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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... :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cooking with the Tadka Girls- Pasta in lemon pepper sauce!

Few weeks or maybe a month ago, I read a blog post by a friend in which she had mentioned this book "Around The World With The Tadka Girls [Ruchira Ramanujam, Ranjini Rao]".We spoke about the book to a point where she mentioned it was a good book to have, not only were the recipes good, they were easy to make and the ingredients were all simple ones [most of which we would have around the kitchen]

Two weeks ago,I was at a bookstore, when I called this friend asking about the title of the book. Another friend who was with me exclaimed on seeing the book in my hand. We decided to buy a copy and share the book! 

Day before, when I was wondering what to make for dinner, I decided to refer the book. Spotted a Fettucine and prawns recipe, read through it and went ahead to tweak the recipe a bit [since am a vegetarian, i chose to replace prawns with vegetables].. It turned out beautiful, took less than 15mins to cook and I loved the tangy peppery flavours.

The Recipe!

Farfalle pasta- 1 cup
Onion- 1
Garlic- 3 pods
Thyme/mixed herbs- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Black pepper- 2 tsp
Oil- as much as required
Butter- 1 small cube
Water- enough to boil the pasta in
Vegetables- mushroom, baby corn, carrots and capsicum [green, yellow & red]
Lemon/lime juice- 1.5 tsp
Lemon/lime rind/peel- 1 tsp

In a pot, add water, salt and oil- add the pasta and allow it to cook. I added the baby corn to this as it takes a while to cook.Strain and keep aside. Dont throw away all the water, keep 1/2 cup aside. 

In another pan, add the butter and oil, saute the garlic and onion for a few minutes. 
Add the chopped vegetables and saute till they cook
Now, add the salt, black pepper and herbs
Once the vegetables are well done, toss in the cooked pasta and mix well.
Squeeze in the lime juice and add the lime ride/peel[either grate it or chip finely]
Add 2 tbsp of pasta boiled water and turn off heat when all come together.

Serve hot!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rocking it, CFG style...

Do you love food? 
Do you love to cook?
Do you enjoy eating?
Do you like to party?

Well, if you answered for all or any of these with a big nod of your head, then time for you to read further...

Do you wanna see what it was like last year? at our 8th Anniversary..Here you go

If in case you answered No, well, you are here, so you might as well continue reading, actually just go ahead read it all.. be nice and nobody gets hurt, alright ;o)

The month is December
The date is 22nd
Time: 6.30pm onwards
The venue is Accord Metropolitan Hotel, GN Chetty road.

So what is so big about the day? Well, D'oh. It’s time for you to mark this on your calendar, so you don't miss out on this awesome event..

What is the event you ask? Gosh... its Chennai Food Guide's 9th Anniversary bash. It is going to be an evening of fun, food and foodies... you will get to meet fellow foodies, chefs, people from the industry, crack up laughing, groove to some cool beats, dig into some amazing food- basically have a whale of a time.. 

Come join us for this wonderful evening... If you would like to attend, ping me, leave a comment with your name/email id and I shall connect with you Or you could simply click on the link and pick up your ticket.

Early bird tickets are available, but the timer is on.. so don’t waste too much time contemplating. Go for it..

Online payment--

See ya there~  


The Biryani & Haleem Workshop is back... 8th December!!

When you bring two ladies who are passionate about food, and love to experiment you are in for a treat, actually a feast! 

Maaria of Adoniya launched a series of Cupcake workshops and now she has gone further extending a warm welcome to Tasneem Ayub [Aunty] for the Biryani & Haleem workshop. Nope, this is not the first one, there was one 2weeks ago which saw 21 people learn how to make the most amazing Biryani and Haleem, straight from Aunty..  Experiments in the kitchen with recipes from cookbooks or the internet is fun, but when you get to learn from someone like Aunty you are bound to go home with a precise recipe and a foolproof method as well. What is more, you will have a blast learning the dishes~ !!

What can i say about aunty.. She is amazing, and food is all about caring and sharing and giving to her!! She has hosted dinner parties, brought over food, sent across food, and shared recipes freely numerous times. We love her food- zafrani badaam, bread halwa, veg biryani, tomato thokku, walnut chutney, Qubani ka meetha and so much more....She is such a sweetheart that if she has a group of veggie and non veggies coming over, she pays so much attention to make sure both groups have enough options...  :-) 

Have I attended the workshop? Sigh, you had to ask dint you.. Nope. Not because I don't like Biryani but only because I am a vegetarian :-) 

Now stop reading and go grab your seat for the upcoming workshop already... Last few seats remain for the biryani and haleem workshop this Sunday at Adoniya Academy!  

