Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai

I always wanted to go for a road trip covering all the famous eateries. My brother is a big fan of border kadai and he visits courtallam just for eating here. When I heard that they are opening in T.Nagar I was very happy. They were slammed across social media for slow service and other stuffs. Our foodie gang decided to give them some time to settle. Yesterday, Shab and myself checked in for lunch. Located in GN Chetty road with ample car parking space is a huge place. The ground level is done with glass on one side. Apparently they have a ac hall in first floor which we didn't know until we finished our lunch. By 1pm the place was fairly occupied. We settled and placed our orders quickly. We ordered a portion of mutton biriyani, one border parotta each, one nattukozhi (country chicken) pepper, a kadai fry and masala kalakki.

Mutton biriyani arrived quickly. When I started serving the biryani from the vessel to my plate, spotted a elaichi. Warned Shab and started thoor varifying. To my relief there was nothing more, other than few pieces of cloves and tomato. Biriyani was made of basmati rice. Well cooked, perfect in flavour with juicy mutton pieces. I would prefer my biriyani to be a bit more spicier but no complaints. The accompanying bahara baingan was spot on. Thick and creamy, mildly tangy it was simply delicious. The best I've had so far. More than the brinjal curry, the chicken salna was perfect with the biriyani. Salna gave the biriyani the extra spiciness it needed.

Nattukozhi pichipottadhu was mindblowing. Perfectly cooked meat with freshly ground pepper dominating the taste it was the best dish of the day. Kadai fry was lip smackingly delicious. With a mild tinge of coconut oil, kadai was well marinated and tasted spicy and the meat was juicy. Both of us craved for more and didn't even leave a trace of meat off the bones :D

Coming to the important part of the meal, parotta was soft and flaky. I would like it to be more hot. This one was barely warm. But I soaked it in the chicken salna and moved on to the biriyani. When I came back to this little beauty, it had soaked up the salna well and tasted superb. The chicken salna was spot on. Perfect in flavours and spice with a touch of coconut it was great. We also ordered a egg veechu parotta. The best I've had so far. Crispy golden spots here and there, fluffy egg layer and soft at the same time I absolutely loved this. I'm not a big fan of kalaki. The masala kalaki was good with crunchy onions. A little bit more salt and spice would've lifted this dish to another level.

Service was quick and friendly. Everyone who served us made sure that we were comfortable and they were very accommodative. When I asked for a chilled pepsi/coke, they said they don't have it, but they offered to buy it from outside. Paid a total of 700 bucks which is absolutely worth the money given the taste. I'm definitely going back for that salna and nattukozhi.

Place      : Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai
Location : GN Chetty road, T. Nagar
Cuisine   : South India - Non vegetarian.
Cost       : A meal for two would cost around 500-600 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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This place was in my wishlist for quite sometime. I interacted with the brains behind Westfield in a radio show (yes I was live on the show :D) and had a bite of waffle with maple syrup. Even when it was not hot/warm the waffles tasted pretty good. Westfield is a small kiosk situated at Besant Nagar (The same building which houses sandwich square, kebab it and other popular kiosks near the beach). One fine day, took the kid for his share of ice cream and Westfield being nearby, I thought of having something from there. Got myself a lolly waffle with nutella. They pour the batter over the iron with a stick at one end and it comes out beautifully. After trimming the edges, the lolly is dusted with powdered sugar and nutella is spread across it. Taste wise it was very good. Warm waffles, crispy at the edges and spongy inside and the nutella complimenting the sugarless waffles very well. 

I learnt from Saranya & Reena, two young and energetic ladies that the waffles doesn't have eggs, maida or sugar. They use powdered sugar for dusting alone. During my second visit I had the Gaufre de Bruxelles (that was tough on the tongue :P) . The traditional way of eating the Gaufre is to eat it with sliced bananas and maple syrup as told by Saranya. So I went with her suggestion. The light and fluffy waffles with the sweet maple syrup and ripened bananas  was absolutely delicious. The bland/sweetless waffles paired up well with the maple syrup.

Since I skipped lunch, I had the appetite for one more waffle :D I thought of trying the other variant they had, Poffertjes - mini Dutch pancakes. The griddle looks more like our kuzhi paniyaram kadai and even the mini pancakes resembles our very own kuzhi paniyaram. I wanted try them with vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote. Unfortunately they were running out of vanilla ice cream and had to settle for chocolate ice cream and nutella. Bite sized pancakes arranged neatly, dusted with sugar and topped with chocolate ice cream and nutella was blissful. I personally felt that the pancakes were a notch lesser than the lolly waffles or the Gaufre. But with all other toppings, there was no complaint in the taste.

