Tuesday, 1 July 2014

In today’s modern lifestyle, every member of the family is busy in their own ways. Not blaming them but that how the order of the day has become. The biggest fallout of this is probably family time during a meal. I still remember 15-20 years ago, how if not for every meal at least for dinner all of us assembled at the table and sat together talking about the day and enjoying the meal. But the bitter truth is today it evades most of us.

However there is one month of the year where this opportunity strikes for a sizeable section of us. Yes, I’m taking about the Holy month of Ramadhan. No matter how important a work is, as the time of sunset comes closer, the entire family is promptly settled on the table saying the prayers in unison and preparing ourselves to break the fasting that we set upon at dawn.

Traditionally, the fast is opened by consuming a portion of dates along with the Holy Zam Zam water but because Zam Zam water is a scarcity in India (Until unless you’ve had someone who had recently visited the Holy city of Makkah) regular water suffices the ritual. After the opening of fast, depending on each family’s tradition, a variety of snacks, sweets and juices follow. Some of the common dishes are Samosa, Spring Roll, Vada, Bhajji, Cutlet, Flavoured Agar Agar, Roohafza (A variant of Rose Milk), Nonbu Congee (A special variety in comparison to the traditional Congee) amongst others.

Now for those who are non-natives of Chennai and observing fast, it becomes a challenge as getting all savoury, sweet and drinks at a single place become difficult as most restaurants are non-functional around that time. But thanks to the advent of a slack of Arabian themed restaurants in Chennai, this problem has found a permanent solution. Until a few years ago, a handful of restaurants had something known as the Iftar Pack and to the best of my knowledge Hotel Blue Diamond was probably the first. But now the options have become unlimited. Almost every restaurant now has a special pre-packed pack that can be picked up from the restaurant and the fast opened at the convenience of one’s accommodation. Curious on knowing how each pack differs from the others, I’ve decided to check out on some of them during this year’s Ramadhan. The first of which was today from Zaitoon.
(Iftar Pack)
Zaitoon’s Iftar pack comprises of
  • Dates
  • Bottle of Water
  • Cut Fruits
  • Lemon flavoured Juice
  • Mini Shawarma
  • Koji Rice with Laham (Mutton)
  • Parotta
  • Chicken Curry
  • Kubus with a quarter piece of Grilled Chicken accompanied with Garlic paste
  • Savoury Puff
  • Haleem
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Payasam

(Iftar Pack Opened)
The offering is quite extensive and must say that it was a complete meal by itself. Some highlights of the pack are that the lemon flavoured juice was indeed a Lemon flavoured Tata Gluco+ water. Although it can be deceiving from being a juice, it was a good alternative because the body does need that extra bit of energy after being on a fast for more than 14 hours. The mini Shawarma was not mini in a big way. It was the regular sized roll with slightly less amount of filling. The rice was spectacular as always while I felt the Parotta to be a little hard and doughy inspite of heating the same. The curry was appropriate but my only issue was that it was way too much to be eaten with a single parotta. Perhaps it can be used along with some Bread/Chapathi/Rice for the pre-fast meal. The grilled chicken was the usual fare. The puff was a bit flaky to my liking while the Jamun and the Payasam were just fine. Another standout in the pack was the Haleem which incidentally tasted much better than the one that most people usually head to in Egmore. I’m yet to try it out from there this year but if it tastes the same as last year, then I think we have winner at Zaitoon.
(Iftar Pack Contents)
A true value for money the Iftar pack is priced at ₹ 299 and is available across all their outlets from 4:30 pm onwards.

Till I see you soon with another Ramadhan post, If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-Google Plus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too.

