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.
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 –
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 –
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.
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.
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 –
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.
On1y Spices and Herbs is the product of Jayanti, a Kolkata based Tea business of Jayantilal Shah in 1940s. Jayanti has evolved with the business scenario and has expanded globally and into multi business conglomerate. Jayanti is one of the main players of herbs and spices, decaffeinated tea and natural caffeine in the Indian market. We were invited to get a personal rendezvous with their spices and herbs and it was a lovely session in close proximity to the gentle aroma and practical application of the seasonings and its value addition.
On1y Spices and Herbs are sourced from the countries of origin in its purest form and processed in India in Coimbatore and Ahmedabad and brought to us in its pristine form. Once we heard this, the immediate thought was its pricing. Surprisingly the beauty of the On1y Spices and Herbs is its pricing. It was a surprise to note that the costliest product in the list is Black pepper sourced in India.
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.
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.
Taste of Madras , an event by PS events with Krishna Sweets and Desi Arena is happening at YMCA grounds, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, (OMR) just opposite Maruti Suzuki Service Centre. Parking available in abundance. Here is our review of the event for those who wish to visit it tomorrow. The event is free but requires registration. We could see lot of chairs and tables to sit and eat and for those cricket lovers who do not want to miss the IPL action, there is a huge LED screen showing the match.
There are stalls for Chinese, Burmese and Thai food but we saw it was predominantly non-vegetarian but Wangs (Chinese) has both Veg and Non-veg options. We tested the Veg Momo and it was yummy at Rs. 20 each. We skipped the Burmese and Thai food stalls. Flubbers, the jelly pudding has come out with instant Oats, tea and coffee.
Phoenix market city located in Velachery, Chennai plays host to a number of eateries, ice-cream and juice joints in addition to donuts of Krispy Kreme and Momos of WowMomos. We usually visit Satyam’s ID restaurant for South Indian food , Rajdhani Thali restaurant for North Indian food and Kailash Parbat in the food court for chats. This time, we wanted to try out Jonah’s Bistro and surprisingly we saw Jonah’s goes to Japan with Momoyama tag. We have been looking out for trying vegetarian Japanese food and friends had advised us against it. We thought this is the right opportunity to try out and entered the restaurant located at the basement next to Dunkin Donut outlet. Take the escalator as you walk straight if you are entering by foot, if you are coming by car, head to the middle and take the escalator in the right. As you go down the escalator, you can see Jonah’s Bistro.