There are many times when I sit and browse through the list of restaurants that I wanted to try and Cleo’s caught my eye quite a few times. Was on my bookmarked list for quite a while. Moving to Kottivakkam was yet another incentive as it became nearby as well. Finally a small family gathering was about to happen on Republic Day and the choice of location was left to me. Voila !
Located in one of the bylanes of LB road, one of the busier streets of Adyar, this is quite easy to find using Google Maps. They have got limited parking area but easier to park nearby. Gramophones decorate the walls, table lights are hung down with pulley shaped mechanisms and lighting is pretty toned down in general. All in all pretty quaint in terms of ambiance.
One giant menu card with everything stuffed in it was handed over. After racking our brains for a few mins, we got down to ordering a few of their highly recommended soups and starters.
Grilled Bell Pepper Soup – We ordered both vegetarian and the seafood versions.The seafood soup was creamy and quite delicious but the smell of meat was quite pungent. If they can tone it down this would be a lot better. I heard the Veg version was good as well.
Fiery Murgh Kebabs – It was served with mint chutney. The chicken was slightly charred on the outside, meat was soft inside, delicious and had the right amount of spice.
Wild Wings – I had heard that their Wild wings are pretty hot but it turned out to be a bland affair. Nowhere near spicy and it was nothing to be excited about.
Cleo’s Grilled Paneer – Grilled Paneer cubes was served with cocktail sauce and purplish cabbage which seemed to lift the appearance of the dish. Paneer was soft and marinated well. Sprinkled on top were chili flakes, mint and cheese, it was quite delicious. The cocktail sauce which accompanied this dish was finger licking good.
Wok Tossed Vegetables – Choice of vegetable can be selected. Out of Cauliflower Mushroom, Paneer and Baby Corn, we chose baby corn. It was served with burnt garlic sauce which was pretty good.
Cleo’s Mediterranean Salad – Salad was light and delicious.
Bread – Olive Naan, Cheese Naan and Garlic Naan were ordered. Olive was splattered all over and the flavor was quite evident. We were intrigued when we ordered this and it was a pretty good dish in the end. Cheese and Garlic versions were the usual and done well.
Paneer Tikka Masala – Soft huge pieces of paneer. The gravy was bit on the sweeter side and quantity was pretty good. It definitely passed muster.
Keema Mutton – Gravy consisted of small pieces of mutton and egg whites with a lot of spices. It was not the usual shredded meat that I expected and it was quite delicious. Definitely something I would order again.
Service was where they let us down and how. Starting off there seemed to be too few people taking orders so getting their attention proved time-consuming. The veg main course was ordered before the starters arrived and non-veg part was ordered after. Veg main course arrived and after 15 mins we checked with them to no avail. After multiple promises of “Sir it will be ready in 2 mins”, we decided to call it a day having lost our appetite after 30 mins. We asked for the bill and while waiting for it, the keema and naan arrived. No sign of the Grilled Fish even then. So we canceled that. Being made to wait 30 mins for the main course is not at all acceptable and the staff trying to justify that was ridiculous. I have never encountered such slackish attitude before and hope to never do so again.
Pricing point was pretty decent since we were a large group. A couple of soups, 4 starters and main course came up to 2200. They discounted Service Charge in our case which was the least they could do IMO. The ambiance is decent, food pretty good but hugely let down in terms of service.
Ambiance – 3.5/5
Food – 4/5
Service – 1/5
VFM – 4/5