5 Things you HAVE to Try in Chennai….

As my vacation to Chennai, India comes to end, I decided to take this opportunity to compile a list of five things that you cannot miss while you’re here. Chennai, the capital of the state Tamil Nadu, has seen a lot of development when it comes to food. What I experienced when I visited this time, was a land of foodies. Every place I went to, was a different experience altogether. And what’s best? They try to incorporate all this including the culture and traditions of the country.

1. Ice cream parlors 

Ice cream parlors have become quite a thing in Chennai and are the only stores open during late hours at night. These places boast a lot of youngsters as customers. While parlors back in Dubai can easily compete with ice cream stores here, Chennai does offer a few new flavors inspired by India.

Pabrai’s Fresh and Naturelle Ice Creams is an ice cream parlor that serves several flavors inspired from different parts of India. These include Paan (Betel Leaves) and Nalen Gur (Date Palm jaggery) ice creams. Surely a must try when you’re visiting this place!

Cream Stone, another ice cream joint that I tried, reminded me of Marble Slab and Cold Stone back home. Since I had heard a lot about the Willy Wonka, I decided to give it a shot with Brownie Delight and Rich Chocolate as my ice cream flavors. What was served was a huge bowl of ice cream with a little waffle biscuit. The presentation does not get many points, and I’m assuming this was as they were too busy. I loved the ice creams though. They were creamy and as the name suggested – rich.

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Next, I was allured by the name “Death by Chocolate”, so ordered that one. This was handed to us in a plastic bowl which I didn’t quite like. The chocolate pastry with chocolate sauce and ice cream however, was fantastic.

2. Street side food 

What I love most in Chennai is that you can stop on the street and have a snack. Literally. Though these places might not look worthy to those searching for hygienic places to eat, I still like spoiling myself to the mouth watering roadside food.

Chaat is a kind of snack which might consist of Pani puri, Kachori and Bhel.

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A perfect way to experience live cooking and pocket friendly food in open air. A refreshing change from the places we dine at back home.

3. Veggie options 

I usually prefer non veg to veggie food, so this was something different I tried. Cream Centre is located in Vijaya Forum Mall, and is a pure vegetarian restaurant.

Since I wasn’t too hungry at the time, we settled for a Italian Herbed Chilli Cheese Toast ( priced at Rs 199 ) and an Italian Baked Sizzler ( Rs 409 )

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Let’s start with the Sizzler, the hot plate consisted of boiled vegetables, spagetti, baby potatoes smothered in paremesan cream and macaroni with potato wedges on the side. Needless to say, a dish with all my favorite things obviously HAD to be liked by me! The cheese was delicious, my most liked ingredient from the sizzler.
I have to talk about the quantity here. It was a LOT! The sizzler looked small, but was enough to fit three people. This was mainly as the sauces were rich and heavy on the stomach.

(Click here to read my review )

4. Hidden gems 

What I spotted on Zomato. A true hidden gem!  Located in Kilpauk, Ormes Road, this restaurant can be easily missed if you’re not paying attention to the streets on both sides. Fusilli Reasons might not be very “Italian”, but the Chef here gives their own version of an “Indo-Italian” menu.

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The beetroot mayo as a topping was amazing! I could have this all my life! The bread was crispy but not too overdone. The toppings were presented beautifully and had a lot of cheese added.

For drinks we ordered Ice Tea. I totally recommend this one! You can quench your thirst for just 30 Rs.

To read about my entire review, click here.

5. Cake stores 

A walk down the area I live, led me to discover several cake stores open. These were just small stores and did not look promising. Upon my cousin’s insistence, I decided to try one of these, a little store called Cake Point. A chocolate truffle cake slice. And I was amazed. What I bit into was filled with layers of juicy cake with dark chocolate hidden underneath. The top was covered with chocolate and topped with a cherry. Though this looked like any ordinary cake, I tried to make best use of my camera to capture what I had.

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These were some of the few things that caught my attention during my one month stay here. Though residents here might have their own opinions about the top five things, I am open to new experiences. Do comment below if you have any suggestions. 🙂

Until next time. xx

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