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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 22, 2016

Jamavar - The Leela Palace, Chennai


Restaurant Week India is back and this time they have tied up with a few new restaurants as well.  Giving people an opportunity to dine at a five star hotel, or a fine dining restaurant without worrying about putting a big dip in their wallets is what this concept is all about. Where you might spend 3000++ Rs for a meal for two, you end up spending a fraction of that when you go via Restaurant Week India. No way, I am not exaggerating..  If you don't believe me, check out the website and see what am talking about.

Where did I go? 

Well, I chose to dine at a restaurant I have been meaning to visit Jamavar in The Leela Palace, MRC Nagar.

Jamavar I discovered is a special type of shawl made in Kashmir. While I thought Pashmina was it, I was told that the best quality of Jamawar is built with Pashmina. Most of the designs seen today are floral, with the kairy as the predominant motif.  

The evening began with a few minutes spent chatting about the place, the restaurant, the city and much more with two very interesting people from the hotel. I then bid then adieu before getting down to business. For starters, while you get to choose one from four options, I was served a small portion of all four. There was Thair Vadai [really soft and fresh], Subz Mewa Seekh [Mix veg kebab which had the rich taste of peas and corn], Baby Corn Bezule [ baby corn marinated in secret spices and served crisp] and finally the starter that I would recommend for all- Bharwan Aloo Tikki [ melt in your mouth patty]

Between mouthfuls I couldn't help but stare in awe at the gorgeous decor and plush interiors...I was told the pastels on the wall were based on the traditional Jamavar style of weaving- they were carved on wooden panels and covered the walls. On the ceiling and tables, you would find a similar pattern, which is also placed on the Maharaja table [ one that is a semi private dining area at the far end of the restaurant, seating upto 15people] in Mother of pearl. Not to forget the gold touch across the decor and cutlery as well. The restaurant oozed of plushness and opulence and you feel Royal dining here. I got a detailed tour of the restaurant courtesy the Manager, who told me about the history of the place, the decor, the details and about the food served here~ 

For the mains, I was again offered all four side dishes [you get to choose one from the menu]- Paneer Makhani [soft paneer cooked in simple creamy sauce], Sabz Kadai [ mixed veg side dish that was subtle on spices and not too hot], Gobi Hara Pyaz [ cauliflower based gravy that was perfectly seasoned], Vendakka kara kozhambu [a south indian spicy gravy of sorts, it is best had with plain steamed rice]  and of course the show stopper in the main course was the Dal Jamavar [ am a big fan of Dal Makhani and this just took it to a whole new level, i happily devoured the small bowl of dal shamelessly]

Ah what an evening it was turning out to be. As I enjoyed my company, I felt blessed to be there, enjoying such a beautiful meal in such a setting.. Before I knew it, I was looking down at the plate with a single portion of Malai Kulfi - It was delicious, rich creamy and laced with chopped dry fruits. The other desserts that you can choose from were Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai and Ada Pradaman.. I liked that they had a good mix of North Indian and South Indian dishes in the RWI Menu.. Gives people the option to choose.

After such a meal all you can do is spend a few minutes reliving the flavours, have a cup of coffee and call it a night with a smile on your face... This restaurant is open only for Dinner, there are two slots available on RWI - 7.30pm and 9.30pm. Hurry up, go on make a reservation here or at one of the other restaurants ... 

It officially kicks off today 22nd April, Friday and is on till May 1st, Sunday. This time OLA Prime presents Restaurant Week where customers have the choice to dine at some of the finest restaurants for a fraction of the a la carte rates.

Restaurant Week Chennai features 13 participating restaurants that will offer a three-course price fixed menu (with an option of vegetarian or non-vegetarian) at INR 750 for lunch and INR 900 for dinner per diner. The price, per individual, is exclusive of applicable taxes, service charges and anything ordered outside of the special Restaurant Week menu.

This round will continue the feature of Restaurant Week Signature options over and above an extensive hand-picked menu, giving diners the option of experiencing the restaurant’s signature dish at an incremental cost in lieu of a regular appetiser or main course option. Restaurant Week Signature Appetisers are priced at an additional INR 100 and Restaurant Week Signature Main Courses at an additional INR 200, excluding all taxes and service charges, at select participating restaurants.

