My husband is not a big fan of Indian food, nor is our houseguest, Ken. But we were attracted by the nice decor and the interesting menu listed outside the restaurant. We were not disappointed!
My husband can not wait to go back and Ken said he definitely wants to do another visit to Cholanad before returning to Denmark. As for me, the food at Cholanad is unlike any Indian cuisine I have ever experienced and I am also looking forward (with great anticipation) to trying the dosas and curried soft shell crabs on my next visit. .
The food at Cholanad is fresh and carefully prepared and presented. We started with steamed rice buns served with a delicate, yet spicy sauce (delicious!), the sauteed crab served in a papadum bowl and a fresh garlic naan which came with a warm tikka masala sauce (the best I have ever tasted). The naan was so soft and fresh and the garlic flavor just danced on our toungues. The crab appetizer was very tasty and Ken reports that his lamb kofta was excellent. For the main course I ordered the whole fish on banana leaf and my husband had the Thai infused whole fish served with flavorful basmati rice, so light and fluffy I thought it would lift off the plate and fly away. Ken had the curried chicken. Our conversation was limited the rest of the evening to how delicious the food was, in between oohs and ahs. We had hardly begun our meal before we were already planning what we would order the next time from the quite unique and varied menu.
The staff at Cholanad was very friendly and the atomsphere sophisted and modern, yet casual and comfortable. The prices were more than reasonable (there were appetizers on the menu for a mere $5 and $17 for a fresh fish entree is unheard of in most restaurants of this calibre). If we had one complaint it would be that the service was a bit slow and somewhat disorganized. We did not have much of a problem because we dined early, but by the end of our meal we noticed that there were people that had been waiting a long time and their order had not yet been taken. They also mixed up one of our appetizers and went to take another table's order before ours, though we were clearly seated at least a full fifteen minutes before the other table. They had forgotton Ken's second glass of wine which, after several reminders, arrived at the end of the meal just before dessert, and I need to mention that our cutlery was not changed in between our appetizer and main course; the busboy merely placed our used, sauce-covered knives and forks back on top of the white linen table cloth for us to use again (not very nice).This was Sunday evening, after Christmas and a day before the end of the year (the place was packed). According to our waiter many of the staff chose not to come in to work. He explained that he himself was just substituting and I assume the other workers were not regular staff either. We felt the food is so good that it is worth waiting for and that it compensated for some of the serving errors, but we could easily understand if some of the patrons were upset.
We highly recommend this restaurant. We would advise the owners, however, to consider employing professional waiters and kitchen staff if they continue to have these serving problems. Our compliments to the chef and to all, Happy New Year and bon apetit!
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