One tuesday evening after work hours (while on a business trip to Chennai), a bunch of work weary and hungry Bangaloreans were wondering what to do for dinner. Rachna recommended that we try a restaurant called Spoonbill and we didn’t hesitate in agreeing to her suggestion.
The five of us ( Donston, Christina, Ravi, Rachna and me) bundled ourselves into two cars and made our way to Alwarpet where this restaurant was located. We felt really at home with the Chennai traffic, it was as bad as ours back home in Bangalore :):)
Soon we were at TTK road and on the right hand side we spotted Spoonbill, above a flight of stairs. The interiors, we saw was dominated by a shiny and clean self service / cooking counter on the left. Food photographs dotted the walls and light wood topped tables and matching comfortable chairs spread out all across. I also noticed a couple of bar stools with high chairs and you could see Chennai passing by through the wall of french windows on one side which faced the TTK road. Casual, open, friendly and comfortable. This was also the point when I found out that Spoonbill specialized in world street food. Yumm!!! Like every foodie, I also have a soft corner for street food, which so often is, streets ahead of what you get in some of the fanciest restaurants!
We found a place to settle in – our laptop bags :), then ourselves 🙂 and dutifully followed Rachna when she led the way to the glass door refrigerator/cooler where an array of soft drinks awaited us. Remember this is self service, so we helped ourselves. Quite happily! The popular drink of our table was nimbu pani and musk melon juice.
Sipping our drinks, we started our arm chair food journey with our respective menus 🙂 We decided to order different things. We were the team that was going to sample street food together and therefore bond together. heh, heh (corny line, I know:)
After deciding our choices, we zeroed in on a plate of momos for the table, that was the Tibetean/Chinese aspect. Since we are global citizens, we ordered empanadas from Portugal and bratwursts and currywursts from Germany. Donston went the English pub way and ordered a lip smacking dish of corn kernels, cheddar cheese, with a sauce of olive oil and garlic to bind it together topped with a chilli on bread. Ravi decided to stick with incredible India and decided that Kathi rolls were it for him. Christina became turkish with falafel and hummus. I decided on savoury crêpes with chicken ham and egg, the french way. We also placed an order of some good old kababs for the table. When I say ordered, I mean going to the counter, and… you know the drill. After the friendly guy took down our order he gave us a kind of a pager. A little while later, the pager started dancing away and the guys, went to pick up our orders as and when they got ready.
The table orders were the first to arrive – Emapanadas and Falafel. The empanadas, I really loved! The stringy mozarella cheese with jalapenos was totally mouthwatering.
The fava beans and chick pea patties topped with seasame seeds made Christina and the rest of us nod our heads in satisfaction.We also got the bratwurst which was a dish of diced homemade sausages served with brötchen (a small bun/ bread), same with currywurst. Only difference was it had a sweet and tangy tomato based curry sauce. For spicy eaters like us, I guess there were no takers for this dish sadly.
The next order to make it to the table was Ravi’s Kathi rolls which were familiar and flavoursome, no surprises there. Feathery, soft and thin pancakes rolled into a cone and filled with cheese and other fillings made its way straight to our table and then right into my stomach! 🙂 Seriously, their crêpes… there are no words!!! Donston really enjoys his cheese. You should have seen his face when the open toasted bread drenched in cheddar cheese made its appearance!
We munched our way from China to Portugal to Germany then onto India, back to France and the UK and finally returning back to our roots in India:) Food eating is quite a journey here!
Onto the next course. We had heard about their nutella and banana crêpes and some of us wanted to try that. The others went with the waffle. So it was my turn to go and place the order and while there I asked the friendly guy there if they were opening a branch in Bangalore. He smiled and said yes and soon. Good! I smiled, as I made my way back to our table.
The long awaited nutella crêpe arrived and it was beautifully and amazingly sinful. The ones that ate it exclaimed in joy! Seeing their faces, we believed them! Our waffle topped with cream, strawberries and chocolate icecream was nice. What I liked was that it was not too sweet. Not my favorite that day.
Most of the food we had was awesomely tasty, with a couple of misses. But I guess that is to be expected.
Final thoughts – Thank you to Rachna in five languages : In Chinese, Portuguese, German, Turkish and French. Oh yeah in Hindi too.:):)
If you are in Chennai and haven’t been to Spoonbill yet, you simply must try it!