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Monday, 16 June 2014

For any die-hard foodie, a culinary tour of India will be like visiting heaven. The stark contrast in cuisine across the 4 corners of the country is sure to keep them guessing on all the beautiful dishes and the exotic ingredients that go with them. The Butter Chicken Masala in the North combined with the Dosas from the South and add to it some chats from the west and one can keeping going on and again over the different dishes that we can savour. But in today’s restaurant scenario in India, many restaurant fail to provide authenticity in their food as they try to cover the entire Indian cuisine under one roof. This leads to mixing of the unique tastes that needs to be attributed to each dish based on the geographic location of its origin. However, there are still a handful of restaurant which believe that the trade-off between the variety of dishes vs authenticity will always have the win tilting towards authenticity and have hence embarked on a journey of providing authentic cuisines from lesser known regions of the sub-continent.

One such restaurant serving authentic regional cuisine in Chennai is “Beyond Indus” located within the “Taj Club House” in Anna Salai. Diners here get to savour some exotic foods from the provinces surrounding the Indus River namely Punjab, Rawalpindi & Sindh.  True to their name, the dishes served here were always a reflection of the regions that it was supposed to represent. Various dinners here have never failed in satisfying the entourage. When a restaurant has created a mark in setting amazing food, imagine a food festival being held.
(Chef Chandan - Masala Klub)
How can you have a food festival when you have already differentiated your offering? Well here comes the twist, the food festival being conducted is by a visiting chef from another of Taj’s restaurant, the “Masala Klub” from the “Taj West End” at Bangalore. And what do they specialize in, they provide a modern twist to classical Indian cuisine. Chef Chandan from Masala Klub stylishly recreates authentic Indian flavours using modern cooking techniques and using healthier ingredients without compromising on the taste.
(Papads)
Upon being seated, first to make its way to our table was the welcome drink. On this occasion it was a ‘Litchi’ flavoured drink served in a Champagne glass. This was followed by an amuse-bouche which was a ‘Pani Puri’ with the pani being a differentiator made from Pineapple extract. We were then introduced to the offering for the day which comprised of three starters, three mains served with Indian breads and a plate of traditional desserts.
(Litchi Drink)
(Pineapple Pani Puri)
Once the introductions were over, the starters were presented on the table. The starter platter comprised of ‘Palak Papad ke Kebab’, ‘Bhunna lasson de Murgh Tikka’ & ‘Pan seared Sea Bass’. The Palak papad ke kebab was made of Broccoli florets flavoured with a mix of mustard and spices and finally char-grilled to attain a papad crispiness on the outside. The Murgh tikka was the traditional tender chicken cubes draped in cheese and flavoured with Cardamom and Garlic. The Sea Bass had a peppery taste to it as it was pan seared using deggi mirch. The Papad kebab was the clear highlight of the starters as its crispy crust was an absolute palate pleaser.
(Starter Kebab Platter)
For the mains, we were served with three curries, a mutton, a prawn and a vegetarian. The ‘Patiala Mutton curry’ is an ethnic Punjabi dish made using meat from the leg of a lamb and finished using ghee to provide the richness to the gravy. This was followed by the ‘Anardana Jingha’ which was a prawn gravy with flavourings infused from roasted coriander seeds, the beautiful Kashmiri chilies and topped with pomegranate seeds. The combination of flavours was just mind boggling and was a pure treat along with their ‘Chili Olive Naan’ that was served as the accompaniment. The last of the gravies to make way was the ‘Nadru aur Singhada’ that directly translates to Lotus Stem and Water Chestnut literally. It was quite unique to taste a curry made using these two ingredients and must say they complemented each other very well.
(Curry Trio)
(Chili Olive Naan)
To end the evening, the desserts were rolled out. The dessert for the evening was the ‘Baked Anjeer Halwa’. The halwa is made up of mashed figs and is an all-time favourite of the Masala Klub’s menu. The halwa was served along with a Coconut Ice Cream that had a few tongue-tickling pieces of tender coconut flesh.
(Dessert Platter)
If you thought the evening ended here, you have to be wrong. Being foodies, we are always on the hunt to find out best places for unique dishes. Being in a restaurant serving authentic Northern-North Western cuisine, how can we leave without tasting their ‘Galouti Kebab’ especially after the Chef revealed that it was his personal favourite too. So after much deliberation with fellow food bloggers Dr Wasim & Dr Shadir, the trio of us decided to go for the kill. As we were already beaten down by the amazing meal that was set in front of us already, we requested for just one portion of the kebab and that’s all the space that was remaining. However, Chefs being chefs, bought us a complete plate with four Galouti’s neatly tucked on a Saffron Roti. The looks were very deceptive as after the customary photo clicks, I’d placed the fork on top of the kebab to pack my camera gear so that we can leave as soon as the tasting is over.
(Making of Galouti Kebab)
Within a few seconds, what we witnessed was phenomenal. Historically, Galouti came into existence because when the Mughal Kings became old and lost their teeth, they still wanted to savour kebabs that would taste divine yet be so soft that they would melt inside the mouth. True to its history, what we saw was that the fork I’d placed had actually sunk inside the kebab. That’s how soft it was. The first bite sealed the case and the verdict was out. Finally a Galouti that beats those from the ‘The Great Kebab Factory’ at Radisson Blu. The trio of us were so delighted that we kept talking about the Galouti till late that evening. A must try if you are a Galouti fan.
(Galouti Kebab)
The ‘Masala Klub’ festival is on till the 22nd of June at Beyond Indus, located at Hotel Taj Club Road in Anna Salai and a meal for two will cost you upwards of ₹ 3000.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

