New Menu at Crimson Chakra

Crimson Chakra is one of my favourite places in the city. Even now when I go with family my orders are still the same. Smoked rice and elaneer souffle :D I've been here umpteen times and not even once I was disappointed. This time, I was desperate to try their new menu. That too after seeing few pics of the dishes I was drooling over them. After couple of failure attempts, we made it for lunch yesterday. Weather was so lovely and the table we chose was a perfect place to enjoy the weather through the huge glass windows.

For those who frequent Crimson, the entire menu has changed. We started off with spiced chicken and lemongrass & mutton kaima soup. Chicken soup was delicious. Generous amount of tender chicken in a coconut milk base, flavoured with lemon grass and coriander was much needed for that weather. We ordered quite a lot of starters. Andhra chilli chicken was tad bit salty. But the meat was tender and juicy, well marinated with roasted garlic and chilli dominating the show. Phuket fish was cooked perfectly, crisp at the edges and the dark soya sauce was rendering beautiful taste to the dish. Thai crispy beef was mind blowing. The meat was juicy. The sweet sour and spicy sauce in which the crispy fried beef was tossed was creating a medley of flavours in the mouth. Portion was pretty huge and we couldn't finish it. Mutton kola urundai was very different. Unless like the usual ones I've had so far this one had great texture. With fried onions, roasted gram and minced mutton this one was spicy and we loved it.

We were so full by the time and we took a small break with meat. Washed down everything with a iced tea and blue marina drink :D and we had little space left for main course as we wanted to try a particular dessert. After lots of thoughts, we had herb grilled crusted fish with chimichurri sauce. Fillet of basa, grilled to perfection topped with chimichuri sauce was yummilicious. The sauce had a strong herb-y note with parsley and garlic and a mild citrus-y flavour. Perfect balance and the crispy grilled edges were awesome. Initially I was thinking we overstepped with the orders and won't be able to finish even half of the fish. Boy we were so wrong, we ended up finishing it as we couldn't stop eating it.

It's a crime to leave Crimson without having Elaneer souffle. Ordered one each of poached pears and elaneer souffle. Souffle was yummy as usual. Poached pears was divine. Pear was poached in a cinnamon & sugar liquid perfectly that we could scoop it out with a spoon. Yet it had that juicy crunch to it. Served on a bed of crushed biscuits along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is the perfect way to end the meal.

Service was quick and efficient and the staff know their menu like the back of their hand. They know what they are serving and were very patient while we were clicking pics. The bill was close to 3K for this along with a portion of curd rice. Given the quality, quantity and taste I felt it to be absolutely worth the money. I'm definitely going back for that poached pears and few more dishes that has caught my attention :)

Place       : Crimson Chakra
Location   : Adyar, Gandhi Nagar
Cuisine     : Indian, Asian and Continental
Cost         : A meal for two would come around 1200 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. 


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Lakshmi Amma's Kai Manam

We were thinking of places to have lunch on dad's birthday. Given our recent experience at ITC, I was worried whether dad will be willing to dine outside. My brother suggested on ordering something for home delivery. We discussed few options and finally settled down with ordering from Lakshmi Amma's Kai Manam.

Ordering process was pretty simple. Called up Siva and after getting few doubts clarified, placed my order. Our order was a mix of sea food (predominantly) and few meat dishes along with a portion of chicken biriyani.

Vanjiram fry (3 portions) - smaller pieces of vanjiram (around 6) cooked to perfection with a spicy marinade. While we loved the taste, we felt 600 bucks was little too much for the portion.

Fish Kuzhambu  (2 portions) - This one was yummy to the core. With loads of onions and a single piece of fish (I don't know what fish and I didn't taste it either) tangy and perfectly spiced. And it was much more brilliant with curd rice :D

Nalli Elumbu Kuzhambu (1 portion) - A coconut based gravy, mildly spiced which went well with the rice. Brother was happy with the taste.

Chicken biriyani (1 portion) - Basmati rice perfectly flavoured, with no trace of oil and zero irritants. But the portion was very less. And no brinjal gravy to go with it. Just the raitha alone.

Pepper chicken (2 portions) : Semi gravy type with freshly ground pepper dominating the scene. But the meat consistency was not upto the mark. While few pieces were tender few of them were too hard n chewy.

