Masterchef season is On in Star World and for those Masterchef fans out here, there is certainly a change in the way we look at food and its presentation. Though we do enjoy the presentation, there is always this absence of not getting to taste that description, the great chefs George, Gary and the food critique Matt so adoringly explain through their words and expressions. To a certain level, we got an experience which made us connect to those food at the Café CakeBee, the newly opened Café at Seethammal Road, Alwarpet, Chennai. The location is a bit difficult to locate now as it is still not up in the map, but do not worry, we are putting the location map at the end of the post, because we are sure you will want to visit it as soon as possible.
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.
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.
Dark! 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”?
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.
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 –
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.
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 –