Address: Radhakrishnan Salai, Opposite EB Office, Mylapore, Chennai.
Phone: 044 30925953
Cuisine: South Indian
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Once in a while (or may be often) I have the weird craving sense for specific food type. Indeed most of the food lovers would have gone through such experiences. And the very same happened when I woke up on a Sunday morning. Though I am not a non-veg lover – I can’t resist myself when I hear the word “Biriyani”. I love the way biriyani is cooked with the varied spices and ingredients put in the making. Especially the chicken and mutton (though I don’t like the meat texture I love their flavors) biriyani, they are to die for along with Brinjal Curry or Kurma. And I settled down with Nellai Xpress on a Sunday noon-time to taste some biriyani and seafood.
The restaurant is located at the vast spread Catheral Road to RK Salai joint. Just opposite to the mylapore electricity board you can spot them. The place seemed deserted for a Sunday noon around 1’o clock. They have a small space for parking. We grabbed our table on the first floor with not much people around. We already did plan what we wanted to eat; with a quick glance we settled down for the food. Coming to the ambience, I liked the usage of subtle yet bold colour combinations. Should appreciate their effort to match the resto name with their menu card design, decors, etc. The ambience is decent but isn’t the one that scores majority points.
Coming to the food part - here's my take on everything we ate for the meal:
Nenju Elembu Rasam (Mutton Clear Soup) – We were greeted with sherbet and snacks before the soup arrived. I hope they serve welcome drink / snacks that tastes better as they weren’t that enjoyable. Coming to the soup, the soup tasted brilliant with chunks of moist mutton. I loved the soup flavor though I didn’t eat the meat this was one time I enjoyed a mutton soup!
Nandu (Crab) Masala – It wasn’t a good pick. Being a lover of crab and fish I felt letdown. Though there is nothing bad about the dish, I didn’t like the flavours used in the crab masala. The crab was cooked well; but it was a tiny crab that wouldn’t be sufficient even for one person. The masala was tomato-onion curry and the dish was missing the South-Indian flavour punch.
Kozhi Biriyani – The biriyani was good but would I go back to taste them again, not really! Again the biriyani flavour wasn’t strong enough; seemed like the meat and rice were cooked separately and put together. The sides, that is brinjal curry, chicken kurma and raitha, saved the day. They complimented the biriyani well.
Nellai Xpress (NX) Thali (Meals) – This was the best pick of the day. For a non-veg lover, they couldn’t ask for more. The NX thali came with rice, sweet, one veg poriyal, keerai (spinach) kootu, chicken curry, fish curry, mutton curry, rasam, curd, pickle and pappad. Everything on the plate tasted great. The non-veg curries were spot-on in taste. With one piece of meat in each curry they were good match for the rice; and the usage of coconut oil as well didn't overpower the curries. Finally, they excelled in their thalis.
Except for the meals, the price were on heavier end compared to the food quantity they serve. We were billed Rs. 942 INR (including VAT and Service Charge). They scored the most in service; not-so-good food experience didn't cause a heart-break because of the service. With less crowd in place, they made sure to enquire about the food quality and taste. Kudos on that!
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking (4/5): Positive. Located on one of the busiest roads in Chennai with decent parking space. Easy to spot, park and dine.
Ambience (3/5): Good. They didn't fall under the 'best ambience' dining but have done a neat work with the ambience that looks appealing.
Food Variety (4/5): Positive. They have ample dishes to choose from, and non-vegetarians would be tempted the most with many dishes.
Taste (3.5/5): Good. Even if I am not an expert at food forte of Nellai region, I would love if they refine the food they offer. I wasn’t very fond of what I ate but the taste was decent.
Quantity (3/5): Average. This was a letdown for me. Considering the price the quantity hit the bottom level.
Quality (3.5/5): Good. The quality, taste and presentation put together was good.
Pricing (3/5): Average. Definitely not a value for money (VFM) meal considering the food quantity, taste and price in total.
Service (4/5): Positive. A big applause to their service, throughout the meal they were smiling and welcoming to our feedback. They do know how to treat the customer.
One of the brilliant service they could offer for a diner. And located at a finest place in Chennai they are in for some competition. Refining the taste or the quantity would help them raise towards the positive path in food arena. I wouldn’t tag them under VFM but do explore them if you love non-veg cuisine. Nellai Xpress! Just need to speed up a little bit!!
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Get on the Express - Nellai Xpress - Restaurant Review Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 23:45 Rating: