Revamped Bar menu at The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt



Beetroot Ravioli

A cocktail with Gin base… 

Panner e Hasan

Steam Edamame & Truffle Dimsum

Taouk Shish- Char Grilled Chicken, Onion Dumac salad with Turkish Bread

Three Cheese Jalapeno and Pesto Mushroom Tikka

Pumpkin Ravioli

Garlic Naan, Plain Naan, Dal Makhani & Butter Chicken

  



Veg Pizzas

Churros with three dips- Salted caramel, dark chocolate and apple cinnamon sauce.. 
Dessert Platter- included Dark Chocolate Cake & Blueberry Cheese Cake


The highlight apart from the delectable food was meeting their new Executive Chef Michele Dal Cero [Mikela Daal Cherro is how it is pronounced] who is from Verona in Italy, but was working in Korea for the past 7years before which he did a stint at Shangri-La in Mangolia for a year. It was fascinating listening to his stories and experiences across regions and people. He was all praise for the team at Flying Elephant, saying they were quite smart, quick to learn new recipes and replicate them unlike some of the people he has worked with earlier. We also spoke in length about food from his hometown, his family and the region around. I love hearing stories, it infact adds to the whole experience and tells you so much about a person and their heritage. 

The Food & Drinks

The first thing I read on the new Bar menu was Three Cheese Jalapeno & Pesto Mushroom Tikka.. Few items down was the Steam Edamame & Truffle Dimsum. Now with dishes like that on the menu, the curiosity to try the dishes was quite high and I was literally holding my breath waiting for these dishes to arrive at the table. The evening though began with the beautiful Beetroot Ravioli, which I have had before and with every bite it plays on your senses.. The beetroot has been cooked in so many different ways that you take a few minutes to wrap your head around it. And you can imagine how the rest of the evening must have been..

As for the food and drinks, the evening sailed along quite smoothly. I had three different cocktails, all with gin as the main base, one had curry leaves, other two were far more subtle.. cant remember the names, I just let the staff decide and surprise me 😀 [ya I take risks like that] 

The dimsum melted in our mouth, the truffle flavour singing a song till it reached the tummy… The Middle Eastern flavours of the Taouk Shish was quite good, I tasted the bread with pickled onions and the vegetables from the skewers… The Mushroom tikka was heavenly, I love Mushrooms and this one was stuffed with pesto, crumb coated and cooked on the grill..  The pumpkin ravioli was again one that I have had before, and loved it this time as well- the sweetness of the ravioli, the crunch of the paper thin wafer and the sweet sauce… What is good about the menu is all the dishes are almost like finger food, no mess no need for fancy cutlery, pick it up, pop in your mouth [maximum 2 bites] and enjoy the flavours…

To wrap up the meal we got two desserts, one was a platter and the other well we got served cos we are sweet people, if you ask nicely they might get it for you as well.. Am talking about the Churros.. Mamma mia, it was heavenly… I loved it on its own and with the various sauces, esp the apple cinnamon… Dying to try my hand at making it at home~!! 

Well, after a meal like that, all one needs is a good book and some sweet company to snuggle with..You would end up dreaming about the various flavours of India …. spices singing sweet melodies…  ;o) 

A meal for two should work out to Rs2500 ++ and this is available for dinner from 7pm at Flying Elephant…

Address:
Park Hyatt 
39, Velachery Main Rd, Guindy,

Call 044 7177 1234 for reservation




Disclaimer:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ParkHyattChennai

The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  🙂

Eastern Wedge – Pan Asian – Pure Veg, Chennai

When a new restaurant hits town, there is always curiosity,  but then when it is Pure veg, and Pan asian, curiosity makes way for a “drop everything and go over for a visit” momentum. That is exactly what happened with Eastern Edge

I have known Chef Ramkumar for a few years, and when I saw a few interesting images on his Whatsapp status, I pinged him asking about it. He was tight lipped till early December and then last friday I got the opportunity to visit the place, and try the food.. Only word that comes to my mind at the end of it all – “Delicious”…  

From the Cool Cream Milano Pvt Ltd, Mr Mahadevan’s holding company, [which also owns Sera and Ente Keralam,Va Pho among others] comes the newest kid on the block – Eastern Edge, Pan Asian- Pure Veg restaurant… It now sits proudly where Darios once did and offers cuisine spanning across Japan, China, Malay and Thai….  

