Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cream Centre @ Chennai

During a recent trip to India, I got to sample some of the fine cuisines from around the world under one roof. Yes, from Soups, Salads and Sandwiches to Lebanese Falafels to Mexican Enchilladas and Nachos to Italian Pastas and Pizza to Indian Thalis, Parathas and Chaat! And, all vegetarian at that! Located in R.A.Puram, Cream Centre is one of those new age restaurants that is popular among people of all ages and races. Some of the dishes are even made in Jain style upon request. A run down house in the center of the city is refurbished and remodeled and converted into a trendy restaurant. Is that the trend these days? Must be....and I totally love it!

The insides were earthy and uncomplicated.Very funky.

We visited Cream Centre twice in a span of two weeks. It is usually packed even on week days. The service is a little sloppy sometimes, but the food more than makes up for it.The first time we went, there was an Italian Connection Festival going on.We got the Malfatti Napoli - Golden fried cottage cheese, american corn & spinach dumplings baked with a combination of mozzarella & aged gouda cheese on a garlic-pepper cherry tomato sauce and finished with fried basil.

It was served with spiced garlic bread.

Despite the three different cheeses, the dish was very light. The tomato basil sauce with a hint of garlic was awesome! This is something I have never had before.I have been to tons of Italian restaurants, but have never seen anything like this. A truly innovative creation. I later learnt that Malfatti is Italian for hand rolled dumplings and Napoli is Italian for Naples. They have tons of other pastas and thin crust pizza that's definitely worth trying. Molto deliziosa!

Next came the Sizzling Paneer Chili - Paneer and bell pepper sizzling in soy sauce with rice on the side.

It was more Chinese than Indian. The flavor of soy sauce dominated all the other flavors. The paneer for some reason tasted and looked like tofu. Just to make sure we got the right order, we checked with the head waiter, and he swung his head from right to left and enlightened us on "Chennai Paneer" and "Mumbai Paneer" ! Hilarious, I know. I wouldn't recommend this dish. It wasn't as delicious as I expected it to be. There are a lot more out there, so save your appetite for the rest! The second visit to CC will be covered in a different post. Watch this space!


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