For more details and online registration visit

Maaria - 9840285950 
Tasneem Aunty - 9884078631

Have a great experience and do tell us about it.. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Peaches turns one

“Peaches” is not the 1st name we thought of. We infact ran through nearly 100 of them, scraping at each of them- Tiranga, 3 Rascals and what not, till finally we landed at “Peaches”, shares Raghu.  Hailing from a family where his father was into business, Raghu met up with 2 other friends and after much brainstorming they decided to start the restaurant and see where it is headed.

They were 3 guys who were excited, passionate and wanted to do something new. Subsequently, they met with Chef Kaushik [Eatitude] who helped transform their idea into reality and get going on the restaurant. 

After much deliberation, the trio decided to start a “Pure vegetarian” restaurant, esp since Velachery was an up and coming locality and pure veg is a cuisine that will work here. Locality was one thing they dint really have to deliberate over, and they knew there was going to be no compromise on quality of food they served either. Once the idea was in place, plans were drawn, they did a survey over 40days among people they knew and got them to test out the menu as well [12th to 19th Sep 2012]. On 20th Sep 2012 is when the doors opened…

The menu too went through various stages, from being extensive, it was narrowed down, and over time a few dishes were chopped off the list, while others were added in. The restaurant was slowly evolving and getting ready to open the doors to the market. And today, they are a year and 2 months old.  Today, they can serve 58 covers and are proud owners of the 1800 sq ft restaurant.

Targetting families who enjoy Indian food, and who are open to world cuisine, they designed the menu and kept coming up with new innovative dishes and festivals. Earlier this year, they had the Burrito eating contest, where a 2kg burrito was to be eaten in the shortest time. And now, they have launched Sizzlers, about 5 of them. We wonder what they are going to come up with next…

Venkatesh manages the kitchen and back end while Raghu manages the front and marketing aspect of the restaurant [thanks to his experience in marketing & servicing].

Some of their signature dishes which we got to taste were

Starters : Bread Mozzarella Sticks, Malai paneer tikka, Aatish-e-aloo and the Mushroom crostini followed by Phuket Paneer and Schezwan baby corn.

Drinks: Florida Sunrise and Lime mint cooker

Mains: It was raining sizzlers- there was the Oriental Sizzler, Italian sizzler, Tandoori Sizzler, Chettinad Sizzler and finally the Big Fat peaches Sizzler. The best of the lot was the Chettinad and Oriental Sizzler. The amazing thing about each of these Sizzlers was that the items on each of them was different, even the wedges and side of vegetables. There was the veg cutlet to the masala vada, the Chinese fried rice+noodles to Indian Biryani and the Italian gentle flavoured vegetables. These should make their way into the menu long term!!

Desserts: Hot chocolate fudge sundae, Banana boat and Mango sundae... 

Here’s wishing them a great journey ahead!!! Next time you are around Velachery and in the mood for some good food, albeit vegetarian, head straight down the road next to Phoenix mall about 2kms to Peaches [above Andhra Bank]

You can read my earlier review here

No.81, 9th Cross Street,
Rajalakshmi Nagar, 
100 Feet by Pass Road, 
Velachery, Chennai, 
Tamil Nadu 600042
Ph- 044 4201 9454

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-) 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Dessert Safari

The name is Dessert Safari… But that does not mean it is a place where you find only Desserts. They also serve up quite a range of Dishes, both veg and non veg. My 1st visit here was on Sep 3rd. The reason I remember the day so well is cos it was the eve of my Birthday and we had a blast. It was pouring and we were cooped up there till past midnight. I even got to cut a cake amidst lovely friends J

It was  therefore quite apt that I was there to ring in their 1st Birthday!! So when I heard Dessert Safari was turning one and we were invited, I dint mind visiting [esp since the place held fond memories]. We were greeted by the Manager and the Chef {who has travelled the world thanks to working in Cruise liners and who also has worked with leading chefs around the globe, including Gordan Ramsay and Remy [from the famous Ratatouille movie]}.  He is a true blue Mylapore boy who studied in Chennai but went abroad for better prospects and is now back home. He spent about half an hour talking to us, giving us insight into plans he had for the place, the new recipes, the Tandoor he had just installed and how he was working on a whole new range of Fusion food.

