It’s funny how there’s never a shortage of apartments for rent or a place to eat, yet every good restaurant and food joints worth going to. And when in Chennai, panic, for there are but a few places worth mentioning to eat. So why get confused. Here are 8 famous restaurants in Chennai which won’t disappoint our food lovers:
8. Little Italy Address: 112, Eldorado Building, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai. Call: 044 42601234, 044 42601230
Everyone loves good Italian food, and Little Italy flaunts the tag “Authentic Italian Food”, and they’re pretty close. Little Italy has a neat set-up. Located on the ground floor in Nungambakkam High Road, the restaurant is almost hidden expect for the giant, green billboard which forces a glance in the general direction. Their food and service is impeccable and the tables are conveniently located next to the buffet table, which is the biggest attraction. The Rs. 700 lunch delivers beyond what one would expect for the same price anywhere else in Chennai, not to mention the excellent food from pastas and pizzas to a mouth-watering mango mousse which is to die for! They also have an “on the go” chef who makes as and what the customers desire. The ambiance is silent, homely and makes for a good outing for families and friends alike.
7. Haji Ali Address: 65B, Murugesa Naicker Complex, Near IDBI, Greams Road, Chennai. Call: 044 28292220, +91 9840716733
One reason this restaurant is doing so well is that it appeals to the businessman in everyone: get in, grab a quick bite, get out. But it also doubles as a nice place to grab dessert. Granted it doesn’t have much of an ambiance, but it’s rare to find a place where you can walk in, get a table, eat and leave within an hour. They have an array of sandwiches, pizzas and pastas. The icing on the cake however are the desserts, which seems to be their specialty. Hajji Ali isn’t famous yet, so try it before it’s just another over-priced restaurant with mandatory bookings.
6. Barbeque Nation Address: Shri Devi Park Hotel, 1, Hanumantha Road, North Usman Road, T. Nagar, Chennai. Call: (+91) 7811098623
Speaking of mandatory, look who just took No. 6 on our list. Barbeque Nation, home to half the corporates in the city. This is possibly the most happening restaurant in Chennai. It has a nostalgic ambiance, excellent service and the food is absolutely amazing. At Rs. 650 (vegetarian) and 750 (non-vegetarian), Barbeque nation serves a wide array of food types. It begins with starters, which just keep coming and coming and coming, moves onto the main course and finally dessert. But if the experience is really to be enjoyed, just overdose on the starters and finish off with dessert because that combination, fused with the exquisite taste overshadows the main course completely. A good substitute for Barbeque would be Sigiri, which some die fans would say is better.
5. Rajdhani Address: 3rd Floor, Express Avenue Mall, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai. Call: 044 28464422, 044 28464433.
Most restaurants are selfish, greedy, over-presumptuous and ungrateful. Rajdhani puts them in their place. As soon as the waiters sense the customers from a distance, they pull out their napkins, straighten up their ties and put on a welcoming smile. Once seated, there is no escape. A broken dam of Gujarati and Rajasthani food will flood the village that is your taste buds. But be aware, the food is a wonderful mix of unicorn sweet and tobacco spicy. And even before the food disappears, another helping will already be staring you in the face. This, in 16 to 17 varieties of food, will stuff you like a teddy bear. And the waiters won’t take no for an answer, propagating their puppy dog eyes onto you until you just give in. If Rajdhani is the place you seek, then diet you must for atleast a week.
4. The Pasta Bar Veneto Address: 32/59, Burkit Road, T. Nagar, Chennai. Call: (+91) 8144914782
Another “Italian” restaurant, The Pasta Bar Veneto is a good place for a quiet crowd. The restaurant is quite small. There are 7 or 8 tables at max, which can seat 4-5 people per table. The food isn’t strictly Italian but it is quite good. And the service is decent as well. But what stands out about the Pasta Bar is the location. The one in T-Nagar is centered around a giant Banyan tree upon which the moonlight flutters. The stars light up the night sky and sometimes, there are a few rare birds sighted on the branches. Sitting at a table beneath the tree at night is an eye opening experience. It truly emphasizes the beauty of Nature and just for the ambiance alone, this restaurant clinches fourth place.
3. Copper Chimney Address: CSIR Road, Taramani Main Road, Near Ascendas IT Park, Taramani, Chennai. Call: 044 22541700, (+91) 9840518213
Going with the “Ambiance” trend, Copper Chimney comes in at third with one of the most serene and wonderfully trance-like ambiances I have ever seen. Located in GRT Grand Hotel, Copper Chimney is a fusion of excellent food and unmatchable ambiance. The lights are dim, the interiors are masterfully craft and the music just sets the mood immediately. A traditional veena
player perform in perfect synchronicity, rapidly varying their tunes in a wave-like motion. The food is very good, mostly comprising of Indian cuisines. But Copper Chimney is expensive, mostly because it is located in a posh hotel. If there’s ever any spare change lying around, don’t hesitate. Make for Copper Chimney and enjoy a unique experience like none other.
2. 10 Downing Street Address: Kences Inn Boutique Hotel, 50, North Boag Road, T. Nagar, Chennai. Call: 044 28152152, +91 9840510203
10 Downing Street has clinched the No. 1 spot in “The Best Pubs in Chennai”. It’s currently a teenage rave and once it opens, getting a table 30 minutes after is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The ambiance and food is quite enjoyable. The rates are not atrocious (as with most other pubs in the city). A stand-out feature of ‘Ten D’, as it’s popularly known, is the music night. Each night is dedicated to a specific genre of music, and there’s even one dedicated night for just women. In all, Ten D is the entire package. It delivers on every front, and for those who enjoy the occasional drink, this will become their new hangout spot.
1. Cream Centre Address: 55, 2nd Main Road, Between Kaliappa Hospital and Park Sheraton, RA Puram, Chennai. Call: 044 42815777
And the No. 1 spot goes to Cream Centre. It narrowly edges the others out, but it’s not the ambiance in question here but the food! Yes, the food is taste-bud blowing! Every bite feels like a rainbow of flavours and the variety keeps you coming back every time. Just the pictures of food are capable of causing the saliva to silently roll out of the lower lip. And their sizzlers are just…sizzling, especially the sizzling brownie. An empty tray approaches, the brownie is transferred, the ice cream tops the brownie and the chocolate sauce is over-turned onto the sizzling platter. I can’t take it anymore…If you haven’t visited this place, go! It doesn’t matter how far it is. Book your flight tickets and just go.