Nicky's Cafe & Fine Pastries

When you see your fellow foodies posting drool worthy pictures of unique desserts like key lime pastry and peanut butter cheese cake, you can't help controlling the growing desire to check this place out. I bookmarked this place few months ago. One fine evening, me and my kiddo decided to check this place before heading to my dad's place. This place is in Ethiraj Salai. Being located in a complex, there is no worry for parking. It's a quaint little cafe with mouthwatering desserts on display. Quiet a few tables which were almost occupied when we went. We quickly settled for a Strawberry heart, peanut butter cheesecake, a butterscotch milkshake and an English cheddar sandwich. The strawberry heart was vanilla mousse enclosed in strawberry coulis. The mousse was light n fluffy and tasted fantastic. Kiddo enjoyed it to the core. The sandwich was pretty average. Too much of shredded carrot dominated all other flavours and there was hardly cheese. In a place like this I expect the sandwich to be served along with fries/wedges/dips. Nothing. I expected a lot from the peanut butter cheesecake. Alas. I could hardly get the taste of peanut butter. But the base was absolutely perfect. Buttery and crumbly base made up for the not so good filling part. The milkshake was thick and yumm with strong butterscotch taste. I found it to be too sweet but no complaints from the kid. Obviously :P







We were ready for another round of pastries. By this time we were Suds and Dipak joined us. At the beginning I saw 3-4 pieces of key lime pastry. So thought will check that out during the second round. I was kicking myself hard for not taking it in the beginning itself. By the time we asked for it, it was sold out :( So we had a rainbow cake with cream cheese frosting, white chocolate and raspberry cake, chocolate truffle and a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting along with mac and cheese for the kid.

Rainbow cake was good. Raspberry and white chocolate cake was yummy to bits. When I saw it in the display I thought the icing to be fondant. But it was white chocolate ganache. Perfect finish and the taste was brilliant. Chocolate truffle was good but nothing extraordinary. Red velvet cake had nice flavour of cream cheese but too dry for my liking. Mac and cheese was cheesy and creamy with bits of garlic here and there.







The menu is pretty huge, which is surprising as the cafe serves only vegetarian food. Service was pretty okay. A bit slow but nothing to complaint. Paid 1200 bucks for all these which I feel is value for money. I'm definitely going back for the white chocolate and raspberry cake and to try the key lime pastry too :)

Place          : Nicky's Cafe & Fine Pastries
Location      : Fagun Mansion, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore
Cuisine       : Cafe - Veg only
Cost           : Around 600 bucks for two people

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Nicky's Cafe & Fine Pastries Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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East Coast at Madras Square - Foodies Meet

We bookmark few places based on the food/ambiance. Its hard to bookmark a place or add it to the wishlist other than these two reasons. The only place I added in my wishlist not because of the above reasons was Madras Square now christened as "East Coast at Madras Square". Would you believe if I say that I wanted to check out the place just because I loved their plates :P Yes !! The Tamil letters inscribed in the plate left me intriguing to try them out. Language fanatic huh ?!!! When I got an invite for (read food on the house)  a bloggers meet I happily said yes. This place is located on the side lanes of East Coast Road, near Neelangarai. Stick to Google maps and you won't have any trouble finding the place.

We reached there for an early dinner. At 6 pm , the cafe looked so magical. They've outdoor as well as air-conditioned space for dining. The ambiance outdoor is simply beautiful. You feel calm, peaceful, happy and also romantic when you are here :) While the outdoor seating is calm and pleasant, the air-conditioned room is colourful, classy and vibrant. Since this was an invite, the managing partner Ms. Mathangi was there to take care of us. She asked us for our orders and we left that to her. We just asked her to bring the best out of their kitchen.

We started off with a seafood bisque and a mushroom soup. The seafood bisque was very good with flavours of prawns and basa fish. Veggies seemed to enjoy the mushroom soup. There were an array of starters including the crab cakes, assorted platter of bruschetta (tomato and basil, mushroom and feta & olive and hummus), panko chicken, prawn tempura, creole spiced french fries and falafel. Crab cake and panko chicken was crisp, meaty and tasted excellent. The accompanying mustard mayo and peri peri mayo lifted the dish to a whole new level. Bruschetta was clearly the winner of the day. Especially the mushroom and olive toppings were simply yummy. Creole spiced fries was quiet different with the regular fries tossed with bell peppers served along with the mint mayo. It tasted more of the south Indian style stir fry but tasted good.