Pricing and service are perfect. The lolly waffles are priced at 80 and the Gaufre at 120 and Poffertjes at 70. You can choose your own toppings and sauces from the list. The orders are served within 5minutes (I went on a weekday. Weekend scenario may be entirely different) and they are very eager to get the feedback and help in all the way they can. I'm definitely going back to try the Poffertjes and Gaufre with Vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote

Place        : Westfield
Location    : Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar
Cuisine     : Belgian Waffles and Dutch pancakes. 
Cost         : 200-300 for two ppl approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Also it is based on multiple visits to the same place over a period of time.
Westfield Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Ya Mohideen Biryani and the curse of Vatha Kuzhambu !!!

Karma is b***h !!

A calm and composed weekday noon. By the time I switched off the gas after cooking Manathakkali vatha kuzhambu and beans paruppu usili, I got a call from Shab saying "I'm heading to Pallavaram to pick up biryani from Ya Mohideen. Do you want? I can drop it at ur home?" I told her I just finished cooking and will try it sometime later. We were talking about going there and having biriyani in the car n all. Again after 10mins she messaged "Are you sure? Mutton biryani it is". Now I was in a dilemma. I love both biriyani and vatha kuzhambu. They are like my eyes. Choosing amidst them is very difficult (Now these are the problems faced by a tambrahm :D) After a good 10 mins of "Trishava illa Divyava" I finally sided with the biriyani saying, the kuzhambu will taste well in the night. I didn't know that time my vatha kuzhambu was fuming at me choosing biryani over it. Shab was very sweet and she dropped a pack of piping hot biryani at my place :)

The aroma was quite inviting and I didn't have patience to click more pics. So just took a couple of pics and started unpacking it. First shock was the amount of raitha and brinjal gravy. Hardly 2-3 spoonfuls (The one in the pic is the total amount). That's it. How will it be sufficient for the big portion? Raitha was just few slices of onions coated in curd. And the brinjal gravy was super tangy like raw tamarind. I started digging in. First bite. Woahhhh. I encountered that small bomb I hate the most. Elaichi. Was so irritated and started "thoor varifying" y biriyani. What the hell? 6 pieces of that s**t in 1/4 portion of biryani. (Even then I didn't realise that it was the curse from the vatha kuzhabu.) By the time, the biryani had lost its warmth. Reheated in the oven and started having it. Decent taste but definitely not the best I've had so far. It was oily and the three pieces literally had no meat. Only bones. There were lumps of masala here n there which was again very disappointing. And I found 3-4 pieces of tomato too. What the hell. Sigh !! For this much of irritants and average taste, I won't travel all the way to pallavaram. Thanks Shab for saving me from that trouble :D

After cleaning the plates, the vatha kuzhambu in the vessel was laughing at me :O That day I made a promise. Never in my life, I will let go vatha kuzhambu for something else.

Place     : Ya Mohideen
Location : Pallavaram
Cuisine   : Biriyani- Mutton & Chicken
Cost       : A portion of biriyani costs 160 bucks.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Ya Mohideen Biryani Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Oreo Compulsive Disorder - For the love of Oreo

Who doesn't love oreo? When it comes to cookies, the only two packed ones I'm crazy about are oreo and Brittania bourborn. Every time I buy a pack of oreo, I'll say to myself that I'm not going to eat more than one at a time. After the first oreo, it'll be always okay just 2 more and lemme stop there. And I'll stop after the pack is empty. If it has to be stopped with 1-2 they won't sell it in pack of 12. Will they :P

Since I find it to be too addictive I've almost stopped buying them. And whenever I yield to the temptations same story above. Sometimes I do experiments with oreo. Crush them, mix it with some condensed millk and have it as a dip to my apples. Healthy snacking I say :D The sinful oreo burger - Stack 3-4 oreos with nutella and peanut butter smeared between each cookie. Refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes (patience lesson 101) and eat them. Oreo + dulce de leche makes another heavenly combination. Wait I think I can write a cookbook with just oreo as the main ingredient :)

In instagram, when the notification showed that OCD (Oreo Compulsive Disorder) started following me, I was intrigued by the name and while checking the profile, it was a pleasant surprise that they are from Namma Chennai. Immediately pinged them and got the details. They've three flavours of oreos in three different chocolates. Regular, chocolate and strawberry oreo dunked in milk, white and dark chocolates respectively. My love to oreo is strictly for the regular flavour. I do accept chocolate but strawberry oreos I hate them (even the orange ones). You need to place your orders a day in advance. A pack of 9 assorted ones costs 150 bucks. They do COD with additional delivery charges based on the location. I went ahead and placed my orders for an assorted box and requested them to skip that strawberry oreos in the box.

