Avartana turns 2… ITC Grand Chola…

Amuse Bouche – thinly sliced Carrot with some yummy crunchy goodies inside.



The Rasam- with Cumin & Black pepper





Corn & Cherry Tomato [ with pomegranate & curd chilli]



Up close- Corn & Cherry Tomato [ with pomegranate & curd chilli]

Cracklings- [L-R: Ghongura leaf, sweet potato sheets with coriander & curry leaves, and Lotus stem served with Mango mush]



Sundried Tomato tapioca- Coriander chutney



Crispy chilli potato 2.0 with Pineapple & mint soup



Lemon leaf sorbet



Bottle gourd & Raisin- on a bed of Ginger & chilli sauce



Spinach & Curd cheese with tomato salsa and Aerated rice cake.



Fried Aubergine with Jaggery & Sesame sauce



Vegetable Rice with Okra Yoghurt



Vermicelli Yoghurt with preserved lemon



Almond Cremeux with candied orange ice cream & strawberry sauce
Celebrations are always fun, and exciting. No less when it comes to a restaurant! Happy 2nd Birthday Avartana..  True to its name, “Avartana” , a sanskrit word meaning rhythm, mysticism and magic, the restaurant has indeed been weaving magic and dazzling visitors, giving them an experience like no other! 


Known for its set course dinners, Avartana at ITC Grand Chola rolls out a revamped version of Jiaa (Soulful) -11course menu


Chef Ajit Bangera told us they are also likely to be making changes to their other 4 menus as I enjoyed the glass of clear piping hot rasam that was served from a French press. Starting with this, the rest of the evening went by with us savouring each of the courses that came by. The first time I was here was when they had just opened their doors and the feeling remains the same today as I walk into the restaurant. It has that oomph factor, right from the entrance to the decor and the food, including the plates/cutlery. 

More than the food, it is the techniques used, the ingredients, the flavours & textures that make this restaurant stand apart from the rest. The Crispy Chilli Potato 2.0 involves techniques that left us puzzled- as we pop the entire thing into our mouth, the little ball bursts and the liquid pops out with a medley of flavours. In the sundried tomato tapioca dish, the smooth sago exterior works well against the sharp coriander chutney and the tangy tomato filling. I could go on, but you get the drift right? When the spinach & curd cheese arrived on the table, I kept wondering about the textures, wondering what would be the surprise in this. As I cut into the spinach ball, the fork just went through as if it were butter. 

The Fried aubergine again had a crispy exterior that complimented the smooth inside, and the sauce was such a tangy sweet delight. It hit us then that we were almost at the end of the meal. Woah… Next came a small parcel with a spoon of Okra yoghurt. As we unwrapped it, I found rice cooked with vegetable korma of sorts, and it was such familiar flavours but presented so beautifully. We asked for a repeat of the okra yoghurt.. As with most South Indian meals, the last course is always something to cool the system, with curd. The new menu had Vermicelli Yoghurt with preserved lemon, cool comforting dish.

As with every dish, we looked forward to the last course, the dessert. We were served with Almond Cremeux with candied orange ice cream and a strong strawberry clove sauce. While the cremeux was light, the ice cream with candied orange was a fun accompaniment. The sauce was quite strong, though it worked well with the other two. 


It was yet another fabulous meal at a grand setting… That is Avartana for you!! So, if ever you want to indulge or just feel special, make a reservation and head out for dinner one evening. 

A Meal for one [Jiaa menu] – Rs 3,500 + taxes



Address: 
ITC Grand Chola 
No., 63, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Call 044 2220 0000 for reservations.
Website : http://www.itchotels.in/hotels/itcgrandchola.aspx




Disclaimer:


The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  🙂 

Burmese food at Soy Soi till 2nd June…







I love experimenting with food and so when a friend pinged me asking if I would like to join her for the Burmese Food festival at Soy Soi, I said yes instantly. Chennai is quite familiar with this cuisine, google “burmese food” or “atho” and you will see a whole list pop up, but I was sure there was more to it than the few I have had in our city.. 

The man of the hour Nay Myo Htet is the most humble chefs I have met. He is not a Chef who has worked in luxury hotels or travelled the world, he is a home chef, his family runs an eatery in Yangon. Nay Myo Htet’s simple no frills approach was quite refreshing. When we enquired about Burmese food, he said it was quite close to India.. They used plenty of coriander, chillies, tamarind in their dishes. Chef Peter of Soy Soi was there explaining the dishes and talking to us about how this festival came about. He also sheepishly admitted that he is yet to visit Burma but had heard of the food and so decided to try something new at the restaurant.. 

