Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
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... :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Karavalli Celebrations at Clubhouse, Taj Club House

Taj Clubhouse is celebrating 25 years of Karavalli, the award-winning iconic restaurant at The Gateway Hotel Residency Road Bangalore with a special menu from the coastal regions of South West India.  Chef Ganesh Sheregar from Karavalli had been flown down for the festival and we got the opportunity to meet him as well.

[Image courtesy: Taj]

The menu is quite large and is served Buffet & A la carte style.  Some interesting dishes on the menu include the Oggaraneda Aritha Pundi (Steamed rice dumplings, flavored with coconut and cumin); Koli Barthad (Succulent pieces of chicken, pan- fried in a blend of roasted spices and the tart flavours of Coorg vinegar); Allapuzha Meen Curry (Cubes of Seer Fish, simmered in a moderately spiced gravy of freshly ground coconut, ginger and raw mangoes); Kori Dosa that is ideally eaten with Kori Gassi (Tender pieces of chicken, cooked with finely ground fresh coconut, byadgi chillies, coriander and tamarind) or Kadala Curry [Kerala style black channa cooked in a gravy format] and/or Pachakkari Stew (Seasonal vegetables gently simmered in creamy coconut milk).

The evening opened with the in house Chef Siddique telling us a bit about the dishes in store, and how there was bound to be a lot of similarities with Kerala & Goan cuisine- coconut, curry leaves, mild spices and so on. We were then served the starters on the table- veggies got Coconut coriander pakoras of sort while the non veggies got Crab & Fish. It was served with a range of chutneys and dips, that included Chammandis [red chilli and green chilli version], and all kinds of pachadis- carrot, tomato, cucumber and many others…

We also got a portion of Oggarraneda Aritha Pundi (Steamed rice dumplings, flavored with coconut and cumin) – loved it, it was almost like ammini kozhukattais.

Apart from this, the buffet also held in store a variety of vadams [ bitter guard, mor milagai, nendram pazham, and few others] along with some pickles as well [ loved the garlic pickle and gonghura chutney among the lot]

Ok, enough digressing. After the starters, we wandered about the buffet and sampled quite a few dishes. There was neer dosa that went well with kadala curry. And then there was tamarind rice, red unpolished rice along with sambar, not to forget the veggie sides- Cauliflower Therattal (cauliflower cooked with onion tomato masala), Bhende Bardez (Goan specialty okra cooked tempered with coconut), Matti Gulla Gujju (udipi brinjal cooked with onion tomato and fresh coconut), Mirapakkai Pacha Pattani Igguru (Chili & green peas cooked with coconut & aromatic spices) to name a few.   Oh and special mention to the Pineapple Rasam that was sweet yet spicy and added a zing to the evening…

And for the grand finale there was the trio of desserts- Tender coconut ice cream, Dodol and Bibinca.. These were quite different from what we had earlier at another restaurant. The Dodol was warm, different texture and I loved this one. Similarly, the Bibinca too was close to what I had in Goa…

This festival is on till the 27th.. So for those of you who love coastal flavours, make a plan!

Where: Clubhouse restaurant at Taj Club House off Anna Salai, Chennai.
When: Till Sep 27.
Lunch: A la carte average rate for a couple around Rs.2,200 tax included
Dinner: Buffet Rs.1,700 per person tax included

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 :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beyond Madras, The Dining Room- Park Hyatt, Chennai

"Beyond Madras"- yes, that is exactly what it is.. Chef Balaji and his team went exploring the smaller towns around Chennai, tasting the local delights, collecting recipes and that is how the whole concept was born. 

A restaurant that is renowned in coming up with something new every now and then, this was yet another idea that was all set to wow customers. Oh and they are part of the Restaurant Week as well. The entire Beyond Madras menu is available!! 

Since I have been to Park Hyatt quite a few times, I noticed the subtle changes, the black boards with traditional kolas along the entrance, the attire worn by the staff, the south indian carnatic music wafting in the air and of course the table with a mix of spices, and gadgets [ammi, aattukal] used in South Indian cooking.. 