While I waited, I had a fresh Orange juice, which was quite refreshing. The 1st dish to arrive was the mixed Bean soup, it had chickpeas and black eyed peas among others and was quite rich, we also detected cheese in it. And that was it...we were off to a no "Naan"sense start.. We were served Plain butter naan with a handful of rocket leaves and a dip made with yoghurt and mint, and tamarind chutney. Following this, we tried the Naan pizza- two varieties- 1 with mushroom masala and other with spinach and paneer. Wait; there was one more dish with Naan. It was the naan sandwich- veg had spinach, peas and corn while the non veg had pullapart chicken with pickled carrots.

In between this we were also served a Rocket salad with carrots and shaved fennel. This had me curious and the Chef showed me what a Fennel bulb looked like. I was so excited seeing it, in real [ I had only seen it on TV cookery shows]

We also got a tour of the small kitchen, with the newly installed Tandoor. It was hot at 690-700 degrees and apparently is never turned off. A huge wok is placed on top to cool it off and a wet cloth used to cool down the walls in case it gets too hot, said the chef. Interesting!!

Coming back to the food, we were in for a treat with the desserts. There were quite a range of them- Chocolate cinnamon pie [ served warm]- delicious; and then there was the Chocolate cheesecake served with fresh cream and a dollop of ice cream. This is when Chef suggested we try the ice cream with his Balsamic reduction. And we were pleasantly surprised, loved the combo infact. Who would have thought vanilla ice cream and balsamic went together. This reduction had Dark balsamic vinegar and jaggery reduced down. Finally, there was the Mango parfait, which was similar to a mousse but better, with 4 little intriguing balls of sorts on top. They just popped as they touched our lips, a burst of sourness. We dint know what it was, but loved it and asked for more of it..

We also got to sample the Chef’s new sauces- one made with Coca cola and the other with coconut and Indian spices. All the sauces are vegetarian and these are what is used on the meat dishes as well, explained the Chef. We were curious to know more, and if opportunity arises, we definitely shall go back to try his innovative creations.

Happy Birthday Dessert Safari~!

107, Eldams Road, Teynampet, Chennai
Ph: 044 33824444

Directions- Dessert safari is down the road from Samco on the left [if you are coming from Alwarpet]

Disclaimer:The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Japan Vs China- The Food Debate, Pan Asian, Chennai

Vegetarian vs Non vegetarian
Paneer vs Tofu
North Indian vs South Indian
Coffee vs Tea

and now, things are going global. Yes, we are talking about the big debate between Japanese Food vs Chinese food. I was wondering what this was all about, what ITC Grand Chola was hoping to accomplish. Little did I know I was in for a visual and sinful treat. 

They had flown down a Chinese Chef , pitted him against our very own Chef Vikram and the debate was on. I have been to Pan Asia twice before and both times, it has been quite a memorable experience. I have tried dishes filled with new flavours and textures, so I knew tonight was going to be no different. Just dint expect the surprise I was in for! 

And this Debate was going to pawn all other debates, beating them hands down. It had the Oomph. The food was paired with Whisky, and no small brand, it was Johnnie Walker. 

We were shown a menu, a set menu, one side of it belong to Japan and the other side to China and the dishes were paired with different kinds of Johnnie Walker whisky. After a brief round of introductions and hellos, we settled in and the evening just flew by.  When our orders were being taken, I somehow went with the Japanese menu, but luckily friend chose the Chinese and so we got to taste both  the dishes. 

The 1st platter, the amuse-bouche was quite a visual treat, and then my taste buds did the tango wit every sip and bite. There was a mini martini glass with a drink [yuzo and vodka] and the rim was filled with celery salt. Then there was a soup spoon with little green balls that were basically celery, and a crisp tofu skin[sansho crisp] and a sake?white wine soaked cherry tomato. Every mouthful was like firecrackers in the night sky. The Celery salt was the highlight. Oh, how can I forget the glass of Rising Sun that I sipped on. Johnnie Walker whisky blended with Egg white, soya sauce and Wasabi mix. Loved it, absolutely loved it.

