Habanero : A Mexican Fiesta

I am a huge fan of Mexican cuisine. And has always wanted to check places that offer this cuisine, Habanero was on the list.
We were greeted by men who were dressed up in Mexican attire and really huge hats. One such guy, showed us a demo of making a Guacamole. He used a different kind of mortar and pestle.  Yes it did taste good, spicy and tangy and creamy as a guacamole should be.

Avocado being scrapped out.

Mortar and Pestle 
It paired up well with the nachos
Another live demo was to be given to us by the Chef

The tomatillo sauce , made for us live. This served as a base on which the zucchini fritters were served.

Zucchini Fritters being pan fried

Chef showing us how to pan fry the fritters
Zucchini fritters served on Tomatillo sauce, with fresh sour cream and tomato.
Succulent and juicy chicken skewers

Their signature dish " Fish en Pibil with Cilantro Pesto" A steamed basa fish over vegetables and Mexican rice on sides with cilantro pesto.

Tres leche cake
Churros with chocolate sauce.
All the dishes had a wonderful medley of flavours.
Habanero, is located in Phoenix Market City, Velachery.
Do check out the variety of dishes on their menu and relish them too.


Hard Rock Cafe : Rocking all the way

After a long day at work, I was headed to the bloggers meet at Phoenix city mall. We were to be as guest in two restaurants, one of which is Hard Rock Cafe. Located in the middle of the mall, it has a wonderful ambience to have a relaxed meal and get yourself refreshed even in the middle of the day or week.   

The evening began with a glass of wonderful drink made from cranberry juice, pomegranate and lemon. The sweet level was that enough while the tanginess along with the salt on the rim of the glass took it to another level

A platter that contains vegetarian spring rolls , bruschetta , onion rings and garlic bread was served next.  The sauces along with were very tasty. That is the JUMBO Platter for you.

Hard Rock Nachos , served with Sour Cream, Chopped green Onions and Spicy Jalapenos along with Hard Rock special fresh Salsa. . Chicken can be added as an extra topping

The perfectly balanced Mediterranean linguine, Hard Rock gives you a choice of grilled shrimp or grilled chicken breast or grilled tenderloin along with some fresh vegetables like artichoke, green beans and mushrooms. The sauce used in this dish is a white wine garlic sauce. The side for this is a mildly toasted garlic bread.

Like every fashion show, you need to wait for the showstopper. Behold here comes the legendary burger from Hard Rock Café, its the signature dish of theirs. And famous the world over. Made from meat and topped with bacon, fried onions, tomato served with pickles and fries. Its quite huge and takes a large appetite to finish it off.


The vegetarians were served a creamy twisted mac, with cottage cheese and garlic bread. It was real creamy and YUMMY.

Dessert was straight from heaven I should say, it was a Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, Its a tasty heap of vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolaty fudge sauce and garnished with nuts, fresh cream and cherry
Hard Rock Café is located in Phoenix Market city, Velachery
A special mention to the ambience and décor of the place. So thoughtfully done with contributes from various people in the music and film industry.
Will I go back, definitely, for the service and the way they can customise your food. Hard Rock Café is not only for non vegetarian lovers but also for people who are vegetarians. They do have options and ensure that our taste buds are satisfied too.
Kudos to team Hard Rock Café.


Coast to Coast - Mangalore Food Festival

Mangalore cuisine is heavily influenced by south indian cuisine. A majority of dishes has seafood in it, owing to the proximity to thw coasts on both the sides of mangalore. 

The vegetarian dishes are however influenced from Udipi cuisine. I was very curious on what would be on the vegetarian platter. The Coast to Coast food festival happening at The Raintree, Mount Road is best place to check it out. 

A quick chat with Chef Prabakar who is the brain child behind the festival got us some interesting facts like how the spices of Mangalorean cuisine is blended with a chilli called Begdi. It is a spicy chilli which is also used to give color to dish to which it is added. The use of coconut milk and coconut oil gave a hint of the influence from
Kerala cusine. 

