19 March 2016

Cozy Den @Jerry's Den

              Some people have dreams, and some dreamers have visions. Sometimes in one magical moment, dreams and visions are met by opportunity, and then everything starts falling into place!! That's precisely what happened with Neelima Sriram that resulted in Jerry's Den. This MasterChef India Season4 contestant, who has spent many years abroad, finally found her calling and roots in Chennai. After conducting many successful cooking sessions in the city, and also braving the rains of 2015, Neelima had her patience and perseverance rewarded in the form of this swanky, cozy café on Eldams Road. Like they say, When it's right-it's right...
              The dream child of Neelima Sriram and Kala Pillai, and proudly supported by their equal halves, Jerry's Den is located strategically on the arterial Eldams road, that connects the ever bustling T.T.K Road with Anna Salai, the Salon-cum-Café is pretty hard to miss. If you still need help, ask anyone for Toni and Guy Essensuals or better, the salon/Café that a famous South Indian actor inaugurated (:)) and you'll be happily guided to it.
               We entered the café and were greeted by an excited and ever-cheerful Neelima. It was so great to meet her for the first time in person; with some people you just tend to make that connect!! She guided us upstairs where the café is housed, above the salon....the primary concept being - offering clients a quick and healthy bite while, before or after getting their salon treatments done. Oh, and did I mention that Jerry's Den is 100% Vegetarian??
               One look at the menu, and you know you are going to be spoilt for choice, in a healthy way though. The offerings are sorted between : Sandwiches, Pasta, Coolers, Tea and Dessert. After having drooled at the menu pages the time came to make my choice :) I chose the Broccoli and Cheese Grilled Panini, Pasta di Pomodoro and the Laal Maat Alfredo Fettucine for me and my parents. In the interim I couldn't help sneak a peak into the chef's kitchen and was not at all surprised to see a proud and excited Chef Neelima at work :) She works with a small team that matches her zeal.
               I began with a bite into the soft Panini. With just the right amount of veggies, cooked just right and cheese the way I like it (lots!!), I was in DND mode already!! It was served with a warm Garden salad that again, you would want to wolf down without waiting for courtesies!! 
           Once done, it was time to attack the Penne. Both the pasta dishes were a delight. There was a bite to them, literally 'Al dente' and were generously doused in rich sauces. The Laal maat Alfredo Fettucine was quite a revelation. Using the humble and healthy Amaranth/Rajgira leaves in the Alfredo sauce lent it a lovely colour. Being a pasta lover myself, this is one idea I am going to use as much as I can. 
Thanks for the inspiration Neelima :)
               The sauces for both the dishes were mildly spiced and I could actually relish the flavours of the individual ingredients. One humble suggestion here...though it's more a fine dining requirement, I love having bread on the side with my pasta, plus it helps clean up the leftover sauce! It would be criminal to have such lovely sauce wasted, so it might be an idea to serve some warm bread on the side.
               Main course wiped off, it was time for dessert. I requested Neelima to help me out here and she right away suggested the much in demand Lemon Tea cake with Lemon flavoured Crémeux and Honey-comb. 
               The cake & crémeux were absolutely melt-in-the-mouth, warm, mildly flavoured; this is another dish you would want to clean off on your own. They also have exotic teas and coolers on the menu. Wish I could have tasted the other dishes on offer as well, I was so tempted, but sadly was already so well-fed that I mentally shelved that desire for my next visit! 
Jerry's Den, you are here to stay and I am already looking forward to its expansion in the city :) When it's right..it's right!!
Address : New No.107, Old No.47, Eldams Road, Teynampet, Chennai (Near actor SSR's home, yep, that's another good to know landmark!!)


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