Have you ever tasted guinea pigs? I asked my friend. “No” he answered, by the way, what is the menu after this? Asked my friend. Just to put things into perspective all these discussions were going on during a remembrance service. I know we should have actually closed our eyes and remembered the departed soul but the foodie that we are can never take us away from a discussion about good food.
I could then feel a buzzing in my chest, it was my mobile phone trying to indicate that someone was trying to call me. I excused myself and rushed out of the hall to receive the call. It was from Chili’s Grill & Bar restaurant and the gentleman wanted to invite me to their restaurant at Acropolis Mall. The bonus was that he wanted me to suggest 2 – 3 of my friends who would like to also be invited. At once I accepted the invitation and messaged few of my friend who would be interested in joining me.
It was not that difficult and the first three friend that I called happily agreed to join in. By the way, before I proceed let me inform you that these were no ordinary friends but very popular and known food bloggers in the city. By evening I get a confirmation from all of them that they had indeed received a confirmation call from Chili’s and that we would be going the next evening.
Acropolis Mall is not that far from my house and the next day reached the restaurant at around 7.45 PM, by then the rest of the guests had already arrived and were actually waiting for me. With the host nowhere to be seen, I messaged to check on him and received a call back that due to an urgent meeting he won’t be available and he had instructed the team to take care of us.
A team member from the service team welcomed us and gave us the menu to order, now all of us were in a dilemma since we did not know what exactly to order as usually during blogger invitations the host decides a set menu which the restaurant would like to highlight. Luckily we had veterans in our team thus they ordered some non-alcoholic drinks and starters first.
Virgin Mojito was good as usual and after a long tiring days’ work the mints was really refreshing. The starters have three different varieties of chicken, served with carrots and sauce (Tomato, Chilli and Mayo) which they called Non-Veg Triple Dipper. Basically chicken deep fried in different batter and in a different style. I somehow liked the chilli sauce a lot, it was bit different than what I had usually had till date.
Confusion ran in the group as to why exactly we have been invited, since I was the person to suggest others name thus I was supposed to answer but ironically even I had no idea. I was expecting some briefing from the host or team at least some basic idea about the type of food we were about to be served. Since I am not a full blown food blogger thus I had to ask my friends to enlighten me about this particular food joint. Well by now I knew this was a part of a famous chain of restaurants which serve American and Mexican type fast food and is known to serve good portions which sometimes can be enough for two souls.
For the main course, Burger and Bacon & Cheddar Steak were ordered. Since this place is known for its large portions thus we agreed to order single portions and divide them amongst four of us. We wanted to order the steak well-done but was recommended to have it medium-rare instead. And for the burgers we were recommended with some crispy bacon.
By nature, I am a bit introvert but this occasion required me to rise to the occasion and come out of the cocoon that I usually build around myself. I tried to break into random conversations with my fellow bloggers and even once tried to tell some funny stories about my experience about blogging that I have personally experienced. With no other option, I tried to become Arnab Goswami by throwing out random questions to my friends and even before they could finish answering one I had to invent another. There were questions like “So what according to you is the most labour intensive type of cooking?”, “Average bill size at Chili’s?”, “Who owns Hoppipola, how many branches do they have?”, “Have you tried vlogging? If not you must” etc. At one point we also started debating about Michelin Star.
Questions were becoming so obnoxious that even I had difficulty in composing them. I just wished that I had a remote with a power to alter time and reality, I would for sure rewind back and mute myself out of this situation.
By now that burger and steak had arrived and we were busy photographing them. The burger looked big in portion size with a good sizable amount of chips. The bacon strips looked and tasted yummy so were the caramelised onion rings. The steak, on the other hand, was right in portion size along with steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and mushrooms but a bit on the drier side, I was expecting it to be a bit juicy.
And then there was silence as we did not know what to do next. Do we wait for someone to tell us something about the restaurant or do we simply walk out? I just kept staring up at the arrays of light that adorned the ceiling. Every second seemed to be like a minute and a minute like an hour. Just in time, the service team inquired about the dessert order.
We were served a Molten Chocolate Cake. Since I have a real big sweet tooth thus I must admit that this was the best part of the evening for me. The chocolate cake with hot chocolate oozing out along with cold vanilla ice cream made me really happy, I must also confess that I had the most of it and just could not stop relishing it.
Next what? Do we again wait or do we go? Do we get to meet the chef and thank them for the beautiful meal and get to ask them questions? At last someone from the service team informed that the food is “on the house” and we don’t have to pay. A sigh of relief came down on my face, finally, I get to hear the best news of the day.