Monday, July 6, 2009

Ok.Up until this post..

..the Older posts are actually the most recent.

So dont skip looking at the oldest posts.

Slightly Scrambled order of Chronology.Result of trying to squeeze a few years' work into a blog.

Will post in order, with more relevant details and bearings, from now on !

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mystiq Masala

A friend and i made sudden lunch plans. The options were Amethyst , Cascade or MM.(The latter two are run by Mr . Mahadevan, BTW).
Since im not a fan of Cascade's revoltingly huge portions or Amethyst s whimsical taste/service , I said lets do MM. ( Although im slightly against going to a place that serves only Indian food).
My friend is a complete food and wine connoiseur, so im glad i trusted her.
When you enter, your'e hit by waves of deja vu. ( Really , is there only one restaurant decorator in town ??)
The decor is pleasant but predictable and borderline boring. Whats with every restaurant in town having TWO(essentially pretty) East indian receptionists/waitresses ?( Little Italy , Ecstasy , and now , MM). Im not complaining , but its sort of clicheed !

Ok, now the food.They served us two (only !)complimentary bite sized papdi with a spiced channa paste.The presentation was beautiful, but the plate looked rather bare , so i suggest they serve atleast four, especially considering they were yummy !!
There was an assorted papad basket with three kinds of chutney . The mint chutney was nice and tangy. The sweetish papaya chutney was out of the world !!
We ordered the Yam Galouti for starter. In my Friend's words, it simply mellllted in the mouth.SO DELICIOUS ! It was served with a South Indian style Peanut Chutney and a Red Chilli Chutney.You have to, have to, have to order this if you're vegetarian. (There s a lamb version for the meat eaters).
For the main we did the phulka , vegetable rice and gravy route.
We ordered this gravy with water chestnuts and corn . It was nice, subtle and rich.The phulkas were soft. The rice was good , long grained, fragrant Basmati . What I liked a lot about this place was every dish is presented beautifully, as opposed to other restaurants run by the same chain. I will definitely go there again , esp since my husband enjoys indian food .

Highly recommended !! Also the prices are very fair.

Karma Cafe

Was here about 10 days ago. Finally getting around to sit down and write review. The Cafe has a toasty ambience to it , thanks to the warm ,brown wood panelled walls. The colour element comes from the display of quirky , fun Karma t shirts , that take up one wall. There s also a small display of trinkets, amidst which Mansi keeps this menacing leather and steel wrist band , which she uses from time to time , to deal with difficult customers :)
They have a huge selection on their menu,sandwiches , pastas bakes- as compared to other run of the mill places like Coffee Days and Baristas. I ordered the failproof Corn, Cheese and Spinach Sandwich. My cousin ordered the Jerk Chicken Sandwich.
The portions are big so you can pretty much make a light meal of it . What I really like is they dont skimp on their ingredients like other places(3 corn kernels, 2 strands spinach at most places ive had).The Jerk Chicken I hear had a Whiskey flavor going on and my cousin was quite happy with the portion and the flavor. Desserts are by Sinful Something. Here again they have a good 4 to 5 different items on display , that you can choose from. I think the cheesecakes by SS are by far, the best in town , so do give it a try ! They are reasonably priced , and considering their portions and great taste , Karma cafe is definitely VFM . A great place to kick back and chill out with friends.

Casa Picola

Warning : This post is going to be VERY long.
I really don’t know where to start . Both of us were in a foul mood. I declared that I had to go out to eat. My husband was not exactly jumping with joy at the suggestion of Casa, and he was like “whatever....”.
I called Mr .Deva to make reservations . I was pretty anxious and hoping the food wont ruin our already bad day .We reached, and the weather was quite as damp as our mood. So, no rooftop. Oh and no lizards either .
Mr. Deva and a waiter welcomed us and ushered us in our seats. As soon as I entered, I noticed the average age of the ppl who dined there was around 13. I did feel a little old.All the cackling did not do anything to soothe my frazzled nerves, and I heard from Deva , that this is the kind of crowd that usually prevails till 9. But mr. Deva , more than made up for it with his congeniality.We stated we were vegetarian , and ordered the Cheese Dynabytes and Stuffed Chilli. And wondered what else to order. Deva immediately pulled a ‘ Main hoon na’, and in no time , we were not only eating those , but also , Baby corn fritters and Onion rings . My husband was floored by the Cheese Dyna bites , while I devoured the Baby Corn and the Onion rings . The spicy stuffed chilly rounded it all off really well.
Two tall glasses of iced tea took us by surprise.Fantastic stuff. Not one bit synthetic :)
I ordered Lasagne( luscious layers of cheese and veggies ) and the husband left it to Deva as he wanted something with a hint of spice. Deva kept up the good work and a lovely dish of veggie dumplings and herbed rice,turned up, which my husband gave more than full marks for. We were also served the Harvest Casserole. Honestly , we were too full to relish it fully :(

