Fabelle, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai


As a dentist, one of the biggest complaints I hear from my patients is that they had excessive amounts of chocolates as a kid and now they have ended up with tooth decay. Or parents telling me to advise their children not  to have any chocolates as it is the root cause for decay. Now I play the role of educating the patient / parent that the entire ordeal of decay happened / happens because of improper brushing habits and not because of CHOCOLATES! This education session invariably ends up with me suggesting restaurants or food items to them. Now I have yet another reason to talk about chocolates to these patients!!

India is not known for the chocolate produce. Indian versions of chocolates from around the world are terrible. But thankfully some new connoisseur chocolates have finally arrived. The latest entrant into this scene is Fabelle which is located inside ITC Grand Chola.

Fabelle imports the best cocoa beans into India and handcrafts them into chocolate bars which are to be used for making the best chocolates and chocolate desserts.  Chefs take these chocolate bars and turn 'em into something quite irresistible.

For the regular consumer who does not have the knowledge to appreciate the quality and taste of chocolate, things get interesting here. Fabelle offers the Chocolate tour which is an eye-opener. Leaving all that aside if one is just interested in getting their mind blown by the delicacies then that is also possible.

Dark Chocolate & Milk Chocolate Ganache are ones to start with. Put them in your mouth and wait for the chocolate to melt which is pure symphony. Next the Elements box - various percentage of chocolates played with acacia nectar, cinnamon, ancho chilli and french sea salt to give you exquisite - Earth, Water, Wood, Fire and Air Chocolates

If this is not for you, then go to their chef's selection of chocolate cups or make your own chocolate cups with assorted ingredients. If chocolates are not your thing, then the MasterChef level dramatics filled Chocolate flower, will have you floored.

Price - The rich dessert should cost you Rs 525 and the box of assorted elements - Rs 400.
Fabelle has announced its arrival in a fabulous way. So if you ever crave for chocolates or desserts which is absolutely decadent ,head over to Fabelle at ITC Grand Chola.

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Prego, Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai - New Menu


Yes! I am Back! after a short hiatus. This time around I took a small break and I got married. Now once more  I have this itch to get back to the blogging. Skipped many bloggers table. Also skipped posting many restaurants which I had visited. Now that I am here, it is back to bringing my blog up to speed and up to date.

My most recent restaurant visit was a blogger table at Prego at Taj Coromandel. The last time I was here I was totally floored, so when I heard that they had a new chef with a all new menu, I just could not refuse.

Chef Alessandro Bechini is at the helm of things at Prego this time around. The man behind the Maritime by San Lorenzo at Taj Lands End, Mumbai. So my expectations ran high. A brief chat with the Chef gave us an idea as to what we could expect. Back to basics - Fresh ingredients, fresh produce, keeping it simple and true to Italian taste.

I had a glance at the menu for the evening and it was quite a spread. For a second I thought we were being served the entire menu, and then when I had a look at the new menu I was awe struck as it was really very very extensive. Now coming to the meal which I had just enjoyed...

The meal started of with a Amuse Bouche - Feta Cheese wrapped in a slice of Carrot and a Salad - Insalata di Indivia, Pere al Vino Rosso e Gorgonzola which was a Endive and lollo rosso salad with red wine poached pears, walnuts, lemon gorgonzola dressing. I loved em both. The simplicity of the dish with amazing and the fresh flavors wowed me. Loved the way the Pear was pouched in wine and the texture of the other ingredients.

This was followed by the soup course. The veggies in our group were served the Minestrone Casalingo which I also got to sample, was full flavored and rich bodied. The non-veggies had their pick between Brodetto alla Marchigiana which was a Seafood Bisque and Stracciatella alla Romana - a roman style Egg drop soup. Both good in their own right. Simple yet flavorful, light yet refreshing.

Next course was flooded with Pastas and Risottos.
Fusilli al Profumo dell’Orto - Twisted pasta with fresh herbs and vegetables. A simple yet flavorful dish in which one could clearly differentiate the ingredients.

Fettuccine with Lamb Ragout - Fettuccine in minced Lamb. Rich heavenly flavor packed lamb mixed in my current favorite pasta Fettuccine. How can I not love this?

Risotto Porcini e Tartufo - Creamed Carnaroli rice with wild mushrooms and truffle infused extra virgin olive oil. The risotto was simply out of the world. My kind of comfort food with different textures and of course truffle infused olive oil.

Branzino ai Ferri con Panelle e Salsa Puttanesca - Grilled Chilean Seabass on spicy red sauce with capers and olives, with chick pea fritters and sweet/sour fresh herbs relish was my star pick. Simple grilled fish and sensational anchovies sauce and crispy polenta to go with. Simple dish yet filled with complex flavours.

