Chef Express- Beasant Nagar.

Went there on an already bad day for us in terms of food .So was expecting something great and happening which could uplift our mood.As eating out most often does for us. Good food and friends can pretty much work all sorts of magic for us in life 🙂

So this place is in Besant nagar, and therefore our expectation of good food rose, as this locality is quite the crowd puller and generally this place seems quiet from outside, so we selected it. Oh and also a board outside the restaurant displayed buy one pizza get one free (which we decoded once we went in, was actually for the order of a large pizza you get a small pizza free)! The interior is decent with a touch of italian theme wall motifs and tiled topped tables. Its spacious or maybe it seemed so for the lack of people around 😛

Anyway getting to the food, We ordered :

Veg Manchow soup :- Its a pretty standard order for us because it is usually pretty tasty and most restaurants mess it up the least. It was good here with the right amount of vegetables and flavor in it.

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Garlic bread with Cheese : we are not sure what they were trying, but it seemed like a copy of the pizza hut garlic bread but was not at all the same in taste. Although the bread was soft there was not enough garlic flavored butter spread on it. The cheese was also bland.

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Picante Curry Pasta :- We would rather call it paneer butter masala pasta! It was such a set back ,it was like they had put pasta in paneer butter masala curry which you can eat as a side dish with naan or roti, it was so so very indian that we cant emphasize enough on it and more over it wasn’t a very tasty panner butter masala. It definitely had more oil in it and was very spicy, with chunks of paneer in it and no semblance of it being Italian at all, with a drizzle of mozzarella cheese on the top as garnish. On asking much later for the Garlic bread that was to accompany the pasta they apologetically told us they forgot and got two pieces of garlic bread and although the bread was soft there was not enough butter spread throughout the bread and it distinctly lacked the garlic flavor in it !Also it tasted somewhat sour  the parts it did have butter.

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Sizzzler(the name of which cannot be remembered !!)  : They took the longest time to get this on our table and then gave half burnt rice with  very little  flavor, it was plain rice with the tiniest tinge of butter, veggies  were less in quantity and  it was kind of burned with an amalgamation of herbs and spices which did not give off any distinct flavor, also the vegetables seemed to be not that fresh, there had put the sides of old chewy cucumber ,along with tomatoes seasoned in salt and pepper. The main vegetable consisted of some brocolli, onions and bell pepper with some corn kernels. French fries were ok. Also must tell you that this is the first sizzler we have seen which came to the table without any sizzle at all 😦

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May be Italian is not there niche …we seriously don’t know what is. This restaurant is in such a prime location with a comprehensive menu, only if the food were better they could have cashed in so perfectly. Its a pity!

Ambiance – 3/5
Service – 2.5/5
Food – 2/5
Price – 300- 500 rupees for two(approx.)

Note : This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own food.

chat on chaat

In a silent Isaphani centre , Nungambakam . On the first floor , beside the CCD outlet and Chat on  Chinese, It’s Chat on Chaat.

Chat on Chaat , as name suggest .It’s a perfect place for long chat with friends and the Chaat to eat. To testify my words ,we 3 people spent more than 2 hours , contiuously eating , or should i say gorging and slurping on the food, declaring every plate arriving on our table to be the last and finishing up and ordering one more . It’s a blessing to find a place in Chennai which serves scrumptious Chaat.

Wow !! That is the word which describes my feeling after eating here and in addition to it, the smiling and welcoming and ready to serve attitude of the staff there, is so pleasing.  The seating is made comfortable there all wooden furniture spread in the table of 4.

We ordered :

Pani puri : The way they make it is the same as you get it at Juhu Chowpatty in Mumbai. With brown chana ,aloo , sprout and cold spicy mint water . I will give this pani puri 100 out of 100 (it is a must try). They have two variant of the puri, they have suji ka puri and the normal atta puri which is the more widely available variety. Price is on higher side but it’s worth paying every rupee. It tasted heavenly superb.

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Chole samosa : With every bite I had , my tongue was thanking me 🙂 It was not like usual what you get here in Chennai. The  Samosa,which had aloo stuffing was served with the chola made with white chana and brown chana mixed with the chutney and served with fresh onions and green chillies.

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Jalebi with rabdi :  When you order the Jalebi, they make it fresh n hot right in front of you. Yes ,They serve it hot and you can suggest them whether you want it crispy , light , too sweet or not or just the way you like it .We ate 3 plates of it and had the first plate with rabdi which went pretty well. The Rabdi was not as per our expectation, it tasted good but there is  space for improvement as it can be made more rich and delicious. but the freshly made jalebis get full points from us 🙂

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Rasmalai : The malai in it was nice and soft and the milk in it was thin and sweet the way we like it and it was served with a garnishing of pistachio and almond flakes. It was fairly good but for the day we were so completely bowled over by the pani puri and the jalebis that we probably could not do it much justice 🙂

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Ambiance – 3.5/5
Service – (self-service)
Food – 4.5/5
Price – 200-300 rupees for two(approx.)

