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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, February 23, 2016

Batlivala and Khanabhoy, Chennai

She: Hi, free to catch up?
Me: Yes, what do you wanna do?
She: lets meet somewhere interesting and do lunch, if you are game...
Me: Yes, where?
She: Dai, you are the expert on restaurants.. my kids think so too.
Me: *drawing a blank*.. There is this new Parsi place I wanna check out
She: Chalo, you come here, we will finalise and go.
Me: Alright, done!

And that is how the lunch date happened... :D 


A simple white building with a tall board was what we saw first. There was Batlivala & Khanabhoy , Meena Tai and one more name on the board. We headed to Batlivala & Khanabhoy, telling ourselves we shall be back to explore Meena Tai soon.

This is the 1st Parsi restaurant to open in Chennai and though I was curious, I had no clues of Parsi food [only dish I had heard of was Dhansak]. We were greeted at the door by a staff, who then proceeded to walk us to the restaurant. We walked through a passage that had a collage of colorful wooden doors beyond which was a staircase that led us to the restaurant upstairs.  It had a very warm feel to it, resembled one of the homes from olden days and we were happy to see they hadn’t messed with the layout, architecture or décor. There was a wall filled with old ads on it, a simple glass door that led to a small seating area.  Once again, the walls were barren but for a few art pieces, the windows were open with glass doors shut so air conditioners could be used. There was another piece of antique furniture, resembling a dressing table near the kitchen area.

Once seated, we were offered the menu [which was a collection of turquoise sheets with printed menu on an exam pad] . Was quite impressed with the menu, it had sections for “all day dining”, starters, mains and desserts and vegetarian & non vegetarian were categorised.






We ordered the Baruchi Akuri – a heritage dish of Baruchi, a small town in Gujarat that was once populated with Parsis. This was an egg-based dish that had herbs, spices and dry fruits- raisins and cashew nuts served in a small pan.  Was served with Pav buns- it was light, fluffy, and quite delicious.   




The other starter we tried was Suran da Cutlets- crispy patties made with yam, a Parsi Garam Masala,whole spices and served with a tangy tomato chutney. These were quite yumm- had a light sweetness combined with spices. One plate had 4 pieces.



While we waited for the mains to arrive, we ordered drinks- i opted for Fresh lime soda[salt] while friend ordered Diet coke.. My drink came in a nice Mason jar [which again seems to have become the trend now] and was perfect~! 


On to the mains, we asked for a portion of Dhansak [A Parsi favourite-classic slow cooked dal-medley of lentils, vegetables& spices served with a portion of rice and Kachumber-pickled onions] - I loved the flavours, the daal was thick yet light, the rice had the subtle hint of caramelisation and the onions were also slightly sweet [they had been soaked in jaggery & tamarind I discovered]

Trivia:
In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on Sundays as it is a heavy dish to digest and owing to the long preparation time.
Dhansak is also always had on the fourth day after the death of a near one. There is no meat consumed for three days after the death of a near one. And dhansak is used to break this abstinence on the fourth day. Dhansak hence, is never prepared on auspicious occasions like festivals and weddings. [from wikipedia]


It was turning out to be quite a fun lunch... Interesting conversations, general catching up, good food, what more could we ask for.. 

Quirky pieces on their menu...




And now came the time for desserts- I chose the Santre ni Kheer [ yes you read it right, it was orange in Kheer], served in a chai glass. I was apprehensive for I was sure the kheer would be bitter cos of the acid from the orange, but it wasn't. The two blended well and the orange infact helped cut the richness of the kheer..



My friend picked the Malai Kulfi, which was quite rich and we had a tough time finishing it..



With our bill came this jar of mini sugar balls [ the same ones they give at temples in North India].. We hung around for a good hour post the meal, yapping away and finally left... The place was quiet and cozy..  which meant it would be good for business lunches as well.



The bill came to Rs1437 [included taxes & Service Charge].. The portions are just perfect and food is quite delicious!! 

Address:
#40, Maharaja Surya Road, Venus Colony, Alwarpet, 
Chennai - 600018
Phone- 
If you are coming from Tangerine, it is a few doors down the road.

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 :-)

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