Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peaceful Pondicherry

The cover picture is of a Tiramisu Cake that i had baked when i was home and the master clicker, my brother obliged and clicked pics! I love the pics, and the post on the Tiramisu cake will be coming up soon!
Moving onto a weekend trip to Pondicherry with cousins, dog and appetite in tow.

The clichéd, over-used, excessively visited, erstwhile peaceful town of Pondicherry is reeling under the effect of the onset of viral, rabid commercialism and tourism (not to mention the lure of cheaper liquor and it's status as 'affordable getaway location'). Am i complaining? Well, yes and no.

I am not complaining about the onslaught of all the commercial spaces that have ravaged the little town. I could do with the little French Bakeries and eateries in every other by-lane. What i could do without, however, would be the shabby maintenance. i could also certainly do without all the traffic and pollution.
All that aside, i had a chance to go again last week, it was a get together of cousins. In a word, we had a blast. It was more special because we got to take Oreo. That implied, we went on morning walks on the boulevard, we took her to the sea, out walking in many of those special lanes and share that feeling of togetherness and breathe in the calm, sea air. 

We also got to try out some of the very enterprising food joints. Yes, wherever we go, food is certainly a priority. Especially when you are with a family of foodies: it runs in the genes i like to think! :)

Special mention goes to the popular Baker Street. Priding itself in being a Concept store stocking up on fresh breads, baguettes and French confectionary, all locally made, it is a must visit pit stop when in Pondy. Known for their breakfasts, we landed there the morning of the day that we were leaving, and all of us ended up having a very hearty meal and packing heartier boxes of goodies for the ride back home. I didn't fancy the coffee éclair much, but the raisin filled escargots, croissants and cookies more than made up for it. Done up in a cozy ambiance, Baker Street sees a flux of the tourist crowd and the foreigners alike. I would definitely go back next time i'm in town.

Another food joint we visited was the Villa Shanti tucked away on Rue Suffren. The restaurant is actually on the premises of the Villa Shanti hotel, and i'd recommend it for a quiet Continental meal, romantic rendez vous or business meal. The ambiance is perfect, if you are seated in the verandah, you face the courtyard where the sunlight streams into the landscaped courtyard. With its high ceilings, immaculate white walls and furniture and lanterns on the veranda hanging low, the restaurant exudes a charm like none other, and i can imagine how beautiful the place would look dinner time.
The food was delish, the unanimously best choice was the plat du jour, the veal with the barbecue espresso sauce. A vegetarian cousin had the super yum butter naans and if it weren't for the dish of fish wrapped prawn that i'd ordered, i may have switched loyalties. This is also where i had the Flourless orange almond cake and we all know what that inspired.

We took the opportunity to visit the ever popular Rendez Vous. The restaurant is epic in the kind of food it serves and the countless number of times that we've been there ever since we started coming to Pondy ~ many a sizzler and bacardi breezer have been had on that terrace restaurant :)

Their reputation did suffer a set back when the food was not as good in between, but stashing all that aside, we decided to head out there for lunch, and we were super glad we did! The yummiest crabs and prawns were devoured. {A confession: I am a sucker for seafood, and it takes precedence over animal meat any day for me.} We unabashedly ate crab and prawns with both our hands, clicked pictures and joked and laughed till we could not handle anymore of it. They have a too-good-to-be true seafood platter that encompasses a little of everything from the crustacean world: Mussels, oyesters, fish fingers, steamed fish, butterfly prawns, calamari, and sautéd prawns + a healthy dose of yummy mashed potatoes and a side of steamed veggies! Very reasonable priced, Rendez vous is an institution that can give any of the newbie  restaurants a run for their money. Their choice of seafood and sizzlers available is brill and i don't think i'd go to Pondy and not visit Rendez vous. 

Now onto the last pitstop on our way back to Chennai. Those of you who have watched the Gautam Menon romance-drama Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa may be aware of the classic and popular Moonrakers in Mahabalipuram. Or may be you won't. Moonrakers is like this well kept secret. 

It is NOT a place you should visit for the ambiance (or if you can not handle spicy food), this establishment can give any locally run seafood restaurant a run for their money. They serve the freshest (i can not stress that enough) seafood, most probably from the catch half an hour back and really, there's not anythin else to be said. Their house masala which can be customized for crab, fish, lobster, prawn  or even meat leaves us asking for more. That, coupled with some plain steamed white  rice, is something we'd drive any distance for. So much so that, there is a bunch of us who drive down to Mahabs everyother sunday for their mouthwatering specialties. That and a few beers and it is a very happy Sunday. 

So, anyway, that was a bit about that weekend. We are now neck deep in Christmas stuff, and loving it! Here's hoping all of you are having a blessed season as well! Cheers!


  1. Lovely write up...it is always fun to be out with family and friends...who love food (especially).


  2. I loved being there in Pondi...your clicks are to die for. especially the bakery goodies. happy holidays.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. sorry..that was me previously..hadnt realised id signed in with my non exixtent blog acc..
    you just brought back fond memories of pondy n mahabs..moonrakers was our fav jaunt for lazy sunday lunch sessions. i miss chennai terribly now :(

    1. Aw!! i wish i could make you feel better Nisha. next time you come down, let's go to Moonrakers!
      oh, and if you want any input that will NOT make you miss this place one bit, pls tell. i can give you a LIST! :) (starting with the fricking crazy traffic/pollution 'cos of the Metro rail construction bla bla...) :)

  5. I loved your blogpost :) We are leaving this weekend with our doggie and while we are staying in a pet friendly resort we love eating out. So curious to know were any of the places you ate pet friendly so was the four footed friend not allowed in :) If yes then i know all the places we are eating at this weekend :)

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  7. wow. Very nice and delightful blog. Really I like all the places to visit in Pondicherry. Thank you for this.

  8. Most delightful dishes. Really great and interesting story. Nice one. I have a no words to describe about these Blog. I am so happy.

  9. Hey! Loved the pictures and the info as well :) I'm going to pondy this week, the restaurant listed will be my priority for sure. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us. Photos you shared in this blog is wonderful and nicely clicked . Keep posting like this.


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