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.

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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.

Aside

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.

Ashvita Cafe

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.

Azzuri Bay , Adyar

An idea of a roof top romantic dinner with a little koi pond fountain to greet you on your way up and the serenity of the buddha statues along with the open space and roof top dining makes the place peaceful and ideal for lovely meals with your loved ones. This was the first impression of Azzuri bay for us. A very smartly designed place in Adyar, Gandhi nagar. They serve Pan Asian , Mediterrenian and Italian food and Chettinadu . Their menu is a huge list to spoil you with choice.

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We went there for dinner without reservation and found a spot instantly but being only two of us we were given the high chair option where they reserved their more comfortable and prime tables for the a larger group. The food there is pretty great but so far i can only vouch for mostly pan asian cuisine and a little about their pizza and pasta i had earlier much before we went for the review .

For starters we ordered

Spicy Vegetable Thai Rolls – as the name explains it vegetables rolled in wonton wraps and deep fried served with a tiny dash decorative salad and three delectable dips. There was a sauce with red chilies finely chopped in a sweet syrupy base, a second one was a peanuty chilly sauce and a third with ripe mango sauce with seasoning , spruced up the simple fried spring roll to a whole new level.

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For soup we had

Tom Kha Phad – a very thai soup with vegetable and the thai must have’s coconut milk , galangal a dash of lime and coriander. we both loved it and the portions were very filing even though we had divided one soup by two.

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Now, before we move to the main course i must say we were somewhat full because along with the soup and starter we had downed it with a huge glass of blueberry milkshake and cranberry milkshake, both of which were yummy, being sweet with real fruits and a dollop of vanilla ice cream in it and therefore our going for the second glass instead of following a more traditional path to main course and then dessert.  We skipped dessert altogether and stuck to just one main course instead of ordering individually .

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So, for main course we had

Burmese Curry Noodles – because it came with its own curry on the side .they made it specially vegetarian on our request. The curry on the side was accompanied with fried onions and garlic and the curry was just an extension of the sauce the noodle was made in instead of being something a little different as we had expected. Also the whole thing tasted like a version of creamy thai curry instead of a more burmese version that the name suggested. Lot of room for improvement on this dish and they could have it a more fun dish by including some more accompaniments.

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Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 3/5
Food – 4/5
Price – 1000 – 1200 rupees for two(approx.)

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

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

Amdavadi – Place for Gujarati Snacks

It’s been long time since we knew this place and always wanted to go there to satisfy our gujju food appetite , specially the Gujarati snacks  which i have grown up eating.

The restaurant called Amdavadi near Residency towers in Tnagar, Chennai.

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A quiet place,wonderfully designed and its very rare that you are going to a Gujarati restaurant and place is so quiet.That is the credit we must give to the people who designed the place. They have done a commendable job .

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When you enter the place the ambiance is good , they have given a semi antique yet fresh look to the place. Wooden chair with marble as a table top, the place is painted in a white which makes it peaceful and soothing with a view of clever greenery outside.

Once we settled down we got 2 menus one is of the Thali which was having sweet , snack and a refreshing drink, This option we found was over priced, so  we selected our food from the other menu which was having a list of authentic Gujarati snacks. All the items are very well explained so if you are new to Gujarati cuisine you will get a fair idea before ordering.

After lot of discussion and going through each and every item in menu, we finally ordered
Khaman – Exactly we call it Nylon Khaman in Gujarat,It was tasty , sweet,spongy and perfect texture as expected.

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Methi Gota -I felt it was bit over fried but the feel of methi was there and black pepper which made it taste  good and perfect.

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Khandvi – It was not par with our expectation , it has to be more softer than it was but the taste was good.We liked it nevertheless , sesame and mustard seed in it made it more  delicious .

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Fafda – This was disappointment as the masala was too much on it and taste was not  as it has to be, the authenticity was missing.

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Rajwadi Chaas – It was a good blend of masala in butter milk, Very soothing to down all the food with and

Kokam sharbat – The typical taste of kokum sharbat, simple, nothing extra in it and refreshing .

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For us it was a perfect place to try Gujarati snacks but there is place for a lot of improvement, which they can do to bring in the ‘WOW’ factor.