The meal began with the Htamin Lone Gyaw [crispy rice cakes served with spicy tamarind sauce] followed by three different hand tossed salads [Lethok]– one was  Burmese raw mango, the other cucumber & greens [Penny wort], and  finally Burmese tea leaf salad. My favourite was the PennyWort salad [with its mix of textures and flavours-crispy crunchy]. 

Oh I should mention the soup- Roselle soup [made with Ghongura greens] and was simply delicious… Infact, so much so that my non veg counterparts happily dug into this bowl [their soup had fish paste which many were unaccustomed to and so did not enjoy much]. A starter that stood out was Samusa Thoke – do not miss this dish [ it was Burmese samusa salad with lentil & saw tooth coriander sauce, almost like our samosa channa, I would have been happy with a bowl of this… ]

For the mains, we got yet another delightful dish- Khayanthi Hnat [ Burmese aubergene curry with coriander leaves, curry powder & red chilli powder] served with rice. I am not a fan of this veggie, but I loved this dish- it was tangy, spicy, charred and such a treat. I want to recreate this at home..  The menu did leave room for dessert, we got to try Sanwin Makin, moist semolina cake served with  chocolate cream, caramelised oranges and Ginger- honey ice cream and Shwe Yin Aye– traditional dessert made with Sticky rice, shaved ice, sago, pandan noodles and sweet coconut milk. I loved the former dessert [we did suggest they reduce the size of the cake…]

The verdict- I loved the food we had…The flavour profile is quite similar to our food, tangy sour spicy and simple… This festival is on till the 2nd June at Soy Soi…. A meal for two would be around Rs1200-1500 [approx] 

Call +91 78248 68314 for reservations.. 
Address: 
Soy Soi 
2/10, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kotturpuram, Chennai -600085

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 🙂

Asian Station, KNK Road, Chennai


The Decor and the cocktail I had….
The cool menu..
Three different kinds of dimsums..

The clear glass noodle soup

Sushi…

Jasmine Rice and Thai Green curry..

Laksa..

Tab tim grob…

There I was, walking into this giant black gated space, with walls decked up in bright coloured murals and then finally the sun hits you as you turn the corner. This place used to be the Park Pod, and then it was known for The Slate, but today I was walking in to the newly opened Asian Station [adjoining The Slate]. 

They have a huge outdoor space downstairs, and a smaller indoor air-conditioned space upstairs. I noticed they had banners displaying the various IPL teams and a giant screen as well. Would have been good to have watched a few matches here. As I made my way upstairs, I couldn’t help but wonder how at one point this entire place was Posh, looked world apart from the rest of the restaurants or hotels in the city and today it had a bit of run down look… Oh well~!! 

The closed space can seat about 25-26 people and is a long narrow hallway of sorts with cooling towers/Tower AC that helps keep it cool.. Their kitchen is downstairs[ Gulp, I cant imagine how the staff make trips up and down those narrow steps, sometimes carrying multiple dishes or plate].. The restaurant Asian Station, as the name suggests is all about the Pan asian cuisine- Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Malay. Infact, they have another outlet in Anna Nagar which is nearly 2 years old and doing pretty well I hear! 

The colours on the walls and seating was quite funky… But above it all, I loved their menu design. It was a simple one sheet, with flip option on each category. No pages and pages of complicated dishes, leaving you bamboozled.  From the soup section, I had the glass noodle clear soup, dimsums – I had a range of them, from carrots, to mushrooms to mix veg as well, each one came looking so cute and pretty in the bamboo containers. That apart I also tried their veg sushi, which was quite good [ packed with avocado and cream cheese] They were all yumm… 

For the mains, I had my favourite Jasmine Rice and Thai green curry... The other two at the table ordered Prawn red curry.. We did try their Laksa, but it lacked flavour punch [ the base needed more flavour, one of the friends dining with me was from Singapore and so she knew her Laksa…] In most pan asian places, the dessert section is quite small, we opted for the familiar Tab tim grob [ water chestnut] , which was alright [you cant really go wrong with it]… 

During the course of conversation with the man behind the brand- Rohan Ahuja, we came to know he had different chefs at the outlets and while Anna nagar one was doing very well, this one was about 2 month old and slowly picking up. He was looking at introducing a bento box style meal [targeting offices/corporate lunch] and making small tweaks to the menu as well. Coming from a completely non hospitality background, he was in love with food and so got into this business and had learnt the ropes of the business, and was quite kicked about the place. He also spoke about how that particular road had not one but nearly 5 restaurants serving asian cuisine and so it was going to be interesting to create a mark and draw crowds…. 