For time immemorial, whenever anyone asked me where in Chennai are the best sizzlers available, the answer was always the same, head to "Tangerine". My tryst with Sizzlers begun at this very restaurant roughly about a decade ago.It was here that I savoured my first Sizzler and subsequently been the place where a lot of family & friends became Sizzler lovers. Thus my love for Tangerine has been for years together. However, couple of years ago, I was shocked to notice their food standards dip and it went to an extent that I had accept the fact that Chennai had lost a gem when it came to Sizzlers. My visits from several times a month dropped dramatically to more than a year prior to this visit. Fortunately enough, I've been hearing recently that they have regained their initial standards and that I should give them a try again. With this in the mind, the planning started for a visit soon. It was then that I received an invitation from a fellow foodie to join  him for the new menu introduction at Tangerine and with no second thoughts immediately confirmed my presence.

The evening we visited was their monthly Candle Light dinner theme. I'm mentioning this firsthand as this post has very minimal picture because it was quite embarrassing to light our flashes every now & then completely ruining the ambiance for the others. Upon arrival we were welcomed by Mr. Arun Rao, the owner of Tangerine. We were cordially invited to our table and given a short introduction of the well know restaurant. 

The first meal to arrive was the 'Chicken and Peas' soup. The soup had a great depth of flavouring and a perfect texture to keep the taste buds working overtime. This was followed by the two starters that made its way. The first starter of the evening was the 'Lamb Cornetto'. Just like the name, this is indeed a cornetto but with a big twist. A sumptuous amount of rightly flavoured shredded lamb was filled in a crispy cone and topped with mayonnaise. This dish was just outstanding and had set high expectations for the dishes that were to come. Personally, this is a dish I'm sure to order over and over again. The next up was Tangerine's take on the Satay. The dish was called 'Chicken Skewers' and was loaded with a variety of flavours that packed a punch with every bite. A peanut sauce was provided as an accompaniment but I definitely felt that the chicken chunks were better of without the peanut sauce. 
(Lamb Cornetto)
(Chicken Skewers)
Once we were done with the starters, the true spirits of Tangerine begun their journey. The sizzlers that accompanied the four of us that evening were the 'Roast Chicken', 'Prawn Candolim', 'Steak Peruvian' & 'Chicken Bruno'. To start with the Roast Chicken was exactly what it says it is, a well roasted chicken served with some smoky sauce that elevated the senses. This was followed by the Prawn Candolim, that had prawns of the ideal size in a splendid Goan flavoured sauce. The Steak Peruvian that we had ordered was a well done beef and by the reviews of my fellow bloggers, it was a great dish. The last of the sizzlers was the Chicken Bruno which was chicken stuffed with spinach and served with a flavoured cheese sauce. In between all these delicious sizzlers, we were also served with some mashed potato. The secret to this silky mash was that it was all made in-house by them. No wonder it tasted so great unlike the ones you get else where which have a kind of edgy texture.
(Prawn Candolim)
With all the savouries coming to an end, it was now time for the desserts. When it came to desserts, my favourite at Tangerine has always been the 'Death by Chocolate'. Having savoured this everytime I was here, decided to venture out and explore the other desserts on their menu. Based on Mr. Arun's advise, we ordered for a 'Lemon Cheesecake' and 'Strawberry Crumble'. The lemon cheesecake had a good infusion of lemon with a texture that was consistent with those from high end dessert shops. The dessert that really wowed us that evening was the Strawberry Crumble. The crumble was served on a bed of exceptionally tasty strawberry compote with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. It provided the perfect finish to a great evening of food. 
(Lemon Cheese Cake)
(Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream)
With this experience, my trust on Tangerine has been completely restored to the good 'ol days and can't wait to visit them again. 

