Chili’s comes to Chennai
Following the trend of popular International restaurants chains opening up shop in the busy city of Chennai, Chili’s,a Tex Mex chain of restaurants recently opened their doors in Express Avenue, Royapettah. While Chili’s is not new to India, I guess this could very well be the first or one of the few Chili’s in the world that doesn’t serve Alcohol. Yes, the curse of No-Alcohol that Chennai places on every restaurant has affected Chili’s too.
When I was first contacted by a friend of mine for a tasting session here, I wasn’t very sure. But on reading more about them, I was completely enamored and wanted to try them out.
The review day came, and I duly caught an Uber and reached here by 1.02 PM for my 1.00 PM appointment (I know I’m getting too close to being punctual these days, oh the horror !)
After a round of pleasantries with the polite staff and managers alike, Sooraj, our friendly PR who arranged the meet took a seat with us to take us through the Chili’s experience
Tex Mex Fiesta at Chili’s
The session started off with a round of Honey Melon Margarita, a pleasantly sweet and sour Lime Juice + Honey Melon concoction, that completely got my attention. With a touch of salt at the rim, it was ‘pucca’ for my palate. The quantity ensured I can’t try another drink. (Skinny people make a note – You’ll have to prepare yourself for some heavy-lifting here, as the glasses are quite enormous and require some strength to lift them)
Next came the round of starters in a platter,
Texas Cheese Poppers that were lip smacking (I’m health conscious, thus partial to healthy food like Cheese)
Southwestern Rolls with Mushrooms, that were quite good (I’m partial to Mushrooms as well, move on :P)
Chipotle Quesadilla Bites, of which I had only a bite, having been busy with the Pops and Rolls. Liked it.
The platter was accompanied by 3 dips, giving the platter its name Triple Dipper – Chipotle Sour Cream (that went well with the Quesadilla Bites and others), Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce (that was recommended for Texas Cheese Poppers), Sour Cream (Because Avocado wasn’t available 🙁 – Something that also meant we can’t try Guacamole, the signature dip that I so wanted to try for the first time)
Next up on the arsenal was Classic Paneer Fajita, served with Tortillas, Pico de Gallo, Mix Cheese, Sour Cream and Salsa dips – Loved the Soft grilled paneer with the tortillas and the assortment of accompaniments.
We went on to the Mushroom Jack Fajita next, which had Mushrooms along with Paneer and went well with the tortillas.
Next up on the line was Veg Burger with Smoked BBQ Sauce and Fries – I tried the fries with the Smoked Sauce – The combination didn’t suit my palate, so left it at that.
Paneer Quesadilla – Yummilicious quesadillas though I could manage only a small bite
Chili’s went to the Paradise
Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie – Ok here goes: What do you get when you make a pie with Chocolate Chips & some Hazelnuts thrown in, topped with Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge poured in, with Caramel to give the extra flavor boost? – Yes you’re right – You’ll be in Paradise and that’s where we went with this Pie 😀
Chili’s have really gone out of their way to ensure this place doesn’t end up all cramped up like the typical grill restaurants in the city. It was spacious, and even with a good crowd, one could move about without trouble
Special Note: When we went, they were just a week into the business in the city and I could see a steady flow of diners that didn’t look like coming down during my 2.5 hours there. Considering it was a weekday afternoon, it’s quite impressive and stands proof for the value delivered.
Very friendly, polite, and they were patiently explaining each dish and dip, including which dip goes well with which dish. Hope they keep this up.
Location: Chili’s is on the 3rd Floor of Express Avenue, Royapettah. Parking will not be an issue as it’s in the mall, but you’ll of course have to shell out a good chunk of your wallet for the Parking to the mall authorities.
Cost: NA (It was on the house)
Going by the menu, a meal for two at Chili’s can set you back by up to 2 – 2.5K easily for moderate eaters, and the added taxes might even give you a heart attack 😛
(For our tasting session, we did get a bill for reference and the Taxes + SC worked out to ~ 26% or 1000+ which is quite high – Blame the various governments that keep defining new taxes)