The menu has been crafted by Chef. Tetsuya Yanagida from Japan and Chef. Low Chee Ee from Malaysia and of course our very own Chef Ramkumar who has been with this group for nearly 16 years experience at the helm of it.. They had Chef come down from Japan, show how the dishes are made, train the staff here before handing over the reigns. Big bold flavours, simple subtle cooking spices, simply cooking methods, each dish standing out with a unique identity of its own… These are what you can expect at Eastern Wedge

The menu does not run for pages and pages, but there are enough options to leave you spoilt for choice… Here are the dishes I tried that evening,

The crunch of the water chestnuts is something alright… I kept going back for 2nds and 3rd and more…

Such a delight to dig into this bowl of cold salad- it has noodles, the sesame dressing, veggies, tofu/paneer…  





 The Chanko Nabe with Udon noodles and assorted vegetables is a house special, and this is the 1st time they are trying a veg version of this dish… It comes with choice of three broths, we chose the Miso one and I loved it.. Such a warm comforting bowl it was… 

I loved this dish as well, the rice and the gravy that had a certain amount of warmth to it was just WOW… 




If your family is like mine “we will not enter a restaurant that cooks non veg even though they have a  good veg spread”, take them here and you can thank me later!! Or if you are curious to know what pure veg pan asian cuisine offers, well, just drive down here right away… 😉 


Kudos to the team for giving us yet another restaurant that not only ticks all the boxes in terms of flavour, options and pricing, but one that is such a delight to dine at… 


Meal for 2- Rs800-1000/-


Website- https://eastern-wedge.business.site/


Address:
11, Kasturi Rangan Road, 
Kasturi Estate, 2nd Street, 
Poes Garden, 
(Next to Ashwini Hospital) 
Chennai – 600018  


Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂 

Street food in Indore

The minute I told a friend Indore was on my agenda, he immediately began rattling out places to go to, and things to do.. And his last visit to Indore was a good decade ago, but well most of the monuments and places continue to be popular among travellers even today. Amidst that long list was this area called Sarafa Bazaar, known for its Chaat. But what made it unique was the place came alive post 8pm and stayed open till about 2am, daily. During the day the area is renowned for the jewellery stores and is a market of sorts for those seeking to buy jewellery. This bazaar/market is situated right behind the Rajwada Palace, a crumbling remnants of the Holkar dynasty… 
As you walk through the lane, your senses are assaulted by the aromas wafting from the various stalls on either side. Some are putting together chaat, while others are deep frying jalebas and then there are other stirring pots of what looks like indo chinese dishes, not to forget the range of indian desserts sitting pretty in huge bowls.  You are spoilt for choice, and the beauty is that all these stalls are open till the wee hours of the morning. No matter how busy the stall owner is, they don’t mind chit chatting. I did kick up a conversation with almost all I visited, and discovered that most of them have been setting up stalls for 30+ years, some of them mentioned how their father had started the show and they had taken over. 
The other good thing is they take cash or paytm as payment.. Most of the dishes are priced between Rs40- 60.  Here is a photographic tour of the place….
 Paranthas.
Paneer tikka.. across spice levels.
Chinese Dosai
Burger with paneer patty
Dahi and Vada soaking in warm water…
 Rabdi and Gulab jamun
 Sesame chikki and gajak

Pani Puri water- 5 different kinds
Momo stall
 Hot Gulab jamun, Carrot halwa, moong daal halwa and gulab jamun
Jaleba- Giant Jalebis..
Paan.. Chocolate, pista, butterscotch, strawberry and many others.. 

