Chennai Restaurant Reviews

MKC – Madras Kitchen Company, The Westin, Velachery

Based on my last couple of visits to Madras Kitchen Company at The Westin, I’ve felt that their menu is structured such that you can taste quite a few dishes without having to shell out a dime, like in other restaurants in 5-Star Hotels.  In fact, my first couple of visits to The Westin was Five years ago, was for promotional events – Chivas Dinner at Sunset Grill and Fratelli Wine launch & Dinner.  That was absolutely a steal for the price!  The next visit was Four years ago, for wifey’s Birthday dinner. Again, a nice experience that left us very satisfied! 

This time, I was hosting my extended family for lunch to celebrate a birthday, and immediately decided to take them to MKC.  This visit however was a mixed-bag experience, I’ll tell you why!

The ambience, décor, and setting was totally befitting a Star property, without a doubt.  We had a table reserved for 8 Pax through Swiggy DineOut, availing an offer of ‘30% off on total bill’.  We reached about ten minutes early and were immediately escorted to our table by the Maître d’.  We were handed out the menu which resembled a Newspaper.  Not a big fan of that, but rest of them thought it was novel and nice.  We had a couple of ‘Seafood-only’ people, ‘chicken-only’ people and a ‘vegetarian-only’ person in the group.  Rest were okay with everything!  I did the honors of ordering for everyone, after a quick check for consensus.

We got a small complimentary portion of Millet ‘sundal’, which was good.  

Chicken Bullet Chilli and Peanuts was the first to come.  I liked this dish on my last visit.  This time, looked like it had more dried Red Chilies than the chicken itself.  The peanuts were raw and not roasted, which was a dampener.  I love peanuts in Asian food, but definitely not raw!

Thamaraithandu Varuval aka deep-fried Lotus stem sprinkled with Gunpowder was wonderful!  Tasted a bit of it before sending it to the ‘vegetarian-only’ person.  A few folks liked the accompaniment too.

 Meen Polichathu and Wok Tossed Fish for the ‘Seafood-only’ folks!  Heard a decent feedback from the folks on both these dishes.  They seemed to like Wok tossed fish better, as compared to the Meen Polichathu which they felt could have had a little more masala. Was a bit too bland to their liking, I heard.

Crab Cornetto was basically 5 small cones with crab meat, sans the shell.  They were really small, and were decent, not worth raving about, I was told.  Too little to make an impression, was the feeling people had, after tasting that.   

Flavored Baby Corn Skewers was the next to arrive, passed it on to the Vegetarian person and a few others tasted it too, they seemed to like it with the accompaniment.

Mongolian Chicken Satay was nowhere to be seen, had to follow up.  Meanwhile didn’t look like we had anything close to filling us up, decided to make it two instead of one.  Portion wise, this was okay, felt there was some decent quantity of meat, and we shared it amongst ourselves.  I would have liked the Peanut chutney/sauce with it.  Guess that is ‘Thai’ and this is ‘Mongolian’. The same Cucumber in vinegar as accompaniment for a couple of starters felt monotonous.

Eight starters so far, and the satisfaction quotient still far from hitting a pass mark.  We had ordered some beverages meanwhile. 

Orange Juice, Apple Orange Mint Melange, Carrot Apple Basil Ginger Melange, all ‘Large’ sizes were served at room temperature. That was very surprising, and disappointing!   Had to request for ice cubes to make it better.  Not sure why they would assume someone would prefer a juice at room temperature during the scorching Summer heat.  

Nutella Shake, Oreo Shake, and Chocolate Brownie Shake were okay, I was told.  Definitely not the sinfully rich types like in some places – Coffee ? Since 1999 or Gastronomer by Double Roti.  

Now to the main course!  Again, decided to mix and match based on the food preference..

Ramen Tofu for the vegetarian diner.  I was told it was very tasty, and seemed to definitely like it.

Ramen Chicken was also tasty and flavorsome, and was requested to be made spicy.  Kids loved it. 

Railway Station Chicken Biryani, one of my favorites.  Liked it this time too, just that I would have liked the egg a little more hard boiled.  Otherwise, no complaints with this dish. One of the dishes that would probably be filling enough for a normal eater.

Pondicherry Thirukkal Meen Kuzhambu with Kal Dosai, was a bad choice. Seriously we couldn’t make out if something was wrong with the fish or was it meant to be like that.  One of the persons who normally eats any fish without a slightest fuss struggled with it.  It was pungent, and very different.  Even the white rice with Meen Kuzhambu was difficult to consume.  Since it was already served between 2-3 people, there was hardly anything left in the bowl to complain or return.  We decided to let it go.

Kari Satti Soru was again quite small portion-wise I felt.  We ordered it looking at the description which seemed to have quite a few things packaged into one dish, but ended up with minuscule portions.  

Still not convinced on whether to finish or order one more dish, we ordered Smoked Butter Chicken with Khasta Roti.  Again, 2 small pcs of Roti, too little for the gravy.  Thankfully, there was some white rice left, finished the gravy with that and then felt better.

With that we decided to end the lunch.  As already requested, they provided and 250g Birthday Cake and it was a nice end to the meal.  A small cake-cutting followed, and things ended pretty happy!

Now coming to the bill, it was 13.6K for 8 Pax.  After a 30% Discount via Swiggy DineOut, we ended up paying 9.5K in all.  I’d have expected a little more Value for money with better portion sizes.  It was definitely not the case of ordering 3-4 starters and sharing it amongst 8 pax.  We did order 8 starters and 5 main courses and still it didn’t feel very satisfying.  Not just the quantity, we did have complaints with some dishes on their taste too.  That’s for the management to look into. 

Service was courteous throughout the time we were there. Kishore waited on our table and there was not a slightest complaint with service.  I noticed that the bill did not carry Service Charge, hence tipped him separately for his service for a good two hours while we were there.  

Overall, definitely not similar to my last experience four years ago, this experience was certainly not Value for Money.  I wouldn’t recommend if you are looking for a VFM dining experience with a balance of Quality vs Quantity.  Thank you, Swiggy DineOut, for absorbing the impact to a certain extent! 🙂

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