Showing posts with label KNK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KNK. Show all posts

Sunday 17 May 2015

The food scenario in Chennai has recently seen a plethora of International brands setting up outlets presenting us with their signature specialities. The latest non-contemporary brand to join this list of International brands is ‘Menchies Frozen Yogurt’ from USA with the Chennai outlet being their second location in India. FROYO (FROzen YOgurt) as it is commonly referred to is an absolutely perfect healthy substitute to those staying away from ice creams.
(Froyo Dispenser)
There are a couple of things that makes Menchies unique in comparison to other dessert places. First and foremost, you can completely opt for a hands on experience on creating your own version of FROYO. All you need to do is pick up a waffle/cone/cup and head to the froyo dispenser and dispense your choice of flavour from about 10 flavours that are changed on a daily basis. What is more surprising is that the flavours are paired as couples such that in case you need a mix of 2 paired flavours, you do not have to make the effort to dispense each flavour as you can use the middle portion of the dispenser to provide a mix of both flavours amongst the pair. There is no restriction on how much you would like to fill your serving size as the froyo is not priced based on flavour or size rather on the total weight. So feel free to have as little or as much as your palate desires.
(Toppings Counter)
Once you have picked the flavours, next is to add toppings and sauces to enhance the flavours. They have a choice of about 16 toppings to choose from and another 6 sauces to choose from ranging from fudge to Nutella to honey. Once you have created your dream combination, you just need to take it to the staff nearby who will weigh in the froyo. I honestly believe that this methodology of serving desserts gives the customer the flexibility to have a guilt free experience as they are not bound to over consume under the disguise of not wanting to waste the same.

During my visit, I got to taste a combi of Mint & Chocolate and also another combi of Mango & Vanilla. The Mint-Chocolate froyo resembled the famous chocolate “After Eight”. The lightness of the froyo made it very easy on the palate and made us wanting for more as there was absolutely zero guilt. Having sampled the other flavours (Yes!!! You can sample as many flavours as you want before you make up your mind), I wanted to try the classic combo of Mango-Vanilla which is my opinion was the most divine combo on offer that evening. The flavour of Mango was perfect to elate it in comparison to the vanilla yet wasn’t strong such that it was over-powering. Overall, Menchies frozen yogurt is truly a great replacement for those who want to avoid ice creams without compromising much on taste or texture. 
(Mint-Chocolate Froyo)
(Strawberry Waffle Cone)
(Mango-Vanilla Froyo)
‘Menchies Frozen Yogurt’ is located on Khader Nawaz Khan Road and should cost you about ₹ 150-200 per serving depending on the quantity and toppings you choose. The charge per gram is ₹ 1.30 + taxes plus any additional for waffles or cones. 

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Tuesday 19 August 2014

Amongst all cuisines for me, if it’s Mediterranean then it automatically gets on to the to-visit list with a priority. With hardly any standalone Mediterranean restaurants in Chennai, I was excited when I saw on Facebook that a new one was popping right in the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, it was during the month of Ramadhan and the multitude of attempts to visit proved futile. It was on the top of my list once Ramadhan got over but still couldn’t make it as I had to travel out of India. It just kept eluding me while couple of friends had some good reviews to make of the place that made the urge all the more significant.

Finally on 15th August an impromptu dinner plan was made with the family and before any suggestions could come up, I suggested ‘Lavash’. Having made our reservation as it was a holiday, we promptly reached the place. The first reaction was on the ambiance. It had all the perfect setting for a Mediterranean restaurant. There was both an indoor as well as outdoor seating. As we were with my son and the climate in Chennai has still not reached to the point where outdoor seating becomes a comfort, we gladly went inside. The interiors had a Middle Eastern rustic feel to them and the lights complemented the look and feel.
(Bread Basket)
As it was already way past our dinner time, we quickly got digging into the menu. The menu looks to be meticulously planned with a select variety of dishes under each category. Though this made ordering easy once you have decided on the type of meal, it made it difficult to choose the type of meal as there was easily around 10 different courses. The menu had the usual soup, salad, cold & hot Mezzes. Adding the Mediterranean touches were the grills, Tagine, Rice, Pastas, Pizzas, Shawarmas & Breads. Being a dinner and with a long weekend ahead, we decided to go light on the tummy.

