Grill Ministri

What would you expect to first see when you enter a restaurant? A person welcoming you maybe. A bunch of waiting seats maybe. What else can you think of? We saw a giant chair with the print of a crown right when the door was opened. That was the first impression. 3 foodies, all stunned. We were then seated at a nice seat and the first thing that came to my mind was the space between tables. No intrusive and the person next table doesn't really have to see you sweat! The owner, Prateek, all of, OK, no age mentioning, whatever age joined us for dinner! And right through dinner, talking nineteen to the dozen, he kept us entertained! But the food did much more of the entertaining.

Free Tandoori rotis? For everyone? No, but for everyone who orders any gravy or side dish. Why? Because the guy who makes these Tandoori Rotis has been doing this in Punjabi Dhabas where, apparently the rotis are free. That's why! So the dinner started off with a Shorba, that tasted good, but wasn't really shorba. Modified to suit the South Indian Palate was why! Changing the name from fine dining place to Family Dining has made a huge impact on business, apparently. But the prices haven't changed, the food quality hasn't changed and the heart hasn't changed, apparently. Whoever said, 'what's in a name' should be woken up right now! But, back to the food, the shorba had a some cream to it, which is why it tasted the way it did!

The dinner continued. The kebabs arrived. Juicy kebab after another, the Banu Kebab, the Afghani Kebab and another excellent kebab (sorry, forgot the name), arrived and disappeared in no time. The Tandoori Chicken though wasn't impressive and was a let down! Main course arrived. Mutton Roganjosh, Butter Chicken Masala, Dal Makhni and wait! What was that? Rumali Roti? But isn't Rumali very thin? Prateek laughs. That their Maharaja Naan. Chewy, humongous and yummy, this was so good that we didn't appreciate the free Tandoori Rotis! When we finally did, those rotis were good, too, but the Maharaja Naan was a killer. Yes, it has some black spots, but when you make such a huge naan, there is bound to be uneven heat spots in the tandoor! The dhal makhni wasn't spectacular, but was better than most ones you get in Chennai. It has been cooked slowly over about 12 hours, while the two gravies were excellent. The meal was over with gulab jamun and rasamali, but the night wasn't done. They insisted that we click a picture with us on the 'throne'. But no obligations after that. You email it to them, they will print and put in on the wall next to the throne, forget about it and they won't bother you!

Buffets are done on request and start at Rs. 435 per person, while the a-la-carte prices were surprisingly reasonable. A meal for two, without anything fancy, a starter, a gravy, free rotis, and dessert to share will cost about Rs. 600! Or you can go crazy too!

With the passion that Prateek exudes and clearly not know how he manages with these prices, I hope they maintain this quality of food because the price point is excellent. The only draw back is the location, which is tucked away in Mogappair, but if you're in 'that' side of town, this could be your regular adda, but if not, it is worth a visit at least once. I am going back soon, though!!!