Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Benjarong, Alwarpet, Chennai

This is not from a recent visit. But i have been here a few times. It is favourite among some members in the family, but i dont necessarily love the experience or the food.

First things first. The decor, the ambience is great. There is a 'thai' lady, usually sitting in the front as you enter carving flowers from carrots and other vegetables. It is an interesting side-show for kids. Once you are seated and the first order has been taken, you are treated to some leaves. It tastes like nothing i have eaten before. My first time, i thought this was basil leaves. But no. I havent dared to ask, lest i find out it came from the Bougainvillea plant from the garden. Jus kidding. So this lil pleasure of eating green leaves with peanuts, chopped onions, sweet nectar, dried fish. Hmm, some chewing stuff this. Keeps you occupied for sometime.

But not enough, cause you soon are done or bored with this. And then the wait begins. The service has always been slow. I wonder what the deal with "expensive" places and slow service. Slow service doesnt necessarily mean great food and good service.

The food is ok. Better than ... (well there is no other thai alternative in Chennai). But i have eaten in several Thai places in the US and the food here doesnt compare. Not even close. So maybe it is tweaked to the local taste !! Wonder why, because in the US we ventured to Thai restaurants, because it was the closest to Indian food !!

My main problem is the rice served with curry dishes. They use basmati or some equivalent. And it is probably been washed after cooking, 'cause it is devoid of any stick stary. This rice just floats in any curry. Just imagine eating briyani rice with some curry! The whole point of Thai food, i think is mixing and eating the rice with the dish. So that the rice also soaks up the curry. Again since i have been aclimatized to eating chewy and thicker rice (with some guey starch) that blends nicely with the curry, soaks it all up and gives you a wonderful experience. Well, so much for all this watery saliva that builds up in your mouth. Try the noodle dishes, 'cause you may not then share this disappointment so much.

Try it. You wont be disappointed, if you have eaten Thai food before. But if you have, you will be sure to compare.

1 comment:

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