(Hot & Cold Mezze)
The first order for the evening was a ‘Hot & Cold Mezze Platter’. The platter consisted of all the cold mezze’s such as Hummus, Muttabal, Baba Ganoush, Muhammara, Tabouleh & Dolmades (Stuffed veggies and rice rolled in Vine leaves) while the Hot Mezze’s included were Cheese Sambousak, Falafel, Kibbeh and Chicken Harissa. As indicated on the menu, it was a perfect fit for two. The dolmades tasted different to those I’d savoured elsewhere in the Middle East while the rest of them were pretty close to the original.
(Lamb Souvlaki)
(Shish Taouk)

The next up were from the grills and we went with ‘Shish Taouk’ and ‘Lamb Souvlaki’. Each portion served were apt for two persons. Both grills came skewered on top of the Arabic bread ‘Kuboos’. This made it easier for those who wanted to convert the grill into a wrap as all that was needed was to remove the skewer and add the desired dressing and voila the wrap is ready. The ‘Shish Taouk’ was well flavoured but the chicken seemed a tad dry to my liking. But nevertheless, it disappeared in a flash. The story with the ‘Lamb Souvlaki’ was another twist. Though the lamb was quite tough, it was marinated thoroughly and had a good amount of smokiness to it which elevated its flavouring so much that we didn’t mind the toughness and ordered again for another portion.

(Chicken Tagine)
Having favoured our desire with generous amount meat, we decided to have a very light main and ordered a ‘Chicken Tagine’. The tagine seemed to be well prepared as the stew had deep infusion of flavourings from the vegetables and the chicken. Also to mention, the chicken was well cooked this time and was very tender. The highlight was the Couscous that was served along with it. Probably one of the best couscous tasted by me so far. Overall, if they can slightly fine tune their seasonings to avoid incorporating Indian flavours and retain the authentic flavouring, I’m sure ‘Lavash’ would definitely establish itself as a dominant Mediterranean restaurant in Chennai.

Lavash is located at the Oyster Building on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. A meal for two should cost you about ₹ 1200 including taxes. 

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Tuesday 12 February 2013

 When I was made aware that a leading international brand of Ice-Cream is all set to open their lounge in Chennai, I was curious and started my guesses. We already have Baskin Robbins 31 and Movenpick. I was hoping that the new one should be one of favourites, either Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry's. When my guess was confirmed, I was ecstatic to know that my favorite premium brand, Haagen Dazs was opening shortly. Where else can such a brand make a forte, yes the luxury road of Chennai - Khader Nawaz Khan Road. 

More good news started to pour in as the opening date was announced. Being part of the Chennai Food Guide bloggers team, we were invited for the launch. I was joyous beyond control. Then came the big thud. I had a very important engagement that day. There was no way I could have skipped it to attend the launch. Neither could I attend both as, the programme I had to attend was close to Chengalpet. With a deep sense of sorrow, I had to wait for atleast 1 more day to savor their yummy sundaes. But as it always happens, this another day never came. Was held up with some thing or the other and the days constantly grew more and more. 

One fine evening, I was determined to go on a kind of shop hopping. With a restaurant showcase event planned in Velachery, I had to spend close to 2 hours without any work as Velachery was close to workplace and made no sense to go home and come back. An idea suddenly popped and I sent an invite to all those coming for the showcase, if they would be interested in coming to visit the Phoenix Mall. Aa & Av instantly agreed and the rest had some work. So Aa, Av and myself met at Phoenix Mall and looked around this massive place finally settling in for a cup of coffee. Post which we headed to the showcase. The showcase was kind of not out of the roof and some of our palates were not sufficed by the desserts that were offered. Instantly another devilish idea, why not head some place for dessert. As different people had different routes back home, Aa, Av and myself were all one after the other. So we instantly decided to go to Haagen Dazs as Av and myself were already craving. Having gone for the launch, Aa was already looking forward to the next time at Haagen Dazs. 

