There are several getaways in and around Chennai that guarantee a break from monotony for travelers. Let’s take a look at a few of these getaway destinations, most notably Madurai, Kumbakonam, Pondicherry and Pulicat.
Visit the lotus-shaped temple town of Madurai and get busy discovering not just themagnificent temples but several hidden gems like the famed fish market at the heart of Madurai, the Gandhi Museum with the clothes he wore on his last day, and the Thirumalai Nayak’s palace among others. The aroma of jasmines, the Jallikattu festival, and the Meenakshi 10-day festival called Thirukalyanam are not to be missed and unique to Madurai.
Should food festivals revolve only around continental cuisine……? No not necessary proved the recent food experience at Regenta Central Deccan’s Olives restaurant where Chef Arun and Kumbakonam Mrs. Prema Nambiraj ( Kumbakonam Prema mami) presented us with vegetarian nostalgic delights as a part of the Mylai Mami Samayal festival. The festival is on till May 6th – more details at the end of the review.
The immediate thought that came into our head was that of a relief that Chennai does celebrate its own cuisine with pomp and show. Very often, we face situations where people from outside Tamilnadu visit Chennai and request us to give them the option to have local food in home style. It was always a tough call and we end up hosting them in friends’ places. Regenta Deccan must be applauded for bringing in Mrs. Prema from Kumbakonam for this festival.
This post is going to be one awesome experience of pure vegetarian food that spanned multi cuisines and each one outperformed the other. Few of the dishes were exemplary in comparison to the others, but overall it was a lovely culinary journey for us. Most of us know Prive restaurant located opposite to Citi center and this is their new restaurant at Kilpauk at Waddels road. Located in first floor, it is quite spacious to host groups also. New inclusion in the menu includes Mexican dishes, Italian dishes and North Indian food. We had a full course dinner starting from Soups, starters, main course and desserts.
Mexican food was absolutely yummy. Spinach quesadilla and cottage cheese, Mexican Lasagna, Nachos with Cheese sauce, Mexican Varderashvardesh were the hot picks.
Themed restaurants improvise eating experience and breaks the monotony of the dining environment. Kaidi Kitchen (Jail Samayalarai), a multicuisine vegetarian restaurant is focused on giving you an experience of being inside a jail. There are cells and the service team is all dressed up in uniforms and the décor suits the theme. We visited the restaurant to experience the new big menu introduced by the restaurant. Primarily, the food and variety were excellent. We had a full course meal beginning with the Mongolian rice soup and ending it with a baked rasogolla and sizzling brownie icecream.
Asian Aroma is an Asian Vegetarian restaurant where we had specialty Asian dishes including rotis, and choice of north Indian subjis. The term Asian somehow rings Chinese to us and though they had mouth watering Chinese dishes, it was the Roti and Tawa Paneer along with Paneer Tikka that stole the show. It is located on Mayor Ramanathan Road in Chetpet closer to the Eco Park.
We went there for a review and the food was interesting and being a vegetarian, a place serving only vegetarian food is a big plus. Asian food and vegetarian, we do not have a lot of options. So vegetarians out there, this is a nice place to try out different cuisines that includes Indian food too.
Chennai culinary scene has seen a rapid change and it is varieties galore in every section of a sumptuous feast. Desserts have found a prominent space and it will be no extravaganza if we say milkshakes have evolved vying for a solid percentage of beverages menu. So naturally dessert bars have found their way to bring those exclusive offerings. There is no way to say “enough” with this lovely sumptuous exotic collection at Temptey’s, a newly opened dessert bar exclusively for thick shakes, at navalur, strategically positioned opposite OMR food street and AGS Cinemas, Viviera mall. Temptey’s menu of milkshakes has more than 100+ varieties and trust us, each one boasts of its own signature stuff. Shhhh, ingredients are sourced from Italy and the trade mark in-house preparations combine in a way to make them filling and fulfilling and it sure is a big plus. Let’s Meet Over a MilkShake, tag line of this brand suits the concept and it sure has an ambience of a hangout.
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–
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.