Crimson Chakra

Crimson Chakra is a very popular name among the foodies in Chennai. We have been eating here regularly for the past 5 years. It's one of the few places that we choose unanimously without arguing :P If someone asks me must try places/dishes in Chennai, I would definitely put the smoked rice & tender coconut soufflé in the list without thinking twice. Both the dishes swept me off the feet, the very first time I had it. Yeah !!! Kind a love at first sight. Errr first bite :)

Situated in the prime location of Adyar, Gandhi Nagar, this place is an old bungalow renovated/remodelled into a fine dining space. It also shares its space with Azzuri Bay, Gormei Market and Ashvita stores all in the same compound. This place appears more romantic during night times. Very pleasant interiors. Right from spacing between tables to the seatings everything is charted out with care. And if you notice, you can find that all paintings adorning the wall has a common theme. Bulls!!! Five years down the road, there are lot of changes rite from the interiors to the menu. Initially they had a swimming pool where they had table too. On reservations, you can sit amidst the pool with feet drenched and enjoy the food. Later that stopped. Now during the last visit, I saw the pool itself has gone. The pool has been closed with sand. Though I didn't have that experience, I felt sad :O

The menu card is quiet extensive. Mostly grill based South Indian food and variety of options in Continental Cuisine. As I mentioned earlier, five whole years, narrowing down to an average of eating here once in two months, we are fine tuned / bonded with particular items from the menu. During every visit, I will think about trying something new. But the effect of Smoked rice won't let me :) Our orders here are pretty simple. Sutta kozhi soup. The perfect soup for cold weather or blocked nose. A thin soup with minced chicken pieces, hot n spicy with a tinge of curry leaves flavour, for sure it will open the damn from your eyes and nose :D For starters hubby n kid will shuttle between the paneer or the Kaikari Kola urundai. Paneer is soft and good. The Kola urundai, crisp on the outside and soft inside with right balance of salt and spice is good too. A special mention to the accompanying green chutney. Nowhere I've had a green chutney so smooth and flavourful. My kid eats anything and everything with this green chutney by the side. For non - veg starters I used to have Sutta milagu Kozhi or the chilly cheese chicken tikka. Sutta milagu kozhi is just yumm. With over pouring heat from the peppercorns, the perfectly grilled chicken pieces tastes great. Now a days I'm sticking with the tangy meen varuval as my doctor has advised me to take more fish than chicken :P (Yeah, I'm a very obedient patient who strictly follows her doctor's advice) The tangy meen varuval, is melt in the mouth kind of dish. First bite, you will feel the tanginess from the tamarind and later the heat from the chilli kicks your taste buds.

Main course is always smoked rice with urulai thokku for us. When we have the appetite to think something else in addition to the rice, we go for their aloo paratha / naan along with chettiar's chicken curry. The smoked rice has a unique flavour to it. You can neither group it under biriyani nor call it a pulao. Its SMOKED RICE. A kind of its own. Spicy, aromatic and flavourful short grain rice with half cooked vegetables that adds a nice crunch, this dish is just beautiful. And thank god, you don't have to dig in for that elaichi/cinnamon/clove which may spoil the experience. The rice tastes good enough with the creamy onion & cucumber raitha they serve. But tastes great with the urulai thokku. The urulai thokku is nothing but perfectly boiled baby potatoes in a tangy and fiery gravy. They used to have kalan roti aka mushroom stuffed roti in their menu previously. Its not available now and I'm missing it a lot. The aloo paratha is very good. The chettiar's chicken curry is that typical "thengai araichu vitta" kulambu. The spices and coconut compliment each other very well.

And when it comes to the desserts, Tender coconut soufflé steals your heart with its taste & texture. Every spoonful is absolute delight. Creamy and airy, a tad bit sweeter one with a fantastic flavour of tender coconut. Before I've tasted their Panchamirtam soufflé (don't know whether its available now) a rich creamier version of our own panchamirtam, caramel custard and water chestnut and tender coconut mousse. But after tasting this, I don't even bother to look at the menu for desserts :)

A special mention to the stewards. They are very polite and warm and have a good knowledge about their menu. We've not been disappointed even once all these years. A must visit place in Chennai for the rice and the dessert.

Place       : Crimson Chakra
Location   : Adyar, Opposite to the gandhi nagar club.
Cuisine     : South Indian & Continental, Veg & Non - veg
Cost         : A meal for two would cost 1500-1800 approximately

*Highly recommended for their smoked rice and tender coconut soufflé *

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only and also on the account of multiple visits.

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