Cafe Chokolade, Egmore, Chennai

Last week, when a friend and i were in Egmore, finishing up some errands, we were tired hungry and thirsty, and the 1st place that came into our horizon was Cafe Chokolade, and since we hadnt been here before, we walked in. 
I guess they were having their daily powercut, as the AC was off, and a fan was keeping the place cool.  Aside from 2 other guys, the place was abandoned. We sat ourselves in the sofa, and that is when i spotted the black plastic bag with JENGA. I promptly began stacking up the wooden blocks while my friend was glancing through the menu card. There was just way too much chocolate there, and lost for choice, we asked the man behind the counter to recommend something cool and refreshing.

When we asked him if they had hot chocolate or something similar, he replied in negative saying they had thick shakes. 
Ok… my next question was do you have something simple and light, he again replied in negative saying “no, you cant drink any of our shakes, you need to eat them”. I was tempted to try one of the dry fruit shakes, but my thoughts were interrupted when
He went to ask – “Is this your first time here?” 
We replied in affirmative
He then continued saying “you should have the Chokolade B”, its the best, made with chocolate, and topped with chocolate pieces, it is thick and really good. We have our own factory, where the chocolate and other bases are made he went on…..
Unsure, we went with his recommendation and ordered a Chokolade B… 
Within seconds, our token number flashed on the little window at the end of the hall, and i picked up our drink, that looked quite sinful. Alas, that was it… The chocolate shavings and pieces were just creamy, and so was the shake.. It was missing any kind of flavour… My friend and I dint have the heart to waste it, but couldnt finish the drink and walked out quite unsatisfied and disappointed…. 
I must confess- I am not a chocolate person, and even if
someone wants to lure me with chocolate, they better be talking about
Dark chocolate.  But i do know taste, and have had quite a few chocolate based desserts and drinks before….
Well, i shall not strike off this place completely, shall visit once more and then decide! 
Ambiance: 6/10
Food: 3/10
Service: Self Service
Overall: 3/10

Address:
Mr Vivek(Proprietor)
Ph: 044-42126461
Website:www.cafechokolade.com 
No 10/1a3,
Montieth Road,
Egmore,
Chennai – 600008
Directions: It is 2 doors from Cake walk, adj to Alsa Mall..

The Cupcake journey


Gone are the days when cupcakes were those little plain looking miniature cakes in paper cups, where we would chew up the paper hoping to devour the last piece of cake. Today, these cupcakes have undergone quite the makeover and Chennai seems to be fast becoming a hub for cupcakes.. You never know, one day you might land in Chennai and instead of asking for “idlies” go looking for “cupcakes” 🙂
Anyways, jokes apart.. The 1st cupcake, a cute little cake with pretty icing that i had in the recent years was at our Wednesday meets at Subway, during the F4 days [Face to Face Facebook friends] when Sujaya Rao brought a box of yummy looking treats. They disappeared within minutes of arriving at Subway, and were quite delicious, simple vanilla flavoured with colour icing… Soon after, another friend Preethika began making cupcakes, but alas, i am yet to taste her treats [girl, are you reading? doubt it… bah] and then came the fun part of life that opened doors to the wonderful world of Cupcakes that Chennai had to offer. Am talking about the Chennai Food Guide and the infamous thread that was started innocently by Doc Waz on cupcakes. 
 Sujaya’s cupcakes… Sorry about the photograph quality, taken on Blackberry
The comment section was filled with updates from people who made Cupcakes across the city. The one that stood out was from Adonia, a small store off Harrington Road that i had been to. Why dint i see the cupcakes? well, Maaria added the cafe much after my visit and this was the 1st i was hearing of these delights. I kept telling myself that i should try them, but days just kept flying by. 
During a restaurant review, The Harried cook brought a box of three
kinds of Cupcakes- Vanilla, Red velvet and  Lemon, and they were
yummilicious. I fell in love with the Red velvet…   Incidently, she has just completed the 2nd workshop in Basics of Baking [ you can check out this post by Chennai Foodie on her 2nd workshop..
 As months passed by, i also got the opportunity to taste the cupcake on display at the French Loaf Cake Buffet. These were tiny chocolate cupcakes with bright colour icing, looked good, but lacked flavour of any kind.,.. big let down… 
Cupcakes at French Loaf
One day last week, mom & i were out on errands when a spur of the moment decision led to us heading to Adonia.. Alas, the cupcakes were all sold out.. I got home, left a message for Maaria saying “came to your store, but there were no cupcakes…” and within a few minutes, we had exchanged a couple of messages and i had placed an order for a Dozen cupcakes [assorted, including red velvet]
The dozen cupcakes from Adonia
Two boxes of 6 delightful looking cupcakes landed home Monday afternoon… Within minutes my family had gorged down a few of them, and i had to literally sneak away a few that i wanted to take for a friend. 
Red velvet… Lindt…. Chocolate.. Vanilla. were few of the flavours in the cupcakes… 
   