Event Rules:
In order to secure your reservation, we will require the entire meal price of INR 750/-++ for Lunch or INR 900/-++ for Dinner, applicable taxes and service charges  + a non-refundable convinicence fee per diner. The collected amount is completely adjusted against your bill at the restaurant whilst we will retain only the convinience fee.

Visit for information or to make a reservation!
[info courtesy RWI website]

The Leela Palace
Adyar Seaface, M.R.C Nagar, Chennai - 600028
Phone:044 3366 1234

Website url:

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, April 21, 2016

Thai Food Festival, The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt

Sawasdee Krab ... That is how you say hi/hello in Thai language.. and that is how last evening began! I was at The Flying Elephant in Park Hyatt for the Thai Food Festival. We got the opportunity to meet and interact with the Chef flown down from Park Hyatt Dubai, she was 59 yrs young [yes, I said young, that is how she came across.. very passionate and enthusiastic] 

Those who know me will know Thai cuisine is my all-time favourite and so last evening was such a treat. I have been fascinated with the flavours and the dishes that came out of the kitchen were not only beautiful to look at but tasted heavenly as well. What was more, I was in some kind of heaven watching my friends [hard core meat eaters] enjoy the veg fare. 

A menu that covered all aspects of the country, flavours strong and yet subtle, with cutlery to match. It was a fun evening alright.. What more could you ask for, right? Oh and there were a few glasses that I had my eye on, to a point where friends were convinced I would pack one of them in my handbag .. :D 

Among the dishes we tried, the ones that stood out were the Pad Thai Noodles , the yummilicious rice and thai red/green curry and of course the range of cocktails. Each one had a fascinating name and a blend of flavours that were quite interesting and  beautiful. The cocktails were a blend of alcohol with fruits, citrus, chilli, sugar and more.. not to forget the cool names they had- Thai Collins, Bridge over River kwai and such. 

We were a happy bunch last night and by the time we got to the desserts we were stuffed. But then knowing Thai Cuisine, we knew the desserts would be light and packed with flavours, and we were right! We got three desserts - Sticky rice with mango slices, Water chestnut dumplings in coconut milk with slivers of jackfruit and finally the Sago cooked in coconut milk with slices of cantaloupe on it. Loved them all... 

Looks like the restaurants in Chennai are going all out to wow the customers. This festival is on till the 29th April, so hurry up!

Park Hyatt
#39, Velachery Main Rd, Raj Bhavan Colony, TN Police Housing Colony, Velachery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Phone:044 7177 1234

    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, April 20, 2016

New flavours from paper boat...

 Well, for someone who is not a big fan of the fizz or soft drinks, there are quite a few options, but then comes the doubt - do they contain natural fruit juices or artificial flavours? won't they be full of sugar and so on. That is when I spotted a packet of paper boat juice in a local grocery store. I tried the Aamras and was sold. Soon after I tried few other flavours , but my all time favourite is Kokum. 

Recently, I noticed they have come out with two new flavours, perfect ones to beat the heat I guess. One is Panakam [ it is intact a light drink made with jaggery, dried ginger and water] - quite flavourful and cooling. The Panakam from paper boat is just as good, except it has cardamom as well. 

[Image courtesy: Paper boat Facebook page]

The other flavour they have come out with is Guava Chilli. Now this is one fruit am not a big fan of, but was curious and so tried the drink. It has a sharp tang and a gentle chilli bite to it at the end. My mom and uncle who love the fruit loved it. Said it was packed with Guava flavour!

[Image courtesy: Paper boat Facebook page]

Recently when out on the road, I spotted this cool Paperboat truck, the colourful exterior was quite inviting.. look at the bottom panel, with the colourful bottles all around them.

If you have been hooked on soft drinks or canned ones, time to give this a shot. You can thank me later~

Available at all stores and on Big basket as well.. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Kerala Food festival- till 25th April, Spice Haat, Hyatt Residency

Ellarkum sneham niranja Vishu Aashamsakal!! [Happy Vishu]... is what I read on a friend's page on April 14th! What a beautiful way to send out New year greetings, right? 

