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.

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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.

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

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 drinkThis 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.

Ibaco – A place for Ice-cream Hungy.

If you are real ice cream hungry and if you are on for some fun by trying different flavours with different toppings of nuts ,gems , choco chips with varieties of sauce.Then Ibaco is your place to go. With the price of 60 rupees for 100 gm, it is comparatively cheaper .

There were more than 30 flavours to try.
Usual flavours life vanilla, strawberry ,Butter scotch, orange ,chocolate .

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Few unusal like choco minto, bubble gum, cookie cream,Dark chocolate secrets.

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with 10 toppings like nuts , chocochips, cherry, Gems.
and more than 6 varieties of sauce on top of your scoop like chocolate, caramel , strawberry , mango.

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Go there and just get lost into the taste of ice-cream with the varieties of flavours and with your own sense of amalgamation of different flavours with topping and sauce.

we ordered were Strawberry, Butterscotch,Dark chocolate secret and cookie cream.

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It was awesome and I am sure I am going next time.
Go and treat yourself.

IBaco outlets are at various places in Chennai . Few I know are in Besant nagar, Thiruvanmiyur and nearly in every locality of Chennai.

For more information you can also check here  website IBACO Ice-cream.

Recommendations :-  Before placing your order you can taste the flavours take your time staff is supportive and helping , They will
even suggest you.

Ambiance    – 4/5
Service         – 4.5/5
Food             – 5/5
Price             – 200 to 250 rupees for two

Note: This is not a paid review. It’s based on my experience of going there.