Kulfi on the wheel..
What did we try? Well, here is a collage of the dishes we sampled across 1.5hours, and walking through those streets…… 
Top left onwards 
Bhutte ka kees [corn chaat], 
Dahi vada,
Moong dal halwa,
Shikanji [made with milk & dry fruits], 
Pav bhaji, 
Kulfi (mix of flavours- chocolate, butterscotch and few others)
Garaadu [sweet potato] 
and Momos [not in photo] 
Next time you are visiting Indore, remember to explore this street and let me know what you ended up trying!! 

Fabindia launches 2 Fab Cafes in Chennai


 From a brand that is renowned for their cotton/silk kurtas and sarees, they have now taken a step into the food arena as well, giving customers a wholesome experience. This new outlet was at the corner of Eldams Road and TTK road, and was huge… I was at the newly opened Fabindia Experience center, the 2nd one in Chennai [ 1st one at Besant Nagar].. After spending a few minutes at the store, I made my way to the 3rd floor, where the Fab Cafe was located. 

Right next door is a space where they hold workshops and an ideal space for kids to stay busy with fun activities. Infact, a friend was telling me how her son loves to play there while she & her husband enjoy some quiet time at the cafe.  The view from the cafe is breathtaking, you get the entire view of the busy street below and watch vehicles go by on the flyover as well.

Chef Sunil Chauhan is the man behind the menu and must say it is quite an impressive one. He steers clear of white sugar and flour [Maida] and there are so many alternatives, healthier dishes as well. The menu is a melange of Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free and Diabetic friendly as well.  This was also the 1st place where I saw Quinoa flour & Jackfruit flour based items on the menu. 

If you are looking for a new place to explore or some new dishes, then this is where you should go. Lemme also tell you they have quite a range of Vegetarian dishes! 🙂 

Masala Chai with Coconut sugar and a beautifully flavoured biscotti.. 

A variety of drinks- [Top to bottom, left to right] Kokum with coconut milk and a drink with pineapple juice, tender coconut water and chia seeds. Sugarcane and Lemongrass juice with soda…

Spinach & Chestnut momos with two dipping sauces..

Pani puri with three different waters

Pickles- Beetroot pickle, raw papaya pickle and chilli pickle..

 Jackfruit flour roti, quinoa roti, mix grain roti, and paneer stuffed roti with a Punjabi Saag with paneer in it.- the sabzi was divine, could have had a bowl of it and been happy.


Crispy veggies but not deep fried, they were dehydrated, served with cashew cheese that had mint sauce mixed it. The veggies were light as air and beautiful.. 




 Fried Shakarkandi chaat… tangy, sweet, spicy and yummmm

 Ajwain Croissant- It took a bit of getting used to, the flavour, the texture…

 Four different home made ice creams..

 Cheese cake with strawberry sauce… Loved the cheesecake, while the sauce was tad sweet.

 Caramalised Banana cake… It was packed with banana flavour, so if that is your thing then this is the dessert for you…


I sure wanna come back here for their breakfast, considering the menu had me going oooh, wow, nice, yumm at the pancakes and Shakshuka and the smoothie bowls.. It is quite obvious that a lot of thought and research has gone into the menu!! 

Address:
New Door No. 390, Old Door No. 225, 3rd Floor, TT Krishnamachari Rd, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018 

Timing: Open from 8.30am to 10.30pm [even though store closes by 9pm]
Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂 

Sunbean Gourmet Coffee at ITC Grand Chola [ only till 31st Oct]

Imagine the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting in the air.. You are bound to lift your head up from whatever you were lost in and follow the trail.. Well  it was an afternoon of indulgence, what else would you call trying not one or two but six delicious cups of coffee? Sinful right.. For a south indian, coffee is like the sweetest nectar there is. And so when we got to meet the team at ITC Grand chola, and given details about the variants they had come up, it was time to dive in with no second thoughts. 

