All posts by murali

Dinner at Kamal’s place, Oslo

During my recent visit to Oslo, visited my friend and colleague’s house for dinner.  Not that I haven’t been there many times, but I chose to document it this because of the passion Kamal has for cooking.  He made an awesome Thai Red Curry and it was wonderful !  I was impressed with the presentation, that I decided to click it.  Of course I have eaten at his place many more times than just this one, but this is just for the record 🙂

Palmyra Cafe, Oslo

A recent visit to Oslo, and Palmyra Café is a sure shot !  This is the only place in and around Oslo that tells the people that Indian food is not just Punjabi food.   They serve Idly, Dosa, Idiyappam, and chicken koththu parotta too. That’s my favourite here and that’s the reason I visit this place too.  The food is not bad, at the same time, do not expect it to be like the restaurants in Chennai.  You are far away from home and after a while, anything close to our food feels tasty.  The normal Indian Chai/Tea is good.  A few more days left in Oslo, and probably another visit pending too.

Visited November 2013.


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Port Lounge, Anna International Airport, Chennai

Port Lounge in Chennai International Airport was definitely welcoming in terms of the comfort it offers.  I was not there for food, so didn’t taste all the items.  Pakora was great with beer :).  Chilly Chicken was good too.  Considering that there aren’t many lounges that allow access for a payment of a fee, this was a good option.  I would be more than happy to make use of this facility during my trips abroad.

Mainland China

This review is for the restaurant in Phoenix Market City.  Visited Mainland China for Dinner on Diwali with family and friends.  We were six of us, four adults and two children.  We have been to this place a few times and have always loved the food here.  As always, this time was no different, but for a few small disappointments.

We ordered for the Siu Mai, both chicken and Veg and it was served without the usual accompaniment of sauces – mustard, and the other black colored one.  Really missed that and these dimsums were incomplete without those sauces.  Couldn’t enjoy it as much as we always did.  When we asked for it, we were told that the restaurant opened just today after being closed for about 20 days for some maintenance.  Hope this will not be the case in the future.

Rest of the food was yummy, not a slightest complaint here.

While we were eating, as it was nearing closing time, they switched off the AC and it turned out to be suffocating.  On request, it was turned on again.  This was not in good taste.  They could have waited a little as we were almost done.  There were a few others who were still having their meal.

When we wanted to order some desserts, they had only icecream and something else which I cannot remember.  So not all the items in the menu were available because of the same reason.

Overall, these could be just some minor coordination issues which will probably be fine as they settle down into a routine.  Food was awesome and this place remains one of the very nice restaurants in Velachery.

Visited November 2013.


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Nammaveedu Vasanta Bhavan

Just after finishing shopping at Phoenix Market City, terribly hungry, we barged into the nearest restaurant – Nammaveedu Vasanta Bhavan.  We couldn’t wait any longer, so decided to order whatever would come fastest.  We ordered for two South-Indian Combo Meals since the North-Indian Combo wasn’t available.

Meanwhile looking around, the restaurant sported a red theme – the sofas, wallpaper designs, and plates were all red.  It was nice and very clean though.  The food arrived quite quickly and it included Veg. Biriyani, Sambhar Rice, Curd Rice, pickle, 1 Chappathi, Kurma, Cucumber Raita, Kesari and some awesome appalam.  The food was tasty, no complaints but for some naaru(fibre) in the beans in biriyani.  Rest was all fine.

Now coming to the pricing, it was Rs. 230. This, I felt was expensive.  Agreed, the taste was good, but it was limited.  Saravana bhavan has a quick lunch which is priced at around Rs.100.  Considering the nice AC, cushioned sofas, a little more quantity and an extra chappathi, I felt anything between Rs 125 to Rs 150 would have been apt for this meal.

I wouldn’t  be too keen to eat here next time when I am at Phoenix Market City.

Visited October 2013.


Have always been a fan of sub and this time, it was no different.  Didn’t have much time on hand, so quickly dropped into Subway Velachery to pack 2 subs.  Loved it ! I have always felt that this was more healthy than stuff from other fast food chains.

