BBQ is the in thing in today’s restaurant scene and few major players are Absolute Barbeques, Barbeque Nation, Coal Barbeques and it is a Buffet available with Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian menu items. The challenge in visiting this restaurant as a family is our inability to do justice to the large menu and a Rs.700 plus and minus per person price tag. This has prevented us from visiting this restaurant often much to the disappointment of the youth gang in our family. We got this issue addressed finally when we visited Axpress BBQ located in Karapakkam (Opposite to TCS) with its a la carte offering. Another plus is it is a Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) and has an interesting menu on cards. The ambience is vibrant and a flash mob now n then adds to the enthusiasm of the crowd. Contributing to the Go Green initiative, disposable paper containers and plates are used to serve food, we leave the restaurant with a gift box with seeds to make our home green. The moment we go in, we are greeted with a welcome drink, dhaniya Shorbet, light and an appetizer in soup form.
Copper chimney known for its traditional and authentic North Indian food has opened its new outlet in Phoenix Market City, Velachery, Chennai adding to the gastronomic journey of food outlets in the mall. Being an avid lover of Copper Chimney, we were happy when they opened their outlet in Ascendas IT Park. Now they have moved from there to Phoenix mall which is much closer and better for us. A sampling of their menu gave us an idea about the variety fare they have brought us with specialties in their own signature pattern. Here is a review of the food we had which was a full course meal beginning with soup, starters, main course and dessert.
Ab-e-hayat – light vegetable and coconut water soup flavored with turmeric and celery. It was refreshingly different, less creamy with a lovely aroma.
Kerala food is quite popular in Chennai with few specialty restaurants serving authentic mallu cuisine. It was a welcome food festival at Courtyard Marriott – Paprika café as Chef Saji P Alex, the masterchef who has cooked for Ellen de Generes, curated the special dishes that spelt traditional Kerala food in every mouth. The festival is on till 20th, do read our experience and look out for that exquisite offering at Rs.1399 plus taxes. The festival menu has the special dishes along with the regular menu and is quite widespread and quite satisfying to our palate. We had starters, main course, dessert and a special mention to the chips and pickles that drew us repeatedly towards the counter. The ambience was so aesthetically organized to give a street food feel and being in Kerala environment. Now to the food – We had two starter options Cheeri masala vada. This was our typical south Indian vada, a crunchy spicy starter, a good start to a lovely culinary experience.
In a grand launch at ITC Grand Chola and an evening akin to a perfect traditional event, Levista Instant Coffee was launched by SLN coffee in Chennai. SLN Coffee has more than 50 years in Coffee business exporting over 10000 MT of green coffee, roasted ground coffee powder and instant coffee powder and now brings the product to coffee lovers in Tamilnadu and Karnataka as a start. It is interesting to note that the beans are handpicked and come from SLN’s own coffee estates in Coorg. When it comes to instant coffee, traditional coffee lovers look away because it misses that aroma we are so used to when we have our filter coffee. Levista coffee boasts of filter coffee experience in instant form, a hook enough to attract the coffee lovers, would not be too much if we say coffee addicts who can never say No to coffee.
Pakwan, a vegetarian restaurant in TNagar, Chennai celebrated the first anniversary of their operations along with the launch of their new menu which boasts of an array of interesting dishes. We were invited to be the part of the celebrations and taste the new menu. It was fun with games and food, and we enjoyed the lovely preparations and the ambience, a special mention to the mocktails we were floored with in the process.
This has been our first visit to the place even though it came up many times earlier. The new menu carries Asparagus risotto with almonds, and to the Masterchef fans out there, it would not sound new. Based out of rice, it was a queer dish for a South Indian but yet delicately interesting and we liked it.
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.
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 –
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.
Westin, Velachery, Chennai is running a ‘All You Can Eat DimSum Festival’ for two weeks beginning 21st March 2016. We have been on Dimsum for a while now which our foodie friends know about and boy! weren’t we super excited to be there to get a taste of it. For all those Chinese food lovers in Chennai, authentic Chinese food is lot different from what we eat in most of the restaurants here and painful truth is Gobi Manchurian is Not AT ALL Chinese food. That was a big letdown for me. But having said this, it was also evident that true Chinese food is lot tastier, lighter and quite healthy. Now let us proceed to our review…
Sree Gupta Bhavan, popularly known as ‘Loiee’ has opened their outlet and restaurant at 100 feet road, Velachery next to Sangeetha Restaurant , opp to Subway. It was quite a talk around our area, we decided to check the restaurant out for dinner on a Sunday. It was just 2 days old when we visited the restaurant. The restaurant was brightly lit and buzzing with activity. Ground floor is dedicated to Chaat and sweets counter and more like a fast food joint. First floor is the restaurant and was almost full with people waiting. Surprised at the reception this restaurant has got in an area filled with restaurants every few steps.
Chennai Focus wanted to try out a Punjabi Restaurant, Pind as we came across too any good reviews and wanted to try it out. Pind is a pure-vegetarian Punjabi restaurant located at Velachery, Chennai.
Ambience : It looked like a Dhaba themed restaurant with the bamboo/cane chairs and tables (Moda) that you find in Dhabas. Wall Paintings signifying Country life was also seen in the place we sat. We were not happy about the lighting. It was dimly lit and we could not even read the menu card and had to take the help of our mobile torch. Much with the trend now, they have a live Mocktail counter.
Chennai Focus visited Kaidi Kitchen, a vegetarian themed restaurant located in Bishop Wallers Avenue, (Opp. to Savera Hotel), Chennai.
Ambience: it is a jail themed restaurant with the waiters and the supervisors dressed like cellmates and jail wardens respectively. There are tables outside the cell ambience with a prison feel and decor. We sat in the normal tables. The restaurant has a live Mocktail bar but there wasn’t much of activity and felt uninviting and more like a shop. From the entrance to the tables, everything is carefully set so as to give a feeling of dining in a jail.