Prawn thokku - Our actual order was sura puttu. Since that was not available on that day, we asked them to replace it with prawn thokku. Tiny prawns, cooked well in a fierry onion & tomato base was excellent.

Mutton Kola - 6 pieces of kola urundai. It was too salty and dry. 

Crab roast (2 portions) - I did'nt taste this. Got a feedback that it was good.

Food was delivered on time as requested, neatly packed in containers. They obliged to our request for returning the vessels/containers later. Paid 2100 bucks for all these. While the taste was very good, I felt it to be tad bit pricey for the portions that was served. They can be reached at 7708055111

Place      : Lakshmi Amma's Kai Manam
Location  : Home delivery.
Cuisine    : Pure non-vegetarian, South Indian - Chettinadu style preparation
Cost        : I'm not sure of the minimum order for delivery. Pricing will come around 600-700 for two

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


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Cafe De Paris

A dear friend of mine called me one day, just to inform me that there's a new cafe opened up in the same premises of Absolute Thai. Truly blessed to have such people in my life :D When me and Shab were raking our brains on where to go and what to eat, I remembered this place and we went straight ahead.

Located in the same premises that houses Absolute Thai and Sushi in a box. A very small place with the goodies counter occupying most of the space. This cafe is beautifully done with cute little souvenirs. They had an array of sweet and savoury delicacies on display. We started off with a chicken quiche. While the filling was absolutely delicious, the base was a bit soft for my liking. That's cos it was reheated in the oven. Then we went ahead with the tuna sandwich. The top part of the sandwich was too hard, while the filling was yummy with fresh lettuce and tomatoes.

I was eyeing the Almond Croissant and butter croissant and when casually enquiring the person who was managing the show about their kitchen, he said all the goodies are from Baker's Street at Pondy. I was like "I knew it. I knew it. The croissant said so :P". We had the almond croissant which was lip smackingly delicious. A coarse paste of almonds, layered between uber soft croissant dusted with sugar was pure bliss. I'm a die hard fan of the lemon tart at Bakers Street. I'll just eat the lemon curd alone leaving the tart base untouched :D Did the exact thing here. Ohhh I soo wish that they sell the lemon curd in bottles :P Even though we were full till our nose, we decided to share the coffee eclairs. Mindblowing is the word. They also had a jar of Peach iced tea which was on the house. At one stage lost count of how many times I went for it. After ages, I had the perfect flavoured iced tea.

All these cost us around 900 bucks. Slightly on the higher side, but worth every penny spent. They are working out on the dining space at the garden. As of now it is just a take away place (We didn't mind standing and eating the delicacies :P)

Place      : Cafe De Paris
Location  : Teynampet (Opposite to Lanson Toyato Showroom, same building as of Absolute Thai)
Cuisine    : Cafe with french delicacies
Cost        : Around 700 for two approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

Cafe De Paris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paanch Foron

One fine evening when we were too bored and lazy to get out, we wanted to have simple spicy food that won't hurt the wallet, to be delivered at home. When I was checking out Swiggy, I was pleasantly surprised that Paanch Foron, the new bong place was listed for delivery in my area. After that there was no other thoughts and I placed my order. Food arrived piping hot in 30mins. These were my order  :

Aloo Chop (Rs.20) : It looked more like a potato bajji from the outside. One bite of it, it was like wow. Mildly spiced potato mix (it tasted between the vada and the stuffing we do for aloo parotta) was absolutely delicious.

Veg Chop (Rs.20) : Ordered two of these by mistake which I didn't notice until I opened the box. Though it looked crispy and inviting, didn't like the taste much. It had a mix of potato, beetroot and peanuts. While the peanuts gave a nice crunch to the chop, beetroot was dominating the show, leaving the chop on the sweeter side.

Chicken Momo (Rs.60) : Momos were hot and I loved it to bits. It had good portion of chicken filling with lots of onions. It literally had no cabbage or I couldn't trace any. The Outer layer was thin and perfectly done. The dip was awesome. With strong notes of chilli, it was perfect for the momos. We were also given a portion of soup, which I didn't bother to taste.