Well, next time you are in/around Nungambakkam, and looking for a new place to explore, head over to Asian Station~!



Address: 
Asian Station
#23, 13, Khader Nawaz Khan Rd, 
Thousand Lights West,  Chennai -600006
[Inside The Slate complex]


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 🙂

The Humble drumstick [ Murungakkai]

“Boil it separately, not with the kuzhambu” instructs gramma to the cook. It will disintegrate and melt if cooked in the kuzhambu is her explanation… 


We use the vegetable quite often at home… Either in sambar or some such gravy based dish, while the greens are also used as part of a meal.. stir fried with daal, or with coconut paste .. We had the tree i our backyard, but then had to burn it down few years back no thanks to a fuzzy caterpillar of sorts. Uncle and I literally torched every leaf down… 

When we had cows at home, the leaves were fed to the cows… The leaves and the vegetable is very heathy, so much so that today you find moringa powder and capsules in stores… Being a delicate vegetable, it cooks fast and is quite yummy. When grandpa was around, there would fight as to who got most of the vegetable from the dishes it featured in… Some of us would remove the flesh with our fingers and mix them in rice, others would chew the whole stick [almost like a sugarcane piece] and spit out just the outer thick skin… 

About a month ago, I had the most warm comforting bowl of Drumstick soup at Whiskey Samba in Gurgaon… It had such amazing flavours and was accompanied by a Kale crisp with a few drops of sauces on it… 


Yesterday gramma had some drumsticks cooked along with rice in the cooker, but we forgot to have it as part of lunch and so I suggested we have it as soup. Gramma wasn’t sure how to make the soup, and so I looked it up online and must say it turned out quite delicious..

During a conversation with my uncle later in the night, I mentioned the vegetable and he had a story to share as well.  At his daughter’s school, they were reading a non detailed story that featured the Murungakkai… Apparently, the teacher asked the class if there were any south indians and if they had eaten Murungakkai… My cousin mentioned she had eaten it, her dad would remove the pulp and give her.. But did not remember what the vegetable looked like. Uncle shared this incident and we spoke a while about the vegetable… 



Curiosity got the better of me and I dug around till I found the story my cousin was discussing in class.. It was from Malgudi Days, called A horse and two goats…. Soon, I was watching the episode on Youtube and reminiscing about what a fun book Malgudi Days was….


The episode- Malgudi Days – मालगुडी डेज – Episode 42 – A Horse And Two Goats


Here is an excerpt from the story,


Normally Muni’s wife starts the day by boiling him some millet for breakfast, then sending him on his way with a ball of leftover millet and a raw onion for lunch. This morning, however, there is no food, so Muni goes out of the hut, shakes the drumstick tree, and gets six drumsticks. His wife offers to boil them with salt, but Muni hankers for something richer—a drum-stick curry.” 


If this got you curious, you should read the book … Grab your copy here..  


Do you have any connections of food to shows/books? Do share them….

Food Trails along the NH 48 at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola till 13th April


[Image courtesy: ITC Grand Chola]
The food comes from these regions..

The mains 
Millet Koozhu with accompaniments- sundakkai vathal, maavadu, mahanikezhangu oorugai, chillies, onions, and more..


Coorg Idli [like the Kadumbuttu], served with Tarkari Gassi[veg] and Pandi Curry[ nonveg]

Gujarati Dhokla
Veg Pulao 

Amarkand, sundal and cut mango with spice powder…

Jaljeera, Rose & Watermelon sherbat

A range of side dishes

Daulat ki Chaat

Pani Puri 

Rajasthan meets Delhi on my plate-
Dal baati churma, garlic chutney & Mirchi Parantha
 

Bun Samosa…

The Desserts
Gulab jamun with cream and dry fruits on top 


Dudh pak


Shahi tukda

Kadala paruppu payasam

Coorg coffe


Food Trails along the NH 48 is the first of a series of culinary showcases which aims to explore the country’s cuisine prevalent along the highways.


