Monday, 23 May 2016


Over the last few years, Chennai has witnessed the dawn of several International food brands. Most of these chains prefer to open shop in malls with Phoenix being the most preferred destination owing to it being the latest amongst the other gamut of malls. For folks who lived in the main parts of the city, it was always a long drive. Thankfully, the latest entrant in the International food brands, Chili’s made an exception. Opening up adjacent to another leading International food outlet, Chili’s is right at the heart of the city located at Express Avenue.

Ambiance:

Chili’s Chennai provides the same look and feel to that of their other outlets. The décor is uniform and gives the impression of being in one of their International outlets. With an overall rustic feel to the dining area, the outlet also has a long bar counter where the liquid concoctions are crafted. There is also a large screen that was screening an IPL match when I was there.

Food:

Being midway between lunch and dinner, I was confused on what to eat. The menu was exhaustive and for sure knew, I had to make multiple visits to do justice to the different sections that were there. Not in the mood to have a heavy meal, I thought I’ll go in for a ‘Triple Dipper’ which basically is a pick and choose combo amongst their appetizers. I picked the ‘Boneless Chicken Wings’, ‘Original Chicken Crispers’ and ‘Southwestern Rolls’. After placing the order realised that they had ‘Onion Rings’ too on the menu and being a sucker for Onion rings, ordered a separate portion of the same too. As I waited for the appetizers to come, I ordered for a ‘Mango Chile Margarita’. It was very intriguing to see how Mango and Jalapenos can go hand in hand in a drink but the barista’s here did a pretty great job in obtaining the right balance.
(Triple Dipper)
(Mango Chile Margarita)
To start with, the Boneless Chicken Wings were just too good. The highlight of the wings was the ability to get them in a boneless avatar and the addition of the amazing tangy Buffalo sauce that was drizzled on it. I couldn’t prevent myself from gorging on it. This was followed up by the Original Crispers which was equally good. However, the Southwestern Rolls, though tasted fresh, I felt it lacked a punch in comparison to the other two appetizers. The Triple Dipper came with three different sauces to match each of the appetizers. Coming to the Onion Rings, glad I didn’t miss it. It was perfectly seasoned and was crispy to the point. Chili’s just became my preferred destination for the best Onion Rings in the city.
(Onion Rings)
(Philadelphia Melting Cheese Steak)
Having had a great experience with the appetizers, I wanted to skip the mains and go for a dessert because I was reaching my threshold. However, one item intrigued me from the menu. After some thought, gave in to my gluttony demands and ordered the ‘Philadelphia Melting Cheese Steak’. When asked how I would like the steak, I requested for Medium, which often is my preferred choice for steaks. The steak was promptly brought to my table in about in spite of ordering it after the appetisers. I tasted the cheese sauce first and it was like swimming in pleasure. Perfect sauce together with the sautéed onions and mushrooms, rendered it full of flavour and aroma. However, the first strike on the steak and realised that something was amiss. Upon slicing, it dawned that the steak was done a little too much and had crossed the upper thresholds of medium and dwelled into well done tenderness. Nevertheless, the steak was seasoned apt and the cheese sauce made a great accompaniment to the steak with the only let down being the textural difference because of the tenderness. 
(Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie)
Having had so much meat, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a dessert. A glance at the dessert menu and I knew what I wanted. I asked to be served the ‘Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie’. With high expectations, I eagerly waited for it to be brought to my table. First glance and got more excited. I’m a sort of person who can go weak in my knees with desserts in front of me. The first bite and oh me!!! The pie was great in flavour and the warm caramel sauce coupled with the cold vanilla ice cream, gave a welcome relief from all the meat that was consumed. The dessert provided a very warm feeling to the entire meal and helped complete the meal with a smile on my face. I’m very sure to keep popping in every now and then whenever I visit the mall to savour this dessert.

Price:

Although being located in a mall, the prices are slightly on the higher side with a meal for 2 costing anywhere between Rs. 3000 – Rs. 4000 inclusive of taxes. However, one has to also take into account the portion size as they are humongous. So on the whole I feel the price to be apt as there is a sure Value for Money involved both in terms of quantity and quality of dishes.

Locations:

Chili’s first outlet in Chennai is located on the 3rd floor at Express Avenue Mall in Royapettah. It is located adjacent to Burger King and is right in the middle opposite to the Main Atrium.

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  2. The executive chef here was a genuinely nice person and never made us feel like we were just "business" for him. He was extremely competent and organized. Because of the natural beauty of the event space, we were able to get away with very minimal decorations.

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