Tangerine is located at Murrays Gate Road in Alwarpet and a meal for two will cost you about ₹ 1500.

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Monday, 31 March 2014


“Fish??? Please no Fish for me”. Thanks to the Chefs at The Leela Palace, Chennai and the Master Chefs from Japan, this statement will no longer have any validity in my food blogging sphere. 

Being a foodie can be quite a task especially if you are into not just eating but also reviewing. The most significant is the ability to be willing to taste all type of foods. This is a department where I’ve always not been able to keep up as there two things that I have to avoid while considering food elements, Pork and Fish. The first due to religious beliefs while the second mainly because of personal choice. I love seafood though and can eat non fish ingredients such as prawns, lobster, crabs, and scallops. Very rarely do I consume fish and it is predominantly in the Asian form of cuisine as it masks out the complete whiff of the fish. Otherwise, it is a complete no-no and has often made me miss out dishes which I know would have tasted fantastic.

I’m sure you must be wondering, why I am talking so much about fish here. Well, beat the irony, a person who absolutely avoids cooked fish gets invited for an International Sushi Training Workshop. Yes, to be honest I was freaking out by the mere thought of Sushi. But being an invitation from one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, I made up my mind to honour the invitation and challenged myself to take it in my stride and try out the Sushi. But yet once again, the mere thought of a raw fish going down my throat was giving me the shudders.
(Sushi)

