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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... :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Midnight Buffet at Main Street, Residency Towers, Chennai

There is nothing like being out with friends Friday night, go pubbing [pub hopping] or maybe catch a late evening show. But then, by the time you are out, it is nearly 11 and there are very options to grab a bite from. Well, Main Street in Residency Towers brings to you the Midnight Buffet. Yes, the doors open around 11.30 and it goes on till 4am. You read it right. It is the ideal place to head over to satiate your hunger pangs. Someone might want dosa, while another might want to dig into a big plate of Biryani while one might long for some pasta or salad. Well, whatever be your craving, you will find a dish here.

You walk into Residency Towers lobby; look no further, on your right is where you will find the entry into Main Street. The place has been done up to resemble the streets of Europe/UK. There are lamp posts, signage with names of Streets, a poster that says “Doner Kebab’, and even a small TV in the far end of the room. We sat near the far end where there was an ad for Marlborough with the Marlborough man looking straight at us.

The buffet counter is spread just outside the kitchen, so you can actually watch the Chef making a dosa or the tandoor dishes. The buffet starts with a soup, followed by a wide variety of salads, and then the main courses, and not to forget desserts.

You can pick from mushroom salad, pasta salad, green salad or head straight to the main course- a roti or Biryani [veg/non veg] with a dal makhani or maybe the roasted aloo and a dollop of raita. There is also freshly steamed idlis amidst the buffet. Dosas are served on order. These come with 3 varieties of chutney and sambar. The spread goes on, and for those who need comfort food, there is curd rice as well. If you still have space in your tummy, head across to the dessert counter and have a spoon of ice cream or sample one of the many pastries/puddings on display.

What surprised me was that the place was nearly half full. While chatting with the manager, I came to know that they do about 70covers every night, crowd starts coming in around 2-3am. Who would have thought Chennai had such a happening night life!!

But remember, this Buffet is available only on Friday & Saturday nights. You can even glimpse through the buffet menu before stepping in. And it is priced at Rs555 nett

Main Street
Residency Towers
North Boag Rd, Thyagaraya Nagar 
 Chennai - 600017
Phone: 044 2815 6363

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Royal feast at Rajdhani, Phoenix Market City, Chennai

The question "Recommend a pure vegetarian[north indian] restaurant in chennai" would have only one answer if someone were to ask me. NO,  it is not Kailash Parbat or Cream Center, the only name to come out of my mouth would be "Rajdhani". Yes, the restaurant has not only impressed me, but also my family and many others, some of who happen to be staunch non vegetarians. That is how good they are! 

The 1st time I visited Rajdhani was the day they launched in Express Avenue. I had gone for a movie with friends and we hopped across to the food court and decided to have dinner here. One warning I must throw out is "make sure you are really hungry and your stomach is really empty" when visiting Rajdhani. The food here is that amazing and you will want to try out each of the dishes, which means you will be bursting in your seams if you stuff yourself. Food served here is pure veg, made with Ghee and the finest of spices and ingredients, and light on the masalas. 

Thanks to an ex-colleague and the bit of travel I have done, the cuisine is not new. But some of the dishes are equisite and delicious that you will go for a 2nd or even a 3rd helping. So, there I was, back in Rajdhani, this time in their 3rd outlet, the newest one, in Phoenix Market City. 

We were greeted in the traditional way, with a tikka and a welcome drink made with raw mango. And then, as you can guess was the feast. Spent a few minutes speaking to the Marketing head and team who'd flown down from Mumbai, heard the Hemji maharaj [head chef] explain each of the items on the menu [he apparently takes care of the South and shuttles between cities]. We also got a quick tour of the kitchen. While many of us assumed they had a central kitchen, we were told it was not so, each kitchen made the dishes every day. The only dish that was not cooked in the kitchens, and that came from Mumbai, specially for summer was Aam Ras. 

A new dish they have introduced is the Khoya roti, thick and yumm it felt it had been soaked in ghee and cooked with love. My favorite was the Daal bhati choorma, mango khadi, kichdi [ofcourse], khoya roti, pineapple kesari and jalebi. The meal has "I dont know how many" [72] items and is priced at Rs420/-. It is a meal that leaves you feeling like you are a King or Queen. Go ahead. Indulge!! And if you love mangos, this is the time to visit, they have included a few mango based dishes which are lip smacking

Phoenix Market City
Level 1, Velachery main Road, Velachery, Chennai , Tamil Nadu – 600 042
Mr. Ezhilarasan
Ampa Skywalk
Level - 3, Ampa Skywalk, No.1, Nelson Manickam Road, Chennai - 600029
Mr. Arunamachalam Jayaram
044 - 43063532 

Express Avenue Mall
Level - 3, Express Avenue Mall, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai - 600014
Mr. Chinappa
044 - 28464422/33

Monday, April 15, 2013

Summer Lunch at Sandy's

One of those days when impromptu plans were made and I met a friend of mine for lunch. Neither of us were really hungry, it was proving to be a long day and added it was the sweltering summer sun. After a few messages we decided to meet at Sandy's, wallace garden. Walked in, found a table for 2 near the counter and began catching up. We ordered drinks, she a ginger ale and I went for a Lychee fizz. Hers arrived in a can, while mine was served in a beaker with a pink straw. For someone who hates the sight of pink colour, i enjoyed every sip of this drink, maybe 'cos i love lychee.

