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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

All new menu at The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt, Chennai

Restaurants go through ups and downs, and it is then time to reinvent the wheel, look for new festivals, new venues to crank things up a bit. Here too at Flying Elephant in Park Hyatt they are shaking things up with a whole new menu. Yes, some of the familiar popular dishes continue to remain but there are quite a few new additions crafted by Chef Jyotisankar...

Flying Elephant is not really just a restaurant, it is more of an experience. From the minute you walk, to finding a table and enjoying the meal....

Here is what we got to try,

Paneer e Hasan- the Chef who created this was Hasan and so he named it so...cheeky right?!:-) Each paneer disk had a different stuffing- spinach, saffron and one more...

Kamal kakdi ki Shammi -Pan fried lotus stem patties with brown onion & medley of spices. It was literally melting in our mouth..

The signature in-house bread with tomato dip..

Burrata al forno con salsa di pomodoro e olio di tartufo - Baked burrata inside a thin wrap sitting on a puddle of delicious tomato sauce that had truffle oil in it and was covered in fried vermicelli with a side of Rocket leaves... We loved digging into this bowl and trying to get a piece of everything in one forkful.. 

Insalata con rababaro e cuori palma, caprino, pistachio, salsa al miele- This salad had my attention, it had roasted rhubarb, heart of palm, some goat's cheese that had been shallow fried sitting in the middle.. The dressing was a pistachio in a spiced honey vinaigrette... Rhubarb is something I had seen only on TV and so was very curious to try and taste..

Ravioli di zucca e confit di cipolla, mascarpone fresco, salvia e noci- Roasted pumpkin chestnuts and walnuts packed ravioli sitting on a butter sage sauce with sweet crisp biscuits made with vanilla beans & caramalised onions. The ravioli had saffron in the pasta sheets... It was heavenly and we couldnt stop eating it.. 

Risotto alla primevera- Risotto made with spring vegetables, vialone and asparagus topped with crisp beans and microherbs..  [This is a gluten free dish].. The Risotto was creamy with a bite from the beans on top and the three kinds of cheese that had been blended it.. It was a tad too rich for my palate. 

From their Indian section came this trio- Soft butter naan, bowl of steamed rice and Shahi Hari Gobi Zaitooni - Broccoli and olives cooked in a saffron, onion and cashew gracy.. The olives gave it a sharp hit of saltiness.. But when eaten with rice/roti it was perfect.. 

We got to try two different desserts, one Indian and other Western...  The minute I saw the Apple crumble , I was ready with my fork and all set to dig in... :-) The other one was a salted caramel kulfi on a bed of soft vermicelli and few other sauces/flavours...

Oh and during the meal, we also witnessed the entire team lining up and putting on a small dance performance, not once but twice.. Was quite nice to see people across levels joining in and having fun! 

The Flying Elephant is open for dinner on all days with brunch on Sundays. 
Park Hyatt 
#39, Velachery Road, 

For reservations call: (044) 71771234/ 044 7177 1655

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Savya Rasa, Kotturpuram Chennai

It is always good to see new restaurants make an entry in the city. joining the league is Savya Rasa [which was launched in Pune back in 2015], yet another from the Pricol Gourmet group [Soy Soi right next door is one more from this brand] and then there is one more coming up on Cenotaph Road! The menu here is medley of dishes from seven regions, like Mangaluru, Mysuru, Nellore, Kongunadu, Chettinad, Nasrani and Malabar, each with their distinct cultural identities.

The decor is very traditional, with yesteryear household appliances adorning the walls, the tables, the lights are all what you would have seen in your grandparents homes in your home towns. If you have been to Meena Tai or Batlivala & Khanabhoy, some of them might look familiar.. [yes they were a part of the decor when the restaurants were around] .

The menu card is beautiful, almost like an olai suvadi [palm leaf] except made of wood, and you flip through each page to check out the extensive menu. Each item is listed with their origin and a description of what it means. 

