“Beyond Madras”- yes, that is exactly what it is.. Chef Balaji and his team went exploring the smaller towns around Chennai, tasting the local delights, collecting recipes and that is how the whole concept was born.
A restaurant that is renowned in coming up with something new every now and then, this was yet another idea that was all set to wow customers. Oh and they are part of the Restaurant Week as well. The entire Beyond Madras menu is available!!
Since I have been to Park Hyatt quite a few times, I noticed the subtle changes, the black boards with traditional kolas along the entrance, the attire worn by the staff, the south indian carnatic music wafting in the air and of course the table with a mix of spices, and gadgets [ammi, aattukal] used in South Indian cooking..
The evening began with Vinod [one of the staff, the one who took care of our table] explaining the whole menu and journey. He spoke about how the dishes will evoke memories, remind us of our gramma’s cooking and so on… he also mentioned the evening would begin with cold beverages and end with hot ones. I chose Gooseberry Sherbet and it was yummy, not sharp like the fruit but slightly sweet and smooth. I also tried the Nannari [sarsaparilla ] sherbet, and it was amazing.
And there came the bread basket, and must say this was a pleasant surprise… You would typically expect focaccia, but going with the theme, the bread was topped with crushed peanuts and a good splash of moulage pod [the kind you take with idli/dosa] and served with a strong tomato garlic chutney. It was just WOW…
Whilst we were lost in the flavours, the starters came onto the table. There was Baby corn fritters [coated with batter that had south indian masalas and curry leaves], the rage vada [with chalots and curry leaves] for veggies, while non veggies had a chicken starter.
As for the main course, we had a wide range of options- Aappam, Millet dosai, Parotta and the Millet tomato rice as well. It was served with a side of Mix veg korma, peas tomato korma, Vendekka kozhambu [Okra in something that tasted like a kara kozhambu], and a mix Keerai koottu [greens curry]…
Each of these were served hot and had beautiful flavours. Since Millets seem to have become the in thing, it was nice to see it featured on a Restaurant menu as well.
Just when we thought we were done, came the dessert platter- Filter coffee ice cream served with a cracker was just out of the world, sweet sevai [ with jaggery], vatalappam [ nice, but it had a very creme brûlée texture] and Elaneer payasam [ which was low on sweet and high on coconut milk]
The comfortable sofa, the pristine white table cloth, the beautifully chosen cutlery added to the experience. The restaurant goes through a makeover everyday at 7pm just for this!! The entire meal is priced around Rs1350+ , but you can also enjoy this for much lesser if you go for the Restaurant week option!!
Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