(Tuna)
The fear turned to excitement and anticipation when I attended the press meet for the workshop. The moment the Master Chefs were introduced, I was determined that if I was to ever taste Sushi then it better be from the professionals. Chef Masayoshi Kazato & Chef Hirotoshi Ogawa are from the “All Japan Sushi Association-World Sushi Skills Institute” and were here to train professional chefs on the art of crafting Sushi. Yes you heard it right the first time, to teach professional chefs. This new found interest was furthered during my post-meet conversation with Chef Dharmen Makawana, Executive Chef & Chef Avinash Mohan, Executive Sous Chef at “The Leela Palace, Chennai”. Chef Dharmen revealed what I felt was the most practical approach for those who are trying Sushi for the first time. It is always better to start with cooked Sushi before moving to cured Sushi and then taking the plunge into Sashimi. 
(Chef Masayoshi Kazato)
(Chef Hirotoshi Ogawa)
(Chef Dharmen Makawana)
(Chef Avinash Mohan)
The litmus test was during the luncheon hosted for us on the next day. After having been well informed by the Chef’s the previous day, I was looking forward to my first Sushi. The first thing I noticed on entering “Spectra”, Leela’s all day dining restaurant was their Sushi Bar which was right at the entrance and the two Master Chef’s handling the counters. Although the smell of fish was all around but it was not of the way that would put one off. Moving to the Sushi counter, I was shocked to see Chef Kazato using the arm of one of his assistants as a chopping board. This he says is a sign of confidence and control any Sushi Chef must possess. The way he chopped the vegetables on the arm, the vegies came out cleanly chopped with even a slight impression on the arm. It was nerve wrecking to see that as the knives used are razor sharp. 
(Nervous looking Human Chopping Board)
(Relieved looking Human Chopping Board)
(Assorted Plate)
(Beautiful Fish Cuts)
Chef Dharmen was very courteous enough and helped me plate my dish with a range of Sushi & Sashimi as I couldn’t wait getting into the action. I had an assortment of Salmon, Scallop, Squid & Tuna Sashimi along with some cooked Prawn Sushi and a single serving of a vegetarian Sushi just for the heck of trying it. For the first time in my life, a fish seemed tempting to me. The moment I picked up some Soy sauce along with Wasabi, I was all set to take the first Sushi bite. Everything around me became still for a second when the first Salmon Sashimi entered my mouth. I was shocked and surprised at how delicate and flavoured it was. My immediate reaction was, “How could I have committed such a grave mistake being a foodie?” Why did it take me so long to realize how amazing they tasted?
(My Plate)
One by one the other Sushi’s & Sashimi’s were being emptied of my plate with each providing a very unique flavour profile. My favourites of the afternoon were the Salmon Sashimi, Scallops Sashimi & the Cooked Prawn Sushi. Once I had the vegetarian sushi, I realized how there can never be a vegetarian sushi as it doesn’t do any justice to the authentic Sushi. One way I feel it was a blessing in disguise that I waited so long to venture into this unknown territory as now I’ve got the feel of what real and authentic Sushi is straight from the hands of world renowned Sushi Master Chefs. 
(Baked Yogurt)
As I wanted to relish the flavours of the Sushi, I just had a few dishes from their regular lunch buffet spread promising myself to return again soon to do full justice to their exhaustive lunch buffet. From the dishes I tried that afternoon, I loved their Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and the Pita. Their hummus is probably the only truly replicated hummus available in Chennai. How can a meal be complete without a dessert and to do justice I had a portion of the Baked Yoghurt with cracked French Macaroons on it. On our way back after the meal I bumped into Chef Dharmen & Chef Avinash who were very courteous in listening to my experience of Sushi and were glad to find out it was a memorable one. We ended up chatting for quite some time on various topics pertaining to food and the general restaurant scenario in Chennai. The Chefs were very down to earth and were open to giving culinary tips without any hesitation. The conversations really enlightened me on different aspects of food preparation, storage and cooking.

This amazing experience and training workshop was organized by The Indian Federation of Culinary Associations & JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) along with The Leela Palace Hotel, Chennai.
(The Team behind organizing the Workshop)
Whenever you feel the need for Sushi, hold no bar, head straight up to Spectra, the all-day dining restaurant at The Leela Palace Hotel, Chennai for a mind blowing experience.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014



More than often we predetermine what kind of eggs we would like to have for Breakfast or snack time. This often depends on our mood and the accompaniments that we want along with the egg. But did you ever experience a situation where you knew you are going to eat some eggs but highly confused by looking at the egg menu. This is what Chef Sridhar from Paprika in Courtyard by Marriott Chennai has exactly in mind. Take this simple ingredient and make a menu completely surrounding it.

Yes, they are running an Eggs special menu festival called “Eggs & Kegs”. With 10 different preparations to choose from one can only sit and wonder how such a simple ingredient can be cooked in so many different ways, each having its own unique flavour and taste. To accompany the egg preparation, you get a mug of Beer and for those who do not consume alcohol, it will be replaced by a Mocktail of your choice.

Having never consumed more than two eggs at a time, I was a bit wary about how the entire evening was going to be gastronomically for me. Just as the conversation was ending with a friend who had accompanied, we get four different preparations of the eggs from the menu sent to our table. The ones we had were
(Assorted Platter)

