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Sachcha Svaad at Fully Local Chennai

Trust ‘em Punjabis with their Lassi, Dal and Tandoor. SERIOUSLY. Fully Local is a restaurant that focuses on the local Delhi, Amritsari and other such cherished North Indian delicacies. Located at R.K.Salai, the board and the decor on the stairs leading to the restaurant is extremely prominent, making it quite easy to locate. Parking might be a slight ordeal, in the narrow street where the entrance is located. The filmy punch dialogues on the stairs clearly lead to this modern, minimalistic Dhaba with Hindi classics in the background, sure to make you nostalgic! Funky colours, retro windows and swanky quotes in frames all around the restaurant make it an enjoyable and laid back atmosphere to dine in. The staff are peppy and ever-bustling making sure you’re fed as much!

Steps

The menu is interactive and descript with MANY classic dishes that North Indians away from home would pine for. The combos are the most attractive feature on this fully loaded menu. At a glance, it would look like it favours the non-vegetarians, but trust me the DAL is to die for. The vegetarians have quite many options too! We were invited for lunch on a weekend afternoon that turned out to be blissful, thanks to them.

Wall

Interior

Kicking off this *slurp* North Indian ride, was the Aam Panna, the welcome drink which was chatpata and super refreshing. Other beverages we had during the course of our lunch was Paan Mojito, Green Apple Mojito and Blue curaçao and passion fruit Mojito. All of these were presented in big bulbs! It’s one of the very few places that did this and here, I felt the quantity was pretty good too. The Paan and Green Apple had just about the right flavours and were my favourites of the lot. We also had their signature Saffron Lassi. DO NOT MISS THIS! It was simply stunning. The flavour of saffron was so subtle and calming while the perfectly thick, not-too-sweet lassi was SO refreshing! You could just have gallons of this as a beverage or a liquid dessert, YES.

Aam Panna
Aam Panna
Mojitos
Mojitos
Saffron Lassi
Saffron Lassi

For appetisers, we had a HUGE spread (favouring the non-vegetarians that afternoon owing to the huge platter). From the vegetarian side, we had two DHAMAKA dishes: Paneer No.8 and Tandoori Mushroom. Both of these were equally delicious. Paneer No.8 is heartwarmingly named after the restaurateur’s sister (her DOB to be specific) who absolutely loves paneer! It has these tangy, sweet and spicy rich marinade with onions, peppers and fresh, in-house, chunky cubes of paneer. Tandoori Mushroom was an instant “YUUUM” from the minute it’s aroma wafted towards me. Those JUICY, perfectly sized button mushrooms had SO much of the tandoori masala marinated and soaked all over with the grill being perfect on it that I still feel them on my palate! Being such a well-cooked dish, this appetiser was my absolute FAVOURITE. Other than this we had the iconic, fancy plated Golgappa Shots which came with more than sufficient pani and slightly less aloo. The filling was made with both potatoes and chana. The pani was quite spicy and the puri, uber crispy. The pani in shot glasses was difficult to pour onto the puris. This surely wasn’t as standout an appetiser as the others!

Paneer No.8
Paneer No.8
Gol Gappa Shots
Gol Gappa Shots
Tandoori Mushhroom
Tandoori Mushhroom

From the Non-Vegetarian Platter, there were 6 appetisers: Mutton Sheekh Kebab, Chicken Sheekh Kebab, Hariyali Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tikka, Afghani Chicken and Malai Chicken Tikka. Traditional, authentic kebabs, these were as succulent and flavour packed as ever. Each of these had a distinct flavour from which the Afghani and Hariyali were pretty strong and delicious! We also had the Kheema Pav, another evergreen dish from the street food scene. Tangy and punchy, generous amounts of mutton in the gravy went well with the butter soaked Pav. Then came in their NEW addition, the Double Sheekh, which is a mutton sheekh wrapped around a chicken sheekh! Thus, the two-in-one. This was really meaty and way juicier when compared to the ones that came on the platter! Must-have if you’re a fan of Sheekhs.

Kheema Pav
Kheema Pav
Non Veg Platter
Non Veg Platter
Double Sheekh
Double Sheekh

Despite being quite stuffed with the first course, the spread of the main course still seemed enticing, especially to those few missing their ‘Ghar ka Khana’. To be honest, none of those gravies or mains seemed like they needed ANY form of correction or improvement, they came as and how they should be, heritage and nostalgia intact. There were the amazingly flavour packed Mutton Rogan Josh and Butter Chicken, VIBRANT as ever in colour and taste! The meat in both was super tender and succulent went EXTREMELY well with their breads. Butter Chicken was subtle in taste and rich in cream and butter (LOL, DUH) while the Rogan Josh had depths of meaty flavour fully immersed in it. Rightfully, these are their signature gravies, here at Fully Local. Despite having such fulfilling meat sides, the sole winner in the main-course gravies for me was the Kali Dal Makhani. It came in cute little buckets and no one on the table could keep their hands off the uplifting gravy. I would keep revisiting this place just for this. While it well with the Kadak Roti and the Naan, I felt the Jeera Rice we had was it’s soulmate. *Salivating uncontrollably* Other two Veg gravies we had were the  Veg Hyderabadi and the Delhi Rajma. Both of these were on point and well accompanied the breads and Jeera Rice respectively. Tasted very homely and weren’t too heavily greasy. From the Assorted Bread Basket, the Missi Roti was my favourite while the Stuffed Kulchas and Lachcha Parathas were also VERY well prepared; soft, perfect stuffing ratio and light. They have also introduced the new concept of Family Naans which is a long stretched Naan which would easily serve about 8 pieces. We also got to try the Lucknowi Chicken Biryani. The quantity was generous as was the zest in the biryani, a slight relief to a few of us piquant biryani lovers that it was a spiced up version of the generally toned down, subtle Lucknowi Biryani. This is one of the most tummy filling happy North Indian meals I’ve had in a long time now!

Veg Hyderabadi
Veg Hyderabadi
Kali Dal Makhani
Kali Dal Makhani
Delhi Rajma
Delhi Rajma
Assorted Breads
Assorted Breads
Family Naan
Family Naan
Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken
Lucknowi Chicken Biryani
Lucknowi Chicken Biryani

Too stuffed with the Saffron Lassi and Dal I’d excessively stuffed myself with (involuntarily *wink wink*), desserts were an uphill task to taste and woah, I was sorry I could only have a bit from these! The Kulfi on a Stick and their special Phirni  were both equally authentic and deliciously rich in taste. Both not being overtly sweet, they were the perfect finish to the epic luncheon.

Kulfi on a stick
Kulfi on a stick
Phirni
Phirni

While the prices seem to be slightly on the higher side, the quality and authenticity of dishes that are as carefully prepared, surely would woo you in. VFM options in the form of combos would also make sure you’d be a regular at this next-door Dhaba. The little bicycle carrying your after-meal refreshments and a flat iron carrying bills are the tiny details that would make you connect with the place. Fully Local is a must visit for those craving home-style North Indian khana without the Kadi Patta/Rai infiltration!

WTF METER FOR FULLY LOCAL:

Ambience- 8/10

Service- 8/10

Quantity- 10/10

Taste- 10/10

Presentation- 8/10

VFM- 7/10

Overall- 8.5/10

Find Fully Local on Fully Local Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Nandini Srinivasan

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