Chicken egg roll (Rs.55) : This was a disaster. The wrap/parotta was undercooked which completely spoiled the experience. We ended up eating the filling which was pretty good. It needed some heat as per my liking and I mixed a little bit of the chilli dip that came with the momos into the filling and it was good after that.

Chicken egg chowmein (Rs.65) - This one was decent enough. Noodle was thick and cooked properly. Right mix of veggies, chicken and egg and the spice levels were perfect. Portion was also huge.

Veg Chowmein (Rs.40) - Didn't taste this. But received a thumbs up from folks at home.

Paid a total of 390 bucks (320 for food and 70 for packing charges) which I feel is worth the money (excluding the roll).

Place      : Paanch Foron
Location  : Perungudi. I ordered for home delivery through swiggy
Cuisine    : Bengali Snacks/Thali
Cost        : A meal for two should come around 200 bucks approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

Paanch Foron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Madras Pavilion - ITC Grand Chola

A great achievement called for a very special meal and we couldn't think of any other place other than ITC Grand Chola. I've been here once, to their gourmet shop - Nutmeg. The place flaunts its architecture and leaves the people mesmerised with its sheer beauty. This place is plush and posh with granite carvings, splendid staircase and breathtaking chandeliers. It makes you feel to be in a royal court and not a hotel. In fact I can write a separate blog post just to talk about the ambiance. Alas, this blog is not for that. So I'm coming to the food.

I so wanted to dine at Peshawri, but hubby insisted on the Sunday brunch at Madras Pavilion. We made reservations for 4+1 and were on time. We were seated immediately and the ambiance here too was just brilliant. We were served a welcome drink named fruit punch which was very bad. I don't know what they wanted to deliver in terms of flavour, but this one is not defintely a fruit punch. Then came an array of starters which includes Dahi Kachori chat, keema cutlet, mixed bajji, tangdi kebab, grilled chicken/fish and paneer. None of the dishes stood out. Every single dish was very ordinary. Infact some dishes like the grilled chicken and fish were bad. Fish was definitely not fresh and it was overcooked. Chicken had no flavour, it was like eating boiled meat. It was the worst paneer dish I've had in recent times, both in texture as well as flavour.

Even the spread had nothing exciting or exotic. They had oriental, continental and Indian cuisine. Oriental had Thai red curry with lamb which was pretty good but the lamb was hard and chewy. No jasmine rice or steamed rice to go with the curry. No Pastas. The Italian antipasti section too had nothing good. Roasted eggplant with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese was decent. They had three types of biriyani. Mutton, chicken and veg dum biriyani. Biriyani was dry and literally no flavour. And no baingan bartha/the regular brinjal gravy for accompaniment. The mutton curry was too tangy and tasted like mutton cooked in diluted ketchup. Only the pork curry and the dal bukhara was good.

They had live counters for chat (which was served on the table), dosa and pizza. It took a lot of time (after umpteen reminders) to get a plate of banana dosa, grilled prawns and pizza. Banana dosa was pretty good. Sweet with distinct flavour of ripened banana. Pizza was a disaster. It had no sauce, no spice and the thickness of the pepperoni was too much. I requested to make the prawns more spicier. What I received was yet another plate of bland prawns.

I don't even want to talk about the desserts. Very very ordinary fare. Only the coconut cream slice was good. Rest of the things, leave the second serving, I couldn't even help myself more than a spoon :(

Service was slow and sloppy at its best. We had to keep reminding them multiple times for everything. Be it from clearing the plate to getting the dish from the live counter every single thing needed a minimum of 2-3 reminders. And to add to it, when I asked for a dessert spoon, my waiter handed over a single spoon to me on my hand. I mean come on. Even in ordinary restaurant, they'll give u few spoons for a single dessert in a plate. I was never so pissed with the food and service in the recent times. Given my expectations for ITC and its hospitality, I was thoroughly disappointed.

Paid around 12K (2675 inclusive of taxes for adults and they charged around 800 bucks for my kid)  which I feel is not at all worth. Not even a penny.

Place     : Madras Pavilion - ITC Grand Chola
Location : Guindy
Cuisine   : Sunday Brunch
Cost       : 6K for two approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only. Madras Pavilion - ITC Grand Chola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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