Author Archives: Katie Nathan
What do you do on a rainy weekend in a city, when flooded streets and chaotic traffic wouldn’t let you enjoy the rains? Well, if you are like me, you would find yourself a ride and get out of the city. Driving my bike didn’t seem like a good idea in that weather so I booked a Chennai taxi with a reliable driver and headed towards Yelagiri.
The mini hill station, sitting quietly in the Vellore district is one of the most beautiful places to spend some time near Chennai, and also my favorite. Being at a little higher altitude also makes it pleasant and lets you enjoy the cooler weather. I have mostly been there for short treks and camping trips, but never solo or to experience a quiet time and enjoy the solitude. So, this trip turned out to be quite special. I paid attention to every little thing around, which one often misses when traveling in groups.
This is not our usual post where we write about the food we had in the restaurant. We are talking about the connect we had with the food and the effect of aroma of traditional dishes on our psyche. Food is one area in which we do not take much time to decide if we like it or not and yes, the only one area where we say, “Enough I am done”. Food is one that instantly makes a connection with our senses. How many times have you felt the sense of Deja vu when you smelt the aroma of a specific dish? It is a divine connection to our subtle senses and we felt it rekindled while having the food at Mami’s Samayal. Mami’s Samayal is a pure vegetarian restaurant located in the ninth floor of Regenta Central Deccan Hotel in Royapettah, Chennai. The chef Prema Nambirajan is true to her traditional roots and churns out magic in the food she prepares in authentic fashion. She insists on preparing her own masalas and it is not surprising given her background of coming from a family of caterers and chefs of fame those days. More than anything, we were floored by the hospitality we received and the sumptuous food we enjoyed over there.
A cute dainty vegetarian restaurant in Adambakkam surprised us with home style food in a warm dainty environment. Known as “moongil kadai” locally for its bamboo interiors, the restaurant is just a month old and has caught up with the locals for the unique offerings, taste and affordability. The restaurant is run by the owner family and draws its inspiration from the food served by their Ammachi – the reason behind the name Ammachi aduppadi. The ingredients are prepared in a traditional way and used in the served items and we can taste the authenticity in the food served to us. Now to the food, the specialty of this restaurant is their Koththu – kotthu chappathi and koththu parotta and you can opt for either with channa or mushroom. We could see most of the tables going for this Koththus.
Hawkersan, a Pan Asian restaurant located in the Somerset Greenways in MRC Nagar serves 4 course, 5 course and 7 course meals in a fine dining environment. There are not many restaurants in Chennai serving course meals. The restaurant serves only 7 course dinner but options for all the 3 courses are available for lunch. The menu changes everyday and the same menu repeats only once in 10 days. There is also a la carte available but we felt the course meals were better and gives us a lovely dining experience. We loved the fact of a fixed menu for the course as it gives us an opportunity to explore exquisite menu items. Special thanks to Mr. Ram, the staff of Hawkersan were sweet enough to explain us the menu and its specialty. Open only for lunch from 12 to 3 PM and 7 PM to 11 PM, the 7 course is priced to Rs.995/-, 5 course at Rs.795/- and 4 course at Rs.495/-. Now to the menu we had, it was a 7 course dinner with salad, soup, starters – rolls, steamed and grilled, main course and dessert.
Desi Di has opened in Poes Garden, Chennai with selected menu items with a focus on celebrating local ingredients. The intention can be seen in the items we ate, specifically the Sweet corn Drumstick (Moringa) soup, Veg Cutlet chops with Beetroot, Corn based Butta Kebab etc. Other interesting aspect is that the Chef Aaron Coutinho has gone that extra mile to bring in regional touch to the menu. The menu has almost 50% vegetarian items. Thanks to the chef for being a vegetarian for 3 months to understand what it means to be one and the difficulty we face in getting variety during our restaurant visits. Now on to the items we had and as usual vegetarian items – Masala papad is always our choice but here we had it with a twist – khakra with paneer burji. A great way to start the food journey, it was served with another novel drink – litchi jamun drink.
We truly believe that “the best destinations are the ones that are off the map” and Nandi Hills is one of those destinations. Nandi Hills in Karnataka was discovered by travelers and has become a popular holiday spot ever since.
Whether you’re seeking a quick getaway for the weekend or a good rejuvenating break with your work buddies, this is the ideal place for you and your team. Surrounded with mesmerizing views, numerous attractions, and surreal experiences, this offbeat gem is a must visit. Here’s a curated experience guide for a corporate team outing in Nandi Hills.Read the rest of this entry
Perfect Weekend Getaway – Pondicherry
I have traveled to Pondicherry once on my own and once with a couple of friends. But never with my family, rather my extended family. And the opportunity came soon when my uncles, aunts, and cousins joined my parents and me for their 30th anniversary weekend. With such a big group, we were contemplating on how to travel. After a lot of searches online and offline, I figured that if you are traveling in a large group, it is better to go for a tempo traveler hire in Chennai. That way, all of us could be together throughout the journey.
We made our bookings at a lovely sea view resort, a little outside the main town. It took us about three and a half hours to reach Pondicherry. The combination of the quaintness of the old French colony and the modern version of Pondicherry city is always a fascinating experience.Read the rest of this entry
Decent Vegetarian Rajasthani Food Experience at Royalasthan
We start this post with a positive note that Chennai is seeing opening of more vegetarian restaurants. It is encouraging to see restaurants of specific cuisine and we have a new addition serving Rajasthani food, Royalasthan, located in the street next to AVM Rajeswari marriage hall in Dr.Radhakrishnan Road. The restaurant is not a newbie, it is revamped to serve only vegetarian food. Earlier it was a non-veg restaurant. The Rajasthani restaurants that we are familiar of are buffet restaurants, and this restaurant has a a la carte menu and thalis for lunch. A look at the menu confirmed that the items are affordably priced and half portion option is certainly value for money.Read the rest of this entry
Kerala Vegetarian Food has its own class and we got an opportunity to have it on a sumptuous buffet spread at Regenta Central Deccan’s Kerala Food Festival by Chef Saraswathi from Trichur. The food got a home touch with her personal involvement in every dish and her passion talks volumes in the food. She has brought in specific spices from Kerala to give that authentic touch to the festival. It is simply STOMACH capacity that forces us to stop.
Another interesting factor is the tholi (skin) use in the dish. The dish is made with kidney beans and nethran skin finely diced and trust me, it was simply awesome. We simply loved the zero waste policy. The chef personally visits us and interacts with us to understand how we enjoy the food. That is a personal touch which feels like Home.Read the rest of this entry
Chennai to Kanchipuram Travelogue
There are very few places in Tamil Nadu that I have visited. Kanchipuram is one of them. I always tend to associate this ancient town with the most exotic silk sarees and exclusive idlis. It was only when I visited the town, that I discovered its real treasures. It was a weekend family trip and we booked a licensed and verified Chennai to Kanchipuram cab. It was only 80 Km from Chennai and was perfect for a day trip. We took NH48 and reached in less than two hours.
One could call this a temple town, with its apparent appearance. As we neared Kanchipuram, the city welcomed us with ancient stone temples, each with the finest carvings and sculptures.
I learned that the establishment of the city dates back to the 6th century when the rulers of the Pallava Dynasty made it into their kingdom capital and ruled from here for two centuries. They created great stone monuments in the neighboring town of Mamallapuram and magnificent temples in Kanchipuram. Some of the temples were later added by the Chola and Vijayanagar kings. As such, the temples of Kanchipuram were not only religious sites but also had historical significance. Most of these places of worship are dedicated to Shiva, Shakti, and Vishnu. There were nearly 50 temples in and around Kanchipuram but we had time to visit only a few. So we went to these three most popular and sacred temples in the city –Read the rest of this entry
Chennaifocus is a Dineout member and has benefitted quite a lot by using the app. The app offers 20% cashback when we pay through the Dineout Pay option. The process is not extensive and cumbersome. Having been a regular user of Dineout, we were thrilled to see exciting offers, guess it is running only for a few days. Knowing Dineout, we can expect good campaigns and offers from time to time. This is certainly our own personal review of Dineout as a user, and we have always been true to our experience.Read the rest of this entry
Indulge in Offers from the Savera on their Summer Fest at the Piano Restaurant
The Piano restaurant is celebrating this season with a SummerFest with specialized food and beverage counters and irresistible offers. It is a buffet and as usual, we reviewed the vegetarian section and the food covers South Indian, North Indian, Continental, Oriental and American dishes and there are more than 15 items for vegetarian alone. The offer is
Come as 3 and pay for 2 and Come as 5 and Pay for 3 only, irresistible indeed. Details of price at the end of the post.Read the rest of this entry