seating and a simple indoor seating actually took me by surprise. At about 130 in the afternoon, the place was packed with expats. From the bakes, I picked up a baguette chicken sandwich which I thought was quite yummy and I specially like the baguette which was nice and chewy. For me, if I see a croissant in a bake shop, I must try it, at least once. The one here was good, but the crunchy exterior was limited to the top part of the croissant while the sides were still soft. Not perfect, but not bad! Since th

Learn More
Krishnavilasam, House of Classics

Krishnavilasam, House of Classics

So after one Arabian Multicuisine Restaurant, my next stop was the 'Home of the Classics', vegetarian multicuisine restaurant! If you think that sounds absurd (the specialty multicuisine part, no my eating part), then I explained that in my previous post. OK, just to refresh, I think Chennai, which moved from the multi cuisine to specialty cuisine (not entirely, but it did move), is slowly moving back to the multi cuisine concepts, so even 'specialty' restaurants are adding some Indo Chinese and North Indian foods to their menu to tap the market. None of these are really upmarket specialty places but ones that cater to the 'family dining' concept that even MNCs like McD have adopted for India. OK, enough gyaan. We were here on a Sunday evening at about 830 and waited for about 20 minutes for a table. If we came in at 930, we would have gotten a table without waiting as friends who came in late found out. I wanted to stick to the South Indian

Learn More
Zaitoon

Zaitoon

I finally went to the revamped  Zaitoon ! Yay! Though slightly confusing, I think it is fair to say that Zaitoon is multicuisine restaurant specialising in Arabian food! Does that even make sense? For me, it is slowly starting to. Krishnavilasam is a multicuisine restaurant, specialising in Classic South Indian food. I think, slowly the concept of specialising in one cuisine, but having more options is becoming the need of the hour for restaurants to survive and invariably the 'Chinese', of course, Indo Chinese, is always there along with some North Indian food! The same with Zaitoon! The restaurant was packed that Sunday night and we waited for about 15 minutes for the table and there were families all over the place. So being a large group, we had to order quite a few dishes, but that way I got to sample a lot of them. The special Zaitoon shawarma, which had quite a lot of meat, but almost nothing else, started the meal for me. I would have liked more than jus

Learn More
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

I've pretty much come to expect nothing from mall food. I mean, outlets that are generally good seem to just take mall crowd for granted and they get this, "You don't have much options so just eat the food without complaining," attitude. Slowly even the stand-alones inside the malls, the ones outside the food court have started to get this way. So as much as possible, I try not to eat in a mall, unless it is something I know is really good. A CPK for example! So, I don't know if it was the very low expectations or what, but the pasta and iced tea at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at Phoenix Market City was quite good. The berry iced tea, unlike the diluted tea and berry essence in most 'mall shops', was quite good here. The balance between the berry flavour and the tea was just right! The pesto pasta with the garlic bread was quite enjoyable too. A place like this should ideally have a stand alone in the city, like in Nungambakkam! I would go more oft

Learn More
Terrace Grill and Cafe

Terrace Grill and Cafe

While heading to Sandy's, we spotted this Terrace Grill and Cafe on top of Crimson Chakra, KNK Road and we were rather intrigued. A different restaurant that has its entry via another restaurant? Curiosity got the better of us and we ventured in via Crimson and landed on the nicely set terrace after the manager convinced us that they had awesome 'world food.' The menu suggested that their version of the world was rather small, but we went ahead anyways. We  wanted to start off safe, so we ordered a mutton grill starter from the CC menu, which came like badly made lamb satays. The crust was a little hard and chewy and was a complete disappointment. One steak with mushroom sauce which was quite nice and the second chicken steak with pepper sauce was quite nice too. So both friends got good food and my order a chilly beef burger was baaaaaaaddddd. I returned it after one bite and they replaced it with (we chose) chicken parmigiana. It was everything a parmigiana is

Learn More
Cheat's Cookie Baking Time!

Cheat's Cookie Baking Time!