Crab Cake

Panko Chicken



Prawn Tempura
Main course was pasta, pizza and steak and stuffed chicken. The basil walnut pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes had a strong pesto flavour but fellow veggies seemed to enjoy it. I liked the lamb bolognese. It was tangy with minced lamb but a tad bit dry. Little more cheese and sauce would've been great. I fell in love with the carbonara. Sphagetti with crispy bacons, cream, eggs, cheese and olive oil - what a delectable combination it was. One mouthful and I was experiencing the foodgasm :) Even the Aglio E Olio was equally good, but I'll definitely lean towards the bacon :P
Aglio E Olio

Lamb Bolognese

Carbonara

Basil Walnut Pesto
The speciality of their pizzas are that the dough is fermented slowly for about 5 days which gives an unique taste to the pizzas. Out of the different variants we had, I loved the Diavola - Pizza with tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella. Thick slices of pepperoni with mild smoky flavour was simply yumm. We asked for a repeat on this one :) Other pizzas like the Quattro formaggio - pizza with cream sauce and four cheese mix, Margherita - pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella, Polla alla pesto - pizza with tomato sauce, grilled chicken & basil walnut pesto and Gambas con salsa di panna - pizza with cream sauce, 4 cheese mix & garlic prawns were equally good. Personally after the pepperoni I liked the Margherita and the prawn pizza a lot. We requested them to make small sized pizzas. So the actual ones served will be bigger than the ones in the pictures.


Pepperoni Pizza


Margherita


4 cheese pizza

4 cheese & garlic prawns
We also tasted steak with chips and stuffed chicken. Steak was tender and juicy with mushroom jus and parsley flavoured butter. Stuffed chicken was pretty decent with butter sauce and peas.





We were so so full by this time. But how can a meal be complete without the desserts? That too the sinful The obarama and the banoffee pie. We had a slice of each. They source the desserts from Fresh Baked Goodness. I've tasted the obarama before and I should say it had become more denser than before. It used to be light and fluffy, but this time it was quiet dense. Later learnt from Madhangi that the availability of cream is the culprit. Nevertheless loved it to bits. The banoffee was yummy too. With buttery base and caramelised banans it was very good.


Since the meal was on the house, I cannot comment about the pricing. But a look at the menu, I feel it's worth the money given the taste and quality. It was absolutely delightful dinner. Great food and company gave the week an wonderful start. There was some minor glitches in the starters section, and the feedback was taken constructively. I'm definitely going back for the pepperoni pizza and the carbonara soon. Very soon. If you are looking for a place to spend time with loved ones over great food, East Coast at Madras Square is the place. Highly recommended. East Coast at Madras Square Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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A Salad Company

Ask any ardent foodie. The one and only problem we face is the sky rocketing numbers in the weighing scale. Forget about bringing the numbers down, to maintain it the same itself is a big struggle. Workout for an hour daily, portion control, healthy eating here n there, all these will vanish in front of a biriyani feast or dessert safari.

I love salads basically. With light dressing I can have it as a meal. But cutting veggies is a task :) Sometime back while browsing I accidentally landed up on the website of A salad company. I bookmarked it and moved on. One fine day, Sreevarshini, the brain behind the new start up pinged me and asked me to try the salads. I happily said yes and insisted that I'll pay for my food. Their website is neat. They list their week's menu. Order has to be placed a day in advance. They have package options like, trial meal, meal for three days, five days and 21 days. Choose your plan, subscribe and the salad will be at your place on time. I went through the menu and wanted to have three salads on non-consecutive days. Spoke with varshini and went ahead and subscribed for three salads.