Note: This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.

Rajdhani Thali – Ek Khandani Parampara

Rajdhani Thali – Ek khandani parampara, as the name suggest to me, it’s a Khandani affair. I was introduced to it by my uncle who is a foodie and a fan of Rajdhani and its been over Decade now .I am still following this place and every time I go , I fall in love with them and my hunger never satiate. It Defines their  Consistency .

We went to the newly opened velachery branch of Rajdhani Thali for the BOGO offer on the World Vegetarian Day , A perfect way to celebrate vegetarianism. It doesn’t matter in which city you go to Rajdhani, it will always be the same(I have tried them in 4 states across India).

When you enter the place you will be greeted in the traditional Indian way with an aarti thali and a little tika on your forehead,making you feel all royal. The welcome is such an instant feel good that they immediately score a point here.

The staff is wonderfully trained and I was in a conversation with one of the manager and he told me that after they get recruited they get special training in understanding the protocols of how Rajdhani works and if you have not noticed it until now, notice it the next time you are there and see how, with different hand signs they have a proper conversation with each other, to mention a few thumbs up for water, thumbs down for butter milk , 4 fingers for the curries , 3 fingers for Dal , sweet Dal  and Kadhi, (correct me if i am wrong ).

I would apologize for this post without pictures, because we were very busy eating so there was no time to take pictures.For Pictures you can  check official Rajdhani Thali website.

Once we took our place in front of the Empty thali with 17 katoris, our journey started with the variety of mouth-watering food.

To start with, you will get a welcome drink ours was kokum sharbat .

As a starter we got Daal baati churma which was authentic.

In farsaan , they served us Dhokla and pea kachori with Green coriander chutney and sweet chutney.

In vegetables, Paneer curry , Green Vegetable curry, Potato curry and Gatta(gram flour) curry.

For Indian Bread , they always have phulka , Bajre ka Rota, jowar or makai ka rota and Palak puri with unlimited Ghee.

In Dal they have two varieties Tikha and meetha ,In additon to it they will have kadhi to serve. it will be authentic the way it is served in Gujarat or Rajasthan.

In Rice  they generally have Plain rice, masaledaar Khichdi, and Pulao . In chennai they will also serve you Curd Rice.

Additionally , There will be salad , pickle  , Chutneys, Papad and  Butter Milk.

For the Dessert , It was Hot Gulab jamun which will melt in your mouth  , and Jalebi with Rabdi .Both were Lip smacking.

Every Time I visit Rajdhani it’s a new Experience for me.

In this review,we might have missed many items which we ate .So go there and share your experience with us .

let us know , what we have missed 🙂

Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Food – 4.5/5
Price – 800-900 rupees for two(approx.)

NOTE : This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.

Lucknow ka Khana

This Post is special in a way , It is about the culture of Lucknow (along with the food 🙂   ) which I have tasted on my recent trip and it has made my journey all the more delicious and mouth-watering. If not for anything else I would definitely go back to Lucknow to try out more food. Till then we’ll have to suffice with the few that I was able to catch up on recently.

First of all I have to specially Thank my Friend Aakash Tiwari without whom this journey of tasting Lucknow-food would have been incomplete. It was his extra efforts because of which I got to taste the specialties amidst the busy schedule we had .Thank you Aakash for your wonderful support and help to Ghumtabhukkad 🙂

When you talk about Lucknow, the first thing that come into your mind is  Nawab, kabab and Tehzeeb. Tezjeeb or as it would be interpreted in English as “culture” or etiquette is so much ingrained in the people, that it cannot be ignored. You notice it, wherever you go whether it is a tea vendor or a 5 star hotel manager,it is an integral part of their functioning.

Now the food I had there were more of snack time specialties from a few different shop which have stood the test of taste and time and are hot favorites of the locals. So far I ate :

Farrey with chilly-coriander and garlic chutney :

This was something new which I never ever tried in my life, it’s prepared with rice flour and lentil, outer part is made up of rice flour and it is stuffed with dal powder in it and the chutney was spicy and it tasted perfect in a way that both were a contradiction in taste.

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Khasta with Matar(White peas) and Aloo ki sabji :

Khasta, looks like kachori but stuffing inside is different. Generally kachori has a stuffing of aloo but here it was a stuffing of  Udad daal or black daal crushed  and it was served with Matar(White peas) and Aloo ki sabji. While tasting you can feel the crispness of the Khasta , break it and fill the sabji served with it . It tasted heavenly , combination of spicy sabji and khasta was simply delicious.