To start off we were served sweet and savory snacks. A sweet maida biscuit along with rice flour murukus

The soup was a mildly tempered tomato soup along with some Mangalore bonda and Masala vada

The condiments was a wonderful combination of color and taste. Coconut chutney white in color , beetroot chutney dark pink in color , pineapple chutney yellow is color 

When deciding on a spread for lunch or dinner, I usually give equal importance to the  colorfulness of the dishes and their taste. Should say I was pretty impressed with the condiments part

On the non vegetarian starters we had lady fish fry and a mildly spiced south indian chicken fry. Every dish did have a taste of the Mangolorean chilli in it. It blended well with the mildly spiced mutton soup

Neer dosa was so light and soft. You can just about cut it with two fingers. Appam was mildly sweet and tasted awesome with vegetable stew

Thalis are famous in this food festival. The vegetarian thali has two stir fries typical of manglorean style of uppukari and spicy fry. A vegetable briyani which is made with coconut milk and spices sauted in mild coconut oil. Also was a sambhar and spicy eggpant tamarind gravy to go with red rice.  

Non vegetarian thali had gravies of mutton, chicken and fish. Along side with some briyani and curd rice. Both the thalis had dal tempered with ghee and roasted baby potato

Dessert platter had my favorite elaneer payasam. Vannila icecream and a Goan pancake Bibinca. The blend of flavors in bibinca was very nice.  It had egg, butter, coconut milk and little flour along with sugar. It was kind of a layered crepes cut into small pieces. 

The Raintree mount road is having this food festival till 28th of this month.  If you are a foodie this is a definite place to explore and enjoy your food 


Salades santé from Park Hyatt

Its the "Healthy Week" at The Dining Area in Park Hyatt, Velachery. They bring on to the plate, five healthy salads, made from seasonal produce, minimal dressing and in a deconstructed format.

In the sense that they are served in the regular salad bowls, instead in plates in which you can actually see what are the ingredients in each salad.

Each salad has a different method in which they are made. Each salad is cooked in a particular way. Tossed, Blanched, Grilled, Mashed and Roasted.

These salads are the brainchild of Chef Megha, who comes up with very unique and beautiful plating for the salads as well as yummy purees ( fruit and vegetable )

First to be served was nice bread, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Tasted good along with butter.

Roasted Salad : Baby Beetroot, with fennel, stripes of apple, wedges of juicy orange, celery, roasted walnuts and goat cheese melt. Walnuts were mounted on a tasty beetroot puree. What I liked about this salad was the blend of flavors along with the puree and the walnut of course.

For the meat lovers, meat is served on the side, you have choice of Smoked Salmon, Seered Japanese Tuna, Poached Egg and Chicken Breast to choose

Tossed Salad : Quinoa along with cherry tomatoes, avocado, parsley , mint and sunflower crese.
This salad has a generous portion of toasted Pumpkin seeds.

Smashed Salad : A salad which had Edamame, Broccoli, Pumpernickel toast, along with cucumber and a garlic lemon ricotta. The presentation was very tempting with long strips of cucumber on a bed of lemon ricotta. The Rye bread garnish was very crispy and added color to the whole salad.

Blanched Salad: Springs of Carrot, along with big slices of seasonal mangoes, asparagus, snow peas and toasted hazelnuts were layered over passion fruit dressing, which is sweet and sour. It was a vibrant salad, with lovely colors and tasted yummy. The dressing especially was too good.

Grilled Salad: A spicy combination of Grilled eggplant, chickpeas, glazed dates, with pearls of pomegranate, cubes of feta cheese along with roasted pine nuts and fresh herbs. This is a very different combination that reminded me of baba ganoush.

One distinct factor across their salads was the addition of nuts in all of them. Nuts is a very important part of nutrition, which many of us tend to ignore. And yes, there is a myth that they are fattening. Taken in the right quantities and in the right way, they give you great energy levels and feeds your body with the essential proteins. If you notice, all the nuts are toasted or roasted not deep fried.

