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A trip to heavenly Hawaii

Scrumptious snacks and salads, creamy ice creams and much more. That's what Hawaii offers

THE YOUTHFUL exteriors in red and yellow set the mood for a leisurely afternoon at Hawaii, the still-new eatery on Bharathiar Road (near Women's Polytechnic).

What it offers is great snacks, even better mocktails and cocotails (made with tender coconut water) and salads and ice creams that are beyond compare. The pricing is pretty decent too. A meal for two, even if you order extensively from the detailed menu, will work out to less than Rs. 200.

As for the food, one can't stop raving about it. So, I'll start off with the ambience, else I forget to mention it. The interiors are basic, but exude style. Reds and yellows dominate here, too, lending a nice holiday atmosphere to the place. The restaurant is small, yes, (it only has 18 covers), but the management has plans to convert this into a chain of eateries across the city (good for all folks staying far away from Gandhipuram!).

The kitchen is functional, and neat, with a capital N. Occupying pride of place is the ice grater, used to make the delicious ice Kachang (Rs. 30 onwards). While college students and young executives people the eatery during the day, families take over in the evenings. "So, snacks and mocktails move faster in the mornings, while health-giving salads fare better in the evenings," says restaurant manager, Ashok.

The cocotails, snacks and chaats are a must-try. Every snack and sandwich is served with a small portion of salad and wafers and a special tomato-garlic-capsicum sauce, developed in-house. The crunchy breaded baby corn (Rs. 15) and cheese and paneer balls (Rs. 25) are meant for those who love their food, but are endowed with bodies that don't divulge that.

For the grilled fruit sandwich (Rs. 20), the accompaniments are a delicious portion of cut fruits, castor sugar and honey. What strikes you most is the presentation of food - it is almost picture-perfect and sticks to what the cookbooks say.

Innovation is another key feature here. When chaat-hating me took a look at the dahi papdi (Rs. 20), I became a convert, immediately. Resting on a cup-shaped papdi was a creamy mix of potatoes, topped off with a concoction of thick curd, chutneys and a sprinkling of cut dates and raisins. "Normally date chutney is mixed along side the curd. We thought of adding the cut fruit, instead. And, people love it," Ashok states.

What you will also love is the music being played inside. Imagine listening to vintage Illayaraja melodies on the piano even as you dine. That's what you get to hear here.

In the cocotail section, I started off with the Mint Cocotail, a refreshing mix of tender coconut water, mint, honey and lemon. The Thandai (a drink with cooling properties drunk extensively in North India during the summers), was perfect, with just the right amount of badam, herbs and pepper.

In the dessert section, scoop in spoonfuls of natural ice cream (it even has real fruit pieces... ) in flavours as exotic as lychee and peach. The Kachang, a modern-day take on the roadside ice gola, is huge and takes a solid 15 minutes to finish. Served on a bed of vanilla ice cream, it comes drizzled with sauces like orange, raspberry and strawberry.

For kids, the restaurant has worked out special dishes with equally kid-friendly names. Sample this: Sundaes called Cinderella and Snowwhite and a sandwich called Tom and Jerry.

The eatery is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 9842564000 for details.


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