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Dahi-jalebi :

I know when you hear of this combination you will raise a skeptical eyebrow but trust me what a combination this is. Moving on from my first reaction to when I ate the first bite , I was delightfully surprised ! I tried this combination at 2-3 shops and it was the same delicious everywhere. Curd was perfect not sour not too sweet with the piping hot jalebi which was deep-fried in desi Ghee 🙂 it melted my heart completely.

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Kadai dudh : 

I tried this from Ashvini dudh and lassi on latouse Road, this shop is a landmark there standing strong from decades and it is a  must visit place if you are going to Lucknow. A Glass of hot milk(milk boiled till it changes its color) in which there was rabdi at the bottom and Malai as a topping, will certainly tempt you for more.

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Share your experiences and the dishes you have tried . So that next time ,when we visit Lucknow we will try it.

Hot Pot China , OMR

We went to Hot Pot China after a rigorous session of yoga and our tummies rumbling with hunger. and it was pretty close by for some light not fattening food (or so i assume Chinese food to be ! ) so after about 10 mins of waiting on a busy saturday night we were seatedThis place has the potential for zen like peacefulness with all its buddha murals and beautiful paintings on the wall and the dim hanging lamps over the tables. of course here you would have to shun out all the noise eaters and the crowd having a good time with their family and friends to take in all of the ambiance.

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Once seated we quickly ordered the soup and starters before ordering the rest (remember we were dying of hunger !) For soup and starters we had :

Lemon Coriander Soup – it was a thick soup with nice flavoring of lemon in at and finely crushed/ chopped coriander leaves and vegetables . It tasted yum and it was such a welcome treat for out hungry stomach.

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Baby Corn Schezwan Chilly – Crispy friend baby corn sauteed in a schezwan chilly sauce and very indo- chinese. we quite liked it 😉

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it was only after our collective tummies were a little satiated that we could take in the decor of this not so big but a cosy place. we must say the service was quite fast even for a busy full house day.we then ordered the main course and endeavored to have our food by chop sticks 🙂 n there started the lessons and the determination test for the bunch of us that went there. for main course we ordered :

Sapo Tofu With Exotic Vegetables – It was a gravy dish with lots of vegetables, the typical ones that go into chinese dishes and tofu. It tasted a little spicy but went well with the other two noodle and rice dish.

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Burnt Garlic Fried Rice – Normally most chinese places offer garlic fried rice n this one gave the option of it being burnt which intrigued us enough to order it and the taste was something which made us happy enough owing to the smoky flavor of the rice along with the not too overpowering garlic tinglings. We loved this subtly flavored dish and our only wish is if only there were a tiny bit more vegetables in it.

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Pan Fried Noodles in Schezwan Sauce – The noodles looked more like it was a soya sauce n not the red color schezwan sauce we are normally used to but even this tasted nice not all that schezwan-ny if you ask me but nice, the noodles although pan friend were soft and this had a lot of veggies.

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By this time our endevour with the chopstick were successful by some just went back to the good old fork. We were completely full at the end of our meal with food, laughter and great friends and didn’t have any place for Desserts but we did have fresh lime sodas to wash it all down with. We would definitely go there to try their comprehensive menu. they also have a lot much more to offer for non vegetarians with a huge menu list. We enjoyed the place, food and service. Also another good thing about their menu is the half and full plate orders.

Ambiance – 3.5/5
Service – 4/5
Food – 4/5
Price – 300- 500 rupees for two(approx.)

Note : This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.

Ashvita Cafe

In a quiet lane of 5th avenue Besant nagar, there is this colorful looking place called Ashvita Cafe. You can spot the board of Ashvita cafe and Goli soda. We wanted to try this place as we came to know that they serve mock meat and being vegetarians, we wanted to try how it tastes here.

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We went there on Wednesday evening and place was deserted we were the only people. We enquired with the only available host there and he said that it is usually  crowded on weekends. Place was beautifully designed , the way to the cafe is from the Goli soda shop on the ground floor where they have a range of product for sale. We must say the products were cool ,quirky and  funky but it is costly.

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Then we moved towards the cafe which is on first floor, and the first thing you say upon arriving there is “WOW” (Wait. Disappointment is on the way though !!).

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Dining area is divided into two parts one is colorful and funky with board games where  you can enjoy your time with group of friends .

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The other part is for a romantic date , the room is painted yellow in color with dim light , Candles on the table ,a crafty glass bottle with a sprig of money plant and with the hangings on the walls will definitely make you fall in love with the place and your company.

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Once we were done admiring the place we asked for the menu and it was limited ,as we were looking for mock meat  there were only 4 variants in it, 3 in chicken and 1 in fish.In addition to it , they were also serving cake shake , milk shakes and appetizers and a limited 3 main course dishes .

