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Saturday, January 22, 2011

EDEN, BESANT NAGAR, CHENNAI = PURE BLISS

Indian Rupee ₹431 !!! :-o ...
"DAMAAR!!!" was the first word which came to my mind...

Indian Rupee ₹431 for A FREAKIN SIZZLER?? :-/ Gimme a break!!
Note: All the food prices given in this post...are subject to change :D

A couple of days ago, I decided to have my lunch at the much-hyped and famed Indijoes in Bangalore...I went to their Church Street branch with approximately Indian Rupee ₹600 in my wallet...I walked in & opened the menu book...I was taken aback!! There were ABSOLUTELY NO items < Indian Rupee ₹230...

Everything was mostly priced at rates > Indian Rupee ₹300...I had initially thought of going to Park View at Vijayanagar to have their ever-awesome Egg biryani + Kingfisher beer :)...But since I had come near Indijoes and had heard a lot about it, I decided to try it...I was cursing myself...I had already walked in...and had to select something...It had been a REALLY LONG time since I had nachos and salsa...It cost Indian Rupee ₹230 I think...I decided to order one ....But the waiter said that there was a power failure, the restaurant was functioning because of a generator....So since baking wasn't possible...that item was ruled out....I then decided to order a Vegetable,Mushroom & Noodle sizzler, priced at Indian Rupee ₹345...

All my desires of having my full-course meal (soup, starters, appetizers, main course, 2nd helping of the main course, dessert, saunf..Yeah..I don't spare even the saunf :P :P :P...) went crashing down...as I could not afford to be jobless and spend more than Indian Rupee ₹500 JUST FOR A SINGLE MEAL!!! I waited for a few mins...before the sizzler came...smoking hot...It took a while for the sizzler to stop sizzling :D :D...and for the smoke to go away....I started off with the French fries...then dug into the cauliflower & cabbage mix and then worked my way towards the noodles & mushrooms and the other veggies...

MY FRANK OPINION - IT SUCKS !!!!!! Well...it is OKAY...but giving something like that for Indian Rupee ₹345 is PLAIN RIDICULOUS!!! I got irritated all the more when I saw the bill - Indian Rupee ₹345 for the item, Indian Rupee ₹53 for VAT...and Indian Rupee ₹34 for "service charges"....WHAT THE HELL ??!!! Indian Rupee ₹431 IN TOTAL !!! I put in Indian Rupee ₹500...and took away all the change...without tipping!! :D :D Indian Rupee ₹34 is MUCH MUCH MORE than enough...for their "wonderful" service of not being able to offer me the item I wanted !!

I raised my spirits & made myself feel better by walking across the road to the Bowring Stall ...& had a Kesar Pista kulfi over there for Indian Rupee ₹20 :) :)...It may make sense to price even Bowring's Kulfis at Indian Rupee ₹431 and add all the VAT and other taxes possible...BUT CERTAINLY NOT AN INDIJOES SIZZLER!! :D :D ....
I will write a blog post about Bowring's Kulfi someday..

That was when I remembered Eden !! :) It had been more than 3 days since I wrote my last blog post :)...As most of you might've observed, I write blog posts at least once in 2-3 days...and true to the title of my blog, majestically gigantic ones :) :)....I was thinking of what to blog about ...Dr.Kadri Gopalnath's concert was an option...However, I had JUST written about THE BEST CONCERT EVER..:) & MY EXPERIENCE OF HAVING ATTAINED SALVATION...Thanks to Yuvanians in all social networks, people are still reading it :)....

I didn't wanna sound repetitive by writing about another concert...But I HAVE TO MENTION THIS even though there's no need to say it - Kadri is A GENIUS...People like him make India proud with their ABSOLUTELY UNPARALLELED wizardry...The saxophone turns into a magic wand in his hand :)....& its music turns into magic :)...Not to forget the extremely talented and brilliant musicians who accompanied him and contributed to the magic that was being weaved...

So yeah, I was thinking about what to write..when I decided I would write about Eden...I always wanted to write about it, because it is MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE place to eat :)...and I thought this time was as good as any :)...So, here we go :)

I was first introduced to Eden by my late aunt, a few years ago...when I went to Chennai on one of my vacations....She took me aboard 29C, plying from Mylapore to Perambur en route Besant Nagar...We got down at the Besant Nagar Church bus stop...crossed the road...and walked ahead...to reach a building completely invisible from the road, hidden behind thick green foliage...On this building is almost invisible, a flight of stairs...with the board "Eden vegetarian" on top of it...:)...We go up the stairs and enter into a very small A/C room...almost the size of a living room in a house...The size reminds me SO MUCH about Moys@Columbus :(...I SO MISS IT and the OH-SO-AWESOME Egg drop soup + Curry tofu over rice - PERFECT FOR THE MEAN, WINDY, SNOWY COLUMBUS WINTER...:-/ ...

Anyways, coming back to Eden...The restaurant opens at 12.30 pm for lunch...and at 7 pm for dinner...It isn't all that crowded for lunch...but is more jam-packed than Tirupati for dinner! If you DO NOT reach before 7 pm, then you ARE NOT gonna get your dinner that day :)..cos the wait JUST NEVER ENDS :)...I really LOVED it when I first ate over there with my aunt...and with repeated visits, Eden came to be THE UNDISPUTED FAVORITE DINING AREA for me :)...Eden has also supposedly been a favorite for many Chennai celebs like Kris Srikkanth, Vikram, G V Prakash etc...See! Another reason why I ALWAYS head to Eden :P...dreaming that I run into one of these celebs on my visit...:P :P...A much bigger dream of mine is that someday in future, when I become famous...(Yes, I will be at least famous in the "Sam Anderson" way...IF NOT in a positive way :P)....is that someone like me...heads to Eden, dreaming of bumping into me over there..:P :P :P...because I WILL SURELY KEEP VISITING EDEN TILL MY LAST BREATH :) :)...Ok ok ..:P :P....Rombave over I guess :P :P...I'll stop with that mokkai...