Since my friend & I were vegetarians, we tucked into a few of their speciality vegetarian dishes. We asked one of the staff to take the call on the dishes for us to try and each dish was exquisite, down to the tender coconut pudding.

On the table was a bowl with different kinds of vadams that was served with 3 kinds of chutneys- raw tamarind, puli ingi and maavadu. I loved the raw tamarind chutney with the vadams. It was delicious and very new!

Kokum Mojito - was delicous
Water - they have 3 kinds- jeera water, vetti ver or tulsi.. 

Rice and lentils steeped over night, stone ground into a batter, seasoned with ginger, green chillies, grated coconut, crushed pepper, stuffed with three types of chutney and shallow-fried in a customised cast iron pan. These were yumm, my favorite among all the dishes. Everytime you bite into it, a burst of thakkali onion chutney pops in your mouth... :)

 Pallipalayam Kalan- Mushrooms cooked with local masala 


A fluffy multilayered bread made with refined wheat flour, egg and butter cooked on a griddle – soul food!
Served with Vazhaipoo & murungakkai kozhambu that was like a cross between arachu vitta sambar and koottu we make at home.

For mains we also had VETRILAI POONDU SAADAM - Short grain rice flavoured with digestive betel leaves and fried garlic – a secret recipe from the land of the Cheras.It was served with a simple yet yumm Thengai pachadi [ Grated fresh coconut in curd with mustard seeds tempering]- unfortunately did not take a photo of it.. 

For dessert- it was ELANEER PUDDING

Tender coconut water jelly set with China grass – a Thannur delicacy... With no added sugar it was deliciious and light.

The vettrilai potti that came at the end of the meal, quite the traditional box that had us rapt with curiosity.. 

This meal for 2 worked out to Rs1800 odd [incl GST].. The place is open for lunch and dinner and they have seating across the 3 rooms, and a private hall of sorts towards the end of the main hall. Loved the decor, the ambiance, the service and ofcourse the food as well. 

Savya Rasa
2/10, Gandhi Mandapam Rd, Chitra Nagar, Kotturpuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600085
[opp AMM school]
Ph- 044 2447 2557 

Note: They are open for Lunch and dinner.. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

7 Chefs 7 Plates at Ayna, Hilton, Chennai till 27th May

[image courtesy: The Hilton]

It fascinates me to no end when Hotels/restaurants come up with food festivals that are different from the run of the mill ones.. At the end of the day, yes, it is all about the food, but when done with difference, adds to excitement and fun. Ayna at The Hilton is celebrating the culinary diversity of India with their "7 Chefs 7 Plates". A food festival celebrating Indian Regional Cuisines from Seven different States with Chefs from across Hilton. Every State is featured for 2 days before moving on to the next one. What is the speciality of this is they have flown down Speciality chefs from across Hilton for each of these .. 

The festival opened with food from Uttar Pradesh and it was now time to celebrate the dishes from Mumbai. A state that is as diverse as it can get, be it people or the food.  I was quite thrilled cos Mumbai to me is all about the Vada Pav, the chaat at Elco and the street food across the city. The Chef for Mumbai was Chef Mangesh Ghanekar.. 

The first thing you see when you walk into the restaurant is the wall of spices and then the beautiful etched plates on the table. Glass plates with the State being featured, not to forget the staff in regional attire as well. It was quite a sight! 

As for the food, well am gonna let the pictures do the talking. The dishes were all mouth watering- familiar flavours, ingredients that were new, and ofcourse experiencing the Mumbai I have come to see over the years of travelling to the city.  

Chef Mangesh Ghanekar [Image courtesy: The Hilton]

 Different kinds of crisps served with three different condiments- Garlic pickle, mango dip and the green chutney

The Menu with my glass of Red wine

Parle Chi Moongachi Muthiya (Yellow mung beans dumplings steamed and fried crispy served with ghati chutney)
Dadar Cha Batata wada (Essentially the food on which Mumbai runs, spiced potatoes batter fried and served with chutney)
Ghatkopar che Veg Cutlet  (An Anglo Indian recipe which served as a snack during the afternoon tea )
Girgaun cha Sabudana Wada(Sago studded  spiced potato patties)

Three kinds of sides for the starters- Garlic powder, Peanut tomato chutney and Coconut chutney..

