This restaurant chain from the US has some four or five in India. Being American, most of the food served is fried, comes with several accompaniments, there’s plenty of meat to choose from and the portions are huge!
Chili’s in Pune is a casual dining fast food restaurant with a lively ambience, its walls decorated with frames and props, rock music belting out on speakers in the background. The menu has those trademark giant burgers, steaks, fried chicken, sandwiches, Tex-Mex fajitas, quesadillas and tacos and interesting desserts. Their bar menu is pretty inspired — I found their list of signature cocktails interesting.
Cheese, chicken and chili constitute most of the ingredients, with beans and spices for an extra dose of fire. The sour cream and guacamole dips served with the fajitas here are absolute must-tries. If you haven’t tasted this avocado dip before, this is a good chance to try it! Guacamole is prepared with the avocado fruit blended with tomatoes, garlic, and chilies.
Here, they had made it perfectly ripe with a lovely buttery texture that avoided bitterness. The sour cream dip was perfect too, just right with the sourness and thick, creamy texture.
I ordered their Mushroom Jack Fajita (Rs 375), which comes in either chicken or paneer. We opted for the veggie version, which wasn’t disappointing in terms of quantity and quality, but slightly lacked in the taste department.
The button mushrooms in the dish were tossed with green bell peppers and crushed pepper on a griddle and heaped onto grilled paneer, which wasn’t very seasoned. The best way to enjoy this is on a tortilla, with plenty of guacamole and sour cream, topped with pico de gallo (tomato salsa).
I also tried their Triple Dipper (Rs 425) — an appetizer platter with Southwestern Spring Rolls, Chicken Crispers and Boneless Chicken Wings. The Chicken Crispers were batter-fried with not much individualistic flavour, but the chicken was white, succulent and juicy.
The Boneless Chicken Wings were heavily spiked with chillies and tasted tangy. The Southwestern Spring Rolls were unique and tasty. The crust was made like a phyllo pastry sheet with thin crispy layers, cut diagonally to reveal a veggie filling — black beans, corn, jalapeño Jack cheese, red peppers and spinach.
I was pleasantly surprised to find good desserts on the menu, like the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie (Rs 225). A crusty pie with layers of chocolate, walnuts and chewy bars embedded with chocolate chips, the inclusion of coconut gave it a versatile taste. Topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and caramel it was a grand finish indeed.
The menu they serve in India is altered according to local demand — with paneer available, and sausages and red meats taking a back seat. Good music, good booze and loads of fried stuff — enjoy the American way!
Upper ground floor, Phoenix Mall, Viman Nagar