As we wanted to try the best in of what their menu had to offer , we asked the host to suggest and he said fish fry is the best in mock meat. And after much deliberation and consultation , we finally ordered the fish fry , chocolate cake shake and Potato O’Brien and then When our order came our wow experience quickly changed into a night mare.

Potato O’Brien : Boiled potato sauteed with onion and cumin seeds (potato was cooked ok ) total disappointment definitely not worth Rs.125. my mom cooks much much better upwas food on pooja days !!!

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Chocolate Cake Shake : We just wanted to try it because it was something new and it was the only item where we were not disappointment but again it was not worth paying Rs.225 for a very average cake shake.

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Fish Fry (mock meat) : I dint know it can taste this bad ! Previously I have tried mock meat out side India but this was not up to the mark at all and my other ghumtabhukkad half is a Bengali who turned vegetarian and had tasted fish before said it tasted nothing like the original as not only the smell and taste were weird what irked us is the lack of any seasoning at all,  we were not able to finish it after much coercing.

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Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 3/5
Food – 1.5/5
Price – 600-700 rupees for two(approx.)

Note :  Go only if you want to enjoy the interior and sit in a quite and lovely place with your loved ones you can try some milk shakes or teas at a high rate. Food was total disappointment but the Place has one of the best interiors in Chennai for some peaceful quality time spending.

This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.

That Madras Place !

This place was on our go to list and then came the Burrp event for That Madras Place , to celebrate an eclectic mix of food lovers , so we grasped the opportunity and landed up there all excited 🙂 This place was the new buzz in town , and you could actually feel that buzz around as we were there on Thursday evening and it was literally buzzing with the crowd that was there on a weekday evening. silly jokes aside 😛

Getting back to our Foodie business, as it was a Burrp event our menu was pre-decided and it was chalked down in front of us in a pretty little board that you probably chance upon a fancy broad walk. Upon entering the place a petite garden lends its a charming air instantly and then you chance upon all the black boards on top of their bar style counter where the menu is hand written and the graffiti done on the wall describing Chennai with all its “namma chennai” madness mingled along with funny and colorful cushions  and chairs dotting the background.

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Our Tables were arranged in a long row specially for the event and we loved the different designer pillows on every chair and the hanging lamps over the table created the ambiance for a soiree.Once all the people came and we settled down the manager introduced himself with a smile and told us what was in the menu . So we selected the vegetarian spread.

It was a pre selected soup of the day or mock-tail and we got one of each :

Carrot glazed soup :-  Was creamy and it was hard to find the taste of carrot in it 😛 it was yellow in color and had a tad bit extra black pepper in it overall it was okay . Order it if you like the taste of black pepper and creamy soup.

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Strawberry pineapple soda – was served in a dainty mason jar glass and tasted refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. Left us wanting for more.

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For the appetizers again we got one of each :

Parsley Garlic Fries – They severed these fries in huge quantities and was to be shared. it tasted great with the good old french fries getting a tasty twist of parsely and friend garlic bits with a little shredding of cheese which just about pops up in the mouth.

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Mac and Cheese Cup – Was the traditional american mac and cheese and tasted a little bland but that is how it is had universally i suppose .(do correct us if we are wrong and mail us 🙂 ).

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The main course consisted of :

Black Pepper Spaghetti – Again here we must say that we have had better spaghetti with white sauce and mushroom bits in it. Also the black pepper was more prominent than anything else . We would definitely order something else the next time we visit.

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Eggplant Parmigiana – It tasted superb . Such a surprise of yumminess packed in eggplant stuffed with mozzarella and parmesan cooked in a tomato sauce base and full of flavor. my other half of ghumtabhukkad who till date had refused to eat eggplant happily lapped it up and belated realized his folly it was so deceptively delectable.

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For dessert :

Opera cake – it was chocolaty but the last layer was a bit hard and we expected it to be soft as we have had better. Never the less it tasted nice.

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White chocolate Blondie with vanilla ice cream – this was new to us and tasted very well specially after the full meal we had, this was refreshingly light and perfect for a dessert. we finished it record time and would definitely like to have it again.

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We also have a special round of appreciation for the host Burp Chennai, They played the perfect host and all the fantastic people who were present and made the evening highly enjoyable and got us making new foodie friends.Thank you so so much.

Ambiance – 4/5

Service – 3/5
Food – 4/5
Price – 500-600 rupees for two(approx.)

Over all a good place and and we sure have to go again to to try the other cuisines :)

You can like Burrp chennai facebook page or follow there twitter handle @burrp_chennai to know happening events in chennai.

Note: This is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.