Sunbean Gourmet Coffee comes in two variants – Nicamalai and Panagiri. From what I remember, Nicamalai is a blend of beans from Nicaragua and Anamalai. It has a fruity undertone, while the Panagiri, a blend from Panama and Baba Budangiri is more about fragrance and nutty chocolatey flavours… We had the pleasure of having Jai explain the various coffee, the blends and how different they are. It is always interesting listening to how the product evolved, where it originated from and the final product leading up to our experience… 

A few days ahead of this, I had received a beautiful hamper from ITC containing a packet of Sunbean Gourmet Coffee Panagiri along with the French Press apparatus.. I am yet to try it out, though now am all the more curious about the taste of the coffee in our regular South Indian Filter… 





Now onto the evening that was….. 


HOT BREW

Caramel Americano- The European approach to American style coffee with burnt molasses –  I loved how the strong coffee flavour came through and the caramel was just on the back of the throat… 


Cinnamon Mocha Cappuccino -Intensely flavored Chocolate Espresso Syrup with frothed milk. Finished with cinnamon on top.-  this one was delicious, especially since I love cinnamon flavour.. It was rich & creamy as well.


Ginger Bread Latte- Rich full bodies espresso soothed by a generous pour of steamed milk with a touch of Ginger at last-  The one coffee that had me scrunching up my face, wondering what that lingering bitterish aftertaste was. It was then that it hit me- ginger.. Not a favourite, probably cos I am not a ginger fan… and well, we are all used to ginger with our tea, not coffee right!! 


ICED COFFEES

 Baileys’ Irish Brew – Irish cream Liquor blended with freshly brewed coffee served on a bed of crushed ice. –  Creamy, frothy, smooth are words that come to my mind when I recollect how this drink was. The Irish cream flavour floated through the beverage.. For those who are unaware, Bailey’s Irish cream has alcohol in it!! 😀


Iced Hazelnut Americano – Iced straight black blended in a surprise hazelnut combination.-  Are you the kind who picks out Hazelnuts from the chocolates and quietly munches on them? Well, then this is just the drink for you. I infact had this [as with others] without sugar and so with every sip, the beautiful hazelnut flavour hit me and lingered on… My absolute favourite among them all 


Choco Fills Brew- Crunchy Choco Fills cookie mingled with a fresh brew of Sunbean and ice cubes to add to the texture. –  You know when you bite into a sunfeast choco fill cookie, the chocolate from the inside oozes out. Well, they have taken the cookie, blended it with plenty of ice and some coffee. It is a fun drink… less coffee more chocolate… 


What are you waiting for? If you want to go enjoy an all out and out coffee based experience, take some time off and head over to Cafe Mercer at ITC Grand chola… You can thank me later, or better yet, buy me a coffee 😀

The above mentioned beverages are priced at INR 375 (exclusive of taxes)

Address:
ITC Grand Chola
#63, Anna Salai, Guindy Institutional Area, Little Mount, Guindy… 

Date: Till October 31, 2018

Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa, Chennai


The newest kid on the block was open to public and all set to wow guests. Am talking about Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa on ECR, right next to the Crocodile Bank… Swanky new property, it has been open for less than 5months and joins the league with the others along the coast. 

The Reception/Lobby

The Pub
[Image courtesy: Kamalika]


At the Indian Chef awards event..



 At the Reef



Was there with a friend last week for their Go Cheese Indian Chef Awards event and must say the property is quite impressive. 

The first thing you see as you get off the car is the buffalo art piece right in the middle and the eye goes all the way beyond it to the blue ocean… As you walk into the property, the high ceilings and open spaces is what catches the attention. I loved that there was enough room to not only walk, but maybe even run around without bumping into things or people. On one side is the Reception and other side houses the banquet hall. The reception area has ample comfortable seating options and a cart with two drinks- Lemon soda and Apple tea , perfect for the warm days or after the long drive. 

We walked along the corridor, enjoying the attention to details, be it on the signboards to the restroom, or the light fitting outside them. The main materials across the property are wood and copper, which has been used not just outside but on the interiors as well. We were shown the pub, which has a huge wooden door, and the decor inside is very rustic, with naked light bulbs and a long wooden slab packed with different colour & shaped bottles above the bar. Comfortable sofas, sleek high chair all of which blend together well in this space. 

