Chili’s is an American chain of casual dining restaurants known for its tex-mex food and cocktails. They run over 1500 restaurants across the globe and have a presence in a few cities in the country. Chili’s has been a brand I have patronized over the last 2 years for ‘junk’ food, meaning cheesy, fried and humongous portions. The Chili’s management may be upset to be attributed to ‘junk’, but trust me it is sinful food, food for celebration, food that gives you comfort. It is rich and I have never felt guilty after all my trips there. Frankly I had stopped ordering cocktails there after a couple of bad experiences but I was glad this visit happened. I was invited to experience the place and I could not deny the invite considering it was almost 6 months I had been there. It was Wednesday lunch time and the restaurant had a few tables, most of them seemed expats. Tucked in a heart of commercial space but at a stone’s throw from residential, one can find corporate clientele through the week and families thronging the place on weekends.
The beverage menu is a repertoire and you can easily spend a lot of time looking at their drinks selection, mostly mixed drinks. From Margaritas and its variants (their specialty) to classic cocktails, fruit coolers to shakes, ice teas to lemonades they serve it all. I ordered the Honey and Melon cooler (Rs 225) to begin and chased it with a Presidente Margarita (Rs 625), most preferred by patrons as I was told. The cooler was extremely refreshing; with the flavours, the sweet and the sour in balance. The Presidente was brought to the table in a shaker; it was shaken all the way from the bar till the table and strained into a glass with ice cubes. It was a classic with a twist of brandy and a citrusy punch. Both of these drinks came in really big glasses, you will skip a meal if you indulge in too many!!
Meat is an inherent and the popular part of the menu for all the ‘carnivores’, but gladly they have been paying enough if not equal attention to the ‘herbivores’ too. In fact they are now trying to figure out if they can do something for the Jain diners. The menu has an option in every category, soup, salad, small plates, burgers, burritos, pasta, quesadillas and the popular Fajitas (make your own burrito at the table kinds)
I ordered a sampler of the veggie appetizers (Rs 495) to begin with. The Paneer Bite (battered and crumbed paneer) was good with the Bombay Chipotle sauce, the Southwestern rolls( fried tortilla rolls stuffed with bean and veggies) was lovely with the Bombay aioli, the Texas cheese poppers with the avocado ranch and lastly the fried Quesadillas went down smoothly as the melted cheese oozed out.
For the mains I ordered a Veg and Cheese quesadilla (Rs 375) and a Chipotle paneer burrito (Rs 325). The quesadillas were eight sumptuous quarters of goodness served with cilantro rice, beans, Pico de gallo and sour cream and the burrito a foot long full of beans, rice, paneer and veggies served with chips and dips. The former was super- duper rich and flavoursome with spinach and mushroom and the latter; wholesome and filling. The citrus in the Presidente kept cleansing my palate at regular intervals.
I couldn’t imagine food at least for the next few hours after all that hogging, but there is always place for a dessert, I convince myself almost every time. The home made warm peach pudding was a winner, fresh and opulent, and the portion size was certainly for two and the Chocochip Paradise pie, a chocolate and walnut bar topped with fudge, caramel and vanilla ice-cream, with the sweet overdose it perhaps was meant for four.
A definite plus to one of its kind place in the city for casual American dining.
Meal for 2
Rs 1200 (one each of starters, mains and dessert, more than enough for two people)
– Great Choice of drinks and food
– Big portions
– Happy hours 1600- 2000 hrs, making it perfect for after office drinks.
– Cocktails start at Rs 300 and they are very good for the price. One on One during happy hours
– Very expensive if you go alone, considering the portion size one can only manage to eat one course or waste a lot of food and pay a lot for more than one item.
– Service can be a bit choppy
I will keep going back here; if you haven’t then you are missing some fun!
P.S: They are also doing the Lakme Fashion Week cocktail menu I had written about