Address: 3rd Floor, Express Avenue Mall, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai, India
Time: 11 AM to 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,000
Cuisines: Chinese, North Indian, Italian
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, No Alcohol Available
Dine, Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai: DECOR
Dine is a lovely place tastefully done up in shades of brown and wood. Take the side entrance, which is exclusively for Dine diners if all you want is food without the movie at Escape Cinemas.
Casual chic means no plush cushioned seating that invite you to stay. Instead, wooden benches that convey the message: eat and leave. Unless you are willing to wait and grab one of the high-ish barstools at higher tables, which offer some form of support to your back, but are equally hard.
Separating the theater section from Dine, a glass showcase-like wall holds bottles which may give you the impression that you could sit here and enjoy a cool beer. The truth is, you cannot. Those empty colored bottles are for decoration and separation purposes only. A video wall can keep you engrossed just as the aquarium can.
Dine, Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai: FOOD
Luckily for me, the soup of the day is light and clear with chunky diced veggies. Order the buttered and softly addictive Garlic Bread, and keep it besides you right through the meal.
My Greek Salad arrives. Crunch matches chunk, while creamy Feta adds flavor. Retaining the garlic bread was a good idea as it comes handy to mop up the juices that remain at the bottom of the bowl.
My fork begs me to sink it into the Chicken Manchurian. The meat is that soft and succulent. Reason: it is made fresh, deep fried at a high flame after being coated with very little cornflour before it is seasoned and tossed.
Chicken Biryani comes with browned onions and crunchy halved cashew nuts. Dum cooked the south Indian way, it brings along fragrance of Basmati rice, along with the irresistible aromas of chicken, masala and fresh mint. Nice by itself (as most biryanis are), it is equally good with the accompanying Ennai Kathrikkai and Raita.
My dessert vote goes to the Brownie Fudge Sundae. Covered by a gorgeous crust, the brownie is exactly as it should be: gooey and moist inside with bits of walnuts adding personality. The homemade vanilla bean ice cream is a welcome addition.
Dine, Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai: PLUS AND MINUS
Nice ambience, good clean food, reasonable rates. I like that the desserts are from Ecstasy.