Tangerine - Alwarpet

Chennai's first stand alone Sizzler restaurant

Spectra - Leela Palace Hotel

An Exquisite all day dining restaurant with best Sushi's in Chennai

Beyond Indus - Taj Club House

For best dishes from the Indus region, this is where you should head

Anise - Taj Coromandel

The coffee shop at the luxurious Taj Coromandel, the Gilli Biryani is a must have

Coffe Bean and Tea Leaf - Phoenix Market City

The ideal coffee shop for both beverages and short eats

Monday, 23 May 2016


Over the last few years, Chennai has witnessed the dawn of several International food brands. Most of these chains prefer to open shop in malls with Phoenix being the most preferred destination owing to it being the latest amongst the other gamut of malls. For folks who lived in the main parts of the city, it was always a long drive. Thankfully, the latest entrant in the International food brands, Chili’s made an exception. Opening up adjacent to another leading International food outlet, Chili’s is right at the heart of the city located at Express Avenue.

Ambiance:

Chili’s Chennai provides the same look and feel to that of their other outlets. The décor is uniform and gives the impression of being in one of their International outlets. With an overall rustic feel to the dining area, the outlet also has a long bar counter where the liquid concoctions are crafted. There is also a large screen that was screening an IPL match when I was there.

Food:

Being midway between lunch and dinner, I was confused on what to eat. The menu was exhaustive and for sure knew, I had to make multiple visits to do justice to the different sections that were there. Not in the mood to have a heavy meal, I thought I’ll go in for a ‘Triple Dipper’ which basically is a pick and choose combo amongst their appetizers. I picked the ‘Boneless Chicken Wings’, ‘Original Chicken Crispers’ and ‘Southwestern Rolls’. After placing the order realised that they had ‘Onion Rings’ too on the menu and being a sucker for Onion rings, ordered a separate portion of the same too. As I waited for the appetizers to come, I ordered for a ‘Mango Chile Margarita’. It was very intriguing to see how Mango and Jalapenos can go hand in hand in a drink but the barista’s here did a pretty great job in obtaining the right balance.
(Triple Dipper)
(Mango Chile Margarita)
To start with, the Boneless Chicken Wings were just too good. The highlight of the wings was the ability to get them in a boneless avatar and the addition of the amazing tangy Buffalo sauce that was drizzled on it. I couldn’t prevent myself from gorging on it. This was followed up by the Original Crispers which was equally good. However, the Southwestern Rolls, though tasted fresh, I felt it lacked a punch in comparison to the other two appetizers. The Triple Dipper came with three different sauces to match each of the appetizers. Coming to the Onion Rings, glad I didn’t miss it. It was perfectly seasoned and was crispy to the point. Chili’s just became my preferred destination for the best Onion Rings in the city.
(Onion Rings)
(Philadelphia Melting Cheese Steak)
Having had a great experience with the appetizers, I wanted to skip the mains and go for a dessert because I was reaching my threshold. However, one item intrigued me from the menu. After some thought, gave in to my gluttony demands and ordered the ‘Philadelphia Melting Cheese Steak’. When asked how I would like the steak, I requested for Medium, which often is my preferred choice for steaks. The steak was promptly brought to my table in about in spite of ordering it after the appetisers. I tasted the cheese sauce first and it was like swimming in pleasure. Perfect sauce together with the sautéed onions and mushrooms, rendered it full of flavour and aroma. However, the first strike on the steak and realised that something was amiss. Upon slicing, it dawned that the steak was done a little too much and had crossed the upper thresholds of medium and dwelled into well done tenderness. Nevertheless, the steak was seasoned apt and the cheese sauce made a great accompaniment to the steak with the only let down being the textural difference because of the tenderness. 
(Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie)
Having had so much meat, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a dessert. A glance at the dessert menu and I knew what I wanted. I asked to be served the ‘Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie’. With high expectations, I eagerly waited for it to be brought to my table. First glance and got more excited. I’m a sort of person who can go weak in my knees with desserts in front of me. The first bite and oh me!!! The pie was great in flavour and the warm caramel sauce coupled with the cold vanilla ice cream, gave a welcome relief from all the meat that was consumed. The dessert provided a very warm feeling to the entire meal and helped complete the meal with a smile on my face. I’m very sure to keep popping in every now and then whenever I visit the mall to savour this dessert.