  • Egg – Salt N Pepper
  • Egg Pakoda
  • Burmese Egg
  • Muttai Kal Varuval

I take a bite of the ‘Egg Pakoda’ and my first impression was on how delicately the eggs were boiled. They were one of the finest boiled eggs I’ve seen and tasted. The yolk were perfected such that a fork pierced came out clean while the whites still had that tad bit of sweat on them. It took the entire experience to the next level. The batter for the pakodas was very light and fluffy that it felt awesome having the pakodas. Very different from the one’s we make at home. The secret to the perfectly boiled eggs was the time which the Chef revealed to be * minutes. Did you really think, I would be entailed to such a privilege? Yes the Chef did give me that privilege but I believe it’s his secret and should remain so.
The ‘Burmese’ Egg was a twist on the famous Burmese dish ‘Khow Suey’, as the boiled eggs were topped with fried onions. The ‘Kal Varuval’ was the Chef’s take on the classic ‘Meen Kal Varuval’. This imparted the flavours of south and Chettinad into the eggs which gave it a different dimension over the others that we had so far tried out. The ‘Salt n Pepper’ was again slightly similar to the pakodas but the batter here was very thin almost just like a small wrap over the eggs with flavourings of salt, pepper and chilli incorporated along with the batter.

The portion sizes are between two and three eggs depending upon the preparation and the eggs used are Free-range gggs.With this adventure, we were willing to call it quits as we couldn’t take any further intake of eggs. That’s when we realized that how can we miss the King of all Egg preparations, the mighty ‘Bread Chutney Omelette’.

(Bread Chutney Omelette)
The instance the ‘Bread Chutney Omelette’ was placed on the table, the aroma begin to play with us with an intense desire. As were honestly full, we just ordered one serving and decided to split it between us. The omelette was wrapped around the two humongous slices of bread that were smothered with butter and a very different chutney than the ones we regular get on such omelettes. It wasn’t spicy yet carried the hotness, wasn’t fluorescent green but on the contrary was a darker dull green with strong influences of mint. The incorporation of the cheese within the omelette gave it a good fluffiness and texture.

The ‘Eggs & Kegs’ is available all day at Paprika, located on the Ground Floor of Courtyard by Marriott on Mount Road until the 31st of March.

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Monday, 10 March 2014

When it comes to movie stars, I'm sure most of us believe that they have a very strict diet regime. But have you ever wondered as to what they would indulge in on those days that they set aside to binge without any restrictions? What could be the dishes your favourite movie stars like? If you have such questions, then you should head straight to California Pizza Kitchen. The pioneers in California-styled pizzas have introduced a limited time special menu that encompasses some of Hollywood's favourite dishes. The last time I was at California Pizza Kitchen, they wooed me their amazing pizzas & pastas. You can read the review here. So when I was invited to try their Hollywood menu, the expectation were quite high.