As NH 48 traverses the distance from Delhi NCR to Chennai via Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat & Karnataka, the highway comes alive with stories and local food, abounding with hearty, traditional cuisine, flavoured with regional nuances and folklore.

Chef Mofid from Delhi, Chef Mahesh from Rajasthan, Chef Shetty from Karnataka and Chef Sundar from Tamilnadu have put together dishes from various regions across the NH48 route… 

Some of the dishes were Daulat ki chaat – the light as air dish from Chandni chowk; Delhi, Dal Baati churma & Bajra roti plus the yummilicious Garlic chutney from Jaipur,Rajasthan; Bun Samosa, a distant cousin of the vada pav from Maharashtra; Dhokhla & Doodh pak from Gujarat; The Tarkari Gassi [veg korma] from Coorg, Karnataka; and finally there was the koozh with add ons from Tamilnadu… Well, the menu changes on a daily basis and so you never know what you are in for on the day you dine! 

The one thing that stood out about this festival was that the dishes all had their distinctive flavours and for those who haven’t travelled the length of our country, it is a beautiful journey into the culinary world…  You can sit in the comfort of the restaurant and dig into a matka of Daulat ki chaat instead of making your way through the hustle bustle of Chandni chowk area… 

Just as we were polishing off the dessert bowls, Chef brought a pot of freshly cooked Sarai Ghosht biryani, and the guys just lost it.. One friend requested the chef if he could get a box to take home to his wife… Well, goes to show how flavours make or break a dish~Was super happy that the flavours were authentic, and the spread was quite extensive [there are the usual dishes from their buffet as well]… 

Food Trails along the NH 48 awaits you at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola till the 13th of April 2019 [ Only dinner]. It is priced at Rs2200 [excl tax]


For Table Reservations, call: 04449065272, email: mytable.itcgrandchola@itchotels.in
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 🙂

[Home cooking- Recipe] Pasta with roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts…

Had bought Brussel Sprouts few days back and was wondering what to make with them. It is one of my favourite vegetables, following close on the heels of Bitter gourd.  So finally decided I shall make pasta for dinner.  Here is how I made it,


Preparation Time: 10mins
Cooking time- 30mins

Serves – 2.5 pax [there was half a cup leftover, which Floppy gobbled up in a flash]

Ingredients 

2 cups of Penne/Fusilli pasta [had some of both and so mixed em up]
Olive oil 
10 – 12 Brussels sprouts [depends on the size… cut them in half/quarter ]
1 cup of Broccoli florets [broken into smaller pieces] 
1/2 Yellow Bell pepper [capsicum- cut into big chunks]
Green olives [ chopped up small]
Salt & Italian herbs[ of your choice- optional]
2 tsp Lime zest 
1/4 cup grated cheese 
Garlic [ optional]

The Method

1) In a pan, bring water to boil with salt & some olive oil. Add pasta and let it cook [ should take about 10-15mins max]. 
Strain and keep aside. 

2) Take an oven tray- Put the broccoli, sprouts, capsicum – sprinkle salt, herbs, lime zest and drizzle olive oil. Mix them all up well. 

Slide into the Oven and let it roast for 10mins, or until the veggies are cooked but have a bite to them.
[you can add garlic with skin on, I dint cos gramma doesnt eat ]

3) In a pan, add some olive oil, toss in the veggies, the pasta , olives and finally the cheese. Just sir for a second and serve hot… Ta da, dinner is served!




Old School dishes, familiar flavours… at Mamagoto

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The Old School Menu

Fresh orange juice and crisps

Crispy corn

Stir fry- Mushroom & baby corn

Dimsums

Chop Suey

Buddha Bowl


Sponge cake with caramel sauce & coconut ice cream

It had been a while since my last visit.. The place had changed quite a bit, mainly with ref to the interiors. It felt lot more spacious and peaceful!! Today, it was time to take a ride back in time, to Mamagoto where Mama who was going to cook up Indo-Chinese favourites for me… It is always good to revisit the old, especially when it consists of dishes and flavours you are familiar with and love. 

