Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Fusion, Indian, Pop Up Dinners, South Indian

Big Bandha takes a walk in The Park

A few months ago there was a tiny stall at a food exhibition that emitted some damn good smell. Intrigued, we walked in and sadly very few items were left. Clearly, the aromas reached more nostrils than I thought. Baked Parota. Lasagna styled Parota. Paya Ramen. Mexican Bhel. Clearly the guy who is doing this was nuts, I thought. We got the baked parota and as we dug in, we couldn’t wipe the smile off our faces. Soaked in a ‘salna‘, a form of thin gravy found in South Indian households, the parota was fabulous. Plus it had a smoky cheesy notes that probably came from the oven in which he baked something else before our dish.

Three days back, I met the guy behind this. He is nuts. What else can explain a finance company’s CEO with no chef training going around creating confusing flavours that is supposed to be the exclusive property of molecular gastronomy? As Manoj and The Park hosted me for dinner, course after course, came dishes with varying influences connected by two things. A story and no compromise on flavours. Everyday Exotics at The Park, curated by Manoj is an exotic take on every day dishes, but each one has been loved by somebody before going on the menu.

Like the Bombay Toast stuffed with chicken and pickles. Uh? Yes, uh! A sweet bread dish with pickles and chicken? Inspired by his son’s breakfast. That is the story. A Panko fried idly with spicy molaga podi (spicy chilly powder mix). Idly and Panko? Like really? I missed the Mexican Bhel at the exhibition, but thankfully it was on the menu here. All things Mexican tossed in Indian Bhel puri style.

Jack Slider. While I would call any vegetarian burger as Vada Pav, Manoj’s burger made me eat my words. A beautiful vegetarian slider. A Thai inspired burger, it had jackfruit in it and the lemongrass in the bun. In the BUN! So the flavour of lemongrass was unmistakable and overpowering, like it should be, but the jackfruit held its own as the patty. This is a vegetarian burger! Something that doesn’t have to be called the Vada Pav.

A vegetarian paya. Simply, that cannot exist. Cooked the ramen style, this had top ramen noodles in a paya. While they have the mutton paya, the veg paya was able to bring the soothing elements that the mutton paya brings. I almost wished I had fever, to relish it. Since a paya goes great with idiyappam (String hoppers), the stringy noodles were able to do justice.

The baked parota. Yay! As I was digging in, I could not but notice the smoky cheesy smell. I looked up. Did he bring the same oven? Or did he cook another dish that the parota took up the flavour? Apparently not. Apparently, it was intentional. To have a smoky flavour? A parota lasagna is creative enough, but to add a smoky BBQ flavour to an already Indo-Italian fusion? Are we aiming for World war here? So, Manoj keeps visiting Nagoor Dargah and in the streets of Nagoor, apparently they dole out parotas using stones that have been smoking for over two or three decades. And that infuses a smoky flavour into the parota that he wanted to recreate. Now, I want to go to Nagoor and eat that parota. More importantly, I could sleep. The baked parota at the food exhibition wasn’t a borrowed flavour.

I was too full for dessert, so I just picked a spoonful of the beautiful saffron ice cream and the chocolate, but was too overwhelmed to judge it. Maybe I will go back and have that. And the jack slider. And maybe the parota as well. Let’s see.

On till the 31st of July, Every Exotics is available both as a four course degustation and a-la-carte. At 899 for a four course degustation, it is ridiculously priced. A 5 star four course for under 1k? Awesomeness.

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Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

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Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Concept Restaurants, Eating out

No nonsense at this Chef’s Table

Sometimes what they don’t serve in a restaurant is as important as what they do serve in it. Is the chef showcasing his or her skills? Or are they bending to every whim of the customer who is supposed to be the king?

I’ve been meaning to visit the Chef’s Table for a while now. It has a lot of mixed reviews and more I read the bad reviews, the more I liked it. It was everything I wanted in a chef’s table. I was wondering if this chef simply named it the ‘Chef’s Table’ or if he lived up to it. The reviews had a lot of answers. Small menu. Check. Small portions. Check. A lot of ‘I don’t understand……’. Check. Now I had to visit this. Taking kids to a chef’s table is generally a bad idea, but that Sunday afternoon, we just walked in. No reservation, just walked in.

