Where: 3rd Floor, Express Avenue, White's Road, Royapettah, Chennai
Cuisine: Mexican, American, Tex-Mex
With Chili's spreading their wings at Chennai, the hype just got intensified when the outlet was finally opened. The giant burgers, fries, mocktails and cheese overload would cling the food lovers attention. Sharing their outlet at food court; the bright colours, vibrate lamps, wall arts and bar setup elevates the beauty of the ambience.
The appetizing description for the never ending food and drinks menu made the job tougher. To beat the heat of Chennai and compliment the food, we ordered their signature margaritas; Mango Chile Margarita, the hit of jalapenos will wake your senses and the sweetness of mango is refreshment. Either letting them rest was a crime or the taste by itself wasn't appealing, is how I felt when I sipped the Watermelon Margarita but that was one of the sexy looking drink of the evening. That South-Indian coffee addiction in me never dies, just a sip and it was love at first sip; fresh and yum is Frozen Mochaccino.
Ultimate Dipper would be the best pick to soak yourself into five different starters and dipping sauces; we requested to replace the Chicken Wings with Country Fried Calamari and that crispy calamari poppers were a delight. With cheese oozing out of the panko coated crispy Texas Cheese Poppers and the Southwestern Rolls with lip-smacking filling in the soft tortillas is my favorite for the evening. The Chicken Wings with tangy buffalo sauce wasn't a favorite of mine and the Chicken Crispers resembling the bajji did shine in taste with juicy and moist chicken. The dipping sauces were the best, which would even make you drool over an average tasting appetizer.
White Spinach Quesco, the hot bowl of cheese overload, guacamole, salsa and queso was perfecto for tostada chips. This is like that must order for me. Cream of Chicken is deliciousness in single bowl, a rich and creamy soup with soft chicken chunk and veggies.
Though I eat (i.e. taste) and cook meat, I am never a fan of them so my judgment is based on how good the meat is cooked and flavors. So for Mains, I settled for Santa Fe Quesadilla, bite into the crispy grilled tortilla strips stuffed with cottage cheese and the tangy salsa was good but I found them little bland for my palate.
A huge bite of Southern Smokehouse Burger; the combination of beef patty, bacon, onion rings, veggies and cheese didn't go wrong. Though I didn't taste the steak and ribs, this would give you a glimpse of how good they were; "The plates got emptied in minutes with foodgasmic noises filling the air, my food partners digged into BBQ Ribs (Half Rack) and Philadelphia Melting Cheese Steak, it took a while to wake them from food-coma". Every plate was loaded with fries.
Overdose of food didn't stop us from ordering the desserts; a tiny dessert menu made the selection easy. Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie and Molten Chocolate Cake were love at first sight and bite. With hint of coconut cutting through the cake's sweetness that pie would be a favorite of every dessert lover. The chocolate lava oozing out of warm cake with ice-cream is match made in heaven. Though the Chocolate Cheesecake tasted decent that didn't score par with others.
The pressure is definitely heavy on them as they have to excel in terms of food, taste and quality; with outlets spread across cities and countries they have managed to pull what diners look for.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: Positive. Express Avenue food court and parking comes at additional cost.
Ambience: Positive. Bold and vibrant
Food Variety: Positive. Plenty, even the vegetarians would be happy.
Taste: Good. I liked it but they can be way better!
Quality: Good. The spices and meat is imported so the taste and quality is same across outlets, even sauces & dips are house-made; presentation is simple and rustic.
Quantity: Positive. Huge! Remember they are meant to be shared.
Service: Good. A tad slow, hope they settle down as time goes by.
Price: NA. 'Expensive' with approximate cost for two is Rs.2000-2200 INR. Yeah, the brand, ingredients and many other things call for that price.
So my Verdict!
Chili’s Restaurant finally makes their way into Chennai food empire. The hype is huge and they have managed to deliver good in terms of food. For the Tex-Mex and American food lovers, you got a place now to relax, eat and repeat.
P.S. This write-up is based my food palate and dining experience during my restaurant visit. On-the-house invite for tasting session. Remember, no two person’s palate can be same.
Hot and Spicy, Chili's, at Chennai - Restaurant Review Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 19:59 Rating: