Category Archives: Food

Vegetarian Food Review of Maplai Restaurant, Neelangarai, Chennai

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Maplai restaurant is quite popular for their virundhu (feast) and their curated selection of dishes from the Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka region centric cuisine.  Right now, Maplai is celebrating Andhra Pradesh food festival during the month of July 2017.  The Neelangarai unit is new but we could see a good footfall on the Friday we were there.  We arrived early and was well received by Mr. Vinu Shankar, Marketing Manager of the establishment. It was interesting insight onto the process and the honesty in claiming their approach to being near to the authenticity of the dishes to the traditional way of making it.  We arrived early and hence could not participate in the virundhu (feast) but did partake various items in the menu.

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Punjab Grill Introduces Heirloom Recipes in Phoenix Mall’s Culinary Quest 2017

23301bd9-178f-49a0-88e7-06a3069ecd85Phoenix Market City (Phoenix mall), Chennai is celebrating its 2017 edition of Culinary Quest through the month of July. The specialty of this food festival is the introduction of new items in the menu by participating restaurants and a 15% discount on the bill, a bonus at the time we are facing the brunt of GST in our food bills. We visited the Punjab Grill, a participating restaurant to check out the offering for the culinary quest.

Punjab Grill has always been specializing on Punjabi food and justifies its contribution to the food lovers with its quality and service. It was something to look forward to when we came to know that Punjab Grill is working on bringing heirloom recipes for the Culinary Quest this time. We love such food festivals happening occasionally because it makes the restaurant expand its menu and embark on identifying food that lies hidden in our age old culinary treasure. As a foodie, it gives me immense pleasure to see new items being offered to beat that familiarity with the food in their menu but it is no ordinary task to go in search of heirloom recipes and bring it onto our table with the perfection to make sure we enjoy it. Thanks to Punjab Grill Chef team, it was a job well done and we enjoyed the food at its best.

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Dialogue in the Dark – An Eye Opening Experience

BLACKDark! The word has been associated with color, absence of light and with thing eerie. But to many, it is the way they see the world. Do we really know what it is to be in dark? Not the dark we think of when we do not have sufficient information about a subject, the REAL Darkness. It will be an interesting question to answer since darkness in real is never experienced by many of us, not even in the night. Pitch darkness has literally existed only in thrillers for me. This realization dawned on me when I visited “Dialogue in the Dark” in Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai. It is located on the other end of Food Court.  Wondering what is “Dialogue in the Dark”?

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California Walnuts Redefines Healthy Eats into Lip smacking snacks

We all know healthy food can be unappealing. Especially, we Indians have grown up DSC_3284with moms feeding us healthy food and those protein shots in the form of nuts, almonds and the most dreaded, walnuts were enough to send us to untraceable hideouts. For any layman, walnuts feel dry, drab and tasteless with a after taste of oily bitterness.  Though I never enjoyed having them, the nuts provide many health benefits and it is essential to make it part of our diet for balanced nutrition. Acceptance is essentially how we package it.  So, taking this as a cue, an US company has proved that with the right ingredients, walnuts can be made into snacks that excite children and adults alike.

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Welcome to Era of Easy Communication and Misleading Information

The title says it all, we are living in an exalted era of communication and being fed with information sometimes authentic but many unverified and unproven. To add to this, we have the power to pass it on and it goes undeterred and unquestioned to gullible people who never question the authenticity of the information given to them. The reach is even more when it touches the life of a common man. One such case doing the rounds is “Plastic Rice”.

We also got a video in WhatsApp about Chinese plastic rice entering the market and how it is manufactured. Smartly, there was no audio to it. We could see raw material (glue) kind made into plastic sheets and then being shaped like rice and collected in bags. My first thought process was shock but then a bit prudence set in as I remembered the process of making thermocol where sago like bubbles are manufactured and made into blocks. It may be the “plastic rice” is a raw material for some industrial product. Where is the proof that it is being sold as rice? Sadly, Basmati rice, nature’s gift to India with its aroma and flavor has come under question putting so many farmer lives and produce under threat. Being an ardent Basmati rice fan, I set about checking various trustworthy news about it.

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Mango Madness at The Forum Vijaya Mall

Summer time, the king of fruits makes its grand entry in many forms. Needless to say about the varieties of mangoes we are familiar with, dishes that celebrate mangoes find a place in the menu of every restaurant in the city during this season.  With the advent of the concept of food courts, people of varied taste find it easy to get together to taste the food of their choice under one shelter. Forum Vijaya Mall boasts of multi cuisine food joints in the food court and many of them have curated special items to bring the best of the seasonal fruit.  We were invited for a tasting session at the Forum Mall Food Court to taste the #MangoMadness currently on which extends till June 18.  We had the pleasure of tasting vegetarian dishes and it was interesting to see the array of innovative dishes from the participating outlets such as Kailash Parbat, Amaravathi, Kobe sizzlers,  Dashing Dhaba, Quiznows–

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Copper Chimney’s The Great Indian Kabab Festival – Dig into Authentic Traditional Food

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Authentic! Traditional! That 90s touch! Old street taste, inviting aroma – Few phrases we use to locate that specific food that will take us back to those golden days when each dish with that one common main ingredient tasted so different and unique. Those days, the chef signature was imbibed in everything and whatever we try at home, we will go back to him for that specific flavor.  These days, most of the times when we eat out, we end up feeling better making the dish at home and let me tell you, at times it is much better. Take for example, tomato soups at restaurants taste almost like Maggi soups we make at home. Where is that signature that makes us drool and walk in to the restaurant for that experience? We happily had one such experience with Copper Chimney at The Great Indian Kabab Festival happening now till April 14th 2017.