There were a few with Chocolate icing, some with white and blue, one that resembled a sunflower with bright yellow icing dolloped with chocolate, and the 2 that had white icing with sprinkles of red.. The most adorable ones were the chocolate cupcakes with 2 tiny butterflies on them, just seeing them sitting in the box made my day [Maaria, almost like telepathy- Butterflies are my favourite :-)] Its Thursday, and there are 2 cupcakes left in the box, actually 1 and a half cupcakes… 😉
So,next time you get a cupcake craving, you know where to head…
The Harried Cook – 9884008905
Cafe Adoniya- Maaria Kulsum -9840285950
F-1, 15th Avenue, Harrington Road, Chetpet, Chennai
Chetpet
Chennai- 31

Soup Nazi

I’ve always enjoyed watching Seinfeld, and this one awesome episode involving the Soup Nazi.. About a year or so ago, my cousin V studying in USA got the chance to meet the guy who played the Soup Nazi and he said ” i went up to him and said “No soup for you”….” what fun it was…. Well, if you read so far, had no clues what i was talking about and was ready to shut the window, well, wait up, watch the video below and then shut ;o) 

Nivedhanam, Mylapore, Chennai

Nivedhanam is pure veg restaurant that is a few months old. It has been promoted by Amithra Hotels and Restaurants, and the 1st of its kind started by an Indian living in Japan.  As you walk in, the mix of culture is quite obvious. There is a small curio of sorts displaying various objects most commonly associated with Japan and the people there. 
They serve Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines.The first thing that struck us were the 2 women at the door, welcoming us with a big broad smile. There is a comfortable sofa to wait, else people can sit outside in the chairs while waiting their turn. Trust me, it does get packed, so make sure to reach early. 
There is a small play pen for children to play in, and a lady who applies Mehndi for free.. The decor is quite bright, with red dominating the ambiance. The tables are quite packed tight, with very little space between them, but all said and done, it is a lovely place, especially if you are looking for good Veggie delights. 
We ordered tomato soup and chappati for my friend’s son, while others had roti and quite a few different side dishes.Each of them were served piping hot and delicious. There is no overpowering masala, or oil in the dishes. They also serve the traditional Japanese noodles, which have been cooked with a few vegetables. For dessert, we decided to try the banana split, 2 slices of bananas enveloping 3 different ice cream scoops.

 The walls have been decorated with elaborate Tanjore art pieces, and the table place mats are the ones with puzzles and word games on them. The waiters take down the orders on iPod Touches, which i thought was damn cool and they are accommodating to special requests.

I have been here twice and both times came out smiling, and happy!  A meal for 3.5 hungry souls worked out to about Rs840, which i thought was quite reasonable, going by Chennai standards.

Food – 8/10
Ambiance- 7/10
Price- 8/10
Service – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10
Cuisine-Across Indian, Chinese, Japanese & Continental – Pure Veg
Car park- On the street [secluded and so no fear or getting towed]

Value add: There is a play pen for children, a Mehndi lady and a man who performs simple magic tricks/ventriloquism
 
Address:
VM Street, Mylapore  Chennai, Tamil Nadu
 Turn right next to Yellow pages when approaching from Gemini flyover and you will see the restaurant few doors down on right hand side.
Phone: +(91)-(44)-42054881, 42054882, +(91)-44-66598988