On the eve of Chinese New Year, Westin Chennai Velachery unveiled their newest addition, the Chinese  Restaurant on the 1st floor [across from Willows, the sports bar] Five Sen5es. The interiors are simple yet reflective of Chinese culture, there is a large installation of sorts with a dragon and Chinese words on plaques around it. The ambiance reflects the contemporary elegance and brings out undiscovered facets of Sichuan cuisine with Executive Chef Yatendra Rawat holding the reigns with a team working hard..
While we waited for the food to arrive, I chatted with Chef about his culinary journey, what it was like to work abroad versus working in India, and specifically Chennai. It was quite interesting listening to his experiences and challenges he came upon! He has worked in Macau, China, Singapore before making his way to Chennai. Hailing from Delhi, the food hub of our country [well one that I love atleast] he shared his experience of working in an Indian restaurant to a Pan asian in China. He also told us about how in China seafood is sold live, swimming in buckets of water. You get to go to the market, pick what you like and they bag it for you. Infact there are are restaurants that will bring live seafood to the table for customers to choose from, and how seafood platter sometimes has live seafood flapping about. 
I also discovered that there are “Eight Culinary Cuisines” of China – AnhuiCantoneseFujianHunan, Jiangsu, ShandongSichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.. The most common and one that Indians love is Sichuan, which is slightly spicy.. Cantonese on the other hand is fairly bland and simple.. Most dishes are gently tossed in the wok with salt, and garlic!
Chef told us they have managed to bring in authentic pots, bowls, plates to cook/serve the dishes and has kept flavours as close to the original as possible… And he was so right, the meal was divine!! 
The evening opened with different kinds of Sushi- I loved the veg one- Vegetable Futomaki [seaweed rice rolled with crunchy vegetables inside] and the wasabi, pickled ginger and soya sauce was yummy.. It was followed by a bowl of soup- Soto Ayam – a clear soup with fresh greens and wontons.. 

As for the mains, I got to try the melt in your mouth Tofu that had been cooked in Chengu sauce with the Hot Basil Thai Rice [cooked with fresh basil and thai jasmine rice which was slightly sticky].. Oh not to forget the beautiful stir fried greens [brocolli, boo choy & snow peas].. 

Time was flying by, but the conversation flowed freely and we had such a good time learning about various cuisines, the little insights that the Chef shared that we completely forgot about desserts. Three desserts made their way to the table, – Pumpkin Pudding [ smooth, creamy and heaven in a bowl], the Portuguese Egg tart with ice cream and Lava Cake[with the surprise tucked within a spoonful- the subtle lemongrass flavour]. The clear winner among desserts is the Pumpkin pudding for me!! 

By the time we were done with dinner, we knew this was a restaurant that we would be coming back to for sure. Chef also told us they were going to host a Dimsum festival in March and something else in April.. 
As we left the restaurant, oriental music continued to play in the background and the customers were buzzing in the restaurant…

For now they are open only for Dinner – 7pm to 11pm
Cost for 2 people- Rs2500 onwards [excl Alcohol]

#154, Velachery Main Rd, Velachery, 
Chennai -600042
Phone: 044 6633 3777

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 🙂
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