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Following Tea Trails in Chennai – Let us Eat and Drink Tea

9449a512-9fb5-4a97-862f-2a2e5a226fa3Chennai known more for its affinity to Coffee or kaapi is now getting its share of tea tasting experience with exclusive outlets for getting that Tea experience. Tea is no more limited to the hot beverage you get in roadside shops with a huge bag like filter and served in glasses. Tea Trails located in Ashok Nagar near the police station serves 80 different types of tea categorized as black, white, green, Oolong and herbal teas. Known as Chai, it is served without milk and there are 12 types of tea with milk.

The most interesting part of having the tea is the setup placed on the table along with instructions on brewing the specific tea.  The tea we had was Kashmiri Kahwa. Expecting a glass of dark brown tea (we had without milk), we were surprised to see an apparatus placed on the table with an instruction card specifying 1 to 2 minutes to brew the tea. So we waited for 2 minutes and pressed the button and lo!, we had 150 ml of  filtered brewed tea.  We were told we can brew the tea 4 times with the same ingredients making for 4 cups of tea when you buy one. Certainly an interesting concept and we were surprised at the cup of aromatic yellow tea. It is not over yet; we were served with Almond bits which we were told is sprinkled as an add on to the Kashmiri Kahwa tea.

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Flower Drum brings Vegetarian Chinese Thai Food to Adyar

Flower drum has been in our hit list for quite some time for its Vegetarian Chinese Thai Food.  Located in Egmore, it was just not forthcoming rather getting distracted to other restaurants once we hit heart of Chennai. Flower Drum opened their other restaurant at Namma Adyar near Aavin circle (above ICICI Bank).  We are thankful to Flower Drum and the Chennai food bloggers community to have made it possible to have a firsthand tasting session at this new establishment. First thing we noticed is the ambiance. Few tables were arranged to have a circular seating accommodating 6 people and more. This has always been an issue when we go as a family for get-togethers.

The menu was exhaustive with good varieties highlighting Paneer, Corn, baby corn and Mushroom.  For Tofu lovers, we had few items for you too. Now to the food we had –

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Sensodyne Food Walk – Chennai

sensodyne3A group of bloggers, including me, were invited for the So Chennai & Sensodyne Food Walk here in Chennai. Needless to say, I grabbed the offer and set out for the great food-adventure!

The concept at hand was that a few bloggers and actual tooth sensitivity sufferers, who had been using Sensodyne for a number of months, would get to go on a food walk, sampling food and drinks without the fear of any sensitivity.

Here is a description of our food-adventure experience at three popular eateries in Chennai.

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Tasty Healthy Home Food with Gomathy Mami’s Batters

Millets is the new age food and we can confirm it with the number of restaurants offering millet based food aka healthy food. Healthy food is not something we want to eat once in a while and to make it regular, it must be prepared at home.  This was one area which we were not familiar with as we belong to the city bred crowd. So we ended up hunting for such food and brought home ready to cook powders with which we can prepare dosai or adai. The problem with the powder is the dryness we get when preparing dosa or adai. It is manageable if we eat it immediately and how much ever we soak the powder, there is that hard feel in the end product. This is when we came across Gomathy Mami’s home batter and had the opportunity to try out 6 different batters –batters

Brown Rice Dosai , Multi grain Adai , Bajra (Kambu) Dosai, Horse gram (Kollu) Dosai, Ragi (Kezhviragu) Dosai, Regular Rice based Dosa / Idly and Paruppu Adai from them.  I must say I am more than happy with the product in the pricing, quality and taste.  Here is our experience –

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Pizza Mania with Stuffed Crust from Pizza Hut

Pizza mania just like the Biryani Mania today had seen a big surge in Pizza offerings. We can see Pizza in every fast food joint but then innovations have not been much forthcoming from them but from the leading Pizza joints such as Pizza Hut.

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Pizza Hut claims to have the tastiest pizza, with the dough, vegetables prepared freshly every day. They also claim to use only hundred percent mozzarella cheese. We always found the normal crust a bit boring with its doughy nature since the middle gets the best of cheese, sauce and the flavorings. Nevertheless, it is the filler but having the crust filled with gooey cheese or masala vegetables is a nice twist. Pizza Hut never fails to impress us with their new varieties. Same applies to their new stuffed crust, which comes in two exciting options, Veg Kebab for the vegetarians and masala chicken sausage for the non-vegetarians. They have introduced Cheese Maxx- where the crust is stuffed with full load of cheese to cater to the cheese lovers who just do not bother about those extra kilos, being a foodie and getting diet conscious just does not work together. 🙂  Another interesting aspect of Pizza Hut Pizza is the 100% herb infused sauce to add extra freshness to the Pizza.

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