The restaurant beyond the pub was called “The Reef” and again spacious, with enough walking space between tables and the buffet counters. We had lunch at the restaurant and food was good, what I liked about the place was they did not have a buffet that stretched on and on, it had few dishes but they were packed with flavour. They had sourdough bread, fresh herbs, and quite a range of salads, one of which was with Fresh figs [parmesan cheese & fish- I pushed fish aside and took the figs which were amazing.. couldn’t resist em].. There was also a live pasta counter. One of the desserts that stood out for me was the Fresh Figs on pudding topped with chocolate..[The chocolate melted as it touched the hot pudding below].. 

As for the rooms, a friend who I bumped into said they were quite plush. The rooms on one side face the crocodile bank, the others to the city and the third set to the ocean… Did not get a chance to get a glimpse of the room, maybe next time! 

The Indian Chef awards event happened in the main banquet hall with chefs battling it out across counters. They were given a set amount of time, ingredients and had to whip up a starter and a main. Some of the ingredients were quite exotic, like the lobsters, while another stall had stuff I love- Shiitake mushrooms, bok-choy and more.. There were also stalls by sponsors, showcasing their products… Was overall an interesting visit..

Walking out and heading back to the city, I kept thinking how amazing it must be to do a staycation here.. Hopefully soon~! 

Address: 280 East Coast Road, Vadanamelli Village 
Next to Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, 
Tamil Nadu 603104 

Phone: 044 3342 2222

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

Kandyan King’s Repast- Srilankan Food Festival at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola

Different kinds of Sambol and Pickles

The Rice options

Vegetarian main dishes..
Egg Appams

 Desserts

 The Chef with his books- the teeny tiny one and another slightly bigger book

Srilankan food to me is all about the lovely medley of flavours, the coconut roti in the road side stall, the appam stew and ofcourse Kiri Pani [ buffalo milk curd served with treacle].. At Madras Pavilion, they have brought down Chef Dr Publis Silva from Sri Lanka’s Mount Lavinia Hotel to head the festival. He has spent not one or two years, but nearly 6 decades at this hotel and says this is going to be the beginning and end of his career. 

As always, I was quite curious to hear his story, his experiences and he clearly told us “after the meal, not before”  with a chuckle. Walking around the buffet spread, he told us of the various dishes, the base, the preparations… And what I discovered during the dinner was the dishes I had eaten during my Sri Lanka trip were just a teeny tiny percentage of the veg dishes. The one thing I remember from my trip was that people would blow us away with dishes the minute we mentioned “we are pure vegetarians”, but we did have to mention no fried fish, cos they tend to sprinkle a generous handful on top of every dish..lol.. 

The dishes ranged from flavoured rice, unpolished rice, egg appams to koththu parota for the mains and the sides ranged from a raw mango gravy to long beans curry to a pumpkins cooked in mustard gravy. And then ofcourse there was a section of their sambol – veg and non veg versions, each one teasing our taste buds. The flavours were distinct, and we happily dug in, being greedy taking it all in. The food was cooked with simple spices, and it was interesting to note that the vegetables retained their colour and had a gentle bite to them [ just the way I like them] Chef mentioned there were 350+ veg dishes. Yam had about 56 varieties, similarly bananas and mango. So there was no dearth for vegetarian food. He also told us about the use of Goraka [Kodukkaippuli in Tamil] for many meat based dishes. The desserts were familiar flavours – vatalappam, the Kiri pani and another dish that was crisp and had a subtle flavour with every bite. We did finish off the meal with hot filter kaapi.
  
What had me fascinated apart from the lip smacking food was Chef’s journey from Coal carrier to Director Culinary Affairs at Mount Lavinia Hotel. I did not visit the hotel, but remember boarding the train from the station near the place.  He has literally made his way up the ladder and has been conferred with President’s Award and, recently, the Deshabandu Award for distinguished services to the nation, by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. He has published over 23 books, one of which is a tiny one that found a place in the Guinness book of world records. He showed us the book that contains 40 recipes fit for a King [you need magnifying glass to read the text on it] and then there was another one slightly bigger in size. He wants the Sri Lankan food to be remembered and cherish much after his time as well, that is is only dream~! 

