Chili’s first food festival looks ambitious on paper, and we notice a good selection of appetisers, soups, salads, burgers, tacos, quesadillas and seafood mains.
We begin with a Triple Dipper (Rs 495), which is a motley of appetisers of your choice with is served with three sauces. The Wings Over Buffalo tastes about average. The Fried Paneer Quesadilla Bites fare better in terms of freshness but are under-seasoned. It is, surprisingly, the vegetarian Texas Cheese Poppers which save the day. Dripping with cheese, fried golden and full of flavour, we have never been gladder for this modest dish on our tables.
Next, we call for the New Orleans Jambalaya (Rs 375) and a Cottage Steak Jambalaya (Rs 290). The former is served with rice, mutton, has chunks of capsicum and is cooked perfectly. It is the Cottage Cheese version of the dish we suggest you skip — the cottage cheese is a tad chewy and the dish is nothing spectacular.
Bold Calamari (Rs 395)
If you have just one thing during the course of your evening, go for the Bold Calamari. Think of fresh calamari lightly tossed in batter, fried golden, tossed in peppercorn spice and roasted jalapenos. If you can taste it with a dash of cilantro ranch, know that you’re having one of the best calamari there is.
OTC Burger (Rs 375)
Laden with mayonnaise, the vegetable patty is topped with generous crispies. But the patty is a tad dry and there’s nothing which quite jumps off the page here.
Texas Cheese Poppers (Rs 395)
Amid other more ambitious (and non-vegetarian) appetisers, the modest Texas Cheese Poppers saved the day with their light, fresh, melting-cheese perfection.