CFG party-kku poriya?

Friend: hey, are you free on 29th Sep?
Me: nopesy…. 
Friend: woah, yenna doings woman?
Me: Me gonna be bijy with the CFG party..
Friend: Oh, that foodie gumbals-a?
Me: Oye… but athe athe…
Friend: what the you peepals doing that day? going somewhere fancy spancy to eat-a?
Me: Nopesy.. we the doing a party for the foodies
Friend: hmmm.. intersetting.. but all evening talking about food, food and more food, bleh…
Me: di, its not going to be like that… we the gonna have a quiz, there be the uber awesome CFG presentation, and oodles of fun… Plus you also get to meet all the cool people i know ;o)
Friend: Like that… hmm, me the tempted now…. Seri, how do i attend?
Me: ticket vangu.. zimble…
Friend: how much it ees?
Me: Vonly Rs1000/- but for you, i the give it for Rs999/- [special offer you see ;o)]
Friend: Aha, kalakals… seri, where to buy this ticket from?
Me: Me?
Friend: Aha, you do the side business and all now is eet? lol…
Me: shuddup ya… give me the money and take it the ticket… onnu poduma?
Friend: for now.. but will try and bring my other gumbal and see if they are interested….
Me: wokays!!!
Thats all.. story over..what you are waiting for eh? vethala pakku and all-a? come buy your ticket and join us in the party, i say!!
Disclaimer: i pramise that nobody was hurt or slapped during the making of this post… And i did not have a knife or milagai podi with me.. i dint yovar honour..!! 
What? you want ticket? come come.. i have a few,. will gladly give. bring your amma appa thatha patti, coujin sister, thoorathhu vittu chitappa and pakkathu vittu ambi also….
Innum ethavathu padikanumnu mood irunda, check out —
CFG Page on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/chennaifoodguide

CFG on Twitter : 
https://twitter.com/ChennaiFoodGuid

The link to purchase ticket for the party evening online- CFG 8th Anniversary party

The journey… Chennai food guide

My 1st interaction with CFG members was at Tuscana in Chamiers. I met Nishanth, Ali and Wasim, got talking about what they do and well, the rest as they say is History.. I have been to Restaurant reviews, interacted with them offline and made quite a few friends through this lovely forum.
Today, when a bunch of make plans to meet, try out OMG at Sandy’s, we are a group of friends, we kid around, pull each others’ legs, enquire, offer to help and do just about everything good friends would do for each other. Actually, more than a group, we are a family!! 
When we go for reviews, we spend not half hour or one hour, we spend nearly 4-5hrs at the restaurant talking about everything under the sun. There are whines and grins about how photographers hog the limelight [well, it is the food, but they mill around clicking away while food goes cold] and then there are those times when we are busy passing the plate to get a sample of the various dishes…. The meets are always abuzz with excitement, chattering and oohs, yumm, and the occasional yuck or bleh… 
Chennai Food guide was born in Orkut, there was a thriving community, but as all things go through a metamorphosis. It has now become quite the group on Facebook, with over 7000 members, and a vibrant community where members interact freely with restaurant owners; and where feedback [positive/negative] is welcome.. There are the occasional banters, exchange of words that takes place, but then it is all part of the game.
Over the last few months, CFG has come a long way… Going beyond doing restaurant reviews, there are workshops being organized- cake baking, barbecue in the swimming pool, Tex-Mex, Greek food [the latter 2 are yet to happen] and many many more…. This not only brings the people closer, but also helps us learn the nuances of food… 
And now, it is time to celebrate CFG’s 8th Anniversary, an opportunity to bring together all the members to one venue, whip up a storm in terms of the dinner, interact with others from the industry and have one awesome evening.. 
Join us in making this evening a fabulous one…. Come be a part of this lovely community…. And no, don’t worry about piling on those pounds, we’ll give you pointers on gyms and work outs that you can do ;o)
To know more, visit
CFG Page on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/chennaifoodguide

CFG on Twitter : 
https://twitter.com/ChennaiFoodGuid

The link to purchase ticket for the party evening online- CFG 8th Anniversary party
 

Spoonbill, Chennai

It
was my Birthday, and as promised i was going to have dinner with my
bestie [love the Amy refers to Penny as her Bestie in TBBT -uff, The Big
Bang Theory for all those who are staring at the acronym wonderinng
what it is.. :D] and her little bunny boy… We went to and fro on sms
“Jacobs or Spoonbill” we were both ok with either, she’d been to
Spoonbill but was willing to go again… After much dilly dallying,
rather “am ok with this, unless…” kinda chats, we settled for Spoonbill..