(No Ice cream for poor mosquito)
Bang in two different vehicles we promptly arrive at Haagen Dazs close to 11 pm and the place was buzzing with people even though it was a weekday. First impressions, the lounge was beautiful and gave you that instant elite factor. Going through their exhaustive menu while sampling some of the ice-creams, we decided to go for a selection of 3 sundaes that formed a unique family on their menu. If i'm correct we ordered for a Strawberry Sundae for Aa, Cookies & Cream Sundae for Av and Chocolate Chip Sundae with Chocolate Chip ice cream replaced with Creme Brulee for myself. While we were waiting for the sundaes to arrive, we had to keep a few mosquitoes to ourselves for company. Av had to swat a couple of them something which we least expected to do in a place such as a Haagen Dazs lounge. Anyways, our orders were brought to us in about 10-15 mins. They were a true visual treat. They were worth every penny spent. 
As we started digging into our sundaes, Aa and myself realized something a miss. Our sundaes had been mixed up, probably because I had requested for a change in the ice cream. Aa's Strawberry ice-cream came with a chocolate sauce while my Creme Brulee came with a strawberry sauce. We immediately brought it to the staff's attention and they were apologetic for the goof up and instantly replaced the sundaes. Hats off to their customer service. I guess credits goes to the owner as well as to their manager. The ice-creams tasted divine and the sundaes were frankly self sufficient for someone like me who has a big appetite. All of us thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Haagen Dazs excepting for the mosquito menance. At a later date, I had the opportunity to speak with their owner and had explained to him about the mosquitoes. He promised to look into it on a priority and eliminate the issue. 
(Creme Brulee Sundae)
(Strawberry Sundae)
(Cookies & Cream Ice Cream)
The total bill for 3 amazing and filling sundaes came to about INR 1100/-. Aa was very courteous to extend a INR 1000/- gift voucher she received during their launch and thereby giving us such a wonderful treat. Thanks Aa. 

Haagen Dazs is located at Khader Nawaz Khan Road on the same building as Manmandir and Cascade. 

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Wednesday 14 November 2012

Well here goes my first review on my new food blog. 

Being a die-hard dessert lover, the instance I came to know about a new exclusive dessert eatery in Chennai,  I just couldn't resist checking out the newly opened Dessert Studio on KNK. Based on all the readings about this place rather studio, I visited them with great expectations. I really wonder whats with the big fancy names that catches people's attention. Being branded a Dessert Studio, I was anticipating to be in a dessert paradise.

But to the contrary what I ran into was a neat looking eatery serving 3 international brands of desserts viz. Choco Berries, Yogo D-Lite and Shake a Take. I would like to stress on the number 3 as there were only 3 dessert varieties that you could have in a place branded stylishly Dessert Studio. This really dampened my spirits as I only had the option of choosing between a Crepe/FroYo/Milkshakes (various chocolate flavors). They did have the option of waffles aling with crepes but what special can a waffle do on a menu. 

Knowing that FroYo/Milkshake isn't really a good way of understanding the worthiness of an outlet, I decided to go in for a Crepe. A Chocolate, Banana & Caramel Crepe to be precise. Talking about the crepe, boy was I not delighted. Especially, on the back of a recent visit to Paris, where I was hosted by my colleagues at a place called "La Compagnie de Bretagne". The uniqueness of this restaurant is that the cuisine of the restaurant is called Creperie where they serve crepes for starters, mains as well as desserts. The place also has the reputation to be the best in Paris for crepes. For those who are travelling to Paris in the near future, make sure you pay them a visit. More reviews on "La Compagnie de Bretagne" is available on Trip Advisor. You can visit the same on  Reviews on La Compagnie de Bretagne - Trip Advisor

Apologies for the diversion, coming to our very own Dessert Studio, the crepe arrived promptly and was plated quite well. The crepe was really light and smooth with an amazing filling of chocolate (I think it was more of Nutella, not sure though!) that was at the right consistence of being not too chocolaty yet not running all over the plate like chocolate drink. The influence of the caramel was very minimal in comparison with the flavor of the bananas. I really wished they could have had more caramel to offset the strong taste of the fruit.

What really set me back on the whole experience of being at Dessert Studio was the unavailability of any other variety of desserts and of course the pricing of the menu. Understandable that KNK is one of the most happening places in Chennai but with the existence of numerous other outlets nearby serving desserts as well, I really hope they reconsider their pricing keeping in account the quantity one gets at that price. For example the crepe I ordered was priced at Rs.175 which I frankly believe was a bit on the higher side as I'm sure that no dessert lover could be content with just a single crepe. But coming back on the quality of the food, I would definitely recommend every one to try it at least once. Personally, I'm really doubtful if I would be going back there again to try their FroYo/Milkshake especially considered their current pricing and the availability of other eateries nearby that cater to different varieties of desserts at a single stop.

Dessert Studio is located inside the Espirit Compound in Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam.

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