My first order was grilled chicken with whole wheat pita bread and green pepper hummus. Delivery was on time and was neatly packed. The meal had about 150-200gms of grilled chicken, 4 pieces of halved pita, few slices of cucumber with mint dressing, few slices of boiled egg and green pepper hummus. The meat was fantabulous. It was not even warm, even then the meat was soft n juicy. The cucumber had a nice crunch to it and the whole thing was tied by the green pepper hummus. Hummus had mild note of capsicum which was fresh and tasty. I stuffed the entire meal in two pita halves and enjoyed it thoroughly. I felt 4 pita to be too much for the quantity of the chicken n other stuffs. Just 2 pita halves was enough for me to satisfy my hunger.








After couple of days, the next meal was Mexican chicken salad. This was a four bean salad served on a bed of Mexican herb rice along with the Mexican spiced chicken. Beans (red kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas and white bean) were well cooked. The Mexican rice was tangy and went well with the beans and the chicken. The chicken again was juicy and well cooked. I felt the portion of rice was little bit more.





The last meal was the harissa spiced chicken with grilled veggies and mashed sweet potatoes. What a delightful meal it was. Spicy and juicy chicken with tangy grilled veggies and the sweet mashed potatoes were doing a jugalbandhi of flavours. Licked the box clean :)





Each meal is well balanced. While talking to varshini, I learnt that they pack each meal based on it's calorie content and each individual portion is weighed separately. All the three salads didn't make me feel full and at the same time I wasn't hungry either. They don't use artificial flavours or preservatives. Their "No" list is quiet huge. They use millets, whole wheat flour, butter and so on which are full of nutrition. One meal costs 155 bucks. Given the taste and quantity and the health benefits its absolutely worth the money. Definitely going back for more :)

The search for healthy food covering various cuisines, led Sreevarshini, a foodie herself to start this venture. A salad company proves that healthy food doesn't have to be boring. For now they cover most of the South Chennai and have future plans of expanding the delivery area further. Also healthy breakfast ranges are to be launched soon. 

Salad can be ordered through their website - http://www.asaladcompany.com/

Place       : A Salad Company
Location   : Online ordering & home delivery
Cuisine    : Veg & Non - veg, wide cuisines healthy options
Cost         : A meal costs 155 bucks

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

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Jonah's Bistro, Besant Nagar

A foodie friend was in Chennai for a short trip. We all wanted to meet and folks arrived at the decision of dinner at Jonah's. We were 8 of us and for me it was first time at Jonah's in Besant Nagar. We had an ardent fan of Jonah's with us. So we left him the headache of ordering stuff for us. We started off with Fritto Misto, Turkey bacon wrapped chicken, Panko chicken with chilli mayo, hot garlic beef and grilled chicken wings. The fritto misto was yummy to bits. The batter fried seafood was light and fresh and with the tartar sauce it was simply delicious. Turkey bacon wrapped chicken was good and vanished in seconds. Though the panko chicken was good, the pieces were too big. It would've been great to have bite sized pieced instead of fillets. The wings were a total disappointment. There was no flavour to the meat. On notifying the staff, they gave us another plate of wings which too had the same problem as the previous one. One more plate came with different sauce yet it was of no use. We also had a mixed seafood platter as complimentary. I felt it to be salty.











Main course was smoked chilli rice with beef, jonah's steak, classic steak, wiener schnitzel and fish meuniere. The fish meuniere I had was just brilliant. Grilled fish (seer fish) in lemon n butter sauce with a tinge of garlic served along with mashed potatoes and veggies it was delicious. Next to the fish I liked the wiener schnitzel (sheeesssh!!! Whattey a name). While the classic steak was excellent with pepper n onion sauce, the jonah's steak was tough n chewy. This one was replaced with another batch even that was slightly chewy. The smoked chilli rice was pretty okay. There was nothing smoky nor chilli about the dish. It was creamy and good.






Service was flawless. They were very attentive as well as open for feedback. At some point we were begging them to stop replacing the dishes which had some issues :P Also the steak and wings were not billed which was much appreciable. The total cost was around 3.5k which worked out to 500 bucks per head.

Will definitely go back for the fish and the classic steak.

Place          : Jonah's Bistro
Location      : 2nd avenue, (Above krishna sweets), Besant Nagar
Cuisine        : Continental. Serves Beef
Cost            : A tad bit pricey. A meal for two would come around 1800 bucks.

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

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