I had seen the restaurant couple of times while going down TTK road, but yet to explore further. It is situated right above CCD [hopefully you are not wondering what that is.. in case you are… Cafe Coffee Day], yes one more outlet has sprung up in town. You walk up the narrow flight of stairs to Spoonbill [ i dint see an elevator, is there one anywhere? – wondering in case i want to take grandparents there]…

You
cant help but smile as you enter the restaurant. the bright orange
colour Spoonbill on the wall is what caught my eye. The entire wall was
empty but for that bird, and it stood out. I have seen a few real
spoonbills, the bird during a trip down the Coromandel coast, but am
sure they were white and not orange.. 🙂

A wall near the
entrance has a few large images, of coffee cups with spoonbill logo and
name on it, some of food, and people grinning ear to ear. After a brief
stroll down the open kitchen, we found a table near the window. The menu
card was big and interesting, so many items i had only heard off and
seen on TV.

We chose to go with the combo meals, a veg burrito
and a non veg burrito accompanied with french fries[ for the munchkin],
water and a drink. Friend also suggested picking up a few Pav buns as
the little one will like them.  They had Mexican, Indian, Chinese, European, and the whole menu was around popular street foods…

It
is a cool concept- these combos. I was told i could order a drink or
water or juice and could pick out whatever i wanted from the
refrigerator across the bill counter. I was given a small device, which i
was told will light up when our order was ready. How cool is that!

Spent
the next few mins running around the place, well, ok, strolling around
with junior, while he was fascinated with the drinks in the refrigerator
and the unit that was a pest killer, err mosquitoes and flies that is.
He saw a fly hit the blue tubelight, and fall with a buzz sound and
wanted to see more.. well, looks like all the bugs took the cue and
disappeared as the next show dint happen for a while.. lol…

Got back to the table, chit chatting with friend about our birthdays, when suddenly the pager started coming alive. I spotted one of the men behind the counter beckon.. Our order was ready.. Yipee!! And the food was divine… I enjoyed the Burrito- the tortilla, vegetables, refried beans and the gaucamole sauce… The french fries were crisp and perfectly seasoned. I tried the grape juice while friend stuck to Diet coke. We then decided to share a plate of Pandina [did i get the name right? it resembled quesedilla], the filling was Pesto and cheese- sinful, and i wish i could have finished it up, but was stuffed..

And then came the lovely surprise…. Charlie singh, the owner of the place came over to our table [no, he wasnt the surprise..d’oh!], holding a plate with a chocolate cupcake and a candle on it… The little munckin on my lap promptly blew it out… haha… and we dug into it.. The cupcake was warm, moist and  not over the top sweet or chocolatey….

What a fun evening that had been… Actually, time out with these 2 [and the hubby] is always fun & memorable!   Happy birthday to me once again 😀

Ambiance: 9/10

Service: Self service 🙂

Price: 8/10 [ The entire meal was close to Rs600, which i felt was quite reasonable] 

Address:

#239, TTK Road,  [Above Cafe Coffee day]
Alwarpet, 
Chennai 600018

Drum roll please.. CFG anniversary party is here

Do you love food? 
Do you love to cook?
Do you enjoy eating?
Do you like to party?
Well, if you answered for all or any of these with a big nod of your head, then time for you to read further…
If in case you answered No, well, you are here, so you might as well continue reading 😀 
 

The month is September

The date is 29th

Time is 6.30pm onwards

The venue to be at is Residency Towers

So what is so big about the day? Well, d’oh. its time for you to mark this on your calendar, so you don’t miss out on this awesome event… 
What is the event you ask? Gosh… its Chennai Food Guide’s 8th Anniversary bash. It is going to be an evening of fun, food and foodies…!! 
Come join us for this wonderful evening… If you would like to attend, ping me, leave a comment with your name/email id and i shall connect with you… Gracias!!!! 
 

Cook & Dine, Rhapsody, Chennai

Everywhere i turn, i see people cooking or baking or talking about one of the two. Looks like the bug is in the air! I enjoy cooking as well.. rather experimenting and so far no casualties [happy to report]… And so it was no surprise that i instantly said “yes” when the PR person called to invite me for the Cook & Dine event at Courtyard by Marriott.
 

 The day looked packed and i was
out the door at 10.45am,only to return around 3pm briefly. As i stepped
into Rhapsody, i was struck by the beautiful chandeliers and
furnishings, very vintage and yet with  a tinge of contemporary woven
within. A waiter offered me a glass of fruit punch, quite refreshing,
considering the day was quite hot.