For lunch, we chose light food- I ordered for the Tabouleh salad while she chose the Falafel wrap. The place was empty when we walked in, but within minutes it was packed. There were groups of 2-6 filling the tables. A family of 4 arrived, with a little boy and a girl who insisted on sitting in the center, on the bar stool type seating. They had to be helped up by their parents and animatedly began pointing to things on the shelf and talking.

And there came our food. Mine looked green and inviting, hers neatly wrapped up in butter paper served alongside a cucumber dip and potato wedges. My salad was fresh, rich and filled with flavour, loved it.

We skipped dessert and headed home. Now that is what i call Lunch- light and yet refreshing. Sandy's never fails to please.. :-))

If you are wondering where to go for a quick lunch or some yumm desserts, this is whre you should go. They have quite a variety of food and desserts that will leave you licking the plate clean.. Not only is the food good, but service is also top notch. The staff leave you alone, without constantly coming over asking if you need anything or if all is good....

32, Khader Nawaz Khan Rd 
Wallace Garden [ adj to Subway and Harley Davidson showoom]
Chennai - 600034
Timing: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm


# 2/15 Ganapathy Colony Main Road, (Cenotaph 2nd lane), Teynampet, Chennai, IN.
Mansi- +91 9841277987 
Kailas - +91 8939933039, 
Baalaji - +91 9841409778
Timing: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kefi - Levantine Lounge

There I was, once again. Back after ages. Taj Mount road.. The entire building is lit up in hues of blue, and this continues to the roof top as well. as you get off the elevator, you are greeted by the dimly lit swimming pool , beyond which is the bar and Kefi, the restaurant thereon. 

The Exec Chef Siddiqui mentioned they serve food from 5 main regions and stay clear of Italian or other cuisines. This was my 2nd visit here, the 1st one was with a  few friends, we sat indoors and had a good fun meal. Tonight was part of their  Levantine Lounge. This is an initiative that happens every Wednesday, where the outdoor area transforms into the restaurant. there are tables laid out under the stars, soothing music in the background and a wide range of food- cold cuts, cheese, salads, and grills laid out to choose from. Oh, how can i mention the highlight- unlimited WINE... 

Photo Courtesy: Karuna Karan

I promptly ordered a glass of red wine, also got to have a glass of white wine that someone else had ordered but dint want. Strolling around the salad section, we noticed there were quite a few options for vegetarians [ such a treat]., and some of the salads were outstanding. We had multiple helpings of those. We were also served different kinds of bread, dips, and sauces on the table. 

They had quite a few varieties of  cheese as well. I did try the goats cheese, it was quite strong, salty and i kinda liked the taste. There was also the good ol loyal Feta and smoked mozella as well.  perfect for the hot summer days, these were such a relief. I infact skipped the main course, though i did try a spoon of cous cous with Moroccan veg curry from Deepa. While we waited, we yapped about the view, the other restaurants in town and what is coming up. 

The Desserts were a sampler plate- loved the Baklava and honey ice cream. The kheer had a tad too much of cinnamon and I wasnt sure if it fit into the theme. The Harissa was also good [ i remembered trying it at home] 

Photo Courtesy: Karuna Karan

It was a good fun evening with friends, food and good ambiance, perfect unwinding after a long day! Thank you Taj! 

The whole thing is priced at Rs999 [excl tax]

Only suggestion:
Could you have a seperate grill for veg items please. We did notice they were right next to the non veg and saw a whole pile of skewers below in a dish. Thank you! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Colorful Salad

So I was in one of those weird moods today, and that is all I needed to whip up this salad. I opened the fridge, stood in front of it, till it started beeping. Pulled out a few items and off I went to the kitchen [yes, at grandparents house, the fridge is not in the kitchen]  This is what I whipped up..

What I found- 

Purple cabbage- 1 small 
Lettuce- few leaves
Walnuts- a handful
Paneer - dunno when it had been bought but looked pretty beat
Herbs- a bottle of mixed herbs
Olives- green pitted olives
Pesto- plain pesto sauce
Honey- 1 tbsp
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Salt & Black pepper- a pinch

Other vegetables [par boiled beans esp]
Crushed garlic
Boiled pasta

What did I do?
Take a large bowl - add oil, walnuts, salt, black pepper, honey, pesto sauce and mix them well
Now, to this add the chopped up purple cabbage, ripped up lettuce leaves, crumbled paneer pieces, olives and toss
Sprinkle the herbs and toss
Taste and add seasoning/spice depending on your preference.