Watermelon Smoothie: Made from fresh deseeded watermelon, honey and yogurt.
Energiser: A refreshing combo of Kiwi, Apple, Spinach, Lime , Celery and honey.

Skin Tonic: Refreshing one again . Good for the skin, made from Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Lime and Pineapple.

Bello: A whole meal in itself made from banana, coconut cream, cashew and spinach

Spark : Banana, Vanilla, Spinach smoothie in Almond Milk.

The Healthy Week is on from April 24th 2015 to April 28th 2015 at Park Hyatt

A meal for two would cost approximately Rs 1600/-


All the way from Kongunadu on your platter

Yet another visit to Hablis, this was to Skillet, where the " Kongunadu Festival " was happening. Kongunadu cuisine was made popular by Late Chef Jacob, who has actually done a lot of research on this cuisine. The names of the dishes, reminded me of his recipes and preparation. Incidentally during a conversation with the Chef of the festival. Chef Saravanan, was a student of Chef Jacob and says he dedicates the whole range of dishes to his mentor.

A lot of pre work and planning has gone into making this festival. The masalas and podis used for every dish is prepared inhouse and not sourced from the market. The chef himself from GobichettiPalayam, one can actually see a distinct taste and variant in the dishes served.

One thing that struck me initially was that the dishes were served in earthen pots. It kind off gives you a feeling of dining in a village

Now on to the dishes served and my take on them

We started off with a soup, for Vegetarians it was Vallarai Rasam whilst for the Non Vegetarians it was Crab Soup. Vallarai soup was very appetizing and the taste was good.

Starters, Ooty KaiKari Varuval was crispy and went well with the soup. Kuzhi Paniyaram was little bland for my palates as I usual take in a high spice level.

Mutton Sukka was the star of the day, with a second helping being asked. The mutton was cooked to perfection so was the spice level and seasonings.

For Vegetarians the dishes that were served are

Vendakka Podi Varuval
Urlai Vazhapoo Perattal
Poondu Pavakai Masala
Pallipayalam Kalan Kozhambu
Pacha Payaru Kadaisal

Kootanchoru was closest to what my mother makes at home. It tasted well with pickle and papad.

Vendakai Podi varuval, got me curious as I asked the chef as to what "Podi" refers to here, so the masala for the dish, is made from channa dal, urad dal, jeera and red chillies. Sautéed and powdered.

For a person who does not like bittergoud I liked the way garlic and veggie blended.

Kalan kulambu was a coconut based gravy with mushroom and mild spicing. It was good to have with Phulkas.

Urlai Vazhapoo Perattal. I had this reserved to be had with curd rice, and it did not disappoint me with the taste.

Last on the vegetarian menu, the Pachai Payaru kadasal. It was loaded with protein and is very healthy. Though quite heavy on the tummy, was tasting good with steamed rice and papad.

The Non Vegetarian list was

Natha Kadaiyur Eral Masala
Palla Patti Kozhi Piratal
Dindugal Kozhi Curry
Nilagri Meen Kulambu
Karur Mutton Briyani

Vallarai Rasam

Mutton Sukka

Kuzhi Paniyaram

Ooty KaiKari Varuval


Poondu Pavakai Masala

Urlai Vazhapoo Perattal

Vendakka Podi Varuval

Karur Mutton Briyani

Nilagri Meen Kulambu

Dindugal Kozhi Curry

Natha Kadaiyur Eral Masala

Palla Patti Kozhi Piratal

Desserts are all specialities from the region

Mambala Paneer Kheer
Rajma Halwa
Ragi Millet Mittai
Banana Dosai

The Kongunadu Food Festival is on till this Sunday, 26th April 2015. They are open for Lunch and Dinner . Buffet costs around 1000/head.

Hablis is located on GST Road, close to Kathipara Junction and near Guindy Railway Station.
Phone: 044 2233 4000

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