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“Amazing food! Just wonderful!”
Review of Cholanad

Cholanad
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Ranked #17 of 292 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Mallette St
north carolina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Amazing food! Just wonderful!”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

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!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank golfikrols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    86
    58
    14
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Sophisticated Indian Cuisine”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Choland restaurant is one of the best fine dining establishments on Franklyn St, particularly if you enjoy Southern Indian Tamil cuisine. The executive chef Subash takes great pride in delivering authentic food in a relaxed but elegant setting. We ate there as a family party of 6 'Brits' and I cannot think of a better place to entertain family and friends. We were made to feel most welcome and our waiter Chris was attentive and helpful. Subash joined us later and we spent a few enjoyable moments discussing Indian cuisine its spices and we were grateful for the opportunity to thank him personally for producing such wonderful food.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank makapaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great food, good drinks, chilled-out vibe”
Reviewed December 13, 2012

I was very surprised to taste some of the best indian food I've ever had in Chapel Hill of all places. Been twice and both my wife and I thought our meal was delicious each time. Drinks were good as well. My only complaint would be that the drinks can be a bit slow to get to the table. Otherwise all good. I look forward to returning again. Unfortunately I'm a student and and short on cash or I'd eat here at least once a week. Nice atmosphere for an upscale dinner with family or friends.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank knowmadd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Authentic South Indian Food”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Great place that serves authentic, fresh south indian food. I had the south indian thali and it was excellent. Chef Subash and his team do a great job.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Aswin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Updating my previous review”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I'm updating my previous review. After the poor experience, I was contacted by the restaurant and they apologized for what had happened. It seems that the Friday I ordered takeout was a very busy night and it took longer than expected to get the food.

My dine in experiences since have been very nice.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank traveller0208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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