Price:

Although being located in a mall, the prices are slightly on the higher side with a meal for 2 costing anywhere between Rs. 3000 – Rs. 4000 inclusive of taxes. However, one has to also take into account the portion size as they are humongous. So on the whole I feel the price to be apt as there is a sure Value for Money involved both in terms of quantity and quality of dishes.

Locations:

Chili’s first outlet in Chennai is located on the 3rd floor at Express Avenue Mall in Royapettah. It is located adjacent to Burger King and is right in the middle opposite to the Main Atrium.

To be updated on my latest reviews, do subscribe to the feed by leaving your email address in the subscribe section on the top right hand side of this post. If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! For quick reviews, ratings and yummylicious images, follow me on Instagram at @FoodInChennai. Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-GooglePlus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Very few cuisines can tingle the childishness in you and for me Thai is one such cuisine. Being introduced to mainstream Thai half a decade ago by my wife, I took an instant liking to the cuisine. Barring one or two, most restaurants in Chennai produce what I call ‘Fake Thai’ cuisine as they buy curry powder or paste and do the rest claiming it to be a Thai curry. April being the month with the Thai New Year aka Songkran, many restaurants wanted to catch the Thai bus. As always the handful always prevailed to be the best till the festival started at Park Hyatt. 

True to their standards, Park Hyatt had flown down  Chef Supattra from Park Hyatt Dubai who happened to be a Thai and has been dishing out Thai food for the last 23 years. This intrigued me as all restaurants in Chennai do not have a Thai chef but rather talented chefs trained in Thai.

Place:

As usual, the festival took place in the ever vibrant and vivacious restaurant in town ‘The Flying Elephant’. Being a restaurant where most cuisines get closest to authentic, I kept my expectations very very high. This time around, we got to sit next to the Chef’s studio and mistake me not, it resembled like a high end street food cart that one can see in the streets of Bangkok.

Food:

The thing that impressed me the most was how precise and coherent the entire festival menu was. The menu was divided into different categories such as Wok, Salads, Noodles, Grilled, Claypot, Steamed, Fried and Desserts. Basically in the streets, each of these would form a cart by itself. 
(Tom Yum Goong)
To start the evening, we went in for the ever classic ‘Tom Yum Goong’. This is one soup that is quite synonymous with Thai soups yet most restaurants fail to hit the mark. But the soup here was probably even better than most places in Bangkok. Couldn’t think of anything else as I kept sipping the soup because it truly put me in a state of trance.
(Sea Food Salad)
The soup was followed by a ‘Seafood Salad’ with Scallops, Prawns, Fish, Thai Celery and Tomato Cherry. The salad was screaming of freshness every bite. The salad had the perfect balance of chilliness and sourness that instantly hits the mark. If the flavour was to be compared on a scale, the balance was right in the middle, Spot on.
(Pad Thai Prawns)
(Minced Beef with Basil)
Next up was from the Wok section. First dish that made its way was yet another Thai classic, the ‘Pad Thai’ with prawns and bean sprouts. Being a big fan of Pad Thai, I was quite kicked to dig in. The first mouthful truly brought back memories of my first Thai meal which incidentally happened to be in Bangkok. The flavours were amazing and each element complemented the other in a harmony. Following the Pad Thai was the ‘Minced Beef in Basil’. This dish had no complains at all. It was very refreshing in the mouth courtesy the strong infusion of basil along with a very tender minced beef.
(Shrimp Toast)
(Shrimp Toast)
Just to bring in some crunchiness, we were served a plate of toast. Yes, a ‘Shrimp Toast’. This was a completely new dish for me and was an instant hit. Its basically small triangles of croutons deep fried with a layer of shrimp paste on the top. The triangles by themselves were too yummy however when dipped in the accompanying apple sauce, the flavours accentuated many-folds.  
(Thai Green Curry)
Following this, it was time for the mains and in true Thai style ordered for a ‘Green Chicken Curry’. To be honest, I would rate this green curry as the best tasted so far in my culinary journey as it was just mind boggling. Together with sticky rice, the curry was just fantabulous. No amount of praise can justify the emotions. My next visit to Dubai will definitely have a pitstop at Park Hyatt Dubai at least to savour this curry again.
(Tub Tim Grob)
(Sticky Rice with Mango)
Having had a very gratified savoury session, it was now time to do the finishing touches. The desserts we went in for the evening were again the classics. A ‘Water Chestnut Dumpling’ aka Tub Tim Grob. Tub Tim Grob ranks way high in my list of all time favourite desserts that I took the initiative to learn how to make it by myself. And must I say, I can replicate it close to 90%. The Tub Tim Grob here had a small twist to it. There were slices of Jackfruit that were added to keep in with the season. This additional sweetness did provide a unique taste and was very welcoming. The next dessert was the ‘Mango with Sticky Rice’. I’m pretty sure nothing can go wrong with such a simple dessert. The sticky rice was well drenched in coconut milk and the perfect sweetness of the mango provided for a very subtle end to the meal.