The menu was indeed small. The waitstaff were trained well about the dishes. They warned us about small portions. When I asked if they could make French fries for the kids, they politely said they were unable to serve anything outside of the menu. Not with a snotty face, but very politely suggested a dish that the kids could share. Then I knew that this chef was serious about the Table.

We shared a soup, got two small plates, one large plate and one dessert for the two of us and one large plate for the kids. Let’s just say that I was glad about no french fries. The non spicy, but flavourful herbed rice with baked vegetables dish was loved by the toddlers and they finished their plate. With ease. No fuss.

The soup was a coconut based soup with oil drop. We simply stared at each other as we slowly finished the soup. Looking inside and hoping some more comes from the empty bowl. Like a sort of a magic well. We contemplated getting another portion. Silently. The waiter came over and announced that our small plates were ready. A grilled watermelon with balsamic reduction and feta. A dish so simple, yet so flavourful. For the price we paid for the dish, I believe they used imported feta. It certainly didn’t feel like some kodai cheese version of feta. The beetroot ravioli was our next small plate. A fabulous creation, with the perfect balance of everything, these were beautifully crafted.

Our large plate was the dish of the day. A beautifully cooked (braised?) beef served with some mashed potatoes on a bed of white rice. I don’t remember eating a dish like this with rice and we loved every morsel of it. A well done beef that wasn’t like chewing leather, on the other hand it was simply peeling off. A plastic spoon could have torn through the meat. The rich gravy, in its perfect quantity didn’t smother the meat and was just enough to wet the rice. A nice nutty ice cream with a chocolate lava kind of cake completed our meal.

At Rs. 3450, this is not cheap, but is probably Chennai’s first real chef’s table. The quality of ingredients was palpable and the chef’s conviction with the menu, keeping it small to be able to do full justice to it and sticking to not serving anything outside of it was commendable in a nice way. Normally a place like this will have menu changes very often, at least seasonally and I hope to find out when that happens. In the same note, I also hope that the owner is able to keep this going till a market builds for stand-alone chef’s table kind of restaurants in Chennai. It would be a shame if they shut shop due to a lack of market. Yet. 

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Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Concept Restaurants, Eating out

No nonsense at this Chef’s Table

Sometimes what they don’t serve in a restaurant is as important as what they do serve in it. Is the chef showcasing his or her skills? Or are they bending to every whim of the customer who is supposed to be the king?

I’ve been meaning to visit the Chef’s Table for a while now. It has a lot of mixed reviews and more I read the bad reviews, the more I liked it. It was everything I wanted in a chef’s table. I was wondering if this chef simply named it the ‘Chef’s Table’ or if he lived up to it. The reviews had a lot of answers. Small menu. Check. Small portions. Check. A lot of ‘I don’t understand……’. Check. Now I had to visit this. Taking kids to a chef’s table is generally a bad idea, but that Sunday afternoon, we just walked in. No reservation, just walked in.

The menu was indeed small. The waitstaff were trained well about the dishes. They warned us about small portions. When I asked if they could make French fries for the kids, they politely said they were unable to serve anything outside of the menu. Not with a snotty face, but very politely suggested a dish that the kids could share. Then I knew that this chef was serious about the Table.

We shared a soup, got two small plates, one large plate and one dessert for the two of us and one large plate for the kids. Let’s just say that I was glad about no french fries. The non spicy, but flavourful herbed rice with baked vegetables dish was loved by the toddlers and they finished their plate. With ease. No fuss.

The soup was a coconut based soup with oil drop. We simply stared at each other as we slowly finished the soup. Looking inside and hoping some more comes from the empty bowl. Like a sort of a magic well. We contemplated getting another portion. Silently. The waiter came over and announced that our small plates were ready. A grilled watermelon with balsamic reduction and feta. A dish so simple, yet so flavourful. For the price we paid for the dish, I believe they used imported feta. It certainly didn’t feel like some kodai cheese version of feta. The beetroot ravioli was our next small plate. A fabulous creation, with the perfect balance of everything, these were beautifully crafted.

