Eco Cafe, Chamiers Road

Some of the members of the Chennai Food Guide and I had a rendezvous at the Eco Cafe on Chamiers Road, recently.

I wondered, about its name. But when I entered the cafe, I could not pin point anything that had warranted such a name. Eco Cafe is simply an air conditioned  cafe, with a pleasant ambiance and soft lighting. The cafe had a collection of story books for sale as well.

I waited for sometime, to be joined by other CFG members. The cafe had low light, making photography without flash impossible. Good thing, I had carried my trusted tripod and this helped me click some good snaps. Special thanks to Karthick Ricky, for helping me out with the photos. We sat down and started placing the orders at random from the menu.

All the food which we had ordered had a fabulous presentation, but I cannot  say the same about the taste. The taste of most of the dishes were just about okay, with excessive use of pesto. If you are one of those who do not like pesto, then I am really sorry. You will not like most of the dishes here. I cant understand the relationship between pesto and eco.

That day's dinner, was not a fine dining experience. We fell to eating the food as it came in. We started off the proceedings with an Apple Cinnamon Cake. I am not a big fan of Cinnamon and I must say this cake was not really great. The apple flavor was missing and the cake was a tad hard and cold. There was also a carrot cake, but I skipped having it,wondering how disastrous it might be. Next up I sampled a  pesto topped bruschetta from the platter. The bread was nice and crispy, it had not become soggy because of the topping. I also tried some of the antipasti salad. It was pasta with roasted aubergines and thyme. I know it was a salad and it was not necessary for it to be cooked throughly. But this was crazy. The pasta felt raw, it did not seem to gel well with the ingredients at all.

In between eating, I sampled some of the drinks which were on the table. I took a sip of the Blueberry smoothie, it was little over powered by the presence of banana and it felt like it lacked sufficient blueberry. After this I sampled the cold chocolate and almond. I must say, this drink was really bad. It was like having chocolate cerelac. Wanting to wash away this taste, I took a sample of the pancakes. These pan cakes, were as hard as an adai ( Local dish ). One bad dish to another, I jumped into having waffle with maple syrup. This dish was a savior to my taste palate. It was neither too soft or hard, just about hitting the sweet spot. There was a chocolate waffle, but the chocolate syrup did not taste like chocolate syrup. Maybe they had tried a combo, by mixing chocolate with the maple syrup. I wonder what it could be. 

I also sampled the veggie club sandwich, it tasted good. But again I felt the pesto  to be a tad too much.Then I jumped to sample the Pasta Fungi which had pesto, cheese and loads of black olives. This dish too had pesto which I found over powering.

Just when we were getting settled to having only mediocre fare, we were  served some of the delicious dishes of the night. By the time these came, most of my company had departed. Firstly the Pan Grilled Basa Fish which was simply superb. Fish was really soft, with no bones. Just the way I like it, with copious amount of mash potato and fresh boiled vegetables. Spot on, tasted delicious. This was followed by Grilled Chicken. This dish too rocked. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection with good amount of fresh vegetables. Loved both the dishes. They made my day. 

Last but not the least we ventured into having the deserts, the Orange Creme caramel was delectable. Caramel flavor was rich. This was followed by me sampling, Kesari Badam Kulfi. By far, this was the best kulfi I have ever had. It felt properly grainy and sweet. The kulfi felt divine on the hot day.

The meal was a combination of a hit and miss. If you like over powering flavors of pesto, you might like the place. Otherwise you might have to hunt through the menu to find dishes without them. The pricing is also on the expensive side.

Food - 5.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Price - 7/10

Eco Cafe is located in Chamiers Road, diagonally opposite to Park Sheraton. 

Special thanks to Karthick Ricky for helping with the photographs.

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