Price:

The icing on the cake at this Thai festival was the pocket friendly prices. With dishes priced from Rs. 495 – Rs. 895, a meal for two should set you back by about Rs. 2500 – Rs. 3000 for two.

Location:

The Flying Elephant is located at Park Hyatt Chennai in Guindy adjacent to the Raj Bhavan. I would strongly recommend a reservation for meals on weekends.

To be updated on my latest reviews, do subscribe to the feed by leaving your email address in the subscribe section on the top right hand side of this post. If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! For quick reviews, ratings and yummylicious images, follow me on Instagram at @FoodInChennai. Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-GooglePlus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

The food scene in Chennai has witnessed a tremendous growth in both varieties of cuisines and quality of produce being used over the last few years. However, one cuisine that has not scene a great explosion in terms of choice is Italian. Going above the regular pizzas and pastas, there are only a handful of dedicated Italian restaurants in the city and when it comes to fine dine, maybe about three odd restaurants. One that stands out truly amongst them is the one this review is about.

Place:

Focaccia @ Hyatt Regency, Chennai – Teynampet, Anna Salai

Focaccia is the first restaurant that you will see as and when you step out of the elevator at Hyatt Regency in Chennai. Being one amongst the few dedicated Italian fine dine restaurants in Chennai, it is always buzzing with culinary action and a reservation is a definite must on most days. 

Ambiance:

Focaccia presents itself in a very rustic environment with a wine cellar welcoming you right at the entrance. While you adore the amazing collection of wines the cellar holds you are guaranteed to be hit with the aroma of fresh focaccia breads & pizzas being baked right across the cellar in the wood fired ovens. As you cross and head towards your table you get to witness the hustle bustle of the kitchen thanks to the vast open kitchen concept the restaurant embraces. You are also spoilt with choice of seating with options between next to the open kitchen or closer to the windows with a view over looking the busy Anna Salai.
(The Wine, Cheese & Chocolate section for the evening)
Food:

