Remember our restaurant jaunt of ₦20,000 budget for two experiment? Well, this is the mainland edition, at Pondicheri Restaurant. I spent a little extra because I wanted some ice cream. You can’t blame me for that; It’s ice cream! 😁
In case you missed it, read the island edition here.
Have you ever visited a restaurant and from the entrance you’re like “Nah, I want to go somewhere else“? That’s how I felt when I got to Pondicheri Restaurant.
I arrived a few minutes after their 11:00 am opening time. As soon as I arrived, as is my habit, I decided to take some pictures of the outdoor space and was met with hostility from the security guard. He kept complaining about me taking pictures even after I mentioned that I was there to dine. Another security guard came, asking if I got permission first. I had to explain again that I was there to dine, and I wanted to take a few pictures before heading in.
Trust me, I wanted to walk away and visit another restaurant because, in my opinion, this was poor customer service, but I decided to stay and see how the experience plays out.
The decor at the reception was very Indian. There was a bronze statue of Ganesh and a smaller one of a Buddha behind the reception desk. There’s something satisfying about a restaurant that is intentional about its decor.
I had to sit at the reception for about 15 minutes because the staff was in a general meeting with their manager at the ground floor dining area, which I felt was a little odd considering the fact that they’re open to dining from 11:00 am.
There are dining areas on the ground floor, first floor, and on rooftop. There isn’t much of an ambience in Pondicheri Restaurant. The decor is simple and just a little basic. However, the rooftop dining area was slightly different, with lots of plants around and a rustic sort of vibe going on (the ceiling was decorated with bamboo sticks.)
Anyone can walk into Pondicheri Restaurant and would guess it’s an Indian-themed restaurant, more so because of the choice of decorations and murals on the walls in the downstairs and upstairs dining areas. There was also a mural of two actors from the movie, Badsha, which got me excited.
Now, onto what you’ve been waiting for – the FOOD!
You should know that Indians share the same spice palette with Nigerians. Their food is just as spicy and as heavily seasoned as ours. When I walked into the rooftop dining space, it smelled really spicy.
I was served two sauces to go along with my starters – green chutney and pepper sauce.
I had the Hara Bara Kebab (₦2,000) and Chicken 65 (₦3,500).
To be candid, when I saw Hara Bara Kebab on the menu, I was expecting something on a stick.
Little did I know it’ll be a cookie-like thing with cashew nuts, and it was AMAZE-balls! When I took the first bite, the taste reminded me of a samosa. I fell in love!
I’m 100% certain I’ll revisit Pondicheri for this starter. It was warm, soft and delicious.
Chicken 65 – This was a tad bit salty and tangy but oddly nice. I can see myself chopping this into little bits and cooking it in a nice pot of peppery noodles.
Oven Hot Bread
Garlic Naan (₦600) – I love Naan bread. Who doesn’t?
It was okay but a tad tough and oily. The naan bread was a perfect pair with the green chutney. As a Yoruba babe, I also dipped the bread in the pepper sauce. lol
Aloo Dum Kashmiri (₦3,000) – This was made with baby potatoes simmered in Kashmiri red chilly gravy. It tasted okay and felt like eating pottage, but with potatoes, not yam, and less seasoning.
Bhuna Gosht (₦3,800) – This was made with lamb, cooked in an onion and tomato gravy. I quite liked this. The lamb was tender. This will pair well with white rice.
Fish Chettinad (₦4,200) – The fish was well done. There was no issue with this meal, but I didn’t like the taste.
Gulab Jamoon (₦1,500) – This was an overly sweet dessert. It looked like puff-puff soaked in an almost syrup-like liquid. I had just a bite and no more because it was just too sweet. Was it good? Yes. Will I have it again? No.
I enjoyed my Pondicheri experience and it was certainly a lot of food, even for two. Talk about value for money, huh. My waiter, Charles, was patient, attentive, and he knew the menu; down to some of the ingredients used in the dishes.
The food was a lot; I had to pack most of it to go.
Yes, Indian cuisine is spicy and usually heavily seasoned; they use a lot of natural spices: garlic, ginger, mint leaves, cumin, etc.
|Ambience||No ambience per se. Indian and basic, with lots of plants in the rooftop dining space.|
|Food Quality||Apart from the Fish Chettinad, I enjoyed everything else.|
|Location||Easy to find because the name is written boldly on the building. Very limited parking space available|
Pricing is $$
Total damage came to – ₦20,700
Hara Bara Kebab: ₦2,000
Chicken 65: ₦3,500
Garlic Naan: ₦600
Aloo Dum Kashmiri: ₦3,000
Bhuna Gosht: ₦3,800
Fish Chettinad: ₦4,200
Gulab Jamoon: ₦1,500
Strawberry Ice-cream: ₦1,500
Bottled Water: ₦600
View Restaurant Menus here
|Service Delivery||Apart from the rude security guards, the staff were polite and attentive.|
Have you ever visited Pondicheri Restaurant? What was your experience like? Tell us about it in the comments.
Don’t forget to share this with your geng!