The evening began with Vinod [one of the staff, the one who took care of our table] explaining the whole menu and journey. He spoke about how the dishes will evoke memories, remind us of our gramma's cooking and so on... he also mentioned the evening would begin with cold beverages and end with hot ones. I chose Gooseberry Sherbet and it was yummy, not sharp like the fruit but slightly sweet and smooth. I also tried the Nannari [sarsaparilla ] sherbet, and it was amazing. 

And there came the bread basket, and must say this was a pleasant surprise... You would typically expect focaccia, but going with the theme, the bread was topped with crushed peanuts and a good splash of moulage pod [the kind you take with idli/dosa] and served with a strong tomato garlic chutney. It was just WOW... 

Whilst we were lost in the flavours, the starters came onto the table. There was Baby corn fritters [coated with batter that had south indian masalas and curry leaves], the rage vada [with chalots and curry leaves] for veggies, while non veggies had a chicken starter. 

As for the main course, we had a wide range of options- Aappam, Millet dosai, Parotta and the Millet tomato rice as well. It was served with a side of Mix veg korma, peas tomato korma, Vendekka kozhambu [Okra in something that tasted like a kara kozhambu], and a mix Keerai koottu [greens curry]... 

Each of these were served hot and had beautiful flavours. Since Millets seem to have become the in thing, it was nice to see it featured on a Restaurant menu as well. 

Just when we thought we were done, came the dessert platter- Filter coffee ice cream served with a cracker was just out of the world, sweet sevai [ with jaggery], vatalappam [ nice, but it had a very creme brûlée texture] and Elaneer payasam [ which was low on sweet and high on coconut milk]

The comfortable sofa, the pristine white table cloth, the beautifully chosen cutlery added to the experience. The restaurant goes through a makeover everyday at 7pm just for this!! The entire meal is priced around Rs1350+ , but you can also enjoy this for much lesser if you go for the Restaurant week option!! 

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 :-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sussegado - Just Like Goa!! @ Spice Haat, Hyatt Regency, Teynampet, Chennai

A trip to Goa is what you can expect through this Goan Food festival at Hyatt Regency... Take a drive down the beaches, sample some of the fresh seafood, or maybe grab a beer and dig into the veg biryani and the mushroom gravy at one of the cozy cafes, you will find them all here amidst the lavish buffet at Spice Haat in Hyatt Regency. And this festival is on till the 14th Sep only... So, here is your chance to taste the flavours of Goa and meet the Chef who has come down for the festival!!

The evening opened with an introduction to the Chef-  Chef Edridge Vaz and his take on Goan food. He spoke about how North & South Goa have completely different set of spices and flavours, some are spicy while others are quite mild and simple. There are a few which are made with Peri-Peri sauces, while others use basic ones to achieve the same flavours. 

The meal kicked off with a Mocktail, perfect for the warm evening following which came the three starters- 2 non veg and 1 veg.. I being the solo veggie in the group got to taste the vegetable Jeri -Meri, which was quite nice and made with a mix of veggies. The guys dug into the Peri-Peri prawns and Rava Fried calamari happily. 

For the main course, we were told the Goan dishes were part of the regular buffet except they had a distinguishing name card with a small image of Goa on it. There were a few veg and non veg dishes.. Almost all were quite mild, simple flavours, and a touch of coconut/coconut milk on them as well. 

The highlight of the evening were the desserts- the layered Bibinca [is a type of pudding and a traditional Goan, East Indian and Mangalorean dessert. Traditional Bebinca has 16 layers], Dodol [ an halwa of sorts made with black jaggery & rice flour] and the rice pancake with black jaggery +coconut filling with a drizzle of honey and roasted almonds around it, called  Alle Belle..  I washed it all down with some coffee before calling it a night! 


Sussegado - Just Like Goa! is part of the dinner buffet at Spice Haat which is priced at Rs 1550/- plus taxes. This food festival is on upto 14th of September as a part of the Dinner buffet at Spice Haat.

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 :-)