It is fabulous how ITC Grand Chola keeps doing new things, bringing down Chef’s from specific regions thereby giving us an opportunity to not only savour different flavours, but listen to stories and experiences from world over.. 

This festival is on till the 16th September for dinner. 
Approx price is Rs2200 + tax [per person]

Address:
ITC Grand Chola 
#63, Mount Road, Guindy, 
Chennai,TN,600032 
Ph- 044 2220 0000

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

Food Exchange at Novotel Chennai Chamiers



Yes, you read it right. There is a new kid in the block, err a new Novotel in the city, that too on Chamiers Road [ almost adj to Times Now office].. Was at dinner at their resturant Food Exchange [the name had me surprised cos in other Novotel hotels, the restaurant is called The Square] .. The minute you walk out the elevator, you are greeted by giant doors that lead the way into a restaurant that is large, spacious with multiple sections and different kinds of seating options. All along the walls are shelves lined with interesting knick knacks, with one wall carrying different sauces and condiments used in the restaurant. 

Right in the middle of the place is the open kitchen [ a good sized space, but they should relook at their exhaust system, there were moments we were coughing cos of the smoke coming from the Tandoor]… 

Coming down to the most important part, the food, the Chef at the helm of things is Chef Kalaiselvan who is here after working across Dubai and various other places..  Over the weekends you are in for the Buffet while other days it is a la carte. The bar is just being set up- Gourmet bar, and they are yet to get booze license, so we settled for mocktails. The first drink I was served was an Almond milk based coffee which wasnt that great [ maybe I am just not the almond milk kinda gal], but the second one was good – Delicious Sour [made with peach, apricot, lemon and soda] which as my friend noted, came without a garnish… 

Going on to food, am going to let the photos do the talking…. [Comments & inputs along with the photograph]



 The open kitchen

The Almond milk coffee drink…not really my thing..

 Delicious Sour- refreshing and light..

Chilli honey lotus stem- was crunchy and chewy [maybe fried too long]

Paneer Tikka served with green chutney- good and familiar flavours.

Burnt garlic veg soup- Loved loved the burnt garlic flavours.. perfect if you have a bad cold

Mushroom velouté with porcini oil- you know me, you know how much I love 
Mushrooms. This was yummilicious 

The bar menu… 

Gnocchi with basil pesto, shaved Parmesan in Sage butter sauce – It was heavenly, pillowy and melt in your mouth…

Mushroom ravioli with garlic bread  – perfectly cooked ravioli , good flavour of mushrooms and simple sauce…




 The garlic bread- it was soft and crisp on the edges.. Loved the bowl it was served in


Veg pizza- red olives, basil, simple tomato sauce and mascarpone cheese

Jasmine rice with Thai green curry- My absolutely favourite food in the whole wide world and it was delicious… non veg folks have red prawn curry to dig into..

The dessert platter – Brownie,  tender coconut payasam parfait; 
Oreo cheesecake and Double chocolate mousse[the one with ring on top] – was a mixed bag of flavours and textures, but overall found most of them tad too sweet for my liking [ am more the dark bitter chocolate kinda person]

Next time you are in the city and looking for a new place to explore, you should hop into Novotel and Food Exchange… Apart from the Thai & Italian cuisine, they also offer a range of Indian dishes … Go ahead, give it a shot and let me know how your experience was..

Address: 
Novotel Chamiers 
11, Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar Rd, 
Rathna Nagar, Nandanam, Chennai- 600035
Phone: 044 2430 2333 

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

‘Tashi Delek’ – Tibetian popup at Ashvita Bistro, Chennai




Food in reverse order… 🙂
The dessert- Banana & oreo ice cream
The main course
Thupka- Soup
The momos
[photograph courtesy- Kamalika]
A friend pinged and asked if I would like to join her for the Tibetian popup lunch.. It was then I discovered she was referring to the three day event scheduled at Ashvita Bistro, Bawa Road… 


Chef Esha Sahor Lepcha from Bombay was here in Chennai and offering ‘Tashi Delek’ (blessings and good luck) through food… It was our chance to experience Tibetian food..  I have had this cuisine/dishes in the hills, during my Leh and Sikkim trips and so was curious to see how similar/different the flavours were. I quite love this cuisine cos it has very little to no spices/masala and yet packed with flavours. 