Crespelle Senza Uovo con Broccoli Croccanti - Eggless crepes, filled with zucchini, eggplant, ricotta and parmesan, broiled with Provolone cheese, on tomato sauce. This dish is one of kind. Kinda reminded me of Ravioli, cheesy and darn tasty.

Finally we entered the dessert course
Tiramisù Senza uovo - Eggless & Kaluvaless Tiramisu which was simply sensational. On quizzing the chef, about the reason for this, he was happy point out that he wanted vegetarian patrons plus the kids to enjoy the dish.

Delizia al Cioccolato - Dark chocolate fondant with strawberry sorbet. The strawberry sorbet was absolutely delicate and the dark chocolate fondant combination was just the rich knockout punch we needed.

By the end of the meal one thing was quite evident - the philosophy of keeping dishes simple and going back to the roots can produce some sensational flavors which your taste-buds will love.

Typical Prego affair with style, class and lot of panache.

A meal for two should be possible for around Rs 4000/- and upwards depending the spread which is ordered.
If not you can tell your preferences and the budget - let chef weave the magic for the special occasion.

Disclaimer : Invited review.

Prego is located inside Taj Coromandel on Nungumbakkam high road.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.

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Restaurant Week India @ On the Rocks, Crowne Plaza, Alwarpet, Chennai


And Yes!!! Now we have a way to experience big ticket restaurants for a fraction of the cost through the Restaurant Week India(RWI). I have heard about the previous seasons of this RWI but was not part of them, as I was held with work and studies. RWI gives this great opportunity to have a proper 3 course meal at restaurants which would easily cost more than 5 grand for a meal for two people.

The RWI has priced the lunch for Rs 750 and Dinner for Rs 900 at Chennai which is bang on pricing. So I was here at On the Rocks along with a friend for the RWI set 3 course meal. We decided to let the Chef WOW us.

Just to get our engines started we picked up couple of Mocktails. Yes mocktails, at On the Rocks! We were served with lovely Garlic bread. And it had theatrics. Soft baked bread in the pan and a roasted garlic over it. Then you squeeze the garlic over the bread to get awesome garlic infusion. Loved the theatrics and loved the taste as well.

The chef went ahead and sent us a Wild Mushroom Tart with a Sweet Onion Marmalade and Gorgonzola Melt. The puff pastry was fabulous. A little bit of the Gorgonzola melt with a dash of wild mushroom was nice. Next was the Baked Camembert with Honey Garlic Reduction. This had me floored. Amazing ratio of sweetness to saltiness, simply fabulous.

For the mains we had the Cardamom Pouched Prawns on Polenta and Slow Braised Lamb with Mashed Potato. It was like having opposite ends of the spectrum. The prawns was subtle and mild. Also I had Polenta for the first time. The Lamb was full flavoured and it hits you. The meat was tender and the mashed Potato had super smooth.

Finally we finished the super course meal with a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. My O My! It was simply fabulous. The Caramel, the Toffee, the ice cream. Just Divine!

If you still have the feeling that fine dine is expensive. Please use this to get a feel of the restaurant. Hats off to RWI

Head over to www.restaurantweekindia.com to book your table

RWI is on upto 1st May 2016 with about 13 restaurants participating in it.

Disclaimer : Invited Review

On the Rocks is located in Crowne Plaza, Alwarpet.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.

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Thai Food Festival at Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt, Velachery, Chennai


Actually at one point of time, the only alternative cuisine to Indian food was Chinese food in Chennai. It was the time when Wangs Kitchen, Nanking and Mandarin were ruling the roost. Infact I was so in love with Chinese food, it was my second favourite cuisine. To top that, I had a dad who loved the food at Nanking! So Chinese it was. Of late Chennai seems to be getting varied options, with Thai food taking centre stage and pushing Chinese to the next place.

Now that Chennai already has quite a few really good Thai food restaurants, what can a Thai food festival do any good, to a restaurant of Flying Elephants calibre? Thankfully chefs have taken care of it. Instead of offering a Buffet and diluting a nice cuisine, they have wiped up a separate menu and to make it really special flown down a Speciality Thai Chef from Park Hyatt, Dubai.

When in Flying Elephant, let the Chef wow you. We gave our preferences with regards to the meat and sat back. First to reach the table was the Seafood Salad. I am generally not a salad person, but My O My! I was floored. Loaded to the brim with freshness it just hits you and gets your parotid glands working. You get the instantaneous rush of salivary fluids into your mouth. WOW!

Next up was one of the best Prawn Tom Yum soups I have ever had. True to its origin! I finished the entire bowl. Then we had the Shrimp Toasts, a first for me. Never knew a toast can be made with shrimps on top. It was simply divine.

Next we started going through mains. Pad Thai and Wok tossed Tenderloin were the first. I simply don't have enough words to explain this. PAD THAI was out of the world. This just blew all the Pad thai's I have had up until now. Minced Tenderloin with the freshness of Basil was just fabulous. Fantastic combo. Just to sample we went ahead with Sticky Rice and Chicken Red & Green Thai Curry. Freshness... Awesomeness... Wowness... I was floored.