At Mamagoto, they have put together a menu with a few select dishes that will have you reminiscing about the good old days .. You have the Mussoorie Mall Road Spring Rolls, Bombay Club Sesame Toast, Chop suey [Crispy noodles] , Stir fried Broccoli in ginger sauce and many others [ veg & non veg ].. I had a meal that consisted of crispy fried corn, a tangy stir fry of baby corn and mushroom, followed by delicious discs [4 diff kinds, the Buddha bowl, Chop suey and finished off with a simple sponge cake served with warm caramel sauce & coconut ice cream[ it is usually served with plain vanilla ice cream]

My favourite among these was the mushroom baby corn stir fry and Buddha bowl.. The chop suey was good as well, fun to eat the crunchy noodles with the hot sour sweet sauce, wiping it off your chin as you try to stuff one big spoonful into your mouth.. They were dishes I havent had in a while and one that not many places serve today! I infact have friends and family who love these dishes and keep talking about how not many places serve them anymore.

Even though this menu is slated to be around for a short duration, they just might extend it based on the demand and popularity… 


Address: 
Mamagoto
Shop No. 9, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, 
Nungambakkam, 
Chennai – 600034

For Reservations call: 044 33999610
https://www.facebook.com/MamagotoFunAsian/

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 🙂

Maestro of Punjabi cuisine at Spice Haat, Hyatt Regency till 31st March

[Image courtesy- Hyatt Regency]


Walking down the narrow streets of Amritsar, you see shops where men are busy piping out hot jalebis, or serving thick lassi to customers. Can vouch that the lassi is difficult to finish, one giant glass it is, if you do manage to polish it off, you wont need a meal for a few hours.. And then there are the restaurants where you walk in to the aroma of rajma or Pind chole simmering away. Well, these flavours have been brought to the Punjabi festival at Spice Haat in Hyatt Regency, Chennai. Chef Sweety Singh has come down armed with ingredients and spices to cook up a storm, he is here till 31st March..  

About the Chef
Since 1999, Chef Sweety Singh has been piloting Punjabi Food Festivals from last 20 years. With his expertise in cooking for the past 23 years, he has brought unique blends to Punjabi cuisine. His culinary delights has been served to much of the renowned Sports and Bollywood celebrities such as, Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, Dharmendra, Yuvraj Singh, Daler Mehndi to name a few. [info shared by the Hotel]

I also discovered that Chef had been in Chennai decades ago at Park Sheraton [ now Crowne Plaza], and came back after a short hiatus to Residency Towers…. 

The food
The first thing you see as you step into Spice Haat is a menacing looking Royal Enfield bike, and all through the hotel there are traces of Punjab in the decor, on the table and across the food counters as well. First up are the live counters as you walk into the restaurant, and then come the mains and the desserts at the far end of the restaurant.  Amidst all these, the regular dishes from their buffet can also be found [ across other cuisines].

Once we settled into a table, we were given two options for drinks- a Namkeen jeera lassi & the sweet kesar lassi in served in traditional khullad tumblers.. Along came the starters at the table- there was the melt in your mouth kinda paneer tikka, amritsari aloo and a few non veg starters as well. Even though the food served at hotels is very different from what you have at the place of origin, these were close enough. Kicked off a chat with the Chef, who said he uses freshly ground spice, and the dishes all have zero to no cream, heavy bases and were all made making sure to keep flavours intact.. The Daal makhani he said had asafoetida, no cream at all, but it had the authentic taste you would find in a Daal makhani. The chef went on to talk about how Punjabi food is associated with heavy rich food, but there are different ways of making it while being true to its cultures. 

Some of the mains I tried were the Aloo wadi, Pind chole, Daal makhani [ with a spoon of Ghee and jaggery- which apparently helps with digestion.] In the dessert section that day we had Jangiri and Kheer, the kheer was delicious, low on sugar and the gentle flavour of kesar came through.. Everyday the menu changes, give or take a few dishes & there are enough veg options as well.. So, go ahead indulge… 

Meal for one costs INR 1,499 including taxes.

Address: 
Hyatt Regency 
#365, Anna Salai, 
Teynampet, Chennai – 600018
Phone: 044 6100 1234

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 tales] Stuffed peppers & chilli


If there is one dish that the entire family loves and will gobble up not keeping track of numbers, it is the humble bhajji.. Deep fried vegetables that have been dipped generously in a batter made by gramma. She used to talk about how back when they were living as a joint family, there would be days when bhajji would be made in the evening, and they would fly.. 