Saturday afternoon, we landed at Ashvita and waited for our meal. They had a Veg and non veg menu, since both of us were veg, we opted for the veg menu.  You get to choose between Momo and Thupka [soup], and similarly each category had two dishes. We decided to order one of each so we could try them both.  

The momos were delicious, served with spicy red chilli sauce and peanut chutney of sorts [which was out of the world, we asked for refill] , we went in for a repeat order of Momos as well.  The Thupka was good, similar to the one I tasted in Gangtok. It had noodles, vegetables, and a clear broth. Here too the Thupka was low on salt [I was told that most places serve it salt free, allowing the customer to season as they wish]. 

Following this came the main course, which was served with Brown rice. Along with the rice came a dish made with vegetables and blue cheese that I loved, a Tibetian version of Daal along with two sides – Cottage cheese fries and spicy Shogo Khatsa[baby potatoes]
All this was topped off with freshly handmade ice-cream [Banana & Oreo] for dessert. Overall, it was a good meal. This was priced at Rs599/- per pax. 

Overall experience- While we enjoyed the food, the service left us feeling blah, and after we left the venue is when we realised that we had shared one main, but had been billed for two full orders..  Friend raised this with the owner of the place who said we could claim the due on our next visit.. I wish restaurants educated their staff better… We were also told that refills on all dishes were part of the offer, again something we did not know nor were we offered the same…  Its not just the food, it is the ambiance, the service that adds to the dining experience, atleast for me! 

Address:
#11, Bawa Road, Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018
Phone044 4210 9990

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

Kitchens of India: Royal Repast – The Cuisine of Akheraj Ancestry at ITC Grand Chola

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An
evening packed with some interesting stories, brief peek into our rich history
and ofcourse the food that came from all these stories was what I experienced
at ITC Grand Chola- Madras Pavillion . I was there for the Kitchens of
India: Royal Repast  – The Cuisine of Akheraj Ancestry  festival
which is on till the 5th August. 
Akheraj
Deolia founded by Rao Akheraj the grandson of Rao Chandrasen of Jodhpur has
always been under the Sultanat of Delhi[ from the time of
Prithviraj Chauhan till 1956, when it became part of Rajasthan].
Infact, the Royal Akheraj dynasty lies between the borders of Marwar and
Mewar. The cuisine of this region carries influences of both the regions – by
sheer presence, trade, travels and then through marriages/relationship
ties. 
During
the chat with Akshraj Jodha, he mentioned how vegetables, ingredients had moved
from one region to the other. And then there was the strong influence of
Gujarati food thanks to a marriage that happened eons ago. This led to dishes
carrying a sweet note along with the savoury flavours.  Incidentally,
Chef KS Akshraj Jodha is the 14th descendent of Rao Akheraj,
and currently holds the position of Custodian of Rajasthani food for ITC Hotels… 
Apart from the usual Ker Sangri, Daal Baati churma I
discovered a whole host of dishes that was from this region – like the Bajra
Tikki, Baby Mirchi Wada, Mangodi Saag & Mangodi pulao, Hare Tamatar Ki
Launji which was delicious and the Amaranth dish which was my favourite [haven’t
eaten greens made so yummm].. Chef joked saying he had ensured the Daal baati
was also on the menu, just to give people the sense of familiarity…. 

In the dessert counter, there were quite a range- from Malpua, Pista Rabdi, Ghevar and Sago pudding to few others.. The menu is on a rotational basis, so you might be in for a surprise when you go over… This festival is on for Lunch & Dinner at Madras Pavilion in ITC Grand Chola… 






Address: No., 63, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032 
Phone:044 2220 0000 
Website :http://www.itchotels.in/hotels/itcgrandchola.aspx
Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