Category Archives: Restaurants

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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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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Indulge in Culinary Quest at Phoenix Market City Chennai

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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.

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Rocking Absolute Barbecues (AB’s) Vegetarian Food Review

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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 –

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Vegetarian Food Review : Head to OMR Food Street for Lip Smacking Value for Money Food

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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 –

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Hyatt Regency- Focaccia’s New Italian Menu

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.

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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.

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Phoenix Mall Food Crawl with Celebrity Foodie Kunal Vijayakar

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Celebrity Foodie Kunal Vijayakar At Jonahs Bistro

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.

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