The stage was set, err the cooking
station that is, with a wooden shelf of sort behind that showcased
various ingredients to be used in the session [as i learnt during the
event]. There was also a huge screen set up, which was quite cool as
people dint have to crane their necks to catch a glimpse of what the
Chef was upto on the table or stove.


The swanky tablet displaying Rhapsody’s Menu
“The way to a man’s heart is
through his stomach”, no wonder the participants at the event were ALL
women, yes, not a single male at the venue [ apart from the Chefs doing
the session, the camera crew and waiters who were all MEN] Ironic, eh?!
or maybe not.




As i walked around the cooking
arena, i noticed all the ingredients were neatly laid out, in batches
for the various items to be prepared. The one thing that caught my eye
were the white disposable containers, i thought to myself “why couldnt
they have just used simple white bowls instead? It dint leave a good
impression… shrugging the thought away, i made my way to an empty
chair with a good view”




We were each given a folder that
contained the recipes for the dishes to be prepared, a notepad and a
feedback form along with a  pencil.. I love pencils, they are the most
amazing things ever invented by Man!! ok..ok.. back to cooking..




Chef Paul introduced himself before kick starting the session with the
 

“Tomato and scarmoza bruschetta
with Pear and Arugula salad “- A simple yet flavour filled dish, it had
quite a few ingredients i hadnt seen/used before. The Buffalo Mozeralla,
and Arugula [Rocket leaves]. The audience watched while the chef
whipped up the 2 dishes within a few minutes, and the Chef patiently
prepared them while answering queries thrown upon him from the
participants. We were shown samples of the cheese and the rocket leaves,
got to feel/taste them before and after. The entire dish came together
beautifully, with the roasted pine nuts being the show stopper for me.. 

He then moved on to the next dish
of the day, which was “Cream of Broccoli and Roasted garlic soup”.. Oh
boy, i have had/made Broccoli soup, but never with roasted garlic and
this one tasted so divine. It was not over the top pungent and yet added
that extra zing to the otherwise mellow soup. We learnt how to roast
garlic without deep frying it, cooking it on the stove versus cooking it
in the oven and so many other little insights that i know i am going to
incorporate the next time i make soup..

As the event progressed, few more
ladies joined in. A family of 5 came and sat near me. I struck up a
conversation to discover they were fairly regular and enjoyed cooking.
The Italian dishes were new, and they were not too familiar with the
herbs, and cooking process which is why they were there in full
attendance today.


Oh
, no, the chef is already on to the next dish and he is talking about
Breasts, chicken Breasts that is [you evil you…].. He was going to
make “Chicken scaloppini with mushroom and truffle scented mash”. I
heard Truffle and my antenae was up and alert.. And to my glee, the
Truffle oil bottle was passed around so we could all get a whiff of it.
it was quite strong, almost like walking into the Chemistry lab, but i
liked it.  Good things are either forbidden or exhorbidantly pricey as
the case was. a 100ml bottle or even less was Rs10,000.. A drop was all
that was required and i felt it while having a spoonful of the mashed
potato.. Damn, that was divine. I also learnt about Truffles [i had only
seen it in the movie No Reservations], the Chef told us it was a fungi,
a kind of mushroom but the most expensive of them all. He also shared
the story of how back in the days, families would send their children
out to the garden to hunt and bring home some truffles. The mushroom
sauce was good, so filled with mushroom flavours [Chef had used 2 kinds
of mushrooms], so if you are a mushroom fan, you will be in heaven. 

 As i was relishing the mashed
potato, the audience was busy asking the Chef where certain ingredients
were available, and if there was a vegetarian substitute for Chicken
etc….it was wonderful to see the interaction, watch the participants
grab onto every word the Chef said, and be equally reciprocal with their
queries and feedback on the dishes.


I
kept flipping through the list of recipes wondering if the Chef had
forgotten the Risotto.. Ah, but no. He had other plans, He mentioned
that this dish would be made at the end, and after the event was done
with, there would be a contest among the participants. The dish they had
to prepare- you guessed it right- the Risotto…


He
spoke in length about Arborio Rice, and how Basmati rice will not work
in a Risotto. As always, he even passed around a few granules of Rice
for us to see… This was for the “Pumpkin and spinach risotto” Small
pumpkin cubes were boiled and pureed for the rice, and a few were oven
roasted to be added before serving. We also had the opportunity to
touch/feel/smell fresh herbs like Thyme and watch the mix of flavours
come together in the Risotto.. The Chef spoke about vegetable stock, how
it was prepared and what are the substitutes. A lady in the audience
enquired if stock can be made in advance and stored in ice trays to be
used later. The Chef replied “yes, but it will not be as fresh, an
alternative are those stock cubes you get in stores”.

