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This is by far the nicest bar in Philippines… okay fyne.. since I haven’t been to the other islands… its the nicest bar on Luzon island! It’s in a place called Malate, near Adriatico Circle and is very very famous.
Since the time it was started (by an alumnus of my b-school, Asian Institute of Management) it’s been a watering hole for artists of all types! They’re famous for encouraging budding artists, musicians, photographers and the likes…
the ambience of the place is so cozy and the minute you step in you feel like you’ve come home! the staff is super friendly.. Victor, Richard .. lovely people…
the best part about the place is the music.. every friday and saturday night they have live bands and some of the bands are fan-frickin-tastic… now in addition to the killer music.. you could even pick up some hand painted tees made by richard the bartender or pick up really fancy, funky belts made by victor…
For those of you who love travelling… Philippines should definitely be on your list… and once you’re there.. make it a point to goto Malate and look for Penguin!
Malate’s one of the most fun streets I’ve ever seen in my life! it’s bustling with activity throughtout the night and there’s something for everyone.. clean, kinky, weird, disgusting.. everything! you got to go to Malate and then find your way to Penguin! and if you do go there give my love to Victor and Richard!
Rain Forest, located in Adyar, Chennai is a refreshing theme restaurant which would be a welcome change for foodies after visiting numerous eatouts with the same old boring ambience.
Keeping up to its name, the restaurants interiors are novel and fires up your imagination. While entering through the sliding Stone door you get the feeling of going through a thick tree cave which opens up to a beautiful setting with water springs and greenery that is sure to put a smile on your face. Add to that the background sound of rain and thunder, pleasantly dim lighting and Lo! You really do end up thinking you are in a Rain Forest, totally cut off from the hustle and bustle of the City.
Once you have finished admiring the surroundings, you can get to the equally important part, Food!
They have a wide variety of food items to choose from be it Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian. Among the Vegetarian dishes, among my favourite dishes are corn cheese balls, cottage cheese steak, and the Veg Shashlik. It always leaves you wanting for more and before you know it, you find yourself already thinking about when you will be visiting Rain Forest again.
With a wide range of food to choose from, Continental, North Indian, Oriental, it is the ideal place to treat yourself to a host of dishes without burning a whole in your wallet. A 4 course meal for 2, comes up to around 400 which is quite good value for a restaurant that offers both good food and a unique environment.
Blue Nile, Twilight, Tropical…. wondering what these are?? This is what the menu read at a small eatery joint by the lawns at Cosmopolitan Club in Chennai. I was already in a terrible mood after a hard day’s work and to make things worse, I was famished. So when the waiter @ Fresh Bites read out such names I thought I was going to blow my top. Thankfully, he immediately took a hint from the look on my face and began with a pleasant voice – “Blue Nile is a mocktail which is a perfect blend of blue
Curacao(obviously pronounced it our Tamil accent) with a scoop of ice cream and filled till the brim with Sprite. Its a perfect fizz when your day has been blue. ” He added saying “Fresh Bites serves very good mocktails that are perfect thirst quenchers. ” This brought a smile on my face as I knew where he was heading. That was the best way anyone had ever cheered me up in quite a while! As I sat there waiting for my drink, I read through the menu and I had decided what I wanted to eat. Cheese sandwich sounded appetizing. The menu listed out vegetable sandwiches, corn sandwiches and masala sandwiches too. My drink had by then arrived and I placed my order for the sandwich. The drink was amazing indeed.
Apart from the usual ‘bites’, the eatery also serves steamed corn in both cup and corn on the cob , and comes in four different flavors; butter, pepper,masala and barbecue. Milkshakes has never been one of my picks, but this place turns out to be an exception. Be it chocolate milkshake(I being a chocoholic) or even strawberry for that matter is lip smacking. It has a variety of ice creams. As ice creams have been everyone’s favourite desert, I wanted to finish my meal with something different. I ordered fudge brownie. That’s hot brownie with a scoop of ice cream (that spread evenly on the brownie as it melts) and generously topped with thick chocolate sauce. Its highly sinful, but trust me, it was worth the sinful indulgence! As my friend says, “Its good to indulge once in a while!”
This was a perfect way to end my otherwise terrible day. I left the place with complete satisfaction after spending my money on quality food.This place is a must try!!
