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NH1

NH1

There is no way comparisons with Great Kebab Factory will not come up, so I am not going to resist the temptation. After looking for a nice place for dinner on Saturday, we zeroed in on NH1 - after knowing fully well that this was the sit down kebab buffet - the exact same style that TGKF introduced to Chennai a few years back! We booked a table for 3 and my brilliant friend did not give his name or phone number, so when we landed there and asked for our table, they pointed to three people who had just started dinner and they told us that they asked those guys if they had a reservation and they said yes! So our table was gone! So, we waited for 20 minutes as the restaurant was packed! We kept seeing the menu and pinching ourselves as there were 7 starters each (ok, bringing the TGKF - it has 5), no Gulouti Kebab, a round of Indian Breads, four gravies, two biriyanis and one dessert! So we decided that 20 minutes is worth the wait. For those who have not been to the Great K

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Bakers Showcase - 3

Bakers Showcase - 3

I have been to the second edition and it was amazing - the sheer number of bakers and their baked goods were overwhelming! Unfortunately, I will be out of town and if you liked baked stuff, get yourself to the Baker's Showcase! I am pretty sure it will be just as good or maybe even better than the last edition. I am rueing missing this out, but I really have to be someplace out of Chennai! If previous experience has taught me anything, it was the fact that you need to get here early! Within the first hour, most of the wonderful stuff gets sold! We normally use the term 'sold like hot cakes', but I am not sure what phrase to use here because they are hot cakes!!!!

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Southern Aromas, Residency Towers

Southern Aromas, Residency Towers

Very few people know that Southern Aromas exists! For most people I know, Residency Towers = Bikes n Barrels or Main Street's extensive buffet. Last week, when we were taking one of our associates for lunch to Main Street, he spotted Southern Aromas and being from Delhi, he wanted to try South Indian food! Two of them had a South Indian Thali and it was nothing to write home about! But I am not a big fan of Thali, so I just had starters there and they were great! As I was planning to write a short post, last Tuesday a bunch of us from CFG were asked to experience dinner at Southern Aromas! It turned out to be a superb night! The drink was very average and almost nothing South Indian about it. I am not sure if they have more South Indian kind of drinks - a modified Jigirdhanda or Coconut water with lime or something like that. But almost everything after that was a winner. We were served a coriander vada, not the traditional round shaped ones, but like a p

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An hour to cook - Stuffed Pie and Lasagna

An hour to cook - Stuffed Pie and Lasagna

There are times when I miss cooking, really! And then very rarely, times when I come home after work by 630! When the two happen together, non Sunday cooking happens and it is usually reasonably simple cooking - not the one where you just mix and match a few ingredients, but one that actually involves some cooking! So here is what came out last Monday! I have been eying this pie for quite sometime. It looked very simple and as you will find out later, it is very simple. All you need is some filling to stuff in it and it will make a really nice dish out of itself. So here is how you make the Stuffed pie and Lasagna. You will need a muffin/cup cake pan for the pies and a baking dish for the lasagna. There was no meat at home, so whatever described here is vegetarian, but you can add any cooked meat of your choice and it will taste the way you want it to taste. Put some broccoli, bell peppers and corn in the rice cooker, add a pinch of salt, water and boil it. I used the rice c

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Tadka Talk!

Tadka Talk!

Vegetarian restaurants rarely catch my attention. So when Tadka Talk was in its final stages of 'getting ready for public' and I was invited to check out their food, I wasn't very excited. We were given a platter of starters, four choice of gravies, two Indian breads and a dessert cocktail. The food stunned us. Maybe because we were not expecting too much or maybe I did not think vegetarian could taste this well, but Chef Arora had it bang on! The starter platter that was served was simply lip smacking. I don't remember the names of the dishes as it was served like a cocktail, but every dish in the platter was superb. The main course arrived and was the only weak link, if you could call it that, in the whole meal. The Indian breads were perfect in flavour and thickness, while the gravies were just about alright - I liked the Dhal Makhni and the paneer, but the other two were ok. The lady's finger side dish was very simple - too simple for me to have it

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Pizza Republic - a report!

Pizza Republic - a report!

For sometime on the food forums, Pizza Republic has been making a lot of noise! The owner was on the forums and was interacting actively and suddenly every scroll of the mouse or every click landed me somewhere which had something to do with Pizza Republic. And since it was far off (yes, in that part of the city), I never had a chance to visit them. Within a few weeks, I heard that they are opening another branch at Moggapair (it is equally far) and my cousin and a friend decided to check out the place. Since he offered to drive, I had no excuse to not go, so I landed my car in his house and hopped onto his for a ride and we landed there. The next 45 minutes were nothing short of a disaster. Everything I heard about Pizza Republic came crumbling down. Toppings were missing, pasta was overcooked, pizzas were burnt and flavours were outright bad! My jinx with Pizza Republic continued and I just made one comment on the CFG forum, paid and we all left, waiting outside for my fr

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Haagen Dazs arrives in town!

