Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Doing the Flamenco

Courtesy- Google.

The Chili's Bar & Grill, which was started in 1975 in Texas by Larry Lavine is now a chain of casual dining restaurants which serves Mexican and South-Western American food. Chili's opened their first restaurant in Mumbai in Powai in 2009. This year in a bid to expand their horizons, Chili's have introduced a new festive menu on which patrons are being offered a 15% discount. Never having had anything remotely Mexican - save the cinema's nachos and salsa :P , I decide to go enlighten my taste buds.

The first thing that struck me was that the ambiance of the place. It was relaxed, casual yet very tastefully done up. A brilliant place to unwind and hang out with your people on the weekend. With a well stocked bar and booths as well as table for seating options, Chili's makes a nice pick for a weekend bite.

Their new menu has a brilliant selection of the all time favorites like tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, the ever so famous baby back ribs!! I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had an equal, if not more number vegetarian options for every non vegetarian item on the menu. We left it to the the guys at the restaurant to choose our meal for us, and honestly, we weren't disappointed! :)

We started off with a glass of pinacolada and a dipper plate. My fellow bloggers got some fried calamari and buffalo wings. My dipper plate consisted of the Texas cheese poppers (my absolute favorite) which were mozarella and cheddar balls, with jalepenos and deep fried *yum yum*, some southern rolls which had a black bean, corn and tomato relish filling. Followed by the Paneer Tandoori Quesadillas, which was delish! The paneer was very fresh and the crumb, was to die for - crisp, not too thick and not too oily.

But I'll have to say that I was a bit disappointed with my pinacolada. It was made according to the brand recipe and simply did not suit my taste. It was too sweet and watered down for my liking. Then the people at Chili's were nice enough to get me a fizzy minty lemonade for me, which was perfect! :) The dips that accompanied the platter were fresh. My favorite was the avacado ranch dip. 

From left to right clockwise - the southwestern rolls, the paneer quesadillas, the buffalo wings, and the cheese poppers (the fried calamari can be seen in the corner.)

For the mains, I had Paneer and cheese quesadillas which were served with a side of beans and coriander rice and sour cream and tomato relish. The quesadillas were thin, crisp and the cheese was in just the right quantity. I am in absolute love with the sour cream. Very rarely do you find such good quality sour cream in the Indian restaurants.

My new blogger/ photographer buddy Sanket ordered this fresh Atlantic Salmon with orange habanero glaze. By the looks of it, he loved the food! :D The next in line was make - your - own Fajitas. My fajita came in three parts. The tortillas, a condiment platter which had guacamole, sharp cheddar, sour cream, tomato and lettuce relish and a bowl of fresh salsa. The main component of the fajita which was the pan fried paneer, spice roasted mushrooms, onions and capsicum layered with cheese were brought our on a sizzler plate, ready to assemble. 

My almost assembled Fajita.

The fizzy, minty lemonade.

And like no meal is complete without a chocolate kick. The restaurant manager suggested their popular choco lava cake. It was a big dark chocolate bundt shaped fondant centered cake, topped generously with vanilla ice cream and self setting chocolate sauce with a drizzle of caramel :D If this doesn't make you want to rush to Chili's right now, then I don't know what will! *Mental note to self - Carry sombrero next time you go to the restaurant :D Ole! * 

It was dense and had the right amount of sweet. The vanilla ice cream was of a very good quality. And when I plunged my spoon into the dessert, it oozed out rich chocolate sauce. PERFECT. 10/10
Over all, I was very impressed. Even if you want to go for their usual menu, their pricing (which is a bit on the higher side) was justified. 
If you, like me are just venturing into Mexican food, or are already in love with it; you will certainly not regret visiting Chili's.
My suggestions if you are planning to go for the food fest - The presidente margarita (their world famous speciality), the texas cheese poppers, the paneer queadillas, and of course the chocolate lava cake!

A super special mention to Amrita and Sanket- Amrita, you made my evening fun. Very rarely have I met someone who I have connected with so quickly. I hope I see you soon! And Sanket - I'm going to be calling you for photography tips in the near future! :D You guys were great company!

Extra -

Here is a sneak peak of what goes into the making of a food blog :D 

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