CHENNAI: Two best friends had a dream since their school days. To open a pocket-friendly eatery with decent proportions of food. Meet the owners of this 15-day-old place, Mohamed Suhail and Vignesh Manne, who come from different backgrounds.
Suhail has just completed Biotech engineering and Vignesh recently finished his degree in fashion marketing and branding in Singapore. It was the love for food that brought these two young entrepreneurs to make their dream come true after nine months of planning. “Both of us are 23 years old, and hence the name Episode 23 Bistro. As kids, we were not exposed to food culture in the city and our pocket money was minimum. So we’ve always wanted to do something related to food. It all happened quickly,” says Vignesh.
Spread over 800 sq ft, with 24 seats, Episode 23 is a cosy haunt. The ambiance is minimalist and not cluttered. Right from curating the menu to the furniture, most of the elements were designed by the duo. Being environmentally conscious, they are also exploring sustainable cutlery options. “I am an active food blogger. In my reviews, food takes priority for rating a restaurant and ambiance is secondary. That’s exactly what we follow at our place. A common complaint by customers these days is the deterioration in the quality of food because most restaurants go on an expansion spree within the first few days of opening their first outlet. Our focus is to maintain consistency in the long run,” says Suhail.
What makes this place special is their stuffed cones with flavoursome choices. The cones are prepared in-house. “We were careful about the consistency of the batter, size and sweetness of the cone. Every day we would have trial sessions. The cones were made thick and big for the rich filling. And this is a hot-selling item here. We plan to introduce savoury cones,” says Vignesh. Take a bite into cone, and the crispiness coupled with the freshly baked aroma will transport you to the world of good food dreams. The chicken pieces are moist and juicy with a balanced mix of seasonings. Packed with sumptuous meaty chunks, one cone can suffice a decent appetite.
“These days restaurant hopping for different courses of a meal has become a trend. So we wanted the menu to have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items which includes pizzas, pastas, main courses, burgers, soups and salads,” says Vignesh. They serve us one of their popular items, pollo piccante. With mashed potato as the base, the grilled chicken breast is laid on top of it. It comes as a package with creamy sauce, cheese and mushrooms. “We also have seafood including prawns and fish. Everything is freshly stocked for the day. We’re also picky about ingredients like cheese. For instance, mac and cheese is usually made of yellow cheddar shreds. It has to be authentic despite the cost,” says Vignesh, adding that this place is trending among school and college students.
They also have handcrafted ice-creams. From watermelon sorbet to malabar tea, these ice creams have very little preservatives and don’t stay for more than 20 days. They are smooth with 80 per cent cream and minimal essence. The sweetness quotient extends to choices in mocktail and milkshakes for the season like rainbow and strawberry-coffee flavours. Alongside, there are a few delectable pastries. Panacotta, Oreo cakes and cheesecakes are some of them. Orders for party cakes are taken. “We have discussions every day. Our chef is open to experimenting. If it turns out well then we wouldn’t mind introducing it in the menu. Genuine criticism is always welcome and we’re prepared for improvising. Our priority is to implement what we learned as customers,” shares Vignesh.
Inside Episode 23 Bistro
Spread over 800 sq ft, with 24 seats, Episode 23 is a cosy haunt. The ambiance is minimalist and not cluttered. Right from curating the menu to the furniture, most of the elements were designed by the duo. Being environmentally conscious, they are also exploring sustainable cutlery options
They also have takeaway options.
Episode 23 Bistro is on 1st Avenue, RV Nagar, G Block, Anna Nagar.