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About Me

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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai rolls out new Menu



Out with the old, in with the New seems to be norm across restaurants now. I see quite a few of them going in for a revamp of their menu, or including a few new dishes into their existing menu. Joining this line is The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai

Here is a sneak peek of what lies in store for your next visit here.  There is a Vegetarian Wanton soup that is light and simple, followed by the one dish that stood out for me- The Spinach Phyllo [ spinach and cheese tucked into phyllo pastry that was just wow]. Oh, the Mezze platter with the dip- Muhammara was yumm- it is made with roasted red peppers as the base.. I loved the crunchy texture and the spice factor in this one.

Apart from these, there was the Paneer starter followed by three delicious curries served with a wide range of rotis/naans. The side with the greens as the base was the best of the lot. What Chef has done is bring in the best of various cuisines to shake things up a bit. There are dishes from the Japanese, Indian, Turkish and few other cuisines as well.

The grand finale was this interesting dessert, take on Snicker bars, called the Snicker mess- there were pieces of chocolate, a peanut ice-cream sitting on a bed of crushed peanuts and little dollops of dark chocolate. I felt there was a bit of overdose of peanuts in this one and needed a coffee to clear my palate ... 


















Address:
Park Hyatt
#39, Velachery Main Rd, 

Velachery, Chennai - 600032
Phone:044 7177 1234


Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vegetarian Fine Dining at Royal Vega, ITC Grand Chola Chennai



As the name goes, Royal Vega is a Fine Dining Vegetarian restaurant in ITC Grand Chola  From the minute you walk into the restaurant, you are transported to the Royal palace where you are the King/Queen.What sets this restaurant apart is that it features a collection of signature vegetarian dishes from across the country, all of which are based on "seasons" with ingredients sourced from specific regions.... Infact their menu is divided into sections based on the ingredients.. 

The only word that comes to my mind when I hear the name "Royal Vega" is Opulence, grandeur... The furniture, the cutlery, the cloches, even the napkin holders - each of them are exquisite. Heck, there are pieces that you will find difficult to carry - that is how heavy they are. :) 

For someone who is so used to going to restaurants where veg food is given the least attention, being in an all vegetarian place felt nice.. I had the company of friends who were all hard core non vegetarians :D Ironic, right? 










The dishes served here came with stories, right from where the ingredients originated to the relevance of the dish to the season it belonged to. We had Chef Varun Mohan giving us the insight into each of the dishes, the kitchen and the team that belonged to Royal Vega. What is common thread between them all- they are all vegetarians. How cool is that? A separate kitchen, separate set of utensils and this went all the way down to the spices and masalas used. There was no talk of borrowing a spoonful of this or that from another restaurant. 

The evening meal was planned based on the "seasons" and we had dishes made with the finest ingredients brought down from Delhi, Kashmir, Spain and various other corners of the globe. The evening began with the healthy Triphala Churna Powder [made with three different , a green chutney and along came the delicious Beetroot cutlet [I shamelessly asked for a 2nd one, that is how yummilcious it was]. I chose the mocktail made with watermelon and ginger, having about 3 through the meal. 

And that is food journey went on that evening. We were stumped with how rich and unique each of the dishes were. The way the big plate with the dishes was carried into the restaurant by the staff [holding it over his head as a sign of respect for the Food], making sure to explain each dish as it was served into the cups lined within our plates. There was a roti that had 101 pinches and they have a person in the kitchen who is an expert in making those. The Ker sangria kofta, peas curry, daal, the Kachori like dish, each one was a play on our taste buds. Many of the flavours were new and I knew each dish had a different flavour profile, they each had a distinct taste and texture. At the end of the meal, I had a smile on my face, did not feel stuffed or heavy... 

As you go along this food journey, you will no doubt be left wondering how these dishes were so different from the ones you have had in other places or even compared to the ones you cook at home. It is all to do with the ingredients I guess. Sometimes it is best not to question but to just enjoy. This is one such restaurant...

