Vegetarian vs Non vegetarian
Paneer vs Tofu
North Indian vs South Indian
Coffee vs Tea
and now, things are going global. Yes, we are talking about the
big debate between Japanese Food vs Chinese food. I was wondering what this was
all about, what ITC Grand Chola was hoping to accomplish. Little did I know I was in for a visual and sinful treat. 
They had flown down a Chinese Chef , pitted him against our very
own Chef Vikram and the debate was on. I have been to Pan Asia twice before and
both tim
es, it has been quite a memorable experience. I have tried dishes filled with new flavours and textures, so I knew tonight was going to be no different. Just dint expect the surprise I was in for! 
And this Debate was going to pawn all other debates, beating them hands down. It had the Oomph. The food was paired with Whisky, and no small brand, it was Johnnie Walker. 

We were shown a menu, a set menu, one side of it belong to Japan
and the other side to China and the dishes were paired with different kinds
of Johnnie Walker whisky. After a brief
round of introductions and hellos, we settled in and the evening just flew by.
 When our orders were being taken, I somehow went with the Japanese menu,
but luckily friend chose the Chinese and so we got to taste both  the
The 1st platter, the amuse-bouche was
quite a visual treat, and then my taste buds did the tango wit every sip and
bite. There was a mini martini glass with a drink [yuzo and vodka] and the rim
was filled with celery salt. Then there was a soup spoon with little green
balls that were basically celery, and a crisp tofu skin[sansho crisp] and a
sake?white wine soaked cherry tomato. Every mouthful was like firecrackers in
the night sky. The Celery salt was the highlight. Oh, how can I forget the
glass of Rising Sun that I sipped on. Johnnie Walker whisky blended with Egg
white, soya sauce and Wasabi mix. Loved it, absolutely loved it.

I knew then the party had begun! The soup was
another treat- Edamame, beetroot, truffle in a subtle Broccoli broth and a ring
made with rice and another Japanese ingredient. Reading the word
“Truffle” brought memories of the movie “No reservations”
and of shows I had seen where a dog was used to sniff it out in the wilderness.
What amazing flavours. As the soup arrived, so did the 2nd drink, this time a
Johnnie walker blend with Oolong tea and sugar syrup, served in a long stemmed Martini glass. Moving on, the starter I chose was
Confit Green Apple Carpacio served with plum tomato ice, gold label sichimi
emulsion. Carpcio was yet another dish I had heard and seen on TV, so trying it
out was a new experience and Yes, I loved it. What a blend of flavours and
textures. The Whisky paired with this was Johnnie Walker Double Black label,
such a smooth drink. 

Following this, came the main course– Grilled
Artichoke hearts served alongside sticky rice, tobajan miso, water chestnuts.
The drinnk for this was Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, yet another smooth
drink. The dish was just amazing, loved the crunchiness of the Water chestnut
[infact we had a debate amongst ourselves wondering what veg that was].
 And then, it was time for dessert. We were all grinning and having a
lovely evening. Once again, I went with the dessert on the Japanese section of
the menu and boy oh boy was I happy. My dessert was
Johnnie walker whisky soaked  pear slices served with probiotic yoghurt
ice cream. A vanilla milk of sorts was poured over the pear slices and boom
boom the flavours took me to heaven and back. I am not joking nor am I
exaggerating. I loved the creaminess and smoothness. This was served with the
finest in Johnnie walker, the Premium drink.

Wait, Chef Vikram had yet another surprise in store for us. We were served
another dessert, a dark chocolate one[75%], his signature chocolate
preparation. He came over, chit chatted with us, asked for feedback and
mentioned this dessert was just something he put together, no big deal… 🙂
What a humble man!! We also spent a few minutes chatting about some of his
other creations and the Sunday brunch that he promised was going to be a one of
a kind experience.  
Chinese/ Japanese set menu is priced around Rs 2500 [and if you include the
Whisky, it would be Rs 4000ish].. 
PS: Here are my earlier posts
ITC Grand Chola
#63, Mount Road, Guindy, Chennai,TN,600032
Ph- 044 2220 0000