The special menu comprised of 2 Mocktails, 5 Pizza's, 2 Pasta's, 2 Speciality dishes and 1 Dessert. Once we were showed our way to the tables, we were briefly told about the why this special menu. Apparently CPK wanted to give their Indian diners a little peep into the life of Hollywood & what their celebs eat at CPK. It was all about showing the home of Bolly/Kollywood the food of Hollywood. 
(Hawaian Chicken & Grilled Pineapple Pizza)
(Jamaican Jerk & Chicken Pizza)
(Rustica Pizza)
(Spicy Sonora Pizza)
The first dish on the table was the 'Hawaiian Chicken & Grilled Pineapple' pizza. This is one pizza that had already made it's way into Chennai since the first pizza chain opened up, probably because it is a classic recipe. The next up was 'Jamaican Jerk & Chicken' pizza. This was more of a healthier pizza option as there were ample amount of spices, a unique pizza sauce, roasted peppers and the famous Jamaican Jerk Chicken. This was followed by the only vegetarian pizza in the special menu, the 'Rustica Pizza'. This ain't the same old Italian rustica but was more of a take by CPK made up of grilled zucchini, white mushrooms and olives over a very very thin crust. The penultimate pizza which was the ultimate pizza for me was the 'Spicy Sonora Pizza'. This was probably also the most favoured pizza amongst all of us. The sauce is a lime cream sauce with roasted corn & black bean salsa and some spicy smoked chicken along with cilantro. The last pizza to be served was 'Deli Style Bistro Pizza' which I had to skip as it contained bacon.
(California Peri Peri Chicken)
(Spinach & Paneer Malfati With Milan Sauce)
Once the pizza shower was over, we felt a quench and decided to try out their mocktails. Against the choices of 'Mango Mint Ecstasy' & 'Pineappe Twister', I went for the Ecstasy. Although the flavour of mango was somewhat present, the mint had a very overpowering effect thereby making it a minty drink. The next mains to be served were from the specials section. The 'California Peri Peri Chicken' was again a crowd favourite. The boneless chicken was grilled in their secret California peri peri marinade and then baked in a creamy sauce. We loved the dish so much that we went to extent of asking for one more serving of the same. This was followed up by the vegetarian special which was the 'Spinach & Paneer Malfati with Milan Sauce'. This was a Paneer-Spinach Gnocchi cooked in a creamy caramelized onion sauce served with roasted corn kernels and flavoured with Garlic and Feta Cheese. 
(Spaghetti Carretierra)
(Mediterranean Roasted Mushroom Spaghettini)
(California Delight)
The first pasta of the evening was the 'Spaghetti Carretierra' which was yet another CPK's twist of the Italian classic. Although it doesn't have any chunks of meat, this is a non vegetarian pasta as the creamy sauce is made use chicken broth. It also comes with bocconcini which are small ball shaped mozzarella cheese. The alternate vegetarian pasta on the menu is the 'Mediterranean Roasted Mushroom Spaghettini' made of roasted mushrooms, garlic, chillies, Mediterranean herbs and tossed in olive oil. It tasted similar to the pasta Aglio e Olio. To finish the evening, Hollywood's special dessert was served. Aptly named 'California Delight', it was a trio of white chocolate, strawberry & dark chocolate mousse with cranberries along with some almond praline to give some crunch.

A meal for two should cost about ₹ 1500 and the Hollywood Special Menu is up until the 16th of March, 2014.

California Pizza Kitchen in located on the ground floor of the swanky Phoenix Market City in Velachery.

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

(For the Love of Coffee Platter)
Who doesn't loves having pastries during mid-day breaks, more so if you can tag along a few friends for a small get-together. On the other hand if you are the one who would prefer some serene and calm from all the bustling activities that your busy work day throws at you and all that defines a perfect break is to spend some me time listening to music and munching away some sinful desserts, this could be for you too.

Chennai being synonymous with Coffee, Paprika the all-day dining restaurant at Courtyard by Marriott has introduced a new offering called “For the Love of Coffee”. Available throughout the day, this concept brings you 5 Classic Éclairs paired with a choice of coffee from some of the finest coffees around the world.

The Éclairs that form the platter are
  •          Classic Chocolate Éclair
  •          Mixed Berry Éclair
  •          Dark Chocolate and Orange Éclair
  •         Chocolate and Almond Éclair
  •         Salted Caramel and Coffee Éclair

(Éclair Platter)
(Dark Chocolate & Orange Éclair)
(Classic Chocolate Éclair & Coffee Éclair)

(Mixed Berry Éclair)
(Chocolate & Almond  Éclair)
The Éclairs are all served together on a single platter and are quite a bite size. My favourite of the lot was the Choco-Almond one and the Coffee éclair. I just couldn’t resist with one such that I flicked another one from my friend’s plate.

On the other hand, the coffee options are
  •          Kumbakonam
  •          Colombian Supremo
  •          Ethiopian Sidamo
  •          Rajgiri Pearl
  •          Coorg Blend
Having savoured the Indian coffee at various occasions earlier, I decided to go with the ‘Ethiopian Sidamo’. As is well known, Ethiopia is commonly known as the birthplace of Coffee, so why not try some coffee that was grown and harvested from the birthplace itself. The coffee felt very light yet packed a good punch of flavour. Together with the éclairs, the evening felt like a full-fledged dessert expedition.

The ‘For the Love of Coffee’ is available all day at Paprika, located on the Ground Floor of Courtyard by Marriott on Mount Road.

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