With time, I realized that a full-course of food at Eden is equivalent and as filling as 2 courses of home food...Whenever I plan to go to Eden for lunch, I skip breakfast...and if it is dinner, I have a very very light lunch...So far, I have gone to Eden with my late aunt, my chithappa in Madras and among friends, I've gone with Vinzie & Shithil...If I don't happen to find company, just like movies & concerts, I go to Eden alone :)...

Eden has A VARIETY OF CUISINES...South Indian Idly & Dosa etc...North Indian kulchas and curries etc...Tandoori tikkas etc...& THE BEST & AWESOMEST one - CONTINENTAL :)...
Eden has food for THE WHOLE FAMILY - South Indian stuff for the oldies, North Indian stuff for the middle-aged and Continental stuff (in other words, calorie-high, cheese-rich food :P :P) for the youth & children :P..

So, my course at Eden (THE MOST RECOMMENDED COURSE ;) ) usually consists of

1. The soup (Indian Rupee ₹80): All soups are very nice...I typically choose "The soup of the day"...else...the default - Cream of Tomato...

2. Spicy Tandoori Platter (I don't have this always..I'll tell you later why): (Indian Rupee ₹150) THE BEST APPETIZER EVER....A spicy tandoori extravaganza..consisting of blended cauliflower, potato and large & inviting cubes of cottage cheese....along with a piece of lemon, onions & a spicy mint chutney..:)..AWESOME INDEED!!

THIS IS THE REASON WHY I COME TO EDEN...THIS IS THE REASON!! This dish is really the most...I should say..seductive & addictive dish I've ever had :) :)...
I have tasted A LOT of cuisines - North Indian, South Indian, Indo-Chinese, Chinese, Turkish, Mexican, Italian, American....BUT NONE...NOT A SINGLE DISH FROM ANY OF THE ABOVE-LISTED CUISINES EVEN COMES CLOSE TO THIS ITEM...:)....Nope, even my obsession for Qdoba's Veggie Gumbo DOES NOT beat the one for this dish :)..

This is served in a tray with 2 half-slices of toasted bread...In the tray is THE BEST FOOD EVER..:)...It is basically baked mushroom pieces & panneer cubes in molten cheese & a creamy white sauce...THIS DISH is priced at Indian Rupee ₹200....BUT TRUST ME...IT IS WORTH $200 billion :)...OR MAY BE MORE...OR MAY BE...IT IS JUST PRICELESS !!!!!!!!!! :) :)...no price is worth this...:)...Eating this at Eden is another thing which isolates me from routine life...It makes me forget everything else in life...and makes me feel that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL..:)...

THIS DISH GUARANTEES ONE THING - IT'LL FILL YOUR STOMACH.....If you manage to finish this dish completely, you've achieved something great...If you manage to eat a full-course including this dish...You deserve an award :P...I EPITOMIZE a Bakkasura...:P...so...I can finish a full-course effortlessly :P...

An alternative for this is the cottage cheese & pasta bake...

This is my favorite dessert at Eden...It has scoops of chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream & hot chocolate sauce...topped with a cherry & nuts..:)...and with 2 wafers...The waiter, while serving it, says "The last time I ever saw my waist saar" :D :D...

Yeah..So I have this ONLY if I don't have the spicy Tandoori Platter :)...I can't have the platter, bake & dessert at one shot :) :)...I think Arun CS might be able to, though :P...I'm waiting for the day I get to eat at Eden with him...:D...It'll be the perfect place dude..:P...The food has got THE FLOW dude :P :P....

So, in case I have the platter, then I do not have the dessert...Instead I end my meal with

AWESOME as always :)...Really nice :)...

Well..that's about THE MOST HEAVENLY, THE MOST DELICIOUS, LIP-SMACKING, SATISFYING, GRATIFYING, HEARTILY FILLING FOOD I've ever had :)....
A FULL-COURSE for Indian Rupee ₹450-475....
A FULL-COURSE OF THE MOST DELICIOUS FOOD....AND A FIZZLED-OUT SIZZLER ALMOST AT THE SAME PRICE??
BULL SHIT !! :D :D.....Indijoes SUCKS! :D ....

Anyone who goes to Tirupati goes to the hills for pilgrimage....Whenever I go to Chennai, I go to Eden, Besant Nagar for pilgrimage :D :D (I've heard that they recently opened other branches in Adyar etc)...I may even forget to go home :P :P :P...But I'll never forget Eden :D :D...

I dunno...in future...if I miss Eden too much, I might make a trip to Chennai just to eat at Eden :D :D...

Last but not the least, I HAVE TO THANK MY LATE AUNT...for introducing me to this place - the most BEAUTIFUL place to eat..EVER!!....Eating over there every time I'm in Chennai is my way of paying homage to her...:)

TO ALL MY DEAR READERS:
SOMETIME IN LIFE, PLEASE GO TO CHENNAI & TRY THIS PLACE..:)...TRUST ME, IT'LL BE WORTH EVERY SINGLE PAISE YOU SPEND :)

Cheers,
Ashwin

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