Saturday, 22 February 2014

Chennai X'press: Tastes Of India @ Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya

Restaurant Chennai X'press is the latest addition to the food scene in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya. Previously an Arabic Restaurant, this restaurant started operations earlier this month. It is located along Jalan PJU 8/5G, directly opposite Hong Leong Bank.

Restaurant Chennai X' press in Damansara Perdana

Some Outdoor Seating is available

Interior of the Restaurant

Interior of the Restaurant
This restaurant is owned and run by a very young South Indian couple. They seemed very new to the restaurant business but were very pleasant and nice with their customers. The husband and wife couple were mostly manning the tables while they had two cooks who were doing the food preparation in the kitchen. The decoration at this restaurant is not too grand but simple and nice.

Their menu had a very wide offering mostly from Tamil Nadu with a handful of dishes from Goa and North India. Besides the standard menu, they also had some lunch and tea time sets. It took us a while to go through the menu as there was a lot of items and finally once decided, we placed the orders. Today, besides us, there was just another family that were having their dinner. Though there were only two tables that were occupied, they were quite slow in the service which was not their mistake but just something that comes with experience. 

Warm Water on the house

Coca Cola @ RM 2.50

Bru Coffee @ RM 4.50
Most places today charge for a glass of warm water and I was pleasantly surprised when they did not charge us for that. Their Bru Coffee, which was only delivered after 15 minutes from time of order, was decent though nowhere near the best ones that I have tried. Seemed slightly diluted to me. I would rate their Bru Coffee at 7.3/10 .


Inji Puli...a Kerala Dish
After 20 minutes from time of ordering, we were served the above Papadams with Inji Puli on the sides.The Papadam was freshly fried but having us wait 20 minutes is just something that is not acceptable. From the speed, I knew for a fact that I was not going back anytime soon. We arrived here at 9 pm and at 9.30, we just received the above dish and the table before us had not received a single mains and it seemed to me that they arrived way earlier. Coming back to their Inji Puli, this is a traditional dish from the state of Kerala which is one of the South Indian states in India. Inji means Ginger and Puli means Tamarind and those are the key ingredients in the preparation. When my brother tasted it, he could not identify what it was though I had a rough idea. He didn't believe me and had asked the lady boss what it actually was to confirm his doubts and she confirmed that that was Inji Puli. Well....what else can I say when you need to ask what has been served to know it, then for sure you would know that it did not taste anywhere close to what it should taste. I would only rate their Inji Puli at 3/10 .

Masala Kulcha Set @ RM 5.90
Since they had a number of set meals, we decided to go for it instead of Ala Carte and my brother ordered the above Masala Kulcha Set which is some stuffed bread and this comes with Sambar.

Masala Kulcha

Masala Kulcha
The bread was typically stuffed with a number of items and tasted like Aloo Paratha although honestly we could not identify the exact ingredients. The bread itself was soft and nice but slightly dry. I would rate the above Masala Kulcha at 7/10 .

Their Sambar was one of a kind that I have tasted. It did not have any taste coming out of it though it seemed to have a lot of spices. Definitely not something wrong with my tongue as my brother agreed to the same. It was absolutely bland and tasteless. I would only rate this at 1/10 .

Mutton Perattal Set @ RM 14.90
On the menu, this seemed like a good deal and indeed it was as the portions was very lavish. For the price of RM 14.90, it came with White Rice, three vegetables, pickles, Sambar and a bowl of Mutton Perattal. Obviously I would not want to comment on the Sambar again as I have already done it earlier.

Closer Look At The Food Items

Tapioca Fries
The Tapioca Fries were okay. Though it looked spicy, it was nowhere near that. Pretty decent preparation and I would rate this at 7/10 .

Inji Puli
This was the very same Inji Puli served earlier and I do not want to go through the details all over again.

Soy Meal with Potato's
Though the ingredients were of a high quality, the taste was once again out. Besides pepper, I could not taste anything else from this. It was absolutely flat. I would only rate this at 2/10 .

Cabbage and Carrots
Again, this was bad but not as bad as the previous one. At least this was slightly sweet, not sure if that sweetness came from the carrots. Otherwise, a very bland preparation. I would rate this at 2/10 .

I have already rate their Sambar and would skip rating the same all over again. No difference from the previous one.

Mutton Perattal
Although it looked delicious, the Mutton Perattal was tasteless. There was not even sufficient salt in any of their dishes including this one. Being one who loves mutton, I left most of the dish untouched. Sorry to say this but it was just not acceptable. I would only rate this at 1.5/10 .

Chicken Chettinadu @ RM 15.90

Chicken Chettinadu
This dish was a savior.  Though it did not leave a great impression, it was edible and this dish was the one that got us through the meal. At least there were some traces of taste in this dish. I would rate this dish at 5/10 .

Fish Cutlet @ RM 7.90

Fish Cutlet

Fish Cutlet
In contrast, this dish was good, I mean honestly good. The cutlets had very strong flavours and were delicious. Definitely good stuff guys though unfortunate that this was the only dish that I can say so. I would rate this dish at 8.9/10 .

I do not derive any satisfaction in condemning any restaurant. Bear in mind that when I go out for food, as a paying customer, I expect some kind of decent food to commensurate the price paid. I must say that the price here is very cheap, in fact the total meal came to just RM 51.60 which is probably a third of what you would pay elsewhere but the food needs serious quality adjustments. The couple serving us were really wonderful and they seemed like very nice people but I am not sure if they realise that the food is just not up to the mark. If only you could improve the food drastically and maintain the prices, then definitely your restaurant would be one of the best Tamil restaurants in the Klang Valley and it would draw customers from various corners. If nothing is done, then unfortunately I do not see that any customer that comes by would be returning again. Hope that the needful is done urgently!

Address: No. 22A-01, Jalan PJU 8/5G, Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Opening Hours: 1100 - 2200 Daily

Telephone: +603 7733 3175 

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