It was absolutely yummy. So fresh, crunchy and delightful. 

Health facts :

Purple cabbage, more commonly known as red cabbage, is a colorful variety from the brassica family. Purple cabbage has a relatively high ratio of nutrients and vitamins to calories and fat, which makes it an ideal choice for dieters. It is common in salads, coleslaw, braised dishes and pickled treats.

The vitamin and mineral content of raw purple cabbage is the most significant reason to consume this vegetable. A single serving of raw purple cabbage contains about 20 percent of your DRI for vitamin A, at 993 international units. It also contains around 80 percent of your DRI for vitamin C at 50.7 IU per 1-cup serving. Other vitamins and minerals in a 1-cup serving include notable levels of folate and vitamin K; 40 milligrams of calcium; 14 milligrams of magnesium; and 216 milligrams of potassium.

Cabbage is a great store of vitamin C and vitamin K. The rich deep colour of this vegetable is due to a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols (strong dietary antioxidants, possessing anti-inflammatory properties), making it have even more phytonutrients than a green cabbage. A few studies also show that anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It is rich in anti-oxidants which makes skin supple and clear.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spoonbill, Chennai

Strolling along a well laid out sidewalk, there are guys selling Mexican burritos, Lebanese Falafel alongside French Crepe oozing with nutella or fresh fruits & cream is the feel you get as you look at the menu in Spoonbill.  

This was my 2nd or 3rd visit to Spoonbill and I quite enjoy the food here. The concept is Street food, European to start with but now they have incorporated a few Indian dishes owing to demand. They also have a Sunday Morning breakfast and Daily Happy hours [ 1 for 1 offer]. 

There we were, a few hungry souls, most of whom had been there before, sorry, 2 of them say it was their 1st visit. Charlie came over, explained the concept, the menu, the items, and thus began the food trail in Europe. 


 Falafel Salad

The evening began with us piling around the fridge to pick out a drink of our choice. I chose the watermelon juice, which was just perfect- no sugar, no ice[though i would not have minded some ice], many others dint like it cos it was sugar less. There was also Iced tea, Melon juice and a Mango-yoghurt smoothie of sorts. Moving on to food, we were greeted by Piadina, what looked like Quesedilla, probably a distance relative of the same, except these were made with different type of flour. We then tasted the Mushroom Crepe [ the saltiness of the mushroom went well against the bland crepe], then came the 2 different kinds of kebabs - Hara bhara and Paneer, the 1st one won hands down, infact even the non veggies silently sneaked towards the Veg corner of the table and dug their teeth into these kebabs. 

 Burrito & nachos

Kebabs- Hara Bara Kebab & Paneer kebab

They were served alongside fresh Mint chutney and a paratha of sorts. Along came the doner kebab salads, the vegetarians had falafel salad, which was yumm, and the portions were also good decent size, any more and it would be too much. We also sampled the Veg Burrito [filled with salad, salsa, refried beans], though we felt this could do with some tanginess/extra salsa maybe. There was also a plate of nachos that we dug into while we waited for the other dishes. 


Wait, i know i forgot something. Ah yes, the empanada- these resembled the samosa/somas, and the filling is jalepenos and cheese- that is it. Sinful treat, am already wondering what variation could be made in this... Oh, i must mention the yumm taste of the Madras masala spice sauce that was used in the Currywurst [sausages based dish]- it was filled with flavour[ the masala, d'oh]. The bread served along with this was Grochen[hope i got the name right] and it was WOW, i lost count of how many i asked for and that were stolen by others.. grrr.. 


As conversation flew, so did the food. Some of us wandered about curious to see the making process, while others were happy yapping away in their seats. The place was filled with people of all ages, I could spot a table with what looked like school kids, another with a family [ incidentally the man came over, introduced himself , saying he was a CFG member and that he recognised a few of us :-) looks like we are a popular/notorious lot].. We also tried two different sandwiches/subs of sorts- one had mint&chilli, other had garlic&chilli seasoing and both were lip smacking.

And then came the treats, the delicious desserts.. Different kinds of crepes- there was the good ol nutella filled crepe, following suit was the strawberry brownie custard and finally the ice cream crepe. We dug into them like we havent seen food before. Some spilling onto their shoes, while others just ripped the crepes like they were dosas.. lol.. such an unruly happy bunch we are, especially when it comes to food. I chit chatted with Charlie while he made the crepes and learnt about the batter, the process, how they plan the food, what happens to leftovers etc.. He also made a few small pancakes, which were for the kiddie meal they have.  

Ooh ooh, wait, there is one thing I need to mention- the cutlery. It is all made of wood and absolutely adorable. The spoons, forks, and even the mini fork like thingys that was given for the currywurst. adorable.  

Cooking  is an art indeed. 

Spoonbill is located above Cafe coffee day on TTK Road
#239, TTK Road,  [Above Cafe Coffee day]

Chennai 600018

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 App├ętit  :-)