Myself and a friend decided to try North East Kitchen in Egmore. I knew it was predominantly Beef and Pork dishes there, and I was probably going to be in the minority, to go there just for Chicken dishes. Surprisingly there were quite a few asking for Vegetarian Thalis. That made me feel a lot better.
We entered around 13:15 on Saturday and only one other table was occupied at that time. While we were dining, soon the other tables were taken and the place was packed. They just had around 5-6 tables in a compact little space, it was neat, though basic.
Even before I looked at the menu, I had already decided to try their Fried and steamed Chicken Momos. Unfortunately, they didn’t have either of these. 🙁 After a more detailed look at the menu, my friend decided to have a Beef Meal (Small) and I decided to have Chicken with Bamboo Shoot, which they said, would be served with rice. The waiter did ask me if I have had Bamboo shoot earlier, to which I replied in the negative, and asked her why she asked me that. She replied that it had a very different smell, which not all of them liked. I decided to try it anyways. After the initial disappointment of momos not being available, the food was served fairly quick in about 10-15 minutes.
First of all, the different accompaniments to my friend’s Beef Thali was surprising – a clear soup, greens, salad, potato mash, and a sweet too (sugar coated peanuts). The rice portion wasn’t much, but the beef gravy seemed more than sufficient with all these sides, it was going to be fairly filling I thought. Chicken with Bamboo Shoot came in a fairly decent-sized bowl with the same quantity of rice. Yes, it did have a very different smell, but definitely wasn’t something I couldn’t eat. The dish had quite a lot of chicken meat in it, but then, I didn’t have even one piece of it, as it had ‘that’ smell which I believe, is a result of not thawing it properly. I just had the watery gravy with rice and it wasn’t the best, but okay to try. My friend liked his Beef Thali, I tasted some of the accompaniments to his meal. None of it was spicy, but they were very different in taste. I wouldn’t say I relished them, but it wasn’t bad.
It was getting a bit boring with just one dish, so asked them if they had Chilli Chicken. They said they did, and sure, what I got was certainly chilli and chicken. 🙂 It wasn’t even close to what we ‘normally’ get as Chilli Chicken in Chennai. It had quite a few small chunks of chicken, well roasted on kadai with chillies and chilli powder and salt. I couldn’t make anything more from that. The pieces were bland inside and just had the chilli powder coating on the outside. So it was just okayish.
While not impressed so far, and an average experience with all that we ate, my tummy wasn’t even close to being full. Ordered one Chicken noodles, and THIS, was the showstopper. Damn tasty, a bit oily, but who cares! It was something I could gobble up in no time. Chicken pieces in it were good, and overall a nice end to an otherwise ordinary meal.
Finally, they gave two slices of watermelon, which was complimentary, and a nice end to the meal. The lunch cost us 980 bucks in all, and my friend paid 😉 The service was okay, no complaints, though it didn’t feel very friendly. I guess its the cultural difference.
I wouldn’t say it was a completely wonderful experience, but if they had the steamed and fried momos, and if I had ordered just the Chicken Noodles right after that, probably it would have! Overall, a mixed bag, but certainly worth the experiment !