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Est, Hilton

Est, Hilton

Slowly, but surely, eating out is becoming expensive. And cheap! Uh? Contradicting, right? What seems to be happening is that the per person eating out at common places are slowly going high. And for something similar, the 5 star prices are coming down. Now, a first look at the menu and this may not seem right. Prices look ridiculous for a casual eating out or meeting with friends, but over the past two years with a lot of business meetings in the coffee shop of hotels, the overall bill is a little startling. And that is why when our friends came down from the US and a bunch of 10 of us had to meet, we met once in a comfort coffee shop and eat well. We paid about Rs. 6500, which is about 650 per head. And for the second time, we met at EST, Hilton. This time we paid about Rs. 6900! Thats why opening statement that is contradicting itself! So we had lots of cake. The ones on the counter are priced lower than most coffee shops! We loved the mango cake and the pistach

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Cheesecakes at Taj Coromandel

Cheesecakes at Taj Coromandel

I don't have a luck for winning contests. In fact, I don't even remember the last time I won something. Friends win stays at Grand Chola and shopping at Phoenix, but I don't. And then I did. Complementary wine for two with any meal at Prego, the fantastic Italian restaurant at Taj Coromandel. What's the use of that for a teetotaller? So I wrote to Taj and asked them to give the prize to someone else. Very sweetly, their twitter handle changed the prize to appetisers and dessert for two. I was ecstatic. I was jumping. I was boastful. I was on cloud nine and ten........ I was also, yes, yes, yes, forgetful. I forgot. When did I realise this? When I won again. This time, same hotel, same restaurant, but cheesecake making session. This time I was aghast. Sad. Self Kicking. Not because I won, but because I missed the previous awesome offer at Prego. I was determined to make it up this time. I also had an agenda. La Patisserie, the awesome but discreet cake

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Dimsum Festival and Pao, China Town

Dimsum Festival and Pao, China Town

I know I say this about most things, but I do like dim sums. More than dim sums, I love Pao! Not just after Kung fu Panda, but much before that. The Pao , a veg one at Nicky's got me salivating. But, the toughest part of dim sums, is not making them. I think, its shooting them! I have had trouble taking decent photos of dim sums, and thankfully this time around at the Dimsum Festival at China Town, I think I made a decent attempt. China Town suffers from a severe location issue. While located on the mainstream RK Salai, it is trumped by its more flamboyant cousins, the Zara's Tapas bar and Copper Chimney. If you can get past the dingy passage and go up the lift located like a treasure hunt, the food normally leaves you surprised. Comfort food, Chinese chef, a buffet priced around Rs. 575 with lots of starters and desserts besides the typical main courses. It is a happy go lucky place with lots of tick boxes that once in a while comes up with stuff like Dimsum F

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Nellai Express

Nellai Express

I think it takes a lot of guts to open a restaurant that serves a cuisine from a very specific region which is a little different from other cuisines. Not by much, but enough to scare away a lot of people. Nellai Express serves a rather forgotten-in-the-cities cuisine and the name takes shape from the Nellai Express train that passes through the region. So, what is this specific cuisine? I don't think it has a name. Some call it the Thirunelveli household cuisine. Some call it the Thirunelveli Muslim household cuisine. Some call it the Around-Thirunelveli-home cuisine. Really no name. No name like Chettinad or Chinese or Italian. Which is why I guess it takes some guts. There are places that serve something similar, like Blue Diamond, but they are multi cuisine. Here, they serve only one. Guts, really! Before the restaurant opened for public, a few of us were invited and some of us liked the food and some of us connected with the food. I was from the latter group. The f

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