Some of the veggies used are Chow chow, potato, raw banana, brinjal [grandpa and his brothers love this veg], cauliflower and onion…   even today there are times when gramma says “lets make bhajji”… except now quantity is limited cos everyone has become health conscious and we just make chow chow, cauliflower, onion and maybe raw banana… The batter is one thing she is super particular about- it needs to have the right consistency, enough amount of Asafoetida & chilli powder.. The veggies should be coated but there shouldnt be too much batter… So that is the memory I have of Bhajjis…



Few weeks ago three stooges piled into a car and headed down the beautiful East coast road towards Pondicherry. Along the way, they stopped at the Farm belonging to one stooge’s father in law. The farm was beautiful- acres of lush greenery, trees and plants of all kinds, including tomato, chilli [both big and small], mango, papaya, coconut and more. We spotted some dried up gum on what must have been a Cashew tree, coochicooed with the cows an calves, spotted some chicken and goat running around and enjoyed a refreshing tender coconut, bottoms up! 


When we left the place, we were given bags of vegetables and few coconuts as well. Each of us took some, and well, few days later  the stooge also sent across cute tiny bell peppers. And thus came the idea to make something of the Big chillies and these peppers.

I pulled out the packets of Kase cheese I had, and some home made paneer as well. Put them in separate bowls- added garlic to one, kasuri methi to the other and was all set to deep fry them green beauties.  Since it was for me & gramma, I made sure to fry the non garlic based ones first [she does not eat garlic]. 

Alongside these, I got the Bhajji batter ready – Besan flour, salt, red chilli and some garam masala as well. Mix it well with some water [just enough so it is pouring consistency, not too watery] You can also add Asafoetida and make it like the regular south indian bhajji batter…

A pan filled with enough oil was heating up on the stove as I got down to filling them chillies and peppers. It was fun! We usually make Bhajjis the traditional way, with no filling…  





Must say the final product turned out yummilicious.. We had it with lunch. The chillies had just a hint of heat, and the soft cheese inside had melted giving it a richness. Similarly, the peppers with paneer and kasuri methi were kick-ass, even if I do say so myself..  Gramma enjoyed it as well, so much so that she keep the remaining two aside saying “will have in evening or dinner, or will offer it to my cousin if he comes over”

Flavours of India festival – Café G, Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway

Kerala potato Cutlet- dont let the name fool you, this was actually minced meat cutlet…

Dessert counter at Buffet spread..

Goan Omelette counter.. was fascinating- it was a pav bun encased in an omelette.. 
Talk about talking a journey through the various Flavours of India across a meal? Yes, that is exactly what we enjoyed at Cafe G in Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT expressway. 
I had been meaning to visit the property, but something or the other hindered. And finally I was headed there for dinner.. The property is shaped like a ship, atleast to me and it is plush from the minute you step into the lobby. High ceilings, beautiful chandeliers, and seating arrangements are what you see first. Take the elevator to go up to the floor with the Cafe G and Score, the Sports bar, you see a long lounge of sorts as you walk towards the dining area. The food is laid out in buffet style, with the mains kept far away from the desserts. I had the pleasure of dining at their private dining area, at the far end of the restaurant- perfect for a small cozy meal or a big group dinner as well. 
Talking about the food on the Festivals of India festival menu, the starters were my favourite, and the dips served alongside as well.  There are also a few Live stations- a Goan Omelette, The Chaat counter and the Appam station. I did try the Goan omelette [which was basically pav bun encased inside an omelette and served alongside a gravy of your choice] -since I love eggs, this one was yumm. Again, at the Appam station, I requested for an egg appam with veg korma, friend had it with paaya[ mutton based]. At the chaat counter, we decided to share a plate of Paani puri. They had 4 different sauces, two that we are familiar with, one other was a pickle style and the final one was sweetish. 
For the mains, you make a beeline to the buffet counter and just let your eyes have a party before your taste buds get there. Some of the dishes I enjoyed were the Bhindi, Daal and Paneer. They also had a regular buffet section [ featuring Continental  & Chinese dishes]… Phew!! It was quite a meal so far… Then came time for the desserts. My favorite among the lot was the Ada pradaman, it is a dessert from Kerala and had just the perfect amount of sweet if you ask me… Did try the Kerala Halwa and Mango Rasmalai, but they werent really my thing…. 
This festival is on till the 24th March, dinner only & priced at Rs1399 [incl tax], so go for it…. 
Address: 
Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway
# 110, Old Mahabalipuram Rd, 
PTK nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600041 
Phone: 044 6604 6604

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 🙂