First ever guest post on Nothing Intellectual. Old friend Sanket Chavan, who is a freelance photographer, and a better writer than he thinks, does the honours. Here goes:
Chili’s gives you the feel of a regular watering hole filled with chatter from neighboring tables. The place emphasises on the south western American cuisine, influenced by Tex-Mex. I was invited for Chili’s Grill and Bar’s food festival; they had a special menu for it. Rezy, the restaurant manager was of a great help throughout the evening, explaining what goes into the dishes and managing our expectations, especially when people think that Chili’s must have something to do with all the dishes being spicy. They are not.
Rezy recommended starting out with a Beer-ita. As expected, it came in a tall beer glass, dark, yellow and frothy. It tastes like the usual draught (sans the bitterness) and leaves an aftertaste of margarita. It was accompanied with Bold Calamari with Cilantro ranch (Rs 395). The pairing would’ve been ideal if it were to be just beer. However, the Calamari was crunchy and satisfying enough.
Then, we were recommended the Triple dipper (Rs 495). Given the fact that I was sharing my table with a vegetarian, we ordered Southwestern Rolls, Texas Cheese poppers, Paneer bites and Boneless chicken wings. Other than the wings all of them were vegetarian preparations. However, the best of them was the Paneer bites, you felt the initial crunch as you bit into the softer insides, it just disappears in your mouth. The Cheese poppers can barely be qualified as solid, these just melt as soon as it slides in your mouth. Chicken wings were a bit spicy with a sweet aftertaste, Southwestern Rolls were devoured before I even had the opportunity, must be that good.
As I primarily eat fish at any given opportunity, I was waiting for the Orange Habanero Salmon (Rs 725) ever since I read the menu. Finally it arrived, paired with the freshest Brocolli and cucumber, the orange coloured fillet sat there emanating a smoky aroma. After taking a deep breath I sliced a part of the fillet, pink flakes of the salmon gave way for my knife. As soon as it was in my mouth I could feel the balanced flavors. The Habenaro and fish combination goes really well.
We had also ordered a Paneer and Cheese Fajita (Rs 395). For someone who has never tasted the Quesadilla, I would want to recommend this to them vegetarians. Molten cheese, paneer, mushrooms, sour cream, four different toppings… it’s like a carnival of all things nice and soft on a platter.
The meal concluded with the Molten Chocolate lava Cake (Rs 325). Sitting on top of a bunt chocolate cake is a dollop of chocolate coated vanilla ice-cream. As soon as you break open the chocolate coating along with the cake to get a spoonful of the Lava cake, you can see the ice-cream and the chocolate ooze out. Drool worthy site, quite literally.
All photographs by Sanket Chavan. Check out more of his work here. Also, Sanket would like to thank his dear friend Amrita Hom Ray for inviting him and Karishma Shah for being such good company.
Chili’s: 13, Ventura Building, Hiranandani Business Park, Central Avenue Road, Powai, Mumbai.
Phone: 022 67419002, 022 67419003