Digging your teeth into freshly fried kachori or taking a bite of bhajra roti with some lehsun chutney that transports you to the streets of Jaipur or Udaipur is just what I needed. After being cooped up at home the last 9 months, with 2-3 outings [to meet friends or run errands], the drive and dine at The Reef [Sheraton Grand Chennai Resorts & Spa[ was amazing.
At the lobby, our temperatures were checked, we were given hand sanitizer to clean up our hands before sending us on our way to the restaurant. While we were apprehensive about the crowd situation [considering they had a buffet option], it was lovely to see the restaurant was not jam-packed.
Within minutes we got to meet the restaurant Manager & Chef Bhik Singh [who has come down from Udaipur JW Mariott]. He was so humble and so open to sharing information about not just the dishes, but about ingredients used [like the chilies that were hot but used more for their vibrant colour, the oil, etc] and more. We must have spent a good hour in total talking to Chef, expressing how much we loved the warmth radiating from the dishes to the flavours. I shamelessly asked for an extra helping of the Lehsun chutney, while my friend asked for some Laal Maas gravy to have with roti and plain rice. All the dishes at the festival transport you to Rajasthan, to the Royal kitchens of the Maharajas.
An interesting incident that I must share. Our thalis arrived at our table, and we got up to take a few pictures. There was a couple at the table behind us, the lady got up in a flash, turned around, and asked what the Thali was. She looked like a foreigner, and I kicked off a conversation by asking her where she was from. Incidentally, she is from France, married to an Indian, and settled in Auroville. They were staying at the property and had just finished their meal. She was enthralled with the dishes in the Thali. I asked if she wanted to sample some of the dishes, which she politely refused and got back to her seat after thanking me for the sweet offer.
If you love Daal bati churma, or Gatte ki sabzi, and long drives, then you should make a trip to the property and enjoy the meal.
The festival is happening at The Reef till 29th November
Call +917824010209 to book your table
#280, East Coast Rd, Vedanamelli,
Chennai – 603104
Landmark : Right next to The Crocodile Park