Ashvita is more renown for it’s art gallery than it is for its garden cafe… but for those of you who haven’t bin there, you’re missing something. Unlike most “orthodox” coffee shops, Cafe Ashvita is located away from the noise and hustle-bustle of the Chennai streets. The atmosphere is very calming and it makes an ideal place where you could go to catch up with friends on a sunday evening!
Choose the garden only if you’re sure you can cope with the heat though
The walls as you’d expect are filled with paintings.. most of which are “modern art” which might scare you if you stare too long
Anyways.. getting down to the eatables! What you get here is more or less what you get everywhere. A decent selection of starters, sandwiches, pastas, beverages and desserts.
The starters have the usuals.. paneer fingers, onion rings and the like.. nothing much to write home about. Ashvita offers a decent selection of sandwiches.. ranging from the Chilli cheese toast (Rs 35) to my favorite- the Schezwan Paneer Sandwich (Rs 65). Theres a wide selection of non-veg sandwiches too..I’ve been told that the Crispy Hot Dogs are out of this world!
There are around 6-7 varieties of Pastas to choose from. I would highly recommend the Fettuccini with Butter Garlic Sauce (Rs 75) and for you non-herbivores the Rigatoni with Italian cream sauce
which is served BBQ chicken strips is a must!
Beverages is where Cafe Ashvita really specializes! Theres a HUGE list to choose from, ranging from Iced/flavored teas, “Chais”, Coffes (Cold and Hot) .. all priced very moderately!
Ashvita offers a decent choice of fresh and canned beverages too.. including coconut water and coconut lime!! Canned juices include the regulars – apple, orange, tomato, guava necter, cranberry etc ..
And for you addicts, theres Pepsi (normal and diet ) , 7 Up.. (YAWN!)
And to end a wonderful evening, get their yummy fudge brownie!
Cafe Ashvita is the kinda place you don’t go to to eat, you go there to meet! Even though its located in the heart of the city, that little distance away from the main road makes a world of difference.. the peace and quiet is most certainly welcome!
Cafe Ashvita is located at 11, Second Street, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore.
If you are wishing for some authentic Chinese food and variety of dishes that is not easily seen elsewhere, then you deserve to go and treat yourself at China Town. Located right in the middle of the city on the famous Cathedral Road and just opposite Chola Sheraton its easily accessible.
It is in a complex that houses 4 more restaurants, Zara is one of those that has already been reviewed before. Anyway, you’ll have to walk through a passage before you reach a landing from where you take an elevator up to China Town. Once you enter, you are greeted with pleasant lighting and a relaxing décor. I must say, in many ways it reminded me of Cascade. And it was confirmed when I saw the menu card. The menu was quite similar with a wide variety of non vegetarian dishes with enough to keep the veggie happy too.
To start off, you have a long list of starters and soups which come in generously sized proportions. The main course consists of many different variations of rice and noodles. Non vegetarian dishes range from poultry, sea food, etc. You also have a long list of side dishes in both veg and non veg to choose from. All the items on the menu seem to border on expensive, but the quantity makes up for it. They do have different types of desserts too. One of those, for which China Town is quite famous is the fried ice cream. Its ice cream in cube shape that is fried to have a crispy surface. Its something innovative and is a must try for anyone visiting the place.
One of things i was not happy with was their lack of response. You’ll have long periods of wait, before you can place your order and even longer waits till you get your food. So, if you are looking for a quick meal, this is not the place for you. Rather, if you want to just relax over the weekend and not bother about the time going by, then this would be just fine. On an average, a meal for 2 people would work out to about Rs. 400 which is quite reasonable.
I am not sure about the address, but I will just elaborate more on the location. If you are coming from the direction of marina beach on cathedral road, then take the U-turn immediately after the Music academy flyover near Chola Sheraton. Once you’ve made the U-turn, take the road on the left side of the fly over and you should find China Town immediately on the Left.
If you live somewhere in Chennai’s IT Corridor, i.e. Adyar, Indira Nagar, Taramani or Thiruvanmiyur, then you have a reason to party. Hot Briyani, a venture of Food Delights, as an inaugural offer is giving out Chicken Biryani, Muttton Biryani, Chicken 65 or Vegetable Biryani FREE on June 12th 2007! So mark that date in your calendar and remember to order online immediately so that you don’t miss out on this wonderful offer.
Do note that they are also offering free home delivery. You also get to choose your delivery time as per your convenience which makes the offer even more better. So go ahead, order biryani from Hot Biryani and enjoy!
