Category Archives: Restaurants
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.
Chennai 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.
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 –
Phoenix Market City (Phoenix mall) is a happening place in Chennai not only as a shopping destination but also as the location for trying out different cuisines. Currently Phoenix mall is hosting a new one of a kind experience with Culinary Quest, a festival with specific menu and host of discounts/offers for its customers from leading restaurants such as Nandos, Rajdhani, Punjab Grill, Jonah’s Bistro, ID, Noodle King and Spaghetti Kitchen. The festival is on till Dec 4th. We along with popular food bloggers from Chennai had the opportunity to check out the vegetarian options (Many non-vegetarian dishes too but we cover only vegetarian food in our blog). Get the offers booklet for the festival carrying the respective discounts with 2 complimentary parking passes. Now to our experience on the food at the participating outlets, we tasted out the vegetarian dishes at the first five restaurants – Nandos, Rajdhani, Punjab Grill, Jonah’s Bistro, and ID.
Barbecues (BBQ) is not a home term for vegetarians as it is involves grilling, roasting applicable more on non-vegetarian dishes. So we thought until we made a visit to the newly opened restaurant, Absolute Barbecues at Taramani, Chennai. We heard a lot about AB’s earlier and did not attempt with the thought that as vegetarians, we may not have many options. Absolute Barbecues proved us wrong – we had a range of starters and an interesting tasty vegetarian menu. For the comfort of vegetarians, separate section for preparing the dishes and even the crockery is distinguished by color red, green for vegetarians and Red for non-vegetarians. Another aspect is there was no heavy aroma in the restaurant that tends to put you off. Now to the menu –
OMR Food street located in Okkiam Thuraipakkam, is a haven for food lovers and caters absolute value for money food. This food review is unique in its own terms. When we scouted for food to cater to our different demands across cuisines from different parts of the world, we were mostly disappointed. The urge will sure die down faster looking at the distance we have to cover to move from one restaurant to another. By the time, we reached the second one; our interest in the food is gone. When malls came up, we were excited with the food court concept but sadly, for a vegetarian, it is not easy to walk into an air-conditioned floor where non-vegetarian food co-existed with vegetarian food. The aroma wafting in the air is enough to turn vegetarians off. Now to the subject, the Chennai Bloggers Club invited us for a tasting session at OMR Food Street, and it was a lovely time of fun, food and laughter. It is a small street with shops selling food on the either side and yes, we have a first floor too. We were astounded by the variety of food we got there and good number of options for vegetarians too. Now to the review –
Focaccia, Hyatt Regency Chennai’s Italian restaurant has revamped their menu based on the expertise of well-known Chef from Milan Chef Mauro Ferrari and we could not be more excited to taste the vegetarian dishes out.
For us who are familiar with spicy pastas and pizzas as Italian food, it was surprising to see that authentic Italian food more on moderate spices with lot of vegetarian options.
Phoenix Market City known as phoenix mall has become a landmark in Chennai as a Multiplex and shopping mall in the southern part of Chennai in Velachery. Living close to it, it is our usual haunt for get-togethers, shopping and a day out with family and friends. Our activities always involved food and Phoenix Market City Chennai (PMCC) has food court and restaurants offering global Indian cuisine. We are vegetarians and so we stick to the Vegetarian food at Rajdhani, ID and Kailash Parbat at the Food court. Though we had seen so many restaurants tempting us to try them out for Vegetarian offering we never tried it out. Just then we got an invitation to be a part of the Food Crawl event with Celebrity foodie Kunal Vijayakar at Phoenix Market City. It was a great opportunity extended to us and we would like to thank Chennai Food Guide for including us in it. We are foodies and anything that spells food has its own connotation in our dictionary.
We heard few of our friends talk about Tawa 9 in Mandaveli and decided to check it out. Located near the State bank of India branch of Venkata Krishnan Road (Near Mandaveli Bus Stand), Tawa 9 is a decent vegetarian restaurant. We met the owner Maitri and got to know her recommended items to try it out. We were a mixed group of South Indian and North Indian / Continental food lovers and this place had items to cater to our various needs. We were there at lunch time and we saw Tamilnadu and North Indian meals available.
Having been in the southern part of Chennai, we did not have much opportunity to visit Express Avenue Mall after the Phoenix and Grand Malls were inaugurated. We decided to check out on the EA mall and after checking out the various outlets, we decided to have dinner at the newly opened Chilis restaurant and as usual the vegetarian aspect of it. Chilis serves Tex-Mex cuisine and is located in the 3rd floor of EA mall as an independent restaurant and not in the Food court.
Rajdhani is a vegetarian thali restaurant serving meals with Gujarati and Rajasthani dishes. It is known as a Khandhani restaurant where food recipes are collected from villages just like our grandma recipes and then is explored in the kitchen by Maharaja (Master Chef) for volume production and then gets introduced in the menu. We were invited to taste the special dishes to be introduced this season, Mango specials. It was awesome spread of dishes made of raw and ripe mangoes and the Maharaja stood next to us and explained the dishes and its ingredients in the way we could understand. These special dishes would be rotated to the customers as the part of the regular thali during this season.
If you are wondering about the reach of mango in the cuisine, you are in for a surprise. Right from salad to dessert, mango is there in each and their inclusion in the dish is so natural that we do not feel it as an obstruction to the flavor of the dish, in fact in many cases, it enhanced the flavor of the dish – one of it is the mango jalebi.
VB Signature from the house of Namma Veedu Vasantha Bhavan is all set to take you down the memorable culinary experience ofcourse Vegetarian in its newly opened restaurant at Nungambakkam High Road – Opposite KFC, Next to Univercell showroom. Invited for a tasting session, we went there wondering what to expect from the typical South Indian restaurant and we were in for a surprise.
Greeted by the Chef Vignesh, we were given the menu which sounded much like a typical fine dining experience. We grew quite curious as we set onto order a drink and the options we saw made it clear that it is going to be a experience of a different kind. We began our food tasting with Ilaneer Inji Soda and VB Signature Filter Coffee Soda. The other options available were Curry Leaves Mojito, Home Made Chai Soda, Aam Panna, Bovonto Black Mojito and many more options.