Visited October 2013


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Akshaya Bhavan

This is probably the third or fourth time we are visiting this restaurant.  The restaurant is in Tiruvallur and most of the people travelling to Tiruttani or Tirupati usually stop here for breakfast.  If you start by around 6AM in Chennai, you should reach in about an hour and a half, just rite time for a breakfast and coffee 🙂
Ample car parking, good service and a good breakfast is what you can expect here.  Since it is on the highway, weekends usually is very crowded and you may have to wait to get a table if you go during peak hours for breakfast or lunch, other days are a fine.  Definitely recommended for a good decent breakfast on the way to Tiruttani/Tirupati.

Pizzarazzi – a Pizza Photography Contest at Tuscana on Chamiers by Willi

This was a pizza photography contest being held for the second time by Tuscana on Chamiers by Willi and Chennai Food Guide.  Last time they had it was in April 2013.  Since I had been here earlier, I knew about what was going to take place.  I had already registered my name  so just had to confirm with them at the venue.  The contest stated at 4PM and went on till about 5:15 PM.
This time they had separate categories for Mobile Camera and DLSRs, but the timing was the same for both of them, so obviously it meant more number of people.  Getting hold of a pizza was the most difficult part.  Yeah, the Tuscana team made sure that there were enough pizzas for photography, but still you don’t have the luxury of  thinking too much about the styling part because there’s someone waiting.  You have to be fast, at the same time try to manage a decent shot without anyone else in the frame.  There were a few photographers who were in their own world with their pizzas with a look on their face nothing short of a scientist ;).  If you went close to them just to get a shot of  that, rather ‘their’ pizza, the expression on their face was similar to what you would see  if you asked for a share in their ancestral property 🙂 LOL!  With such kids around, it was sort of difficult.  Thanks to the other mature photographers who were more than willing to wait till I finished my click.  Its because of them I managed to get a few decent shots I think.
After the contest, a high tea followed and since I had a prior commitment of meeting a friend of mine, I couldn’t stay on to have the pizzas.  Overall, it was well organized and the participants were well-taken care of by the Tuscana team !  It was good to participate too.

Tasty Pizza

Visited a place called Tasty Pizza in K.K.Nagar. This is a very recently opened outlet and their other branch in Ramapuram has been there for quite sometime now. Since the owner of the place was a distant friend/acquaintance, I told him I will be clicking pictures while I eat and he readily agreed.
As we entered, the first thing we noticed was that the place was clean, the ambience was pretty ok, an all-red theme, comfortable seating six-seaters on one side and four-seaters on the other side. We had a peep into the kitchen where we saw how the pizza was made. I managed to get a few clicks of how the pizza was made.
Back to our seats, we ordered a few short-eats – french fries and there was masala fries which was better than the normal ones. Cheese balls and potato smileys, and chicken nuggets. All of them were good.
Started with the pizzas – Catchy one was the ‘Fruit’ pizza which had a lot of fruits and it was obviously sweet. Wondered how a sweet pizza would taste, but it was much better than what I expected. Then there was a Pepper Chicken Pizza. This was again very different ‘local’ flavor. It was like eating a very familiar chicken masala, but as a pizza. Loved that flavor. Then there was Barbeque chicken pizza which was a bit too juicy because of too much sauce, but tasted good. The vegetable pizza was a standard one and was ok. All these pizzas had lot of cheese, were soft and juicy and really VFM. Those who are weight watchers, ‘Italian real pizza’ lovers, should excuse. This is just good to compare with the normal pizza outlets and not the exotic ones like wood-fired thin crust pizzas and so on.
We also ordered chicken strips and drumstick chicken and these were very similar to the KFC stuff, BUT…were much better in my opinion. I have eaten a lot of times in KFC and have never been a big fan of their chicken apart from the outside crispy layer. Here the inside of the chicken was well-cooked, juicy and tasted good.
Have heard from friends that their other branch at Ramapuram is a favorite amongst the college students. They have some discounts for students, and good taste and VFM is what attracts them there I guess.
Overall, complete VFM, worth a visit.