I knew then the party had begun! The soup was another treat- Edamame, beetroot, truffle in a subtle Broccoli broth and a ring made with rice and another Japanese ingredient. Reading the word "Truffle" brought memories of the movie "No reservations" and of shows I had seen where a dog was used to sniff it out in the wilderness. What amazing flavours. As the soup arrived, so did the 2nd drink, this time a Johnnie walker blend with Oolong tea and sugar syrup, served in a long stemmed Martini glass. Moving on, the starter I chose was Confit Green Apple Carpacio served with plum tomato ice, gold label sichimi emulsion. Carpcio was yet another dish I had heard and seen on TV, so trying it out was a new experience and Yes, I loved it. What a blend of flavours and textures. The Whisky paired with this was Johnnie Walker Double Black label, such a smooth drink. 

Following this, came the main course- Grilled Artichoke hearts served alongside sticky rice, tobajan miso, water chestnuts. The drinnk for this was Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, yet another smooth drink. The dish was just amazing, loved the crunchiness of the Water chestnut [infact we had a debate amongst ourselves wondering what veg that was].  And then, it was time for dessert. We were all grinning and having a lovely evening. Once again, I went with the dessert on the Japanese section of the menu and boy oh boy was I happy. My dessert was Johnnie walker whisky soaked  pear slices served with probiotic yoghurt ice cream. A vanilla milk of sorts was poured over the pear slices and boom boom the flavours took me to heaven and back. I am not joking nor am I exaggerating. I loved the creaminess and smoothness. This was served with the finest in Johnnie walker, the Premium drink.

Wait, Chef Vikram had yet another surprise in store for us. We were served another dessert, a dark chocolate one[75%], his signature chocolate preparation. He came over, chit chatted with us, asked for feedback and mentioned this dessert was just something he put together, no big deal... :-) What a humble man!! We also spent a few minutes chatting about some of his other creations and the Sunday brunch that he promised was going to be a one of a kind experience.  

This Chinese/ Japanese set menu is priced around Rs 2500 [and if you include the Whisky, it would be Rs 4000ish].. 

PS: Here are my earlier posts

ITC Grand Chola
#63, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai,TN,600032
Ph- 044 2220 0000

Sunday, November 17, 2013

British Pub Fest, Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai

Courtyard by Marriott food is good! There I have said it. Have been here quite a few times, apart from the Cook & Dine and the Idli & beer fest, and I love the food and quality is consistent as well. So, when I saw the poster to the British Pub Fest, I was curious... The only pubs I have been to are the ones in the county and the food they offer are pretty run of the mill. 

Seeing the Shepherd's pie, the Treacle Tart on the menu had stars twinkling in my eyes. That evening, I wound up work and headed over to Courtyard, maneuvering around the Metro rail construction and twists and turns on the road.  

We met Chef Sridhar, who gave us a sneak peek into the whole concept of Pub food and what to expect. Having been in UK for nearly a decade, he was introducing a few dishes that were quite popular back there..

The 1st dish to arrive was the Veg Burger.. I stared at it for a few mins and then eyes went straight to the JENGA like fries next to it. These were triple cooked fries [i knew this thanks to Masterchef Aus], and as you bite into them, you feel the crispness on the outer layer while the inside is nice and soft. These were amazing. Wasim infact asked for another portion of this which we dug into happily. The burger was good, but nothing different about it.  

 Next up was the Veg Lasagna, served alongside crispy croutons. I quite loved the lasagna, but again it wasn't a dish I hadn't eaten before.

And then came the Pie that I fell in love with. Cheese, onions and potato pie. It was simply delicious, light, filled with flavour and such a treat. 

 The non veg dishes that were served were- Cottage pie [same as Shepherd's pie] along with beef liver in a balsamic reduction on mashed potato and side of veggies. 

And then came the grand finale, the desserts.. The Chef came over as they were served and explained each of the items. One of them was the Spotted Dick, yes you read it right. He told us why the dish was called what it was and what it contained. I couldnt stop eating it. Served alongside custard and with Brandy snaps [Tuille] it was heavenly... 

Spotted dick is a traditional British pudding/cake  with raisins or dry fruit are added, hence the dessert has "spots."  It felt like a cross between a muffin and a pie loaded with dry fruits.. 

