We were a gang of about 7 people and one of them brought his son along, so eight of us in all, returning from The Forum Vijaya Mall, proceeding back home. We were thinking of some good place to have dinner and by chance, spotted Palmshore next to Kasi Theatre. This is the locality that is sometimes referred to as Ekkaduthangal, or Jafferkhanpet or just Ashok Nagar. Immediately made a U-turn and decided to eat here. It was quite late in the night, about 10:40 PM, so we were hoping that they wouldn’t be in the closing mode. When I enquired, they said they’re open until 11:30 PM, so it was a relief.First of all coming to the parking, very convenient. Not sure if they owned or leased it, but they have a huge empty plot right next to the restaurant as their car parking. So that is definitely not an issue.
As we walked in, right in the entrance, they had quite an extensive Barbecue station with a variety of marinated meats, and a few varieties of fish and lobster on ice. This setup was very similar to The Marina on College Road in Nungambakkam.
Don’t quite remember what was there on the ground floor, but we were directed to the First Floor. This place has a few tables in addition to the nice enclosed setup with diwan and cushions and a themed dining called Mandi Majlis. The name Majlis originates from Arabia and refers to a place of sitting, where guests are entertained, or for a more official setup as in a council, and in this case, a nice small enclosure for a private dining. Normally guests sit on the floor, resting on the wall, and have cushions beside. I would certainly like to come here once with family and enjoy this different experience. It is a pity that Shisha was only for decoration and not actually in use, well that’s the problem with the rules we have, not the restaurant as such. Mandi rice originates from the Arabian Peninsula and is widely popular in the Middle East. It is typically rice cooked with meat in a tandoor with a smoky flavor, a foreign Biryani if you wish to associate it with something we know 😉
We were directed to one floor up and as we entered, the place was huge, a lot of tables and this was a section which I thought was primarily for buffet, but then it was for a la carte too. The place was clean, brightly lit, nice decent interiors and was welcoming in more ways than one. One good thing was there were many tables which could seat about 8 or 10. So a nice place to dine with a group. Enough space around tables, and we were quite happy with the set up. There was some confusion on where we should sit, at 10:45PM in the night, someone said we should go to the first floor, and when we mentioned that we were directed to this floor, they agreed we could sit here 🙂 Finally we made it, and took our seats.
Since it was quite late already, there was no time for an elaborate dinner with soup and starters. Straight away decided to go with Biryanis, and ordered 2 Prawn Biryanis, 2 Mutton Biryanis, 1 Idiyappam Biryani, 1 Chicken Biryani to be shared between my friend’s kid and myself, 2 Rotis, Mutton Pepper Fry, Malabar Chilli Chicken Roast, and a Chicken Tikka Roll and a Mint Cooler. That’s pretty much the order for eight of us. The food came in about 10 minutes and that was fair enough. Managed to get some clicks while it was being served to others. The Chicken Tikka Roll tasted awesome, soft and succulent chicken, but I was surprised about its size. It was very small and felt apt for a small kid and probably could be called a Mini Roll. While each of them started off with their Biryani, Myself and the kid shared the Chicken Biryani and it tasted good. Raita was a bit watery and I expected a little more onions in it, the Brinjal accomaniment to the Biryani was tasty. Everyone seemed to like the food. Idiyappam Biryani was the last to arrive and my friend had to wait quite long for that. I had about quarter portion of that. The chicken in it was like chicken-65 (deep-fried) and that was good, but the flavor or aroma was not even close to Biryani. I was expecting a very similar taste to a Biryani, but with Idiyappam instead of rice, but that was not how it was. Except for the mismatch in expectations, it was decent though. A few of us felt we could eat a little more, so ordered a Chef’s special Chicken Biryani and a Chicken Biryani. I couldn’t quite make out the difference in taste between both of them. Special Biryani had the fried chicken like chicken-65 and the normal one had the usual chicken. There were 4 slices of apple around the plate in the Chef’s special Biryani. Not sure if this was the only difference, but that’s all I could manage to spot. It tasted good, and we liked it. My only disappointment was I couldn’t get a click of the Malabar Chilli Chicken Roast 🙁 Before I noticed, the waiter served it to everyone and finally came to me with what was remaining! It tasted very good and unfortunately missed to click it. Almost ordered another one, but was too full 😉
Finally, already close to 11:30PM, ordered ice cream. Since a single scoop wasn’t available, we ordered double scoops of chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla and 2 or 3 with Chocolate and Vanilla mix. This is what they could have avoided, they served ice cream which was more ice milk 🙂 Half of it melted and I was surprised they chose to serve that. After pointing it out, the waiter came and sincerely apologised and then said only Tuti-Fruiti and Vanilla were available and we asked them to serve that instead. It was good. Finally the bill came to 3.3K for the eight of us. No complaints, but for these minor issues, had a nice dinner at that time of the night in a nice place and we all loved it !
I would certainly visit next time with family for the Majlis experience. I hope we’re allowed to eat other Arabian delicacies sitting in the Majlis and not just the Mandi rice, anyway, will have to try!