Finally for desserts we had a Water Chestnuts and Jackfruit in Coconut Milk and Sweet Sticky rice pudding with Mango. Simple dessert to end an out of the world experience.

If this meal was a Rollercoaster ride, then this will be like the FASTEST rollercoaster in the world like the one at Ferrari World. It was a course after course of pure bliss. If you love Thai food, please don't miss this.

It stunning as ever.

It is a ale-carte meal. So proper three course meal should set you back by Rs 2500/- per head.

This Thai food festival is on till 29th of April 2016 at Flying Elephant

Disclaimer : Invited Review

Park Hyatt is located on the entrance of Velachery High Road on Guindy.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.

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Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai, G.N. Chetty Road, Chennai


I have come to hear from many people that they love Parotta and their next question would be where could they find the best Parotta in Chennai? Up until now I went about suggesting this and that which were fine but not out of the world. Well the search for the best Parotta, has finally come to an end-with the entry of Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai!

My trips to Courtallam took place when I was really young. So the chances of me remembering a dine at the original place is equal to zero. I have got many raving reviews about this place in the recent times from a close friend. So expectations were running high and I hoped it would not disappoint, when they opened an outlet in Chennai.

As there was a lot of build up for this place in my mind, I just could not wait for a formal dine-in. I cross the restaurant almost every other day when I head to work. So had a small dash and splash pit stop and took a take away to work.

Our order was 12 Border Parotta, 4 Nattu Kozhi Pichupotathu and 1 Chicken Kothu Parotta. I did not order any gravy as I wanted to relish the Saalna. I think they have the got the Saalna just right. Adequate amount of spices and fantastic taste. Goes well with both Parotta and Kothu Parotta. The Saalna felt like it was based on a chicken broth with small pieces here and there.

Now coming to the Border Parotta which is the size of my palm, is quite small, I would say. A person with normal appetite can gobble up 4 of these with ease. If you are the type who wishes to drench the parotta in a gravy, then this parotta is definitely for you. Once it soaks up the gravy it becomes really really softer, and goes in with ease. The Nattu Kozhi Pichupotathu is a pepper fry preparations made in Nattu Kozhi and then smashed into pieces. Darn tasty! Loved the flavor.

The Chicken Kothu Parotta was stumptuous. Same Parotta torn into pieces and then with a dash of egg and chicken pieces Vola! Mix it with Saalna - Pure Bliss!



This fantastic tasty parotta meal cost us Rs 970/-

I had a small chat with the owner of the Chennai branch, and to my surprise I came to know they are from my native town It was quite nice catching up with them.

Food - 8.5/10
Price - 8.5/10

PS: Photos were shot using Samsung S6

Disclaimer : I paid for it.

Courtallam Border Rahmath Kadai is located on G.N. Chetty Road, opposite to Murugan Idly Kadai

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.

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Indulge by Inner Chef


Homebakers have taken the food scene by a storm. Chennai has 'n' number of homebakers with their own fan following. I too have loved their creations and have had custom made cakes for several occasions. But one thing about homebakers which was a miss was not many homebakers made ready to eat cakes / desserts which people crave. Enter Indulge by Inner Chef. A food tech platform which has enabled homebakers to put out their preparations on sale to the general public through their website. Hatts Off for this initiative. I did a small search about the Inner Chef and I am actually in LoVe with their other food items which are on offer in other cities. I really do wish they launch them soon in Chennai.

I got to sample various selections as a part of their goodies bag which I was given to me. The first delicacy which I had from the bag was the Gur Er Patishapa. Yes it is a mouthful to pronounce. I am a big fan of Rabdi so thought I would start with Gur Er Patishapa. Rabdi was rich and creamy and complimented the Coconut filling inside the soft crepe. Quite delicious.

Banana Walnut Cake and the Oreo Walnut Cake both rich in their own right. Moist cake with healthy walnut interdispersed with Banana / Oreo. My pick between the two will be the Banana Walnut as I am a sucker for the banana flavour.

Finally after a day of relishing the above mentioned goodies, I put my hands on the Chocolate Brownie Salted Caramel Jar and the Apple Pie Cheesecake Jar. The Brownie Jar was decadent, rich and heavenly and a tad bit on the sweeter side. One jar can be easily shared between 3 people. In fact it took me almost three days to complete it. Brownie complimented the chocolate chips and the Caramel - out of the world combination. Apple Pie Cheesecake Jar was by far the most different cheesecake I have had thus far. Biscuit base with healthy loading of the cream cheese and finally a cinnamon filled apple pie. Richness in every bite.

So when you have the craving desserts look no further.
Head over to www.innerchef.com

Disclaimer : Invited Review