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Hot Pot at On The Rocks, Chennai Adyar Park

Hot Pot at On The Rocks, Chennai Adyar Park

What more can you innovate at On The Rocks? Its been five years that the restaurant is going strong, with them putting on a chef hat on you, giving you a rock heated to 400 degrees and making you cook on the table. Conceptually, practically, gastronomically OTR has been brilliant. But when there is news that they are doing something new, it is intriguing. What else can you do? Can you put salt on the rock? Can you put pepper on the rock? Actually, they put a pot on the rock. But much before that, the bread that is served to all tables was excellent. So, its a nice soft round cut bread inside a pan, with a nice chutney on the side, but with a cut garlic roasted and dipped in oil which can be squeezed on the bun. We loved it. We loved it so much that we ended up asking for two helpings of the bread. Actually you don't have to ask, if the bread is over, the will replace it till the starters and the main courses come. Then we got an appetiser, chicken, the name

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Karavalli food festival, Taj Clubhouse

Karavalli food festival, Taj Clubhouse

While I did a small rant about buffets in my last post, yes, buffets around the city are becoming a set of average food with a lot of variety with ability to eat more, rather than focus on quality. If I had known that the invite to Taj Clubhouse for the Karavalli food festival was a buffet, I would have skipped it. Most certainly!!! And then I would have regretted it! Forever. Granted, buffets are buffets even if it is at the Taj. But when some dishes are stunners, the buffet is more than worth it. It all started off with the crab. With a nice nut cracker at our disposal, this crab cooked with spices and the shell intact was a stunner! A stunner by a long margin and the probably the second best crab I have had in Chennai, the first being the Stuffed Crab in Shell at Blue Diamond! I don't know what was so good in this crab. Fresh. Check. Flavour. Check. Spices. Check. Fantastic. Check. I could go on and on. For the first time, I had about 4-5 large pieces of crab. My

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Beyond Madras @ Citibank Restaurant Week India

Beyond Madras @ Citibank Restaurant Week India

I've been talking about how it is slowly becoming cheaper to eat out at fancy places compared to stand alone, but sometimes this can be really ridiculous. Imagine, a five star meal for 750 plus tax, which comes to about Rs. 900! And that includes super premium places like Prego @ Taj Coromandel, which by the way is booked out! Citibank's Restaurant Week India, promoted as RWI makes this possible. While Citibank card holders have first peek and option to make the bookings, it is now open to all! The list of the restaurants are fabulous this time, considering that this is only the second time they are doing it in Chennai. All the good restaurants in Bangalore are booked out! Last time, I went on the last day as I didn't know, but this time, I went on the first day. And at these prices, I will going a couple of times. The aim of this week is essentially to showcase the three course meals at most places at a fraction of the cost. So while I was going through a

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Goan Food Festival, Hyatt Regency

Goan Food Festival, Hyatt Regency

When it rains, it pours!! Yeah, this month sees a battalion of new launches and food festivals in Chennai. What started off with the Cuisines from the Nawabs has taken a detour to Goa, with new menu launches at On the rocks and the Citibank Restaurant Week's 2nd edition in Chennai, this month is a bang!!!! So, when we say Goan food, we think of beaches, grilled fish, chips, mayo dips and booz! Right? Wrong, apparently. A few years back, a very nice Goan food fest at Residency gave me insights into Goan cuisine which was helmed by a home chef, but this time at Hyatt Regency's Spice Haat, they flew down their exec chef from their Goa Hyatt!!! So what's wrong with grilled fish, chips, mayo dips and booz? Everything! "Those are the fancy beach foods that were born out of necessity due to lots of foreign tourists," he says. The real Goan cuisine is far from that. So, peri peri chicken has the peri peri chilly? Peri Peri unlikely! :-) "The nam

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Nawab of Arcot's Home at ITC Grand Chola

Nawab of Arcot's Home at ITC Grand Chola

How do you spice up a buffet? Send your chef to a king's house, I guess!!! I've gotten to not like buffets very much and Madras Pavilion being a buffet only restaurant never caught my attention, much to the amusement of my friends who really like it. Spicing it up might be difficult and I understand that a buffet restaurant has to cater to so many people with so many different tastes, so, it is only natural to try to fit it all, even if it means that it may not be great! But, at least for the next week or so, it will be great! Why? How? Why did this invite to a buffet interest me? It has been spiced (literally) up! So, they send their chefs to Amir Mahal , the palace that houses the Nawab of Arcot , and Arcot biriyani is quite something, indeed. Yeah, so back to the chefs. These guys spent a couple of weeks in the kitchen of the palace and learnt what and how these kings (or nawabs) eat! And they recreated it in the kitchen of Madras Pavilion. Whil

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Caperberry, UB City

Caperberry, UB City

There are sometimes I wish I had my camera with me, but there are times when I am absolutely kicking myself for not taking an extra step and borrowing a cam for shooting food. Caperberry, tucked away inside Fava, inside UB city terrace, is one such place. Ranked the No. 1 restaurant in various ratings for a few years and taking a huge shot after Garry of Masterchef Australia fame visited, this has been on my wish list for quite sometime. Missing out on it in the last restaurant week when an affordable version is available, four of us landed on Sunday for lunch when we had nothing to do in Bangalore! A bill of Rs. 6500 for four did not leave us disappointed. If four people ordered four desserts without sharing, that is quite something! So, we started off not so good, though. We saw two interesting soups and two of decided to split the Chicken, walnut with celery soup. This was the molecular gastronomy types, aka, minuscule portions of the solids with gener

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