This past summer, the city has been abuzz with just how fantastic the Chinese food is at China XO, located in the brand new super opulent Leela Palace.
So, I finally made it for their debut Sunday Dimsum brunch.
Chao is a relative newcomer on the Chennai dining scene. Located on North Boag road in T Nagar, this food spot offers a rather extensive menu from South East Asia focusing on Thai, Singaporean & Vietnamese cuisine.
I’ve heard so much about the biryani at Dindigul Thalappakatti that I figured it was time to go and try it.
Nair Mess is not easy to find. Located down a narrow winding street, diagonally opposite the Madras Chepauk Cricket Stadium, this Mess feeds everyone from local residents to rabid sports fans.
Dahlia has been around for close to 20 years now. Located behind Hotel Ganpath, this dowdy spot is the least likely place for Japanese restaurant.
Seafood does not get fresher than this! The Marina is another winner brought to the Chennai dining scene by food magnate Mahadevan of Oriental Cuisines group.
I have not had better pani puri than the one made at Gangotree ( okay maybe only In Kolkata). It is my brother and my favorite street style food spot to hit when we are in Chennai together.
A love affair with cupcakes is what food entrepreneur and owner Kavitha Chesetty has going on at her bright and cheery café in Kasturbai Nagar in Chennai city.
I am a chip addict – there I said it!
And Chennai Chips is the absolute ruin of my waistline when I visit Chennai in the summertime.
I was recently invited for a food tasting to Tuscana, which is a popular local Italian eatery in Chennai, India owned by Vipin Sachdev and helmed by Chef Willi.
Tuscana is best known for its wood fire-oven pizzas available in many different crusts including a gluten free option. The pizzas are topping heavy and offer many options one of the newest being a chili chili.
The Hyatt Regency in Chennai is one of the hottest new hotels in the city. With quirky charm, this hotel displays an interesting array of art installations, which is dotted all over the interiors of the hotel.
One of my favorite places to eat in, at the Hyatt is their Chinese restaurant. Stix serves up authentic street hawker style Sichuan cuisine which is perfect for the fiery Chennai palate.
The Bangala is a charming heritage boutique hotel located in the heart of Karaikudi. Mrs. Meyappan, who is passionate about preserving the heritage of the Chettiars, runs it.
The best part of my visit to Chettinad in South India was the food!
Chettinad is very well known for its fiery cuisine. There is great care taken in the preparation of meals. The kitchens are still very traditional using no modern machinery. Everything is hand ground and freshly cooked using the best of local ingredients.
Chettinad is the where the Chettiars originate from. They are today a very successful business community in India. The Chettiars were originally a community of traders known for their strong business practices and great sense of adventure. In the 1700’s, many of them traveled to Burma, Ceylon and other parts of South East Asia and Europe to set up very successful trades.
Food: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Must Try: warm doda burfi treacle tart, Andhra pickle chicken meatballs
Ego Thai is a great little Thai restaurant housed in the New Friends Colony Market. It is attractively styled with smatterings of interesting artifacts all over the 2-storied space. The food is good for most part as is the service. The dishes are pretty well priced and there is a full bar which offers interesting cocktails and mocktails.
Dilli Haat is an Indian crafts and food bazaar located in the heart of the city. There are many stalls here that showcase the great variety of handicrafts from all over India.
The idea behind Dilli Haat is to promote the rural craftsmen and artisans and facilitate them selling their handicrafts directly to the buyers. A few of the stalls are permanent but many or there on a rotational basis changing every fifteen days or so. There are on going festivals and performing arts from all over the country that keep this place quite abuzz.
The name Nizam’s is almost synonymous with kathi rolls in India. They were one of the first ones to popularize this food that has its historic origins in cuisine from the princely states of North Eastern India.
A kathi roll is a very popular fast food in India. The meats used in these rolls are traditionally cooked in a charcoal pit using wooden skewers, which are called “Kathi’s”; hence the name Kathi Kababs or Kathi rolls.