"Dining at this restaurant is more about the experience than the food".. Many will find the place expensive, especially since it is a pure vegetarian place, but I sure feel it is worth it just for the way you are treated & the effort that goes into it all... 

Address: No., 63, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Phone:044 2220 0000
Website : http://www.itchotels.in/hotels/itcgrandchola.aspx

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Writer's Cafe, Chennai

When I first came upon an ad in the paper, I was instantly curious and excited. It is always such joy to read the word "writer", heck any word related to "books and words" gets me going. And so, the Writer's Cafe was a place I knew I wanted to visit. 

















The place

As luck would have it, a friend and I decided to meet up and I picked this place as the venue [ sly me]. I was there ahead of her, took me a second to find the entrance [it is on the side] and as I walked in all i saw were books lining the walls on either side. It so happened that I visited the space twice in two days, the next day a bunch of us decided to meet her. It was a double whammy for me ! :D

There were tables in the middle. On the right side is another smaller room with the pastry shelves and a black board with more food/drink items listed down. The place has a warm feel to it. They have a floor above which is available for anyone who wants to hold a book club meet or any other literary event. 

This is  a venture between Higginbothams and Mr Mahadevan [Chairman of Oriental Cuisines- Hot breads, Copper Chimney and so on]..  

What sets this place apart from other cafes? Well, it is a CSR Initiative meant to help Burn victims learn baking and again a new lease on life. All who work here [about 7 women are employed here as of now] have been trained by Silke Stadler, a Chef from Switzerland. The profits earned by the cafe will be shared with International Foundation for Crime Foundation and Victim care. Mr Mahadevan is a name associated with several other such initiatives. 

The Food:
Well, the menu is offered on an exam pad, but if you want to see the dessert menu or beverages I would recommend you walk to the other side of the space and take a look. The desserts available are quite exotic..  

We tried the crispy fried spinach and corn starter along with a bruschetta platter as well. Both were good, I loved the crunchy spinach with corn in it. For the mains, we chose the Pesto Zucchini and olives Flammkuchen [really thin crust pizza with pesto and thinly sliced zucchini on top], it is simply out of the world and I highly recommend this to anyone who loves to experiment with food. 

A friend ordered the pickled beetroot and lollo rosso salad with roasted walnuts- there were more greens than the beetroot and it wasn't so great... Another opted for a chicken pasta in white sauce which he enjoyed going by how he polished the plate.

Moving to desserts, on the 1st visit, I opted for the Apple crumble [with chunky apple pieces] that was just yummy. Friend ordered the Tiramisu and Milkmaid cake, both of which were alright. The cake was more like a sponge cake, while Tiramisu lacked coffee flavour.  On the 2nd day, I ordered the Pancakes that are served with honey and cream, quite delicious. Friend ordered for waffles with Maple syrup but it was served with cream and honey [when we enquired, they apologised as Maple syrup wasn't available] We had cappuccino and on the 2nd day I ordered for Masala chai [unfortunately it was Dip tea, which was a bit of a let down]

But overall, it is a lovely place to catch up with friends or just to enjoy some sweet treats. The books lining the shelves are all up for sale- most of which were magazines and food related books. 

The Price:
It works out to about Rs200-300 per person [ again depends on what you order]

Address:
The Writers Cafe is at 98, Peters Lane, Royapettah, Chennai.. [lane ahead of Saravana Bhavan]
Phone: 044 4861 1604

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Colonel & Co Nachos in a box



When shopping in Nilgiris, I spotted these in the snacks aisle. Was instantly curious and picked up one packet.. Colonel & Co- Chip & Dip- "Peri Peri Nachos". Priced at Rs50, I picked it up thinking what the hell, lets give it a shot.

Got home and had it later in the evening and must say it was good, better than what I expected. The nachos and salsa are in two separate compartments, the salsa is sealed with a foil wrap which makes sure there is no spill or leaks... The nachos were crisp and the salsa was yummilicious...

They also have another option- Olive & Herbs Nachos. Spotted it on Snapdeal as well , but do check your local grocery store and grab one box...


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