Initial plan was that I'll pick up the stuff from one of their kitchens in Nelson Manickam road. But it ended up as COD to Korattur. Neatly packed in a rectangular boxes, with a handwritten message,  the beauties were so welcoming. After the usual routine of clicking few pics, took a white chocolate one. First bite and realised it was strawberry oreo. Sigh!!! Kept it back in the box. The second one covered in dark chocolate was a regular oreo. Thank god. It was yumm. A perfect coating of dark chocolate and every bite (well for me its just two) was a trip to heaven and back. All the three chocolates were bliss (Unfortunately I encountered one more strawberry under milk chocolate). Refrigerate for 10-15 mins and they taste even better. With thick and hard shell of chocolate and the chilled crumbly oreo in between is an amazing experience for a oreo lover like me.

Priced at 150 bucks, it's absolutely worth the money (except for the mix up in my order)for the love of oreo :) Others may feel it to be little bit overpriced. I paid 150+ 64 bucks (delivery charges) They can be reached at 9445454330.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. OCD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Minar Biriyani

As far as Thiruvanmiyur is concerned, there are literally no fine dine places. But there are loads of options when it comes to biriyani. Big/small, restaurant type/push cart, there are atleast a dozen of shops in and around RTO that sells biriyani. Amidst them I was eyeing Minar biriyani for a long time. I had some hesitations as the experience at Royal Biriyani wasn't that great. One day a foodie friend of mine casually mentioned that she used to have biriyani here regularly and it tastes pretty good. This gave me some confidence and decided to try them out soon.

One fine Sunday, we decided to order in and I thought why not Minar biriyani ? I gave a fair warning to the mister that I'm going to try this place based on a friend's feedback and won't take any responsibility if the food is bad or not up to the mark (talk about taking decisions and regretting for that. I was not ready to carry the "It's my fault" board for spoiling a Sunday. There are enough feathers in my crown for that ). I even offered him to order for him separately from one of his usual joints. To my surprise he was okay with biriyani and promised me not to point fingers if things go wrong. So went ahead and placed the orders. A portion of Mutton biriyani, one chicken biriyani, chicken kothu parotta and prawn chukka. Actually I wanted fish fry, but fish was not available that day. 

Food arrived in 30 mins piping hot. Biriyani was packed in plastic boxes with labels indicating mutton/chicken biriyani. The birinjal gravy and raitha were packed separately. Biriyani aroma was so inviting. After clicking few pics, started digging in. 4-5 big pieces of tender meat which had very good flavour too. First positive note about the biriyani was that there was no irritants. Second one it was less oily. Third one it was Spicy, the way I like. And finally juicy meat and a egg. Overall the biriyani was quite good. Won't say the best. But definitely a good one. The accompaniments were perfect. A special mention to the raitha. Sour less curd with onions and cucumber was perfect for the biriyani. Birinjal gravy was a tad bit tangy but complimented the spicy biriyani well.

Kid had the chicken kothu parotta. It was excellent with lots of chicken pieces. The flavour was perfect and it was not too dry. Kid absolutely loved it. The prawn chukka was pretty average. Small prawns, didn't taste fresh.But the base with lots of green chillies and pepper was very good. Portion was pretty huge. Husband loved the chicken biriyani. It had two large pieces of chicken and the feedback from him - the meat was tender. Biriyani thumbs up :) (Ahhh finally, I can boast around that my choice never goes wrong)

Paid a total of 750 bucks for all the four items including the packing charges. Since I live close by, there was no delivery charge as such. Given the taste and portion of each item, I feel that the amount spent was justified.

Place             : Minar Biriyani
Location        : East Coast Road (Near RTO and RM hospital)
Cuisine         : Veg and Non-Veg. Biriyani, Chettinad, Chinese and North Indian
Cost             : A meal for two would come around 500 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on home delivery and personal experience only. Minar Biriyani Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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