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Bengali Home at Hyatt Regency

Bengali Home at Hyatt Regency

A Bengali Home. Food. Hospitality. Now, when the executive chef of a 5 star hotel, Subrata Debnath, a Bengali, who claims that his wife is a better cook than him, invites you over for a Bengali food festival at his home, the Hyatt Regency hotel, I was more than intrigued. A food festival from the home of the executive chef has to be different from most food festival that any hotels host. You might bring an expert, you may bring in a consultant, but when the head chef is the consultant and the expert, something had to be different. Hyatt has a lot of food festivals, some which I loved, some, not so much, but I had to go for this. The Thali . A Bengali Thali . Where fish is considered vegetarian. The chef laughed and nodded. My friend, a hard core non vegetarian, was vegetarian for the day. The chef, consoled him. "When you go to somebody's home, most of the food is vegetarian, no?" he asked. "So here also, there is lots for any guest who is

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Absolute BBQ, Chennai

Absolute BBQ, Chennai

So, how do you write about a place that has been written so many times? It has been done and dusted.  It has been praised. It has been pulled down, but consistently, the place is packed. And reservations are difficult. If I have to be different, I have to write bad things. But, nope, I am not going to try and be different. In Bangalore, I loved it. In Chennai, I was there for their pre-opening and I loved it. Went back after so long and still loved it! The surprising thing is their consistency. Chicken wings. Now, I hate chicken wings. Hate it so much, that even in Buffalo, I had one piece of Buffalo Wings, and then had the boneless Buffalo Chicken with Celery. That's how much I don't like wings. Now, I ate three pieces of wings here! It was brilliant. I struggled to eat, but I ate. Loved it. Their starters are consistently good! The prawns were awesome, the Sheekh Kebabs were surprisingly good and their fish was super nice. Starters are just super nice! The

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ETC cafe!

ETC cafe!

How do you mess up the order, serve the patty well done when asked for medium, serve a burger in a soft torn bun, but still make it awesome? Ask ETC cafe. Brand new cafe, with ample parking space on the first floor with a full fledged restaurant in the ground floor, ETC cafe has something about it. The prices are atrociously low! I mean, Rs. 140 for a burger in a posh cafe located on Rutland Gate? Quite unheard of in a long time. So, we heard about this cafe and decided to go in. The ambience is quirky and elegant. The egg shaped chairs are surprisingly comfortable. There is a game room with life sized Snake and Ladder, Ludo and even Connect The Dots. Let's get to the food now. I'll get the bad things out of the way first. The vegetarian club sandwich is very average. Its just a three layer sandwich with only cucumber and tomato. Not the kind of food that the rest of the food represents. The garlic french fries were also a little hard and chewy. Anyway, b

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Pasta Avenue

Pasta Avenue

Every once in a while comes along a place that seems just honest. No corporate overheads. No fancy stuff. Just a simple menu with food that is from the heart. I wrote about Fusilli Reasons, now I found another such place. Pasta Avenue diagonally opposite the Apollo Children's Hospital is now my go to place for comfort food. Menu is a little elaborate and so food takes a while to come to your table. Gladly there are only about 10 seats, so worst case your order will take about 20 minutes. Bet you, it will be worth it. Been there about three times now and every time, we try one of their fries. First the Chettinad spiced fries. Then the chilly cheese fries. Both were very nice. But their names calls for Pasta and every pasta we had over the last week was awesome. A fantastic Pasta Bolognese loaded with meat. This is where the honesty part comes in. It was loaded with meat. Really loaded with meat. The Pesto pasta was pretty awesome too. I only wish the garlic bread was a lit

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Pasta Fest at Prego, Taj Coromandel

Pasta Fest at Prego, Taj Coromandel

Festa Della Pasta? Its one way to make a festival as boring as a Pasta festival, sound interesting. I have professed my love for Prego many a times in this blog, but while they have done some awesome stuff like pairing perfume with food and things like that, a Pasta festival? But when Prego invites you, you go! Period. Probably the first Fine Dine Italian restaurant in Chennai, Prego has gotten over an identity crisis and is no longer a place you need to spend 8k per couple for dinner. While you can spend more than that with exotic wines and wines created specially for the Taj, you don't have to. A meal for two at Rs. 2500 is now possible! Anyway, how else can you make a boring Pasta festival, interesting, besides calling it some fancy Italian name? Get the Italian chef to demonstrate how to make pasta. When Chef Luca, the resident Italian chef at Prego demonstrated how to make pasta with natural colours, like cocoa and parsley water, he had the audience

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Seashell's Iftar Kit

Seashell's Iftar Kit

Make hay while the sun shine! This is apt for the growing Iftar Kits in Chennai. Until a few years back, there was no such concept, but from the time Haleem invaded the city, Iftar kits are now plenty! And when there is plenty, there will always be good and bad. Usually, lots of bad and a few good! Iftar kits are no different. This year, like I have been harping over the past few weeks, Iftar has been a disappointment. A couple of home bakers and Blue Diamond saved the day, but then one Iftar kit came along and redeemed Iftar Kits! Normally parking in Sea shells is a nightmare, but that day, the adjacent street was free. I walked in and asks for the kits, but the guy asked me if I had placed order earlier for the kits. Uh? Was I supposed to do that? I said, I didn't, and he asked me how many kits I wanted? He said, he could give me two quickly, but for more, I'll have to wait. The time was only 10 mins away to break fast and I decided to take two and run home! As I r

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Chennai Home Bakers and Haleem

Chennai Home Bakers and Haleem

After my last post, I've been asked if I hate haleem !?! Whoa. Talk about the blogger not being able to communicate properly. Some were aghast that I was talking highly about haleem in the past and then the post! OK. OK. So, I love haleem . There, I said it. I love Hyderabadi biriyani too, but that does not mean that I'd enjoy poor quality Hyderabadi biriyani at the expense of good Tamil Muslim Biriyani, if all the biriyani chefs decided to serve whatever version of Hyderabadi biriyani . OK. Enough of that. Back to haleem . Till today, the best Haleem I have had is the one in 2007, by a home baker! My aunt. While I used to love the haleem served by Fisherman's fare in 2006, my aunt's haleem trumped it. Like I mentioned in my last post, the quality of haleem has dwindled significantly over the years and even the ones who served great haleem , are now serving compromised versions to suit the mass market. And then last year, refreshingly, came along Afsar M

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