Haagen Dazs arrives in town!

Haagen Dazs has made its entry into Chennai, finally! I love Haagen Dazs sundaes but was never a big fan of their single (or double) scoops! Since Haagen Dazs thought Chennai was not ready for them, we could only have their ice creams bought out of a super market, but as I was never a big fan and they were always expensive and for me, I preferred having them in the Haagen Dazs ice cream bars worldwide as sundaes rather than out of the box. There always were (and still are) other options for eating ice cream at home in front of the TV. And so I am glad that Haagen Dazs, the restaurant, has arrived in Chennai. I expected the prices to be a lot more, but considering places like Amadora charge similarly, I was rather surprised to see single scoops priced at Rs 180 odd and sundaes at Rs 350 odd! We were there for the launch and tasted a few flavours. The universal opinion was that Belgian Chocolate was outstanding, probably the closest competitor to my favourite all time favouri

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Dessert Safari

Dessert Safari

If the sweets during this festive season were not enough or if you are missing those sweets and feel like having some more before you become all good and health conscious, head to Dessert Safari on Eldams road ASAP! After a nice relaxing weekend, we spotted Dessert Safari on our way back and decided to step in and take a look. The place was very eclectic at first glance and the cutlery was classy. They had three different spoons, a fork and the works of a fine dine restaurant, cutlery spread wise! The desserts looked very yummy, but when the waiter suggested we try out their savoury stuff, I was skeptical. Why should a place dedicated to desserts have chicken and puff and the likes on their menu? Is it another place that was not good enough to serve desserts that they had to depend on savoury stuff to survive? As these thoughts were going through my mind, I spotted a dish called "Strawberry crumb fried chicken". We placed an order for that and started drooling

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Estia, Aloft

Estia, Aloft

So as an extension of my mystery shopping experience at Aloft, I had the choice of having either the buffet dinner or a-la-carte at Estia. Estia is their mediterranean restaurant and it is tucked away inside the main restaurant. There is no way of knowing that the restaurant exists as there were no boards or no signs of this, and even after you enter the main restaurant, you only notice that there is a separate section and if you don't ask for it, you might just think that it is an extension of the main restaurant!!! Now that was one long sentence, but it kind of tells you about the location of Estia. Just enter Aloft on OMR and ask for it! I asked what is their specialty and we were suggested a few dishes of the menu. The menu was colourful, but not one that has a pleasing look as it was sticky all the way and sort of cramped. We decided to have a chicken soup and it was called AVGOLEMONO and since I was doing mystery shopping, I could not ask them to email me

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Mystery Shopping at Aloft, Chennai

Mystery Shopping at Aloft, Chennai

After having done a round of food tasting for an upcoming restaurant, I headed out to Aloft, a long drive away to what I call ‘that part of the city’, near the Sholinganalur junction on OMR. I normally do not write about my mystery-shopping missions as I am usually looking at things with a very ‘critique’ point of view, but this time onwards I thought why not!!! So as I landed at Aloft and the valet drivers looked at me strangely. Maybe they were surprised that someone was coming to stay with them or maybe something else was going on in their minds, but it was weird. I checked to see if something was wrong with me and I could not find anything. We opened the backdoor of our car and carried our bags ourselves and already I was starting to think that this is going to be a bad bad experience, but the minute I walked into the door, things changed dramatically! The front office manager greeted us, immediately called for someone to take the luggage and then

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Great Kebab Factory, Egmore

Great Kebab Factory, Egmore

I am starting off this new year's blogging with the restaurant that I started my blog with, the Great Kebab Factory. Well, this time around I was at their new outlet in Egmore in the Radisson Blu premises, and we got there after we almost tricked a friend into treating us for dinner as 'his wedding gift' to us! I say almost because we ended up going dutch and paying it all ourselves, but had no regrets doing so! For those who did not know, the Great Kebab Factory is a "sit down and let us serve you the buffet" kind of place. The only decision you make is 'Veg' or 'Non Veg' and after that everything is brought to your table in a particular order. You can ask for more (if you still have the space)! The place is not as fancy as their main outlet near the airport, in fact, I would not imagine that this is the Great Kebab Factory if the board was not outside and the ambiance is very so so, considering the fact you pay a grand and a half

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