When I dug about on this festival, I came to know it is a festival where people decorated their homes with lights and burst of firecrackers (Vishupadakkam) as part of the celebrations. Apart from this, it included buying new clothes- Puthukodi, exchanging gifts [in many cases it is money] -Vishukkaineetam ,and the highlight being the Sadhya[feast]. 

The feast consisted of dishes made with various flavours in them - salt, sweet, sour and bitter. Some of the speciality dishes were  Veppampoorasam, Mampazhappulissery, Vishu kanji and Vishu katta. What is interesting is that there are a lot of similarities between Vishu and Tamil New year [esp with reference to food].. In tune with this festival, Hyatt Regency came up with a Kerala Food Festival at their restaurant Spice Haat. Here is a glimpse of what lies in store at the festival that is on till the 25th of April. 

As we got comfortable, we were served two drinks [ just what you need to beat the chennai summers]

Pineapple Breeze: I took just a sip of this but it was indeed refreshing and had chunks of pineapple that added to the drink. 

Sparkling Coco: Well, lets just say it wasn't a favourite. It felt like a blend of coconut milk with fizz..  

To kick start the meal, we were served a medley of three dishes, authentic kerala dishes.. 

Chakkavaratti: It is a sweet made with Jackfruit and jaggery, cut into pieces and served up. We make this at home, except it is consumed in halwa form. it was low on sweet and resembled the Goan Bebinca..  Loved the flavours in this [maybe cos I love chakkaravaratti per se]

Puli-inji : This is one of those dips/chutneys/pickles that will have you licking our fingers. it is tangy, slightly sweet cos of the tamarind and packs quite a punch. Loved it.. 

Papaddam: Well just what you need to complete the medley. Little appalams with bubbles all over, just like what a papadam looks like.  


While the conversations flowed on one side, so did the food. First came the appetisers - pazham port [banana fritters, made with Nendram Pazham], the ulli vadai [onion bajji/vadai]and then came one or two non veg starters as well. During the course of the evening, we chit chatted with Chef Gourab and the other Chef to learn about the history of the festival and how they zeroed in on the dishes. The one that had stood our so far was that the dishes all tasted pretty close to the real deal, and Kerala food is one that I quite love and enjoy.  I also told Chef that my all-time favourite Kerala Dish was Kappa [made with tapioca]  


I ordered myself a cold coffee while we waited for the mains to arrive. The one common phrase that everyone quoted the minute the dishes were served up was that I was one lucky bug. Why? Cos almost all the dishes were Vegetarian[ for]

 The main dishes can be found as part of the large buffet they have at the restaurant. I tasted a few of them,  Peera [snake gourd cooked like a dry curry with grated coconut], Avial [a mix of vegetables cooked with coconut oil, ground coconut green chillies red chilli and yoghurt], Puliserry [yet another koottu of sorts made with pumpkin with the base made using yoghurt and coconut] and finally there was the Parippu kuttan   [a gravy with mixed vegetables and lentils to give it the smooth texture].We had these with flaky parotta and red rice [which is common in all Kerala Households and is quite a healthy one at that] 

The minute I read about the Kerala Food festival, I began salivating thinking of the  Ada prathaman and well, I wasn't disappointed  One of the desserts was indeed Ada Prathaman [a payasam of sorts it is made with rice sheets, jaggery and of course coconut milk] . The other dessert is not a big favourite of mine, it is the Chakka Prathaman [similar to the other one but made with Jackfruit pulp] . While we licked the bowls clean, the conversations continued to flow late into the night. A cup of tea/coffee, some water and the night wore on...  

If you love Kerala food and have been looking for a place that served up authentic dishes, I suggest you head over to  Spice Haat before the 25th to get a taste of the same. 

This festival is available only for Dinner- 6.30 - 11.30 pm 

The dinner buffet is priced at 1550/++ 
The Kerala Vegetarian Thali is priced at 1000/++, Non Vegetarian Thali at 1200/++.

Do call +91 44 6100 1234 for reservations.

Hyatt Regency 
365, Anna Salai, Teynampet ·
Ph: 044 6100 1234

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 :-)