Focaccia is currently hosting an Italian Fair under the able guidance of Chef Alessandro Persico who is the Chef de Cuisine at the award winning Italian restaurant Celine at Grand Hyatt Mumbai. He is here in Chennai to showcase some of his signature dishes over a four course meal. The first thing that struck me on meeting the chef was how closely he resembled Chef Gusteau from one of my all time favourite movies, Ratatouille. I just couldn’t control myself that I went all gaga over it. It was more like meeting a super hero. This raised the expectations big time for the evening. And I must say that I was thoroughly entertained by his creations and his interactions with me. 
(Chef Alessandro Persico)
The evening meal started with ‘Ravioli di Barbabietola’ which was a beetroot ravioli stuffed with truffle goat cheese and served with a parsley salsa verde. This was my first time even hearing about a beetroot ravioli. Being a fan of beetroot I thoroughly enjoyed it as the goat cheese gave a very soothing balance of flavours and textures. The next appetizer was the ‘Anatra in salsa tonnata con cipolline brasate’. This was a duck confit salad with tonnata sauce with the salad being braised with pearl onion. The flavour was very distinct and full of joy but not being a great fan of duck felt the confit a bit over powering. The last of the appetizer was from the sea, the ‘rotolini di salmon affumicato con panna acida e caviale’, a smoked salmon stuffed with braised lettuce and topped with sour cream and caviar. Being a salmon lover, I couldn’t ask for a better combination of ingredients to savour the salmon.
(Ravioli di Barbabietola)
(Anatra in salsa tonnata con cipolline brasate)
(Rotolini di salmon affumicato con panna acida e caviale)
With the appetizers done it was time now for some pastas and risottos. The first pasta that travelled to our table was the ‘Penne Integrali con tonno in salsa puttanesca’ which was a diet conscious diners delight. Some whole wheat penne tossed with a tuna puttanesca sauce and green capers, it provided a great balance of flavour to keep the palate kicking. This was followed by the ‘Risotto con salmone affumicato, zafferano e limone’, a simple looking smoked salmon risotto with saffron and lemon. This was truly delicious and takes a big rank in my all time favourite risottos. This is a definite must have if you visit them. To bring this course to an end was the ‘Linguini con aragosta e rucola’, a very fresh tasting pasta. This refreshed the entire palate once again preparing us for the main courses. The lobster combined with fresh tomatoes elevated this pasta and also sort of acted like a palate cleanser thanks to the arugula that was also present in the pasta.
(Penne Integrali con tonno in salsa puttanesca)
(Risotto con salmone affumicato, zafferano e limone)
(Linguini con aragosta e rucola)
With the pastas and crunchy risottos done, we headed to the mains. The first mains to make to the table was the ‘Cannelloni di spinaci al forno’. The cannelloni was an oven baked spinach and ricotta stuffed cannelloni served over a bed of fresh tomato sauce. It was extremely cheesy and flavourful and along with the tomato sauce gelled well. This was followed by the ‘Tortino di patate e funghicon fonduta di caprino’ which was basically a mash potato flavoured with lemon and dished in the form of a basket loaded with grilled vegetables and forest mushroom. Although the mash was fantastic, felt the dish was slightly dull in comparison to the overall fare. Next up was probably my favourite mains of the evening, the ‘Scaloppine di pollo piccata’. This was an eggs chicken scaloppini with lemon caper sauce and some root vegetables. What made this dish fantastic was the lemon caper sauce over the perfectly baked chicken slices. Yumm!!! 
(Cannelloni di spinaci al forno)

(Scaloppine di pollo piccata)
(Tortino di patate e funghicon fonduta di caprino)
Next had to be the final course of the evening, the mighty desserts. We were served with two desserts with the first being ‘Zabbaoine con composta di fragole e Meringa soffice’ which is basically a champagne sabayon with strawberry compote topped with a soft meringue. Although the sabayon was perfectly dressed I personally felt the dessert to be a bit on the sweeter side. On the other hand, the second dessert was a clear winner with chocolate aficionados. It was a ‘Coppa Caprese’ which in simpler terms is a chocolate brawny sandwiched between layers of vanilla ice cream and a creamy chocolate ganache. To add a bit of crunch we had some chocolate tuiles. This dessert was truly divine and I kept nom-noming so much that I couldn’t believe that my portion was over even before I could realize it. But the ecstasy it left on my taste buds kept me recollecting it all through the night. Was a fantastic dessert. 
(Zabbaoine con composta di fragole e Meringa soffice)
(Coppa Caprese)
Price:

Being a limited time fare, this special Italian Fair menu by Chef Alessandro also comes paired with a unique wine for each course resulting in the course being relished in its true essence. This special menu should cost about Rs. 4,500 – 5,500 for two depending on the dishes being selected from the special menu. This is a limited time fest and is available till the 20th of March. So head there quick if you would like to savour the same.

Location:

Focaccia is located at Lobby level at Hyatt Regency Chennai. Located on the main arterial road of Chennai, Anna Salai, it is quite easily accessible from all corners of the city. I would strongly recommend a reservation so as to not be disappointed.