We had decided we were not going to have dessert as we were too full . So we asked the waiter for the cheque. And what turned up instead were two extremely dacadent , sinful pieces of heaven. The Chocolate Mousse was soo full of chocolatey goodness , and the Profiterole was very different and outstandingly delicious.Whew .

We were positively stuffed till here *points to nose *

We went in squabbling but we came back delirious . What an experience ! The service was very good . All in all… a VERY memorable evening ! Thanks to Mr. Deva ( easily the backbone of the place ) and his faithful army of leprechauns.Such warmth and attention ! Impressive ! Thank you Sam( though we missed meeting you ), for the wonderful extra dishes that were On the house, Mr . Deva , for his brand of hospitality, and CFG , for recommending such a great place !Great evening.

Little Italy

w\We had a guest over the weekend , who wated to go to Little Italy.
So here s my review of an overall good dinner
Soup: Spring onion soup, 2/3 . Was delicate and extremely delicious
sStarter : well ermmm.. i forgot the name but it was called A.20 . Since it had potatoes and cheese and parsley,we presumed it had no scope for going wrong.And expected something wodefully deep fried. But when it landed on the table, we were taken aback for two reasons:
It was a creamy potato dip.
And. it was COLD.
We dipped our breads in gingerly , and were instantly happy because it was SOO fresh and creamy.
Drink : Only one of us felt like a mocktail , so she ordered the Grasshopper.
It was a concoction of Cacao (yes, cacao, not cocoa, as we mistook it ),mint and coconut juice.
Well, it lived up to the colour expectations.It was green.
It smelt like extremely good BODY LOTION. Sadly , it tasted like that too :(

Pizza Sadu- A deliciously tangy , no -cheese pizza. Made me less guilty than usual.
Lasagne - Lasagne Alla gypsy- had mushrooms and eggplantive .No words to describe how wonderfully fantastic it was :)
Pasta - pasta Alla Mafia -a let down after the lasagne

Dessert :
We didnt have any !!
Overall,everything worked for me except the drink and the pasta .
I have to mention the service:Very , cordial , pleasant and efficient.

French Loaf, The

The French Loaf ( on Harrington Road ) has been my favourite haunt for a casual catch up with friends.
The crowd there is neither cluttered with crass people, nor with snooty wannabes.
It is small, the decor is kept minimal and very clean, and the emphasis is on food.
I think they have the best quiche s in town , and im addicted.
They have this fabulous feature, a make -your -own-sandwich station. They hand you a sheet with a list of breads, veggies,meats, dressings,cheeses etc. Tick wat you like and they turn it into one killer sandwich. Plus they have a rack full of good bread u can buy for home.The pricing is fair according to me but that may be subjective. All in all i think its one of the better places in chennai, especially for a vegetarian like me.

La Boulangerie Central

Many months ago the first time I wanted to go here, I got lost.
The second time around, it was a Monday.(Their weekly holiday).
Like a bloodthirsty piranha, Iwent there again, for the third time.
Ive been hooked ever since.
Their Coffee Eclair needs a thread of its own. You could eat it , die , and happily go to Heaven.
Im a quiche addict and i loved their quiche the one time i ate it, though it could have been bigger.

I had a guava dessert in a glass which tasted slightly of Antibiotic. Nevermind, they atleast tried to lift a boring Indian fruit to higher levels.
As i keep having the coffe eclair EVERYTIME i go there (no regrets ), i've nothing much to say about the other items.
My husband does order different things eachtime,and usually likes what he orders.They also work for a good cause. ALL the profits go back into training underprivileged kids , in the art and science of Baking. The kids are usually the ones who take the order and serve you too.
Here s hoping they add many more items to their menu , as there s no such thing as too many delicious things :)