Chapatti (Whole wheat flat bread)
 Valache birde (Sprouted beans tempered with onions)

Lalbaugh Kale Watanaya Chi Usal  (Dried peas tempered with chillies best had with Pao)
Grant Road cha Masala Bhat      
(Mumbai’s answer to vegetable Biryani seasonal vegetables, long grain rice flavoured with cassia leaves)

We also had a taste of their Coconut Rice [ which is quite different from what we make at home..

 Puran Poli, Shrikand & Sheera... 

 Ilangovan, who took care of us through lunch standing near the entrance...

What lies ahead in the days to come.... 

Chef Shaji Kumar, Hilton Garden Inn, Trivandrum - 18 & 19 May - Kerala 

Chef Vinod Kumar, Hilton Jaipur - 20 & 21 May - Rajasthan 

Chef Akshay Deshpande, Conrad Pune - 22 & 23 May - Puneri 

Chef Rajesh Singh, Hilton Garden  Inn Baani Square Gurgaon - 24 & 25 May - Delhi  

Chef Biswajit, Hilton Chennai - May 26 & 27  - Bengali

[Psst..and if there are any dishes from the other cuisines that you would like to taste, just point to the same and ask the Staff, they will let you know if it is available or not!!! ]

A meal for one would cost around Rs1500 -1800 [depends on the dishes and of coursse beverages/alcohol chosen] 

7 Chefs 7 Plates is on till 27th May [lunch and dinner] and is à la carte format. 
For reservations, call  +91 44 2225700; +91 9500058722

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Soy Soi, Kotturpuram Chennai

"Pan Asian" - the two words that have me drooling and salivating!! Well, this time around I was off to check out the newly opened Asian street food restaurant Soy Soi in Kotturpuram with a friend of mine.. After establishing Double Roti in the city, the duo Japtej Ahluwalia and Nikesh Lamba have now moved on [with Vimal Kumar (Cloud Nine Hospitality) &Vikram Mohan (VM Hospitality) ] to Soy Soi and are all set to open doors to three more restaurants in the city [around this neighborhood], one of them right next door- Savy Rasa [which was just getting ready for the launch as I walked into Soy Soi]... 

A carefully curated menu put together by the team after a  3 week trip across South East Asia, mainly Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam (they will also be including dishes from Burma in the menu]...  

The first thing that you see is the huge red wall with the name Soy Soi on it.. You walk in, and it is quite dark with a lit stairway showing the way. Quite a mystery till you reach the landing and enter the restaurant. And then, the decor, the long wooden long community table of sorts, moving on to a bigger hall with a beautiful mural on the wall and hand crafted bamboo light fittings completes the look. Loved the place..  There are a few tables in the bigger hall and along the far end are booths of sorts for families or large groups of 5-6 people. 

The kitchen  is also divided into sections- beverages, momos & satay, and the main kitchen located near the entrance. 

We settled into a table for 4 and spent a few minutes taking it all in. Had a brief chat with Chef Peter Tseng [Have heard of him from his The Park days to Chap Chay and now this venture] and gave him free reign with respect to our food. Only thing we told him was we were both vegetarians.  The next two hours flew by with us sampling various dishes from across the menu - Soup, Salad, Dim Sum, Satay, Khao Suey and dessert which had a bit of theatrics to it.  Each dish was packed with flavour, different in terms of texture and spices.. by the end of the meal we were two happy souls... 

A meal for one works out to around Rs1000/- .. But it is totally worth it..As we walked out, we were amazed that the place was packed for a weekday afternoon and quite happy to see people trying new places.. 

2/10, Gandhi Mandapam Rd, Chitra Nagar, Kotturpuram,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600085
Opp AMM School. 

Phone044 2447 2557

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)