Showing posts with label Flying Elephant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flying Elephant. Show all posts

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.

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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 LadurĂ©e, 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, 24 February 2015

Over the years Chennai has been seeing a host of Food Festivals being organized by the numerous Food & Beverages outlets located here. Some of these festivals have been very unique while the remaining were often the regular Biryani, Kebabs or Regional cuisines. However, there is one chain of luxury hotels that does things differently, way different than all others. Yes, Park Hyatt part of the Hyatt group of hotels conducts a culinary festival across all their locations globally. Chefs across different Hyatt hotels will take their expertise and culinary wisdom to showcase it other Park Hyatt locations. This culinary festival is aptly titled “Masters of Food and Wine” and is a perfect showcase of brilliance in culinary and beverage experiences.
The Grand Opening of the 2015 edition of the “Masters of Food and Wine” at Park Hyatt Chennai was on the 21st of February with the theme for the current edition being ‘Korean Cuisine’. The participating hotel for the current edition is the Grand Hyatt Incheon in South Korea with Chefs Eunseok Yang and Kyuchon Lee leading the way. Throughout the week they will be serving amazing Korean specialities at the Park Hyatt Chennai’s signature restaurant, “The Flying Elephant”. In addition to the culinary experience, one can also participate on a hands on Masterclass with the Master Chefs themselves.
(Chef Introductions)
The Grand Opening started off with the introduction of the all Chefs who were to take us on this culinary adventure. With the bonhomies done, we were now being geared to face the barrage of exquisite foods that was to be presented. Being the grand opening, the menu for the evening comprised completely of live counters. As there was so much to explore, I kept on hopping from one station to the other wondering where to start and where to end.
(Cured Fish along with some Antipasti)
As I made my way across the room, the first thing that struck me was the enormous variety of food being showcased. I started the evening with some Antipasti comprising of Tomato, Mozzarella along with Basil Pesto. This was followed by ‘Cured Fish’ comprising of a cured Indian Basa wrapped over some orange flesh with acidic green apple and topped with micro greens. The basa was cured to perfection and the marriage of orange made it a lovely pair. Being an ardent fan of cheese, I moved on to make a small cheese platter for myself with some Parmesan, Goat Cheese (Similar to Feta but difference being the composition of goat milk being higher in goat cheese) and some Emmental. Apricots, Figs and some nuts made the perfect accompaniments.
(Kimchi Salad)
(Kimchi Pancake)
(Cinnamon Punch and Bibim Bab)
With the Cold counter done, I next moved on to the Korean speciality counter where a ‘Sweet Pumpkin Porridge’ awaited. I would rate it to be one of the finest porridges to be tasted in a restaurant. This was followed by a ‘Korean Pancake’ made using Kimchi. The next up I was told was a staple road side dish in Korea called the Bibim Bab. A fellow foodie who accompanied me was raving about the same and decided to have a go. The rice along with the veggies and the Chilli sauce made it amazing such that I had a second serving of the same. To soothen our throats, the Korean section had an uber cool drink called the ‘Cinnamon Punch’. It seemed to be a combination of Cinnamon, Sugar and water but the drink was too good that within a span of few minutes I had myself take down a couple of glasses of the same.
(Mexican Counter)
(Taco and Corn Tamales)
(Spiced Plantain and Green Onion Enchiladas)
After trying out the Korean specialities, I ventured into the land of Latin America. We were greeted with some fresh crispy taco filled with the traditional guacamole, red salsa, cheese and sour cream. Also part of the Mexican fare was the ‘Corn Meal and Cheese Tamales’ served with a choice of refried beans or chicken stew. As always the last dish was the best for we got to savour some ravishing ‘Spiced Plantain and Green Onion Enchiladas’.
(Indian Counter)
From Latin America my gaze took me to our very own subcontinent, yes I moved on to check the menu at the Indian counter. From first looks, I could make out an array of different Biryani pots accompanied with equivalent number of clay pots filled with aromatic gravies. The different biryani’s presented were ‘Banajar Biryani’, a take on Hyderabadi biryani made using lamb followed by ‘Kattal Biryani’, comprising of Baby Jackfruit and culminating with ‘Malabar Prawn Biryani’ made using prawns cooked in coconut milk to infuse the Malabar flavours. The starters counter had a very unique tikka being dished out. The ‘Bhatak aur Anjeer ki Tikki’ was a succulent cutlet made using Turkey and dry figs that was served on top of a huge saffron bread topped with some Brown Onion and Tomato curry. 
(Baked Brie)
(Baked Brie)
(Beef Bourguignon)
With the tummy already going on a gastronomical world tour, it was decided to try the French counter before calling it a night. The French counter was manned or rather wo-manned by Chef Megha, the frivolous and outspoken Chef de Cuisine of The Flying Elephant. On platter for us here was the ‘Baked Brie’ which is an all-time personal favourite and a ‘Nicoise salad’ platted with some seared tuna, quail eggs and an anchovy dressing. However, the hero of the evening was this next dish, as it was the softest piece of beef I’ve ever savoured. This was so soft that I definitely didn’t need a fork leave alone a knife. The ‘Beef Bourguignon’ was truly outstanding. It had a piece of beef accompanied with some Jerusalem artichoke foam along with Mandarin zest and confit pearl onions. 
(Park Hyatt Signature Chocolate Cake)
(French Macaroon)
(Chocolate Decadence)
(Bounty Cake)
(Mango Cremeux Coconut Parfait)
(Coffee Pavlova with Seasonal Fruits)
(Mandarin Tart)
With all the savouries sampled, it was time to hit the dessert counter. Having desserts spread across an entire room can make any dessert lover a kid. I was just too excited to try them all and had planned for this right from the beginning of my food adventure that evening. The first up on the platter was the ‘Chocolate Decadence’ followed by a cake which Chef Dinesh and Chef Prabhu revealed was a version of the famous chocolate ‘Bounty’. In between I sneaked a few French Macaroons while heading to the counter stacked with some ‘Mandarin Tart’. This was followed by the ‘Mango Cremeux Coconut Parfait’ which stood out as the best dessert of the evening and a close second by the ‘Coffee Pavlova’ adorned with seasonal fruits.

With the desserts coming to a close, we called end to the sumptuous conclusion of the Grand Opening of the “Masters of Food and Wine” at the Park Hyatt Chennai. For those who are intrigued by this magnanimous experience and are awaiting to taste some fine Korean specialities, head straight to ‘The Flying Elephant’ to have an experience of a lifetime.


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