So, that is how the cookies looked. That is how they tasted. That was my look when I had to reveal how it was done! This is what I saw. So there is nothing much to say. I saw the 'Do it yourself' cookies at Adoniya. They are priced at Rs. 480 I brought them home, added egg, butter and vanilla. Shaped them into cookies and put them on a baking sheet. Put them in an oven and these came out in 10 mins! They were soggy, but after letting them cool for about 10 mins (though the instructions tell you 2 mins), they became just perfect! I served and got a 'Wah Chef' look on everybody at the party. I then told them the truth. I bought another DIY Cookie - this time the choco-chip one! Already looking forward to it. It took me a total of 25 minutes to get 20 large cookies done! End of blog post!

Learn More
Pan Asian @ ITC Grand Chola

Pan Asian @ ITC Grand Chola

Seriously? A debate between Chinese and Japanese cuisine? So they fly down a famous Chinese chef, whose name I can't pronounce and they pit him up against Chef Vikramjit, who is slowly becoming my favourite Chennai chef? OK, chef Vikram might not like being called a Chennai chef, but, hey, he has the restaurant in Chennai! My first visit was invited, the next was on my own and both instances were mind blowing! So when yesterday I was invited again, I almost missed it due to a tight schedule but managed to land my backside there just in time! And boy, was I glad or not! So this is a set menu albeit with a few options! Luxurious options! While the festival is mainly focussed on whisky pairing (yes, not wine pairing, but whisky pairing), the food was outstanding! Since I was a good boy and stayed away from the 'hot' drinks, I am not going to write about what all alcohol was served, but only about the food. There was this unique amuse-bouche , with a lot of st

Learn More
Kati Rolls at Bay Leaf

Kati Rolls at Bay Leaf

So, back to the Kati Craze in Chennai, a friend of mine was raving about the Kati Rolls at Bay Leaf. After writing about the Hot Kati Roll shop on RK Salai, the one at Adoniya and then about the Kati Kebab Company, I wanted to finish off this Kati thing by trying out the Bay Leaf. Walked in there and ordered just one plate of Kati rolls. Sure, for Rs. 220, you get two kati rolls and there is the value for money factor there and since they are from Kolkatta and that is supposed to be the Kati Roll Capital of India and people who have eaten here have sung praises, maybe this is authentic, but I thought they were nice! Nothing more, nothing less. The parathas were soft, no doubt. Nice and flaky, but I missed the full bodied kati rolls from the other places. Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that they are bad, just did not live up the 'oohs' and 'aahs'. None of the other tables had kati rolls, but there was a heavenly smell, so the other foods from the oth

Learn More
British Pub Food, Marriott

British Pub Food, Marriott

I love Marriott, Chennai. This is something that I have not failed to confess anywhere and though the last time I went, the Sunday Brunch was not as massive as the video I made there, food is still good. Marriott now has a new Exec Chef, Sridhar Sigatapu, and I was, to be honest, quite unhappy that Chef Girish left, but after yesterday, all my doubts on how Marriott is going to be, were rested. While I have had pub food in a lot of places around the world (I don't drink, so in a pub, that is all I could consume), I have not had it in England! So what better way to get an idea if this is the real deal than go with someone who has spent a few years in the British Pub Scene!?! Fazil and me were there with two more friends and we almost licked every plate clean! OK, almost every plate clean! The first dish to arrive was the vegetarian burger. Really? Vegetarian burger in British Food? The burger was not great by any standards and my doubts about how the meal w

Learn More
Adoniya Academy and the Biriyani Connection!

Adoniya Academy and the Biriyani Connection!

So, the cup cake queen who graduated to home baking all cake queen has now further post graduated to guru level! Maaria from Cafe Adoniya who started (ok, started marketing it perfectly) the designer cup cakes has taken the Adoniya brand, added Adoniya Academy to it and has started imparting baking lessons to those who want to learn! Not surprising, considering that this is a natural forward move for any enterprising home baker, but when I heard that she was teaching Biriyani making, I was more than just intrigued. And then, I found that another home cook, Tasneem Ayub, whom I fondly call, Tasneem Aunty and whose Biriyani and Zafrani Sweet is to die for, is doing the teaching! Whoa, the academy is now having guest teachers! I was late for the event, but of course, just in time to taste the biriyani made in front of a 19 keen women and 1 man! OK, two men, me included, but I was clicking away and tasting away! The chicken biriyani was outstanding, but the sh

Learn More
Banner Image Placeholder
2017 Chennai Foody. All rights reserved. Designed by Infinyteam.