To be updated on my latest reviews, do subscribe to the feed by leaving your email address in the subscribe section on the top right hand side of this post. If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! For quick reviews, ratings and yummylicious images, follow me on Instagram at @FoodInChennai. Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-GooglePlus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

I’m sure most of us associate chocolate with our childhood memories. The first thing that may come to us would be the chocolate bar which used to be divine to us and even today can bring back old memories. Personally, I’m a big cocoa lover and a dessert without cocoa in some form or the other never completes a meal for me. If this is the case, imagine a brunch completely themed around chocolates. When I came to know about this special Chocolate brunch, I was ecstatic. Couldn’t wait for the Sunday to come by. 

As part of a special promotion, Park Hyatt Chennai and Cocoatrait joined hands together for the first time to bring a complete Chocolate Sunday Brunch. If your guessing how, don’t be amused. The brunch had elements of chocolate across all courses. And the chocolates were paired precisely to the menu that was crafted. The brains behind this Special Chocolate Sunday Brunch were Chef Greg & Chef Vamsi from Park Hyatt Chennai and Nitin from Cocoatrait. 

Place:

The Flying Elephant @ Park Hyatt Chennai – Guindy

The Flying Elephant has been making waves ever since they opened 3 years ago. In fact, even before they opened, it was one of the most anticipated restaurants as it’s the only multi levelled themed restaurants currently in Chennai with the entire restaurant spread across five different levels each offering its own comfort space. Needless to say, the doors never close as after dinner service on weekend nights, it transforms into the most happening place in Chennai.

Ambiance:

The restaurant itself looks very spacious and accommodating thanks to the multi-level seating that it has to offer. Be it next to the kitchen or overlooking the pond or on the balcony or if you prefer a quite space then the top level is your ideal space. Being a Sunday brunch, the restaurant had its own share of entertainment in the form of all staffs dancing periodically along with some fun for the kids with cartoon characters and a Balloon artist keeping them busy. With loads of natural light flowing into the restaurant it was a great place to be on a lazy Sunday. Also the brunch at Flying Elephant is quite unique as most of the dishes are ordered to your table with a hand full of them spread across counters where you can pick them up. This ensures that the food served is always at the right temperature.

Food:

The brunch started with soup which was called ‘Sopa De Abobora E Coco’. Yes, a very long name indeed so much that made a note of it as its too much to remember. It’s a butternut squash & coconut soup topped with some pumpkin seeds and coconut cream cilantro. Are you wondering where the chocolate? The entire soup was garnished with an Award winning pure Ecuadorian Lemon grass chocolate. The soup was just extra ordinary with the flavours of the lemon grass chocolate accentuating a good soup to and awesome one. The soup was followed by some sushi of salmon, prawns and crabs.
(Different Chocolate based Mocktails)
(Sushi)
Next up was another chocolate speciality dish from the charcoal grills section. We were served with a ‘Grilled Polenta Cheese Cake’ which was made using Ghana Dark Chocolate and served with a cute little pomegranate salad and a honey balsamic reduction. The polenta which we are used to seeing in its natural colour gave a very unique appearance in the chocolate form and had a good texture as we sliced into it. However, it was a good dish it failed to wow me. 
(Grilled Polenta Cheese Cake)
When I proceeded with the menu, I was lit up like a flood light as the next dish that I ordered was the dish I’ve been curiously waiting to savour ever since I sat at the table. And guys don’t be shocked for the dish I was waiting for was none other than the ‘Madagascar Dark Chocolate Paneer Tikka’. Paneer and Chocolate, two of my favourite ingredients paired in a single dish, what more could I ask for. The traditional paneer tikka was stuffed with a chocolate filling made of 70% Madagascar Dark Chocolate. One word to describe this creation was heavenly. I couldn’t get over it that I ordered for several repeats. It was just too good to describe. 
(Chocolate Paneer Tikka)
(Chocolate Paneer Tikka)
Once I finally decided to proceed to the next dish on the menu, I couldn’t be happier for it was another favourite use of chocolate in a savoury dish. It was a ‘Chicken Pizza topped with 88% Gold Colombian Chocolate’. Truly outstanding medley of ingredients. Another of my favourite of the day so far. To go along with the pizza, we had also ordered for another speciality dish of the brunch, a chocolate flavoured risotto. The risotto was a ‘Cauliflower & Vanilla Bean Risotto’ with 100% Gold Venezuela Chocolate. The Risotto was fabulous too with the right ratio of ingredients and brilliantly topped with some mint oil and hazelnut to elevate our senses. 
(Chicken Pizza with Chocolate)
(Cauliflower & Vanilla Bean Risotto)
Stuffed with all the chocolate inspired dishes, decided to just savour a few others from the menu. The Tenderloin steak is mention-worthy mainly due to the perfect way it was grilled so was the rotisserie chicken which was again grilled to perfection with the chicken retaining all the flavours within it. Skipped most of the other dishes as I wanted to head to my favourite section, the DESSERTS. 
(Cheese section)
(Rotisserie section) 
(Chicken all set up)
How can one miss desserts on a brunch that is completely themed around chocolate. The dessert counter felt like a wonderland for me. The amazing array of chocolate based desserts was fantabulous. The majority of the dishes were based on chocolate barring a few for the minority non-chocolate lovers. The desserts that wowed me were the ‘Silk Log’ made using 70% Madagascar chocolates and the ‘Mocha Macaroons’. A special word of mention for the Mocha Macaroon as this was the closest in all aspects to those that are from Ladurée, which is world renowned for being the best Macaroon in the world. The other desserts that were also equally good were the ‘Chocolate Rasamalai’, a ‘Chocolate Fondant’ made using Italy 66% Prendine and the ‘Banoffee Pie’.
(Chocolate Silk Log)
(Mocha Macaroons)
(Chocolate cake with Sea Salt)
(Chocolate cake with Sea Salt)
(Chocolate Rasamalai)
(Banoffee Pie)
Price:

The Non-Alcoholic Sunday brunch is priced at Rs. 2295 plus taxes with options for both alcohol and champagne also available at an additional cost.

Location:

The Flying Elephant is located at Park Hyatt Chennai in Guindy adjacent to the Raj Bhavan. I would strongly recommend a reservation for meals on weekends.

To be updated on my latest reviews, do subscribe to the feed by leaving your email address in the subscribe section on the top right hand side of this post. If this article interested you, please share it so others may be interested and benefited too!!! For quick reviews, ratings and yummylicious images, follow me on Instagram at @FoodInChennai. Request you to also visit our Facebook page Food In Chennai - Facebook and share the page with a Like amongst your friends and also follow us on our twitter handle at @FoodInChennai. You can also follow us on Google Plus at Food in Chennai-GooglePlus. Please also feel free to g+1 this post so others may be benefited too. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

As the New Year dawned over Chennai, the food scene too seemed to be dawning with a fresh lease of life. With loads of new restaurants opening up and existing restaurants getting re-launched, 2016 sure seems to be a year to look forward for foodies in Chennai. With my blog turning a little more than 3 years old, I think the time to give a new style and format to my reviews has become inevitable. And here it begins!!!

Place:

Upper Deck @ Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove – East Coast Road

Fisherman’s Cove has always been the go-to resort on East Coast Road aka ECR for Chennaities need of a romantic getaway closer to the city. Having been a regular patron with my first visit dating back to the late 90’s, I’ve always been in awe of the setting of the resort per se. In fact, Upper Deck, one of the restaurant in this property has been consistently ranked as one of the most romantic restaurants in India and when I was informed that this very restaurant has had a makeover, it definitely was time to visit. 

Ambiance:

Upper Deck is a signature restaurant of Fisherman’s Cove and is situated at a secluded section of the resort right at the doorsteps of the tantalizing private beach that the resort sits on. With tables set amongst the beach rocks, this is the only restaurant in Chennai that can provide such an ambiance. With a few tables accompanying the beach rocks, a few others are set within a huge gazebo set up on a wooden deck floor throwing in a rustic feeling to the entire place. This restaurant definitely scores top scores in my list of romantic places to dine at.

