Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cafe Shiraz - Connect with Persia

Our second Sunday in Chennai as a married couple and we decide to have Persian food for lunch at this lovely little place called Cafe Shiraz. Located in the Cholamandal Artists Village. It has a lovely ambiance and we went on this rainy day and thus were made to wait for a while before they could make some space outdoors which would be the ideal place to sit at. However, it took longer and since hunger was eating away the insides of my stomach, we decided to sit inside (not at a table, but on two chairs). 

Green soup
The spread was more than just good and for starters we had an amazing green soup. Since I have forgotten what the soup was, I have photo proof. Needless to say, it was amazing! There was corn and I think Leek. 

Next we decided not to waste much time. There was excellent hummus with Pita bread. Unlike other Pita breads that I have had before, this seemed like it was either baked/fried a wee bit. It felt like the crust of a puff. And the fried chicken was out of this world. Simple, but unlike my hesitation with fried chicken I have had before, it wasn't chewy or chunky. This I had with two varieties of rice - one seemed like coriander/leek rice and the other was a mixed preparation. 

For the vegetarians, there was dall, potato with peas and brinjal. This was along with baked potatoes (seemed like a small version of hashbrowns), falafel and salad. Not to mention boiled seasoned beans. For the meat eaters, there was the fried chicken, chicken with okra, another Chicken korma and Mutton. Needless to say, I dumped my spoon and fork soon and dug at it with my fingers. 
1st helping - Potato, rice, chicken and brinjal curry

At the end of the meal, we had some falafel and those hashbrowny stuff. This we downed with some brilliant Guava pulp which was mixed with barley water. Also we had a piece of cake. 

Farhad, who owns this place shared with me a quick secret - that students from Iran seldom bring the batches of rose water extract which they use in some of their recipes. Also, Iran has the biggest Rose valley and one of the biggest exporters of many types of flowers. (And of Saffron!)

When we were leaving the place, we didn't know if we should say Thank You to Farhad, as one would normally to a host. At Cafe Shiraz, it doesn't feel like you are in a restaurant but very much feels like you have been invited to someone's home for lunch. We will definitely go back there again. You should too.

Cafe Shiraz, Cholamandal Artists Village, Injambakkam (long before toll, 2 mins after Food Village)
98405 72126
Meal for two - Rs 900
Open only for lunch on Sundays - 1 pm onwards

More pictures:
The meats
the spread
seating arrangement
seating arrangement outdoor