The story behind the name-- "Spotted" refers to the dry fruits /raisins in the pastry. "Dick" is messier to explain -- the word itself has a fuzzy history, and in the 19th century alone it was understood as an abbreviation for dictionary, a policeman, an apron, a riding whip, and, of course, male genitalia. Around the same time as these meanings were used, the first recorded spotted dick recipe was created. The Chef said the "dick" in "spotted dick" could be because of the texture of the pudding, it being thick [Dick being the German word to say thick].  

The other desserts were- Apple pie[deconstructed version] served with a dollop of whipped cream and candied apple slices, traditional Chocolate pudding and Treacle Tart..

The Treacle Tart was made using shortcrust pastry, with a thick filling made of golden syrup, also known as light treacle, breadcrumbs, and lemon juice or zest.The bottom layer was a thick cookie, while the next layer was sticky chewy and you could taste the honey. Normally served alongside cream, it was served here with cones made of Brandy snap biscuits and with finely chopped mixed fruits. What a delight it was.... 

While we had our meal with mocktails, these would work best with a pint of beer.. So, go on, check out the British Pub festival at Marriott and let me know what caught your fancy!! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

[Recipe] Tomato garlic chutney

Damn, it was nearly 7.40pm and I hadnt cooked dinner yet.. Did a mental run through of all that I had and after a short debate I knew what I was going to make for dinner. I had decided to make Pongal for dinner. Wanted to make it with Saamai but noticed there were bugs in the unopened sealed packet [had bought two packets a few weeks ago, was done with one and now this second one was goner], dumped it and went with rice option. 

Phew, the main was decided, but what about the side? This is when I walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge and stood staring at it as if an idea was going to spring at me. Kaboom.Well, it kinda actually did. 

Here is what I made,

Spicy Tomato Chutney:--

Tomato     2  roughly chopped
Dry Red Chillies    3
Garlic      4 cloves
Tamarind    a tiny piece
Salt     to taste
Water- 1 tsp just to get the blender going

For tempering:
Oil  1
Mustard seeds      1/2 tsp
Urad dal    1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Hing      a pinch

In the blender, add all the ingredients and make into a thick puree. If needed, add the water.
In another pan, add the oil and do the tempering
Now add the puree to the tempering and allow it to cook well for a good 5-8mins till oil starts coming out on all sides.
It is now ready to be devoured..

Perfect for any plain rice, dosa, and was good with pongal as well.. Spicy and tangy, with strong garlic flavour..

Friday, November 8, 2013

[Recipe] Dal Tadka

I was getting back home after my evening walk and suddenly I thought of Dal Tadka and the past hour I spent looking at recipes on the net to see how easy/complicated it was.. And now I think I found the ultimate recipe.. I found it on this blog. It sounded easy and interesting so off I went to the kitchen to give it a shot.

I tweaked the recipe a bit, and here is how I made it

Cooking time: 35mins
Prep time: 10mins
Serves- 2

The Daal
2 tbsp  tuvar dal
1 tbsp moong dal
1 small onion chopped roughly
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 cups water
Salt to taste

For the tempering
1/2 tsp Ghee
1 tsp cumin
2 red chilies
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger- garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala powder 
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
salt as required

1. In a pressure cooker, add the washed dals with a pinch of salt, onions, 2 cups of water and allow it to cook [5-6 whistles] . Once done, remove and mash the dal well.
2. In another smaller pan, add some ghee, and all the ingredients listed under "tempering" and let it saute for a few minutes.
3. Add the cooked dal to the tempering and let it come to a boil.
3. If you feel daal is too thick, add water depending on your preference

Serve hot with plain rice. I also had some pickle and it was heaven!! :-))

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cafe Adoniya, Chennai

Maaria Kulsum and Adoniya have become a household name of sorts in Chennai... 1st came clothes, then came jewellery, and then following suit were some yumm cupcakes, cheesecakes and now a cute little cafe inside the Adoniya store. It is quaint, small, and the kind of place that you would hop into if you wanted a Chocolate/sweet fix. If you are still wondering who this Maaria is or what Adoniya is, then I suggest you stop reading right here and get out of your home/office/mall/etc etc and drive down to Harrington Road and see/experience it for yourself. 

Tucked away in the small lane opp Little sister's of the poor leading towards Mehta Hospital, Cafe Adoniya serves up a variety of treats. These range from Sweets, savories, beverages and wait for it- ice cream sundaes as well. Voila~!! 

You could hop in, grab a take away, or sit in one of the pretty pink chairs and savour some treats. While you wait for your dish, spend a few minutes looking around the place and you are bound to crack up with laughter… there is one on the billing counter “We guarantee quick service, no matter how long it takes”and then there is one more WTF- Where is the food? And so many more..

We started the evening with a few thirst quenchers. I opted for Blueberry mojito while others chose different flavours of Mojito, ferrero rocher shake, tiramisu shake and then some more.. Following suit came the lovely paneer wraps and the corny corn sandwich. We were nearly stuffed, but wait the sweet treats were on their way said Maaria- there were different kinds of cupcakes- chocolate, mocha and red velvet, followed by the 7 dessert platter that actually has 6 dessert items and one savory that breaks into the sweet palate perfectly. I also had a cup of coffee, it came in a blue cup & saucer with 2 green containers- one with packets of Sweetners and other with normal sugar. Loved the colours.

Don’t expect a fancy café or something that resembles a CCD or Barista. Adoniya is small, cozy and that is what makes it different.

This cafe is open till 10:30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Apart from Maaria’s treats, you will also find Zaica spices here.

F1, 15th Ave, Harrington Road, 
Chetpet, Chennai- 31
Call 044 28360001 for enquiry or place cake orders

Disclaimer:The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cafe Coffee Day Square, Chennai

The very 1st time I spotted a Café Coffee Day Square was in Bangalore, somewhere near Vittal Mallaya Road if am right. It is at the corner of the junction and there are few life size sculptures outside. A child included. I haven’t been inside but have heard from friends and others that it is a upmarket category CCD outlet. They served coffee from various regions, interesting food and other drink options.

So, when I spotted one in Chennai on KNK road, I must say I was a tad surprised. For one big reason, there is a CCD Lounge the same road, which made me wonder why the company would open another outlet, a Square less than 100 yards from the other one. The CCD Square is more exclusive than Lounge in that it serves single-origin coffees and is aimed at connoisseurs. 

That day when I was meeting a friend after long, she had somehow made up her mind to check out CCD Square and would not hear anything else. So, there we were on KNK road pulling into the parking lot in front of CCD Square. The place is a big grey building with glass all around. We spotted quite a few staff near the entrance and the place was fairly empty. It was then I noticed the upper floor and a few customers near the window. We found a seat near the counter, but it was very noisy [sound from behind the counter] and moved to the other end of the room. There was a beautiful mural of sorts on the wall resembling a forest or coffee plantation and on the other side was a coffee cup and beans spilling over made with cane beads? 

I ordered a Café Frappe while my friend chose a cooler [blue Curacao flavored] that came in a long tall glass. The menu was extensive, and there were bags of coffee beans with various labels on them. The place was tastefully done up, but we felt there were too many staff or maybe they would all be needed if the place was crowded.

Location: Cafe coffee Day Square is located on KNK road, next to Apparao Gallery, Atmosphere store, Kryptos, Adj to Khansama/So Fa So Good.. 

Ambiance: 8/10
Price: 7/10
Food: We just had 2 drinks and they were good. But there was no WOW there.. So 5/10

Sunday, November 3, 2013

That Madras Place, adyar, chennai

Once Bitten, Twice shy..
Twice bitten, lifetime wary!! 

Well, looks like this is what I need to follow for this particular place. 

Let me take you back in time, not too long ago, two friends headed out to lunch, and it was one girl's Happy Birthday.. We enjoyed a relaxed time at the spa and then for lunch, decided to try out the new place in town. It was called "That Madras Place" and is located in Indira Nagar, Adyar, in the road opp Nilgiris [Ambica appalam signal]. We found the place, walked int to see a huge wall with graffiti of all sorts, eclectic furniture, mix and matched chairs and cushions. Quite liked it as we were still hungover from our Jaipur trip.. 

Found a table, and scanned the single page menu to identify dishes that we wanted to have. We chose the Madras Poutine for starters [it was french fries with cheddar cheese, garlic and jalepenos]. It was quite good, and a large portion at that. Subsequently, for the mains, we chose pasta. Friend opted for her usual Aglio E Olio with Penne. I opted for another pasta in mushroom sauce. My friend requested the waiter to add some veggies to it for which he responded saying "it doesnt come with veggies, but shall get you some" and then few minutes later the dishes arrived at the table, sans veggies. The owner walked over asked us if we wanted veggies, proceeded to once again repeat what the staff had said earlier and we then said "No it is ok, we dont want veggies, we are ok". 

