Thursday, 28 July 2011

Zaitoon - Adyar [Chennai]

One of the reasons why this restaurant holds a dear place in my heart (apart from the food lol!) is because I first visited it exactly one month after our wedding. It was our quick rendezvous amongst the maddening schedules. Two things struck me as I entered this place – One, that it is among the very few places where the actual restaurant seating place takes you down through the stairs. And secondly, the stark difference in temperature – as you enter one can literally “feel” the heat of the grill, but as you go down the stairs, the AC works its magic!
Try out the “Golden fried Prawns” at this place – they are one of the best in Chennai. We have ordered various dishes on various occasions, but here, I shall talk about only those that remain a memory with me – for good or for bad! The “Shawarma Plate” (wrap of goat, chicken, or a mixture of some of them) for instance is a hot favourite order and it’s readily available. The other starters may take some time to be served. Another thing to try out here would be the “Grilled Chicken and Kuboos (Lebanese bread)” which is served with three types of mayonnaise and is absolutely delectable! However, my personal experience suggests that one should stick to the Mughlai and definitely to the non vegetarian diets if you want this place to cast its culinary spell over you. In fact there was this one occasion when I was in for a pleasant surprise when I ordered for “Butter Naan” and “Chicken Bharta”. I mean, Chicken Bharta is supposed to be made from shredded chicken right? Zaitoon does it the other way. You will have chunks of chicken right in midst of the shredded ones which I would say was a pleasant delight for my taste buds.
However, I do not have much pleasant things to say about the vegetarian section. We once ordered for “Paneer Butter Masala” which took forever to come and when it did... well! The paneer wasn’t as soft as we would have expected it to be and the gravy tasted like a dip of spices in tomato ketchup. Also, the “Masala Kulcha” is way too oily and doesn’t appeal much to the taste buds.  It would be more advisable to stick to the other bread varieties like the phulkas, naans, tandoori rotis etc. I have learnt my lesson. Maybe, the vegetarian section didn’t appeal to me but you are welcome to form your own opinions. But one thing I must admit – for people who dig into non vegetarian food, it is paradise!
Pricing – The starters range from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 400/- while the main course can range from Rs. 90/- to Rs 130/- for the vegetarian section and Rs. 130/- to Rs. 300/- for the non vegetarian section. All in all, a complete meal for two can be enjoyed within Rs. 600/- comfortably.
Ambience: 3.5/5
Food: 4/5 for Non veg and 3/5 for vegetarian
Service: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

“Shawarma plate”, “Golden fried Prawns” and the “Chicken Bharta” are the must-haves.  Dig into the Arabian food for its enormous variety – a rarity in Chennai.


  1. chicken bharta sounds new and nice...!!!

  2. @ Pallabita: It was an awesome experience .. not to say about the pleasant surprise!

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