Vrindavan – @ The new Woodlands

The New Woodlands hotel is a typical Madras hotel. Built in the days when space was freely available, and came without too heavy a tag, this hotel is spacious, and quiet. And like most typical madras hotels, the Woodlands has a restaurant that panders to as many tongues as it can.
To that end comes Vrindavan.
It is what Madrasis call the Multi-cuisine restaurant. Meaning, the rates are in general dearer than they are at regular restaurants. The Vrindavan serves south Indian, ‘Tandoor’, ‘Chinese’ and the usual suspects. But the food is pretty good, the prices are a little steep, but it kinda befits the place. And the ambience is, well, something different. The walls have paintings of Krishna and his buddies, all playing and making merry in the gardens of Vrindavan, the seating is a mix of chairs and couches, the lighting is pretty decent, and the service is good.

Since we were only the two of us for lunch, we decided to skip an elaborate foreplay and get right down to the main course.

Butter Naans, Chilly Paneer, Navrattan Qorma, Vegetable Pulav, Daal Makhani and raita.
The Naans were pretty good, soft, non-stretchy and quite tasty too. Chilly Paneer was optimistically called that. Huge chunks of cheese (Paneer) cooked with capsicum and onion, garnished with two (I kid you not) pieces of green chilly and nothing else. The Navrattan Qorma was cool, though. Good texture, tasted like all the other Navratan Qormas I’ve had. No complaints. The rest were regular stuff. Not much to write home about, but staves of hunger and keeps your cells happily humming.

After lunch, as is my tradition, I ordered a coffee. I always have maintained that how good coffee is determines if I will return to a restaurant. The coffee at Vrindavan was magnificent. Just the right blend, just the right temperature, just the right strength. And in a cup that was just perfect. Whatever else Vrindavan lacks, the coffee makes up for it.
Which means, a visit is soon in the offing.

Alright – as per Chennai Metroblog tradition – The scoring

Ambience – 6/10
Food – 8/10
Price – 5.5/10
Coffee – 10.5/10

12 Comments so far

  1. suppamani (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    Though, the New Woodlands Group of Hotels is a Star Hotel standard, they are not either serving liquer or not having any Bar at all. This is due to the strong instructions and wishes of their forfathers. That is why they are not rated with any star in the hotel industry.

  2. Lavanya (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    CC – I better sound off Saravana Bhavan about coffee loyalties switching. A 10.5 on 10 for Vrindavan’s coffee? And you did not say a word on the metblog about SB serving you with tender loving care all these years. Sigh.

  3. vinod (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

    Yes, the coffee in indeed good at all the Woodland’s restaurants. Be it Mathura, Drive-in or even the one at Narada Gana Sabha.

  4. Lavanya (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    Vinod, please don’t say Drive-in :( Last evening, I stopped at Drive-in to have a cup of coffee (past experience offering very positive remarks in the head)and despite indicating that I want a strong cup of coffee with one spoon of sugar, I got a dirty milk version that was sickeningly sweet.

    Maybe it is one of those bad days but still, it is Drive-In.

  5. Ravages (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

    Mani: True, Woodlands doesn’t serve liquor.
    Vinod: Drive In Woodlands coffee is usually good, but not the last two three times I’ve had it/
    Lavanya: HSB needs not worry about loyalties. My coffee scale for HSB shows 15/10. :)

  6. R.S.Money (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

    Drive in Coffee always tastes as a prepared one ( as bulk coffee or tea prepared and kept in Flask Drums and distributed through cyclewallahs) and never tastes according to our wishes and aso always served inchipped crocokries of 70″s and also not well cleaned. In Naradha Gana Sabha extended counter, if it is after8-30 or 9PM the Milk is always a spoiled one. When I was a regular visitor and since I returned the coffe one and two timed the servers aavoid to serve a coffee to me if it is during late hours.

  7. Suppamani (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

    In drive in the tiffin items are also very bad. In masala dosai (for which once the drive in was so popular for) the potato bits are as bis as and are of half boiled and almost every body who take masala dosai are wasting a big portion of masala, which i noticed. The Bondas are half boiled, bajji are soaked with alot of oil. Alwaysa the Cocoanut Chatny gives a stale tase and when I referrred the reply given was that due to the much quantity of ginger added it gives such a taste. even Though I am very near to Drive in I have decided not to enter in again in it.

  8. Peter (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    Damn! I don’t miss the heat or the humidity, but I REALLY do miss the coffee in Chennai!

  9. Mehak (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

    pointers needed regd its location pls.

  10. Ravages (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

    Mehak: The Vrindavan is in the New Woodland’s Hotel complex, on Cathedral road. This is right next to the Savera complex…The third building from the Music Academy signal.

  11. Suppamani (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    In New Woodlands Hotel one more dining hall is there known as “THANJAVUR” – there only south indian Thali ( meals ) is served during lunch session only betwen 12-3 PM- The hall is not opened for dinner and for other services.

  12. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

    The more basic Woodlands restaurant has been done up in recent years, and its prices have risen somewhat to match.

    I was there with Mrs G the other day and she ordered Tomato rice. She was given Tamarind rice. She didn’t mind, and ate it hapilly.

    She thought she’d better tell them about the mistake. What she did mind was the message that came back from the kitchen that they *had* sent tomato rice! She had saved enough to prove her point.

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