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

we are definitely going there for the second time to try out the menu

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

Pizza republic ,Taramani

We had heard about this Place for a long time , It was the talk of the town and It was not a planned visit , accidentally we went to Pizza republic , Taramani. We reached just before the closing time but they were welcoming and asked  us to place the order of whatever we wanted (Thank you for the gesture I must say.)

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When we asked for Menu , it was something new. The box in which the pizza is usually served had the menu behind it. So you have to go through the list of all the pizzas and the ingredients and put a tick in front of it . You can have your own selection of spicy/ non-spicy,normal cheese or extra cheese, in the topping they have various options to add on.There are also other options like Garlic bread , Salads, sandwiches to select from . We feel they should have more options in there menu , more varieties of pizza is fun.Once you are done with the selection of your pizza and toppings hand over the box to cashier and he will do the billing for you.
Prices were cheaper as compare to other pizza outlets in the city but the Quantity is a little less with comparison.we were invited to cook our own pizza(That is the option they give) but it was too late and we were lazy to do so (we will go next time to try that for sure).
Then we were escorted to dining area , It was designed eco-friendly place and a comfortable arrangement.

We ordered
Garlic bread :- It was good, fresh and tasty, it wasn’t like the usual Garlic bread you get everywhere , It was thin and soft.

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Veg supremo  :- we chose thin crust base with capsicum, onion, tomato, cottage cheese and cheese . It was tasty , cottage cheese was very soft and fresh and overall taste was excellent.

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I will be going there again to try out more items from their menu and to concoct my own pizza.

Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Food – 4.5/5
Price – 300- 500 rupees for two(approx.)

Note :- They also serve pizza in slice , but that is not available in Taramani branch. Also this is not a paid review. It’s based on our experience of going there and we paid for our own meal.

Sugarush – Beasant Nagar

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Went to Sugarush for the second time on Saturday evening as we had already fallen in love with the cosy little place in Besant nagar when we casually walked in the first time looking for a place to quench our dessert cravings.

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Although a small place, its ambiance is colorful, cute and just wonderful, the people serve with a smile and since we went on a weekend we had a lovely chat with one of the proprietors as well. the decor is fit for the absolute sweet fantasy and a little escape from the mundane.

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Sitting arrangement there has a variety sofa’s , chair and cup cake shaped stool,  also they have long stool arranged in lobby where you want to sit and enjoy your  ” me” time, read book while enjoying the weather.

we went there for a sweet fix and found that they are soon going to start with a light food / snack menu and much to our delight they could offer us some right away. We had

Cottage cheese sandwich – which was superb with tasty soft yummy filling inside and crisp toasted bread outside.

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Mushroom sandwich – was a little too spicy for our taste but was tasty never the less.

Red velvet cupcake – it looked delicious but on tasting lacked the super moisty cupcake i was imagining it to be.

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Chocolate decadent cake – it was perfect. chocolate moist and not too sweet left us craving for more.

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Flavours of cold stone ice cream –    strawberry ice cream with waffers and  , mango ice cream with   , lychee ice cream with berries   and mint ice cream with Choco chips and chocolate sauce. all of them were superb and their portions satisfying.

Ambiance – 4.5/5
Service – 4/5
Food – 4/5
Price – 200-300 rupees for two(approx.)

we are definitely going there for the second time to try out the menu

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

Lloyds Tea House – A place for Tea lover’s

A high-end tea shop one of its type in Chennai. If you are passionate about trying different flavors of Tea (Hot or Cold),From the different part of the world with the variety of snacks to eat like pizza, pasta , sandwiches and a whole bunch of other dishes then “Lloyd’s tea Shop” is  the place.

In Gopalapuram near DAV school , a small 2 storey white colored building having a small artistic board written with the name Lloyd’s tea House. when you enter the building on the right side you find an old wooden bench (Probably kept there for the people waiting ) deceives you from what there is inside the Glass door.

It was Sunday 10 ‘0 clock ( they have breakfast special on Sunday) . so We planned and went there. Place was soothing with the beautiful ambiance it will give you a feel of drawing-room of your house with the book racks, A beautiful showcase displaying antiques ,flower vase and crockery. There is different table arrangement to choose as per our comfort from sofa’s and chair . They have really worked on the ambiance of the place to give you soothing,relaxing and chill out  experience.

we settled down on the sofa’s as we were really hungry and excited to taste the food and tea.The host Ms.Promilla gave us two different menus one for Tea and another was for the food items . what I like most about the menu’s is that they have worked minutely on it, for every item there is detailed description written and it is so well explained that you know exactly what you have ordered (although it can be a tad bit confusing to choose from so many too :P)

Once the fascination for the menu got over we finally placed order that is
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Pancake with maple syrup :-  Pancake decorated with the pieces of banana was delight to eyes , taste was okay . Maple syrup was as usual good.

