Chennai Restaurant Reviews


This review is for Alreef in Selaiyur.  Normally I do not travel to this part of the city unless it is to visit a Badminton court and shop in Madambakkam.

This time was no different, we were four friends who went there for some Badminton shopping.  By the time we were done, it was around 10:15 PM.  We decided to have our dinner and after reaching the main road from Madampakkam, the first place we could spot was Alreef.
This is right opposite to Pizza Corner and is bang on the main road.  The name board is bright and you cannot miss it.  There is a parking for at least 4-5 cars right in front of the restaurant.  As we entered, the place looked quite good, but not very well-lit, and it was quite busy,  considering 10:30 PM at night in Selaiyur is not the same as in Nungambakkam or other happening places in the city.  Sparing a few tables, it was almost full.  We were seated immediately and that’s when the fancy part of our dinner came to an end 🙂
As we were seated, waiting for the menu, there was a power cut, 5 times within about 10 minutes.  Each time the lights would go off, it was pitch dark and I was surprised that the restaurant did not choose to have at least a few light bulbs on UPS.  At last, the power cuts settled down and then we got the menu and the glasses for water.  Already close to 10:45PM, we did not want to go for an elaborate dinner.  One of my friends already had dinner and did not want to eat anything, so we decided to go for a Special Shawarma Roll and a Mexican Shawarma Roll each for the three of us.  In the meanwhile asked for a soup, a little spicy, and the waiter suggested Chicken Pepper soup.  We ordered two by four and that was served soon.  I had the first spoon and it was a little too salty to my liking and the pepper was too strong.  Chicken pieces in it were tasty and well-cooked.  With every spoon, the pepper only got stronger and it was a sure-cure for a person with cold and a blocked nose 😉
The shawarma rolls arrived, and we started to tear off the outer paper, saw that the kuboos (the flatbread) was dry and was brittle in some places.  The chicken shawarma was good, no complaints.  Couldn’t see any major difference between a Special shawarma and a Mexican shawarma, other than extra filling and more mayonnaise.
The menu card had a huge collection of icecreams/faloodas and so decided to have a falooda and that was good.  I couldn’t find vermicelli or the sabza seeds, but there were dry fruits and cut fruits and jelly.  It tasted good !
The prices were reasonable, the shawarma roll was Rs 85, the soup was Rs 75 and the falooda was Rs 120.  The bill came to a total of Rs 1124 including taxes. No service charge was included.
I was surprised that with a name like Alreef, the Arabian section of the menu was very little.  It had elaborate dishes in Indian and Chinese, but nothing in Arabian, except the shawarmas.  When I asked if they had Kozi rice, they said they have jeera rice 🙂
Overall, just another place, and definitely not in the same league as other well-known Arabian restaurants like Zaitoon and Sea Shell.

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