Having spent close to a year in the Land of Biryani, all types of food including chaat had taken a backseat but now that I am back in Chennai, my mind goes to my favorite joints like the Sandwich Shop in Egmore and Gangotree in Cathedral Road which rank on the top as far as hangouts and eatouts are concerned.
Anyways, today afternoon I was sitting at home, wanting to eat some chaat and decided that I wanted to eat samosas. Immediately, two places came to my mind – one is Grand Sweets and Snacks in Adyar and the other is a road side shop on R. K. Mutt Road, Mylapore. The samosas that are made in Grand Sweets is completely different from what is made in that road side shop and yet, both are good in their own ways.
Samosas at Grand Sweets: I guess all of you know where Grand Sweets is but assuming you don’t, enter Gandhi Nagar and take the road that leads to the Padmanabha Swamy temple and keep going straight for about 500m and you will find Grand Sweets on the left. It is very difficult to miss with a large number of vehicles parked around it. I’m not sure of the rates but I think it costs around Rs. 8, probably more than that, definitely not lesser. The samosa is big (trust me it really is), filled with cashews and is really tasty. I’m sure it is difficult to eat more than two though, more because of the size than anything else. Almost everyone in Chennai is familiar with the samosas from Grandsweets and if you are among the ones who still don’t know about Grand Sweets and their samosas, you are missing something great in life.
I must also mention here that quite a lot of people feel that Grand Sweets could do away with the cashews or atleast reduce the quantity of cashews in each samosa.
Samosas at Mylapore: I am going to have a difficult time trying to describe the location but here is my best try. When you are going from Mandaveli to Mylapore on R. K. Mutt Road, after you cross P. S. High School (on the left) and the Universal Temple (on the right), around 100m further down the road, keep looking out for a small shop with a green wooden gate. This place opens up early morning and serves breakfast for office and school goers. They close at around 10 in the morning and open again at 1 P.M. or so to serve lunch. But if you want to eat their delicious samosas, bajjis, vadas and other sweets and savories, you have to be there between 3.30 and 4.00 P.M., any later and they might run out of stock. These guys make all this right it front of your eyes and serve it hot and that’t why they have a fairly large clientile. The samosas are big but not as big as the ones in Grand Sweets and do not contain cashews but are very tasty nevertheless. They are reasonably priced at Rs. 3.50 so you can have twice the number of samosas when compared to Grand Sweets. I strongly recommend this place and if you either live in Chennai or if you do plan to visit Chennai, then do spare some time and check out this place.
BTW, this shop is closed on Sundays
If anyone else has eaten exceptionally good samosas elsewhere, do leave a comment and I shall add it to the post
Following are the complete list of posts that were put in the month of May. We have had 26 posts in May and are hoping to keep up the tempo. Cheers!
1st May 2007 – Sandeepha – TTK Road by Anush Srivatsan.
2nd May 2007 – Sandwich Shop @ Alsa Mall, Chennai by Narayanan Hariharan.
3rd May 2007 – Bay Leaf – Authentic North Indian Cuisine by Navin Ganesh.
4th May 2007 – The CN Tower, Toronto by Vasisht.
5th May 2007 – Tandoor by Kavitha Mohan.
6th May 2007 – Narayan Reddy Sweets and Chaat by Kavitha Mohan.
7th May 2007 – Aangan – Irresistably North Indian! by Niveditha Ramaswamy.
8th May 2007 – The Polo Club @ The Oberoi, Bangalore by Aparna Natarajan.
9th May 2007 – Rasilas by Vasisht.
10th May 2007 – Corniche – Carving A Niche For Itself by Kanchana Pradeep.
11th May 2007 – Emirates Palace – The World’s Most Expensive Hotel by Kanchana Pradeep.
12th May 2007 – Zara – The Tapas Pub @ Cathedral Road by Aparna Natarajan.
13th May 2007 – Hasik – A 200km Drive from Salalah by Gayathri Jagannathan.
15th May 2007 – Mughsayl Beach Blowholes & Road to Yemen by Navin Ganesh.
15th May 2007 – Casa Piccola & Infinitea on Cunnigham Road by Shweta Sharma.
16th May 2007 – The Eaton Centre by Vasisht.
17th May 2007 – Sparky’s – The All American Diner @ Spurtank Road by Aparna Natarajan.
18th May 2007 – Suriya Chaat Corner @ Adyar by Anush Srivatsan.
