Sunday, May 27, 2007

Noodle House

Noodle House, a part of Mahadevan's enormous range of restaurants (which include Benjarong and Ente Keralam), is located at the end of Nungambakkam High Road. I love love love noodles. Especially spicy and sauteed with crisp vegetables. I used to enjoy "american chopsuey" with crispy noodles and those sweet and sour sauces. Given the health kick, I've stopped eating that, but still cant completely ever stop eating noodles.

The menu and photographs on the wall sound and look better than the actual food. We ordered steamed chicken dumplings and egg rolls. The dumplings were very well received. I wanted to get some spicy stir-fried vegetables without ANY sauce, but it appeared with sauce. I somehow have not been able to ever get vegetables without sauce. I try really hard too. I guess they just don't understand how someone won't like sauce!

My dining companions got some shrimp which they almost breathed in because they liked it so much. The taste of the noodles was very good - it was recommended by the waiter - a steamed noodles with a spicy vegetable sauce - think american chopsuey with steamed instead of crispy noodles. Very nice.

The highlight for me was the chef standing in the corner making noodles. That was very cool to watch!

The Noodle House, Sterling Road, 044-43596043 for reservations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Finally, finally, finally there's a place to take my daughter to play - indoors, airconditioned (essential sometimes in this 110 F weather!), spacious, clean and interesting!

Baby's Day Out opened up about 3 weeks ago in Chennai and I cannot recommend it enough. Its run by a company CEO Vimal Chordia, who has just come back from the US. Baby's day out has a trampoline, a ball pit, a library and reading area, musical instruments, desks and papers and pens to draw and sketch, an audiovisual room with a large collection of children's DVDs and even a snack counter with kiddie-friendly meals.

Its open for kids under 12 years old. There's a one-time registration fee of Rs. 250 and Rs. 200 for every hour and a half for subsequent visits. It is located on Chamiers Road at the intersection of Greenways Road and spread over 4,200 sq. feet.

For all those parents out there, this is something worth checking and has been worth waiting for!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Food Blog

I've been collecting recipes for years, as I'm sure so many others do. I keep them on scraps of paper and live in fear that I'll lose them - but I have never managed to find the time to copy them into a book. These are sacred recipes that are difficult to obtain if I do lose them!

So I've decided to put them into a blog and share it with all of you. These are all recipes that are tried, tested and true. I've tweaked them here and there to cater to my taste, but most of it is the original as told to me by different people.

I'm trying to be proactive and make one recipe everyday so I can post regularly as well as hone my food photography - though the photography part is quite amateurish! :)

Please enjoy, foodies! and give me feedback. Here's my food blog.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tic Tac

Here are the words to the song that I wrote about in my previous post, Weirdness. I actually enjoyed the song and the words - makes a lot of sense!

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of tickie tackie
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same

There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made of tickie tackie
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out just the same

And there’s doctors and lawyers
And business executives
And they’re all made of tickie tackie
And they all look just the same

So what do you think? I don't know who wrote the song but full credit to them...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ente Keralam

After waiting breathlessly (my husband literally checked on its progress every week!), Ente Keralam finally opened a couple of weeks ago. Translated into English, Ente Keralam means My Kerala. The restaurant, located just off Kasturi Rangan Road, in the old La Madeline building is a stone's throw away from our home! Uh oh!

We finally inaugurated the restaurant last night. The ambience is very nice - the place has been renovated to be a very chic and modern establishment. As the owner, Liz, once told me, Kerala food isn't very well-known among the non-Keralites, and Ente Keralam is hoping to change that. And I think they might very well succeed.

We ordered a whole range of different food. My husband literally wanted to try everything on the menu! The authentic flaky parottas, melt-in-your-mouth okra, spiced just right kadala (garbanzos) were all great. Thats the vegetarian bit that I can vouch for. My husband got mutton curry and syrian fried beef which he said was borderline superb. Thats a high compliment from him - he's very picky about his meat.

I would slot the restaurant in the Syrian Christian-type food category with a few choice samples from Nair Kerala food. It's a must-do place.

It is located at 1, Kasturi Estate, Kasturi Rangan Road, Chennai- 18. For reservations, call 42328585.

Moral Policing

Having lived in the US for almost 10 years, its more apparent now than it ever was when I was growing up. India seems to think its okay to tell people when and where to hug and kiss, dance and more atrociously, what to wear! I first heard about this when I was living in California and read that the Government had imposed a "dress code" for colleges in Chennai. Girls were not allowed to wear "see-through" clothes, JEANS!, t-shirts and anything above the knee - no dresses, skirts etc. I was totally shocked and remembered my college days in Stella Maris. Would I have really been able to get through those 3 years without being able to wear jeans?? I think not!

After moving back, moral policing seems to be everywhere. The latest has been the furor created over Richard Gere kissing actress Shilpa Shetty ON THE CHEEK, mind you. And then there was a huge controversy over a journalist taking a photo of a woman kissing HER HUSBAND on the dance floor in a popular night club. And another group of women drinking beer! Ooooh Beer!!

I know it wasn't the done thing for people to show any form of PDA, but I see the other side of it. There are now scenes in Hindi and Tamil movies where the actors are kissing onscreen. There are advertisements of people hugging and kissing. How do you tell the common people that what they are doing is not ok, but if you are a celebrity, anything goes? I don't get it.

The one I got the biggest laugh out of is this following board pinned up outside the Leather Bar at the Park Hotel, Chennai.

Alcohol ruins family? What if I'm just having a beer every couple of weeks?
India has also banned Fashion TV because of their lingerie shows! Leave aside the fact that women show off lingerie in advertisements, why can't we see models on the runways??

I know I can't change the mentality but it is so frustrating to live in a country with rampant moral policing.