Food:

The makeover was not just with the ambiance but with the menu as well. The menu has been refined and given a distinct classic European touch with dishes being as original as achievable. The evening started with a great ‘French Onion Soup’, that had all the classic flavours that one would attribute to the original version available in the bistros of Paris. However, I felt that it missed the rustic look an original soup brings with cheese bubbling all over and dripping along the soup bowl. But this is completely understandable as the current setting of the restaurant was not a bistro and they had some strict presentation protocols to follow. 
(French Onion Soup)
The soup was followed by the ‘Roasted Beet Salad’. Off late I’ve been developing a major liking for roasted beet and this was no exception. Along with some arugula leaves, candied pecan and feta, the salad was yum thanks to the flavourful raspberry vinaigrette that elevated the salad. With the soup and salad done, we moved on to the entrees. First up was the ‘Chicken Liver Pate’. Although not a big fan of offal meat, I gave it a go. The liver pate was accentuated thanks to the apple chutney and onion compote that accompanied it. I layered them on the walnut bread and had a bite. The offal did hit me back but the accompaniments were top notch. I’m sure offal lovers will definitely love this dish. The other dish that I took a bite of was the ‘Salad Nicoise’. It was a simple salad with seared yellow fin tuna, boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and some greens.
(Roasted Beet Salad)
(Chicken Liver Pate)
(Salad Nicoise)
The next up was out rightly the best dish of the evening according to me. If a vegetarian dish can earn this repute with me, then I’m sure you can imagine how much of an influence it must have had on me. To be honest, it was the best savoury tart I’d ever savoured in all of my food journey. The ‘Leek Tart with Goat Cheese’ was divine. A simple dish with goat cheese, walnut, leek filling and topped with parsley could be ever so delectable was just not imaginable. This of course is until you bite into the tart crust. Please please do me a favour and go savour this dish. I can’t do justice to it by writing as nothing can replicate even closely my feeling towards the tart.
(Leek Tart with Goat Cheese)
(Leek Tart with Goat Cheese)
For the mains, we started with a portion of the ‘Giant Shrimp Grilled with Sea Salt’, a dish that went hand in hand with the ambiance of the place. The shrimp was grilled to perfection and loaded with flavour. In fact, it was a delight to remove the meat from the open shell without damaging it. The Fettuccini was a perfect accompaniment to the shrimp which by itself was grilled using the basic of ingredients retaining the actual flavour of the meat. However, my only nit-pick would be that the meat was a bit cold when I bit into it. The next up was the ‘Wild Mushroom Risotto’. Risotto in general are a very complex dish to make as they can turn from hero to zero in a matter of few seconds. The risotto here was bit of a mixed bag. The flavours were strong with the sauce being spot on. But an important measure of a good risotto is the crunchiness of the rice. I felt this is to be completely missing. Nevertheless, the dish was close to authentic on the flavour front. The other dish that was presented was the ‘Polenta Skewers’. I just had a few bites and was a bit confused with the flavours so decided to skip it and head to my favourite part of all meals.
(Giant Grilled Shrimp with Sea Salt)
(Wild Mushroom Risotto)
(Polenta Skewers)
With the entrees and mains setting such high standards, I just couldn’t wait to savour the desserts. The first dessert to present itself was the mighty ‘Tiramisu’. Dished up in a nice glass and topped with a lady finger, the expectations were super high till the first mouthful hit the palate. It only had faint traces of coffee as well as lady finger biscuits. Though not disappointed as the main components were available only in traces, I enjoyed the dessert on a whole as it had the right balance of sweetness and texture that made it a great dessert but definitely not a great Tiramisu. The next up was the ‘Apple Tart’. After experiencing the earlier savoury tart, I just couldn’t wait to savour this. However, the tart wasn’t as awesome as the savoury one but it didn’t disappoint as well. I felt the tart to be a little crumbly as compared to the savoury tart while the filling was apt. Not that the desserts disappointed me, I felt that overall the desserts didn’t live up to the standards that the savouries set. I’m sure a little fine tweaking is all that is needed to make the experience a wholesome one as amazing desserts often take home the lasting memory of a meal.
(Tiramisu)
(Apple Tart)
Price:

A meal for two should cost about Rs. 2800 plus taxes without alcohol.

Location:

Upper Deck is located at Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove on East Coast Road after the Muttukadu Boat house. A reservation is preferable on most days as the restaurant has limited seating and is usually completely booked.

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