19th May 2007 – Chennai Central – I’m feeling lucky! by Narayanan Hariharan.
20th May 2007 – Thy Friendly Neighbourhood Library by Vasisht.
22nd May 2007 – Tips for Flyers by Narayanan Hariharan.
26th May 2007 – West Park by Swetha Sivagurunathan.
27th May 2007 – Sigree by Swetha Sivagurunathan.
29th May 2007 – Eden – Vegetarian Food at its Best! by Navin Ganesh.
30th May 2007 – The Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation by Kanchana Pradeep.
31st May 2007 – The Cascade by Navin Ganesh.
It stands big on the buzzing Nungambakkam High Road and it stands out among the numerous hangouts all along the road. Ispahani is very easily accessible and the gleaming glass structure gives a great welcoming experience.
While you do get the feeling of entering a large mall, only the first 2 floors have places to hangout and above which are mostly corporate offices. Though there are only a few places where you can hangout it is a good way to spend sometime catching up with your friends or even if you just want to relax away from the routine.
A few years back it was a really happening place as it was new and one of the few malls in Chennai. But with bigger and better malls springing up all over the city, this has gone down on the list of favorites among hangouts. This actually turns out to be good in a way, as the crowd is less and you have more peace and quiet around you.
Also situated in the street next to Ispahani is one of the city’s renowned girls’ college, MOP Vaishnav. So this place has got a continuous stream of girls filling the place up and because of that, you will also find guys just wishing to pass some time ‘usefully’.
Once you enter Ispahani, on the ground floor, you will find Marry Brown and Sweet Chariot. There is also a boutique, an unisex salon, Swarovski and HiDesign (for leather accessories). You have even got a BOSE showroom if you want to buy some high end audio equipment and The Mobile Store. Go up to the first floor, and you have Café Coffee Day (its been redone recently). You can choose to buy some gifts at Archies. There are also a few branded apparel outlets like Indian Terrain, Levi’s, etc.
Overall, it’s fun to hangout at Ispahani, but do it more than once in a couple of weeks and it gets boring, simply because of the sheer lack of shops or eatouts to check out.
With branches in two of the most happening areas (i.e Besant Nagar and Nungambakkam), Cascade has given the foodies of Chennai a great place to dine. Consisting of both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian, Cascade’s menu offers dishes varying across the entire Oriental region like Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, etc.
Each section of their menu is quite long. There are a number of variations to choose from among the starters and the soups. The choice of the main course is quite mind boggling and the waiters at Cascade are extremely willing to help you out to make the right choice. They patiently explain to all your queries regarding each item.
Talking about the food, there is no particular dish I would point to as the best. But I must say, they are all delicious and it is a great experience trying out various oriental delicacies. One important aspect that you must consider before ordering is that, their portions are humongous and I’m not exaggerating. Just 1 main course (such as fried rice or noodles) and a side dish to go with it should more than suffice for 2 people. The first time I went there, I ended up ordering couple of stuff as I usually do, and that was more than enough to cover my meals for 2 days. Lol.
Though I am a vegetarian, I have to mention that the Non-Vegetarian having dinner at Cascade would be spoilt by the plethora of items to choose from, ranging from Seafood, Lamb and Lobster. But this need not, stop Vegetarians from going there. There are plenty of vegetarian stuff (various types of fried rice and noodles) to try out too, and you can ofcourse have a great time filling up yourself to the fullest.
Their ambiance is great, with mild lighting and great arrangement of tables. It seems perfect for a date with just 1 other person or a dining out with your family over the weekend or a hanging out as a gang. Though the price of each dish seems pricey, because of the sheer quantum of each dish, it gets compensated and actually works out very cost effective for a place of such caliber.
A meal for 2 people, would average between Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 depending on how much you can eat, which I would consider as very nominal considering the quality of the food and the place atmosphere itself. Believe me, its very relaxing. Go ahead and check it out, the next time you plan to dine out in Chennai.
The Nungambakkam branch of Cascade is situated on the main road itself before you turn left into Kadhar Nawaz Khan Road and you can find the Cascade at Besant Nagar just behind food world on the road parallel to the beach coming straight from the bus stand away from Adyar. Find the addresses below.
The Cascade, Kakani Tower (Basement), # 15, Khadar Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai – 600 006. Phone: 2825 3836.
The Cascade, 4th Floor, E – 28 A 16th Cross Street (Ramaniyam Arcade), Besant Nagar, Chennai 600090.