Chennai Restaurant Reviews

Benjarong, Alwarpet, Chennai

Benjarong, one of the finest Thai restaurants in the city, has been serving delicious Thai food for over two decades now.  I am no stranger to Benjarong!  In fact, I was there on an invite from Chef Ramkumar for their celebration on completion of 20 years in 2020.

Today, I decided to use the Swiggy DineOut GIRF promotional offer of 50% off on the Final bill.  It was absolutely hassle-free to use.  From your Swiggy App, in the DineOut Tab, you can reserve the deals based on availability.  Dine at the restaurant and pay the bill using Swiggy Dineout!  In case you are not already aware, GIRF stands for Great Indian Restaurant Festival and this is a yearly festival with good offers and equally good restaurants participating in this festival.

Now coming to the food, I should admit, we played it safe in a very familiar territory.  Did not experiment much at all.  Due to our food preferences, most of the dishes we chose were chicken, except one soup with Prawns for the kids.

We started with the customary Miang Kham, the complimentary platter with cut onions, roasted coconut, ginger, lemon wedges with the rind, fresh bird’s eye chilli peppers, unsalted peanuts, and English spinach leaves.  We also got fried prawns on request.  The name means ‘one bite wrap’ and all these ingredients and wrapped in the English Spinach leaf and a sweet sauce (jaggery syrup, I think) is topped and it is eaten as one mouthful.  The burst of flavors is something that I love!

We ordered Tom Kati, a delicate Thai coconut milk soup flavored with lemongrass and galangal.  We ordered one by two with Prawns (Goong) and one by two with Chicken (Gai).  The soup was tasty, and comforting!  Chicken in the soup was superb!  Kids did like the prawns in the soup.

A visit to Benjarong is incomplete without ordering their signature starter Gai Hor Baitaey, colloquially Pandan Chicken.  It is basically succulent morsels of chicken delicately marinated, wrapped in pandan leaves and deep-fried.  The sweet chilli sauce was a wonderful accompaniment to this starter.

When we asked for a suggestion for a spicy chicken starter, we were recommended Tod Prok Tai On, which was crispy fried choice of meat with chilli and Thai Basil leaves.  Though the menu didn’t mention Chicken as an option, the waiter told us that could be done.  This dish tasted good too!

We did try a couple of Mocktails, which in my humble opinion wasn’t too great.  Summer Cooler was tender coconut water based, and Wild Orchid was more like a fruit punch.  They were just okay!

We had already made up our mind on what to order for main course. 

Pahd Thai with Chicken, which is basically rice noodles cooked in sweet and tangy sauce tossed with bean sprouts, tofu and vegetables.  A slight squeeze of lemon elevated the taste to a different level.  We loved it.

 Kaeng Keow Wahn, the Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Jasmine Rice is something I don’t miss when I am eating Thai food.  Absolutely tasty curry and it was wonderful with Jasmine rice.  Literally licked it clean in no time!   🙂 

By now, we were quite full and wanted to finish with desserts.  

Kids were excited on seeing Tub Tim Grob on the menu. They love the Water Chestnut rubies served with sweetened chilled coconut milk.  True to the description, the water chestnuts literally looked like Rubies!  

I wanted to order something different, decided to go with Aitim Tod, fried ice cream.  It was very tasty too.  Balancing the heat and cold and not letting the ice cream melt is not an easy task, here it was just spot on!  

Throughout the time we were there, service was impeccable, whether it was refilling water or changing the plates after each course, or proactively keeping an eye if we needed something.  We felt very comfortable and well taken care of.  Since the bill included a Service Charge of about 430 bucks, didn’t tip in addition to that. 

The total bill was a little less than 5K in all, and we had to pay just 50% of it using the Swiggy DineOut App, which I would think is nothing less than a steal!  To those who haven’t tried GIRF promotional offers, please be assured it is not a hoax, it is very much true which enables you to try out food from the best of the restaurants at a discounted price.  A chance to explore new places, don’t miss while it is still there!  I think the offer is on until June 04th.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I have to conclude saying Benjarong still remains as one of the best restaurants that serves Thai food in Chennai. Kudos to Chef Prakash who is now at the helm after Chef Ramkumar moved out.  Thanks to the entire team for a wonderful dining experience!

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