Chennai Kings now open in Mountain View
We had dinner last night and loved everything. Restaurant is open with "soft-run" menu that will soon expand. Tamarind soup, chicken 65, parotta with goat curry, biryani with chicken and spices, mango lassi. Beer and wine will be available soon.
I am a fan but not familiar with South Indian cuisine and culture -- await others' reviews. Greeting and service, including waiter describing and showing us photos of each dish, were great! Food was seasoned mild for us and our opinions were asked. We even got a quick lesson on cricket (shown on two TVs w/o audio). Go Dhoni!
Location has been Gelayo Gusto (loved their gelato and froyo), then a sandwich shop. Now, it is nicely decorated and happily busy. Try it.
856 El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040
Thanks for the tip! I tried the parotta with goat curry tonight and it was good, similar to what Aachi Aappakadai serves in Sunnyvale. That restaurant (minus the aappams) seems the closest comparison to Chennai Kings. Chennai Kings is smaller with better decor; service was also better on this initial visit. I'll have to try more things to see if there are some standout dishes, but it's promising.
Tonight's dinner was even better. The chicken biryani is one of the best I've had here recently, nicely spiced and with much richer chicken meat flavor than is usual in this neighborhood. The fish curry with kal dosa was wonderful, with just the right amount of tamarind (sometimes places can go overboard and it gets overbearing to my taste). The meen varuval made a great appetizer. The mango and pineapple virgin mojitos were OK, the mango better than the pineapple. Chennai Kings is rapidly becoming a favorite!
Tried to show up, was told at 2:15 they were closed. No hours signs on the door, although another sign saying they would be open all afternoon in a few weeks, and directing people to their facebook page (not the url here). Annoyed but understanding.
And I was going to post to Yelp and 4sq the hours.
Off-topic here, but the restaurant name is a spin-off from "Chennai Super Kings", the city's cricket team in the Indian Premier League. Cricket is the biggest, richest sport in India, and Chennai Super Kings is the most successful team to-date.
I stopped by within the last few days for lunch and just got a plain dosa + filter coffee.
The filter coffee was milky and sweet (the way I like it) - not as frothy as some versions.
The plain dosa came with sambar, coconut chutney and a red chutney (tomato?). The sambar was flavorful and spicy - well done. The coconut chutney was very watery and mild. I didn't like the flavor of the red chutney (it had a vaguely nutty taste), but if you'd like the taste, it was strong and the consistency was even and creamy.
The dosa itself was a bit limp and oily but competently enough done. It's actually a bit difficult to get dosa for lunch on a weekday, so for that I was grateful.
The experience didn't blow me away (but I didn't order the most exciting thing either). Will try it again.
Thanks for the dosa and coffee report. There are many places to get dosas for lunch in Sunnyvale - Madras Cafe, Saravana Bhavan, and Madura are 3 that I particularly like in my neighborhood.
I was back at Chennai Kings last night for goat biryani and rasam. The goat biryani turned out to be a lamb/mutton biryani. I think that may have been the case with my initial goat curry order too. It's tasty meat but I suggested they may want to have the menu match what they're serving in the dish. I still like their biryanis here very much. The rasam was good as well.
Came here again with a group so got to sample more dishes:
Tamarind soup was so spicy I couldn't stomach it, and I eat almost Southern Thai level spicy.
The dosas remain average. Ordered the paneer and onion. Decent flavor, less greasy than last time, a bit limp for my tastes. Chutneys are OK.
Ordered two briyanis (mutton and chicken) spicy, both had a satisfying flavor - was not spicy at all compared to the tamarind soup. The layering of the rice was well done. A competent rendition.
Fish curry was meh - not much flavor and the fish itself was OK quality. It had a dull spice blend and the coconut milk only added texture not much flavor.
Chicken tikka masala was fine.
Watching cricket was fun.
It's one of the few non Andhra places that are doing both meat and veg South Indian, so I will probably continue to support them. The menu itself, however, is somewhat hit or miss.