This Kilpauk restaurant offers more than you would expect when you walk in through the front door. It’s a small, but cosy and comfortable space and perfect for college and school kids who spend a lot of their time in the area. One of the biggest draws is that it’s pocket friendly and you can eat an entire meal and not be struggling to pay the bill, you don’t have to calculate how much you have before you order either. It’s great food at a great price.
Vignesh, one of the owners of Oregano’s, sat down with us to give us a little bit more about the restaurant. He’s a dentist by profession and wanted to find a space to open his clinic. He saw this space and together with his aunt decided to open a restaurant. Vignesh calls his aunt the best cook ever and even said, “Even the worst food in the world, if she does it, i wouldn’t mind eating a bowlful of that”. So it’s no surprise that they’re working together on this restaurant. The name is also pretty perfect; someone says ‘oregano’ you’re instantly going to think of Italian food because that’s the seasoning you add to your pizza.
As a fan of Italian food, it’s obvious that this would be his choice. But Vignesh also likes Chinese food and mentioned that a Chinese restaurant is plan B. Right now, however, he’s focusing on opening a second branch of Oregano’s in Anna Nagar. Talking about the food and the price, Vignesh said, “One thing we knew very strongly was that we wouldn’t be able to give anything authentic at these prices. And we decided to serve something that would suit the Indian taste buds, be great on the price but at the same time, not spoil the authenticity of the cuisine.” And Oregano’s has done just that. Another thing that separates this spot from other pocket-friendly places is that they have a lot of place for people to sit. “If you see the crowd they’re all college kids. They sit and hang out with their friends and I wanted to give them the space to do that,” Vignesh added.
And it’s vegetarian, for those wondering. Because of the area where the restaurant is located and most of the residents being Sindhis and Jains, opening a vegetarian restaurant makes mor esense and is also viable.
We started off with a Lemon Iced Tea and a Brownie Shake. The infamous light bulb glasses come filled to the brim with a delicious shake and it’s perfect to compliment the weather in the city right now. And the iced tea is a nice refreshing drink just to keep you full till your food arrives.
There are very few things in life as good as deep fried cheese. The Cheese Bombs were exactly that. Crisp and warm, it was a promise for more good food to come. Don’t take time biting into them daintily, pop it into your mouth and experience the cheese explosion.
Most Italian restaurants will serve you bruschetta, but none quite like this. Topped with corn and a cheese-mayo sauce, the Bruschetta Margartia hit the spot. If we didn’t have more food coming, we might have asked for another plate.
This is a version of pasta you’ve probably never had before – spaghetti in a thick cheesey sauce flavoured with burnt jalapenos. The Sicilian Rosso Pasta had the spicy kick, but also the authentic Italian flavour, a combination that you didn’t think would work, but most definitely did.
Now here’s a dish you never thought you’d see anywhere – Tandoori Lasagna. The vegetables are made in the tandoor and then put between each layer of the lasagna, which makes it an interesting combination.
They have an interesting dessert known as Fog Me Up, which is a bowl of ice cream of your choice served on top of another bowl with dry ice. So when you’re eating your ice cream, there’s all this ‘fog’ that keeps spilling out of the bowl!
Eggless brownies are all the rage here. Given their mostly vegetarian crowd, Vignesh and his chefs worked really hard to make an eggless brownie that was served with ice cream. Basically the perfect end to a great afternoon.
Oregano’s is at Windsor Palace, Ground Floor, Balfour Road, Near Uma Complex, Kilpauk