 I had to leave as i had work and a
meeting in the other end of town. I missed out on the dessert Sicilian
Cannoli and lunch that followed. But, what can i say! It was one amazing
experience, to watch a Chef work his magic, interact with audience and
answer all queries. The lady next to me said “Chef is so nice, you can
even ask him other recipes and he will share. He taught me how to make a
simple pasta during the last session”.

Each of the dishes were offered, a sample taster if you will call it just as the Chef was done cooking it. Waiters brought out trays of food, which were prepared in the kitchen ahead of time i guess. They were hot and yumm..

Well, looks like Marriott is bringing the foodies at both ends closer, the ones who love to eat and those who have learnt the art of cooking. This event is a monthly event, and the participants pay Rs750 nett, which also includes Lunch at Paprika post the Cook & Dine event.

Am already curious to know what the theme is for the next session. As i leave the restaurant, the whiff of milk & vanilla tease me…
For details on the next Cook & Dine event, contact: 044 66764000

5 senses, Chennai – Encore!

Ar: Hey, am in town. want to catch up for lunch on Mon or Tue?
Me: Sure, lets meet on tuesday, what say?
Ar: sounds good. where?? somewhere preferably in Nungambakam.. Suggest something new and exciting
Me: hmmm.. there are loads of new places on KNK road, have you been to any- 5 senses? 3 kingdoms? Fresca?
Ar: 5 senses please… i like the sound of it… Around 1pm? 
Me: Done deal.. See you soon!! 
And that is how the lunch plan was made.. that fateful day, i got a bit delayed and reached a few minutes late. Ar was already there, seated inside with Hollywood stars looking down on us from the walls. After a few minutes of catching up, we decided to check out the Buffet menu before deciding on which to opt for- Buffet or a la carte. the Buffet had 85% vegetarian dishes, actually 90% veg and just 2 side dishes that were non veg. Priced at Rs500+tax, it seemed to be a good deal.  I had been here once earlier with a different group of friends and we had a whale of a time…. My earlier review is here
The lobby from where you take the elevator
We sat down in our table and started catching up on our lives.. It had been quite a while since i had seen Ar [we meet every time she comes to town :)]  We ordered a drink [i’ve happily forgotten the name- it was Vodka+cranberry combination] and was delicious. We also nibbled on the pita bread & hummus[Boiled chickpeas+olive oil+garlic+lemon juice] that was placed on the table. It was divine.. There was also Tzatziki [cucumber+yoghurt+garlic] to dive into.

 The Starters

The Drink
The meal began with a bowl of Wild Mushroom Cappucino [soup] that was quite rich and filled with flavour
We got to talking about tattoos, both of us have err… umm,,, enough, and were eager to get more.. She shared her experience of visiting a tattoo artist’s shop and not getting good vibes. we were talking about the others in town when the waiter brought forth the starters. 
There was an assortment of dishes- a small pizza with baby onions and cheese; Falafel and Mini baked samosas filled with vegetables- Spanakopita [ a typical Greek/Arabic dish]. They were quite filling… 
Forcing ourselves to go have something from the assortment of main course, we started discussing work, how her handmade jewellery business was shaping up and the plans she had for future. 
I took some spaghetti in white sauce cooked with simple vegetables, a spoonful of stir fried vegetables, and some salad [cherry tomatos, lettuce, colour capsicum that i had with a vinaigrette dressing] .. The food was quite good, very simple flavours, and light as well. 
The dessert options werent too exciting- there was an Orange sorbet, Rose & vanilla ice cream, and 2 puddings- one strawberry and one vanilla. We gave dessert a miss and made our way out.The food was much better than the last time i had been here and i also noticed the prices had been reduced[but it is on the higher end]
Meal for 2 costed around Rs1400odd [incl Tax]
Food: 8/10 – Simple flavours, good portions.
Ambiance: 8/10- fairly quiet, no loud blarring music, they do have 2 TV screens playing either a sports channel or a movie
Service: 8/10 – prompt and polite
Price: 7/10
Location:
9, Khader Nawaz Khan Rd, 
Nungambakkam
Chennai – 24
Directions: 
Drive down Khader nawaz khan road, and right next to Bang & Olufsen, New Crimson chakra there is a complex- park and head over to the elevator to the top floor to get to 5 Senses. 
You can see their Lunch & Dinner menu here.