Healthy breakfast (Sunday breakfast special )

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Croissant with baked beans :- Both were delicious .
corn flakes with muesli and milk :- It was good .(There is place for improvement like they can try honey, strawberry with it )
Fruits and curd :- Fruits were banana,apple,grapes which were fresh and curd was exactly the way you want.

Once we were done with breakfast to our surprise we were treated with complimentary treats that of a flavored Croissant , a glazed doughnut and a cup cake they were tasty  .

Now to treat ourselves with the Tea , we again got lost in the menu’s with more than 50 types of tea, From different countries like china, Vietnam,India .

After going through the menu which is self-explanatory we chose
Himalayan Rhapsody :- It was an aromatic tea with the scent of different flowers and the flavor of fruits like strawberry and peaches ,perfect for someone who wants smooth and soft taste. it was the hot favorite in our group.
Jasmine pearls scented :- one of the variety of Green tea with the aroma of a jasmine
.It is for someone who appreciates both aroma and flavor of different teas.
Himalayan wine :- As they say unusual tea from the Garden of Darjeeling for the
People who really like the bold and strong taste of a tea.

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our excitement got doubled, the way they served the tea in the kettle on our table.
They poured hot water in the little pots and gave us a timer for light , medium and strong tea.

All the flavour of the tea were awesome , tastier and was more than what we expected.

After the tea , we tried their Pink pasta with a piece of Garlic bread on the side .which was recommended to us and had it despite being full and it turned out to be one of the best pasta’s we ever ate. deliciously flavored with snippets of mushroom and mildly exotic condiments, it was a true winner.

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And at the last we were treated to yet another complimentary Pastry Called Opera which was a perfect finish to the whole experience . made up of a dense dark chocolate and layered with cream and coffee. it was delicious.

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I would call it an experience there , It’s a place with beautiful and soothing
ambiance ,tasty food and a huge array of perfectly selected tea.

Ambiance – 5/5
Service – 4.5/5
Food – 4.5/5
Price – 500- 700 rupees for two(approx.)

we are definitely going there for the second time to try out the menu and specially the tea’s.

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

Dhaba Express – Nungambakkam

I won’t Call this place a Wow Place ,It was okay.
If you are in Nungambakkam near Haddows road or near Income tax office then you can visit this place.
If you want to eat Chinese or Punjabi , This is the place to go.

Dhaba Express serves Buffet as well as Ala-carte.

You have to climb 3 dark and a very narrow stairs to reach this place ,It’s in aldarado Building.

Interior there is Good It’s replica of an old city Delhi , by having name of few squares on the wall.one thing which  impressed me about their ambiance was the photos they were having on their wall. Later I regret why I dint click them.
Its Air-conditioned(Only for Ala-carte) as well as Non-air conditioned. When I went there day was overcast so It was good. I feel on a hot day it will be a terrible to have your lunch there.

Buffet was looking Good and seems value for money.
we were bit disappointed but then there were few things which satisfied us.

For Buffet , They were Serving Chinese, Punjabi ,sweet,raita and Salad

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In Chinese , They were serving
Manchurian, Noodles which was okay , I will not rate that as one of the best.
additionally there were Potato wedges, Onion Pakoda Both of them were Disappointing as they were not Hot.

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In Punjabi , They were serving
2 sabji,Palak panner and Chole which tasted good , 2 Daal , Dal Makhani and a Dal fry .Bundi ka raita was perfect.
They were serving hot Khulcha and hot Puri which made me happy and turned my experience of being there better.

For sweet they were serving Jalebi which was awesome.

Also they will be having Butter milk, Mango lassi (seasonal) and Lassi. For which you have to pay extra.It will not be included in your Buffet Charges. We selected mango lassi it was good.

Ambiance – 3/5
Service  – 3/5
Food     – 3.5/5
Price    – 250 to 300 rupees for two

I may go there next time.

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