Copper Chimney, Dr Radha Krishnan Salai, Chennai

My hunt for the best naan-roti-makhani restaurant in Chennai goes on. So I decided to revisit Copper Chimney, one of the most popular restaurants in this genre.

We ordered boti kabab and paneer tikka to start with along with a tomato soup for the kids to share. We don’t take soft, creamy paneer for granted in Chennai, so the tikka scored highly on this count. They used one of the creamy marinades for the tikka rather than the chilli-turmeric variety. Boti kabab was appropriately tenderized and flavourful enough that I asked for a roomali roti to wipe the sauce off. Tomato soups in most restaurants appear to be of standard make, thick and creamy with croutons.

We erred with our main course and that is where the service failed. We ordered Channa Peshawari and Dum Aloo, both of which turned out to have been with similar sauce/gravy. The person who took our order should, ideally, have pointed this out to us. Dum Aloo had large pieces of potato stuffed with paneer in something like a thick version of makhani sauce. I don’t know the provenance of such a Dum Aloo – the Kashmiri version has a thinner sauce and the UP version (branded a Dum Aloo Banarasi in many restaurants) isn’t so complicated. Still, it passed the taste test. The channa failed miserably. For me channa (chickpeas/garbanzo beans) just doesn’t go well with the makhani sauce. The breads – garlic naan, butter naan, roomali roti and lachchha paratha were all well made. Many good restaurants do the lachchha paratha with whole wheat flour but this was either maida or a very refined form of atta. I also ordered a mutton dum biriyani which was neither Awadhi nor Hyderabadi but closer to the ones sold in Delhi as ‘achaari biriyani’ using tomato as an additional ingredient for the sourness and chilli-heat than the Awadhi biriyani.

We finished off our meal with sevaiyon ka muzaffar and kulfi. While the savaiyon ka muzaffar was different from Awadhi original which has a lot more vermicelli, this one was essentially rabdi to which some fried vermicelli was added. The taste was fabulous; largely due to the quality of the rabdi and it would be pedantic to go into its authenticity. Kulfi was also nice and creamy though kept at few degrees lower than it ought to have been. This was not a cheap meal and the dishes were a bit of a hit and miss.

Ed: Cover photo from Cafe On 3, Doubletree by Hilton, New Delhi-NOIDA-Mayur Vihar.

Siddhartha Singh

a well travelled, enthusiastic foodie who doesn't suffer culinary fools. He has an overwhelming passion for food, be it a tasty morsel off a street side vendor or a gourmet creation from a Michelin starred restaurant. He blogs at Culinary Yatras