The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chili’s new outlet at Acropolis

Kolkata has warmed up to a lot of global cuisines in the last ten years and Tex-Mex cuisine is a relatively new success on its culinary map. It is evident in the way Chili’s, the popular US-headquartered international Tex—Mex cuisine chain, has been received since it opened doors at Quest two years back.

I received an invitation from Chili’s as they were to launch their third outlet in the newest mall, Acropolis (on Kasba bypass connector in south Kolkata) last month and was happy to confirm it. I had heard good things about their food. They wanted to meet food bloggers on the occasion.

It is located on the top floor (the same as the new restaurant Asia Kitchen from the Specialty Restaurants group). 

As I stepped in at the outlet in the evening, I saw bloggers Dolon Roy Chowdhury of Pout Pretty and Antara Nandy seated and chatting with Payel from the Marketing team of Chili’s. As I joined in, I found it to be an informal and very relaxed interaction on everything Chili’s and much more. The interiors are bright and vibrant- the ideal setting for casual dining. The décor was brightly lit, classy and informal. Just ideal for casual dining. 


My choice of drink was Watermelon Iced Tea. It was sharper than expected.

 Watermelon Iced Tea.

The evening kicked off with Veg Nachos and Veg Tripple Dipper, which has Veg Roll, Cheese Popper and a crumb-fried dish, with three dips. The veg nachos were delicious- both for the tortilla chip and the cheese topping, and the olive slice on it added a nice tangy twist. The whipped yoghurt served with it was a good dip. Chicken Wings followed. Seven pieces of wings fried in thin batter served with carrot sticks (sweet & sour) and a mayonnaise-based sour, off-white dip. The chicken was juicy and it tasted delicious.

Veg Nachos
 Veg Tripple Dipper
Chicken Wings

Next to arrive on the table was its signature dish Half Chicken and Fajita Trio. The first one is grilled chicken. It didn’t score much with me. I found the chicken a bit chewy and taste-wise it wasn’t at the level of the Fried Chicken Wings. It wasn’t as hot when it was served to us in smaller portions, so I think it would have tasted better otherwise. The Fajita Trio, another one of its signature items comprises of three kinds of grilled meat- chicken slices, shrimp and buffalo meat steak. It is served with six condiments and thin tortilla. The chicken was soft and delicious, the prawn was perfectly juicy and the buffalo meat was good too. Grilled to perfection, this zesty and wholesome dish lifted the mood. Put the three kinds of meat on the tortilla along with some accompanying veggies, add your choice of condiments, roll and it’s good to go. A definite recommendation!

Half Chicken

 Half Chicken
 Fajita Trio

 Fajita Trio (served)

Payel was telling us the way things are at Chili’s. Their quality assurance function holds great importance. Everything from the entire menu to the décor to the music played is approved by the New York-based international headquarters. Innovation to localize is not discouraged but the approval must be in place.

I asked her how the city has warmed up to Chili’s in the last two years.  It is positioned as a family restaurant. After the first outlet at Quest was well-received, the one at South City Mall came up in August last year. This one is the third. So far its footprint in east India is only in Kolkata. The city patrons hold fajita and burger as their favourites. It is a premium joint. A meal for two should cost around Rs 1500.

The bar is on the upper floor and they were expecting to throw it open in January 2016 once the liquor license was obtained.

Next came Veggie & Cheese Quesadilla and Southwestern Chicken Pasta. My eyes were on my favourite- pasta, so I just took a small bite of the quesadilla and it was good (spinach and creamy sauce filling). The pasta was lightly spiced penne with diced red bell pepper and sliced grilled chicken with corn all over. It was a different taste, not the creamy & cheesy type, which I liked, and the grilled chicken was succulent and scrumptious.

Veggie & Cheese Quesadilla

 Southwestern Chicken Pasta

All of us were quite full when the dessert arrived. But it was too inviting to look away. Aptly named Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie- two layers of hot walnut cake with one of chocolate chip in between, a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on it, topped with chocolate sauce, syrup and walnut. 

 Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie
Just a wee bit of caution here- it will suit chocolate lovers and those with a sweet tooth the best. For someone like me without a sweet tooth but loves dry cakes and walnut cake in particular, the sugar rush of the choco chip could be a little too strong for comfort. I would have loved it with just a few chocolate chips here and there topped with ice cream. Nevertheless, a nice finish to a satisfactory meal!

#ChilisatAcropolis #ChilisIndia #ChilisKolkata #TexMex #Fajita #GrilledChicken #CasualDiningKolkata

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