After two bites, she nudged me and pointed out to the hair that was in her pasta. We looked around, couldnt find anyone, and so kept that aside and continued with the meal. We decided to skip dessert but were offered a Blondie by the owner esp since it was my Birthday... it was good, but too sweet [white chocolate] 

The bill worked out to about 1600 Rs, .. We left the place with mixed views and wondered if we would ever come back here.. Subsequently, I spoke to quite a few friends who had visited here and had similar views as us. 

Last evening, friend came over with her hubby and son and announced that I was not to cook and we will head out somewhere.. Some act of fate and they picked That Madras Place! We decided to put our 1st experience behind and give the place another shot! But sadly, it is probably my last visit here. 

What happened you ask? Well after ordering Dynabites [ cheese jalepeno fried balls], for the main course, friend ordered the same Aglio E Olio for herself, Pasta Alfredo for her son. I ordered pumpkin ravioli( in lemon butter sauce) while my friend ordered chicken ravioli(in arabiata sauce).. Few mins later we were served our dishes. I took a bite of the ravioli and kinda knew it wasn't pumpkin and was most likely chicken(white chewy piece inside ravioli) & then Friend broke one ravioli to find pumpkin. We hailed a staff and after 10 mins we were served right dishes with an apology.. The man who was taking orders came over, smiled and said hopefully the meal is good and went away with that smile [marketing smile] 

The final correct dish- Pumpkin Raviolli in lemon butter sauce

I dint raise a hoohaa though I was beyond pissed off. Wth! Serving the wrong dish is one thing, but a Vegetarian served a non-veg dish is just inexcusable according to me.. I could imagine few other friends would have reacted in such a situation.  

Do I let this goof up slide? Yes, the final dish that came tasted good [their dishes do taste yumm] but my mood was off.. It is a complete experience that matters right? What would you do?  

Oh well... I guess one customer less does not matter to them~!! Considering the place does get quite a crowd, I even overheard the guy in the next table say "we saw and read reviews on zomato and decided to come here for dinner".... 

That Madras Place
34/29, 2nd Main Road, Kasturibai Nagar, 
Adyar, Chennai 
Ph: 044 42614380

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kryptos by Willii, Chennai

Greece is a destination that is on my "I dream to visit" list. I dont know if I ever will, but I do dream of it often enough. And so being here, at the 1st Greek restaurant to hit Chennai, Kryptos is always a memorable one.. The restaurant has been serving up a range of good food for years now. They have a salad bar that puts all others to shame and the salad bar is completely veg, ranging from different kinds of olives, it has just about everything you can think of and some more. I have been to this restaurant quite a few times and enjoyed meals with friends and family.  [Read earlier reviews here

Today, we were looking forward to something different. We were not going to go towards the Salad bar, but were instead going to try a few dishes from the select menu. For us vegetarians, the meal began with a nice big bowl of Soup of Asparagus which was yumm.. Loved the texture and the flavours. 

Following that, we had a Mezze platter that consisted of 4 different kinds of starter items- one with mushroom filling, another with pumpkin, and then there was the traditional Falafal. All this served alongside a spoon of traditional deep fried aubergines with cream sauce. Similarly, the non veg eaters had a mezze platter that held fish, chicken, calamari and beef.. 

 Amidst fun conversations and good food, before we knew it, our plates were filled with interesting looking dishes. One was the spinach and feta pie [made with a base and wall of phyllo pastry that was crunchy and buttery], we also got to sample the Colour bell peppers stuffed with rice and pine nuts and Paneer on skewers. Not to forget the bowl of absolutely delicious potato wedges. 

We were fairly stuffed and done for the evening, but wait, the piece de resistance was on its way. It was time for desserts, and there we saw plates of the infamous Panna cotta and baklava make its way to our places. The panna cotta had Apricot jam with pieces on it and it was yumm.. The Baklava was sweet and filled with dry fruits with sheets of phyllo pastry on top and bottom. While many ordered tea and coffee, it was time for me to head home and so I made a silent exit. As I made my way up the stairs towards the exit, I could hear the conversations continue.... 

Price: A meal for two should cost close to Rs 1000... 
Timing: 12:30–3:30 pm, 6:30–11:30 pm

Kryptos by Willi
#24, Khader nawaz khan road
Chennai- 600006
Ph: 044 4503 8001

Disclaimer:The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  :-)