Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Crimson Chakra - The Love Affair Continues

What happened last night? Crimson Chakra and Amadora - that's what happened ! High on food, fun and ice creams.

Casa Piccola on KNK Road, Nungambakkam, used to be a favorite and now, that location houses yet another favorite - CC. This time, I'd decided I wanted to concentrate more on the food and less on shooting the dishes. So, I carried my Sony P&S, just in case the urge to shoot was overwhelming.

We were about 10 of us; the usual group. I was meeting Maaria of Adoniya for the first time and we hit it off instantly. It was as if I knew her for ages. The rest of the group consisted of an unusual veggie - Nishanth, fellow veggie and Bellaria owner Avanti, omnivore Aswin Rao, and the hard core carnivores - KP, Doc Waz, Shadir, Karthik, Karthi, Divyan and Sathish.

Naveen Radha, who'll be managing the KNK branch and Sam Paul (erstwhile Casa Piccola) who has franchised this outlet were around too. Yes, Of course, Nikhil was there too. These CFG dinners are always lots of fun and then, there's lots of discussion around food, restaurants, new ventures and tips and tricks.

We've already gone on and on about how awesome Crimson is, but let me re-iterate it once again. Crimson is awesome. Many of us have always related Crimson Chakra to actor Suresh Menon. I still get questions asking if this is the same place owned by Suresh. And so clarify to all those souls, the building that houses Crimson Chakra (in Adyar), was built by Nikhil Moturi's grandfather. It's over 60 years old. Suresh rented the place and also had his studio there. He envisioned Crimson Chakra, no doubt, but being a visionary is perhaps not enough. Business acumen, especially in the food industry, is a must. And therefore the transition from Suresh to Nikhil. After Nikhil scripted the success story in the Adyar branch, it was a natural progression to move to the high end food street of Chennai, KNK Road.

The ambiance of the 72-seater KNK Road outlet differs vastly from the Adyar outlet. This is brightly lit and is very modern in terms of the decor. Honestly, I prefer the colonial set up of the Adyar branch. That feels like HOME. (Okay, it was someone's home at some point, but it still feels home despite being a restaurant. I don't know if I make sense here, but I suppose you get the drift). As Maaria said (and I concur), this outlet should also have the Crimson touch. The roof top was the highlight when Casa Piccola was around. Now, with Crimson, it will be used mainly to host private parties.This will soon become an all day dining and will be open till midnight.

The menu is identical to the Adyar outlet. Tomato soup was thick and hot. The veg starters comprised of paneer balls, mushroom balls, crostini and paneer tikka. I was stuffed with eating just this. I began to wonder how I was going to manage the rest of the course. (On that note, the peanut chutney was yum)

The main course had smoked rice, aapam + stew, aloo parantha, paneer parantha and kadai veg. Nothing to complain, I've eaten all of these at the Adyar outlet. The taste and texture is pretty much the same. There was a chicken pasta on the table. (Wonder why there was no veg pasta? :P - late realization - too high on food last night). How do you get the smokiness in the rice - I simply love that!

And finally the much awaited elaneer souffle arrived in mini ramekins. Nikhil still fails to understand what it is that we rave so much about this souffle. The souffle at the Adyar outlet is smooth but the one here has a crunchy texture - A chef's variation perhaps - but I like the smoother souffle. 

The panchamirtham souffle opened to mixed reviews. Avanti and Maaria loved it. I thought it was a little too sweet for my liking. It was like the panchamirtham made at home during festivals. And I'm not sure from which angle (!!) it felt like a souffle. I am not changing my loyalty - Elaneer souffle - you rock ! 

Mango cheese cake - totally perfect. And the apple pie, again, was too sweet for my liking. 

We were stuffed - Maaria said something about a stuffed turkey. I couldn't agree more. My suit was bursting at the seams. And suddenly, someone said Amadora. Now who can resist ice creams? But that's going to be a separate post, because Amadora deserves one on its own. 

Nikhil - you call me by so many other names and you forgot my crostinis :P but that's not going to stop me from giving a big thumbs up to Crimson. :-) It was an awesome experience last night. I look forward to dining at Crimson for years to come ! 

Psst: Haagen Dazs' restaurant is on its way on KNK Road - waffles, crepes and what not! 


  1. hmmmm....deepa, nalla read! just that reading this after a humble rasam mammu beans curry meal dosent help my cause:(

  2. Lovely review.. Why didn't I get invited :(.. Love CC..


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