Our large plate was the dish of the day. A beautifully cooked (braised?) beef served with some mashed potatoes on a bed of white rice. I don’t remember eating a dish like this with rice and we loved every morsel of it. A well done beef that wasn’t like chewing leather, on the other hand it was simply peeling off. A plastic spoon could have torn through the meat. The rich gravy, in its perfect quantity didn’t smother the meat and was just enough to wet the rice. A nice nutty ice cream with a chocolate lava kind of cake completed our meal.

At Rs. 3450, this is not cheap, but is probably Chennai’s first real chef’s table. The quality of ingredients was palpable and the chef’s conviction with the menu, keeping it small to be able to do full justice to it and sticking to not serving anything outside of it was commendable in a nice way. Normally a place like this will have menu changes very often, at least seasonally and I hope to find out when that happens. In the same note, I also hope that the owner is able to keep this going till a market builds for stand-alone chef’s table kind of restaurants in Chennai. It would be a shame if they shut shop due to a lack of market. Yet. 

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5 Star, Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Italian, Restaurants in hotels, Specials

An Italian conquers Chennai.

“What’s the secret?” I asked the sous chef.

“He doesn’t measure anything. He takes a handful and puts them in. Everything. Cheese. Butter. Rice. Herb. Everything is a handful.”

“He does have a large hand,” I said.

“Yes. He does.”

We were talking about Chef Gustav from Ratatouille. Sorry, Chef Allesandro who has flown in from the Mumbai Grand Hyatt. The resemblance is uncanny, so……. If you remember, this chef’s food festival last year at Hyatt Regency was one of my best meals of the year. He came, he floored us, he left. Not this time. Now he came, he conquered and he left. Within the grand Flying Elephant, with his own menu and his own seating, he has truly conquered. A small piece of real estate, but he has conquered.

The brand new Italian menu at the Flying Elephant has chef Allesandro written all over it. He may have left, but I hope he has taught the rest enough to keep this menu going. We were then when the man himself was around. Smiling, pranking and of course throwing fistful of stuff into the stoves.

Green pizza. Thin crust, crisp and pesto instead of tomato! Beetroot salad was a treat to both the eyes and the palette. Then there was the gorgonzola balsamic risotto that made my friend cry last time. Nobody cried this time around, but that is because we are used to it. A duck ravioli with nice sauce made its appearance.

But there was one dish that was worthy of tears. If my crying friend was around, he would have cried for this too. The liver pate. I hate offal and am not a big fan of liver though I have had it at times. This particular one was brilliant to say the least. Sandwiched between two fried croutons, a stick sticking out from the pate placed on a bed of caramelised onions, some pomegranate and micro greens, this was a stunner of a dish. Yes, the fried croutons and the caramelised onions were dominant, but they beautifully over shadowed the liver pate, which played a good second fiddle. For me, I was perfectly happy with this arrangement.

Fried cheese cake and a cone inspired from the streets of Hyderabad made up dessert.

While I hope that one day Chef Allesandro moves to Chennai, this is a great first step in that direction!

The new menu is now available at Flying Elephant, Level 1 at Park Hyatt, Velachery. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2r7sSbN

5 Star, Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Italian, Restaurants in hotels, Specials

An Italian conquers Chennai.

“What’s the secret?” I asked the sous chef.

“He doesn’t measure anything. He takes a handful and puts them in. Everything. Cheese. Butter. Rice. Herb. Everything is a handful.”

“He does have a large hand,” I said.

“Yes. He does.”

We were talking about Chef Gustav from Ratatouille. Sorry, Chef Allesandro who has flown in from the Mumbai Grand Hyatt. The resemblance is uncanny, so……. If you remember, this chef’s food festival last year at Hyatt Regency was one of my best meals of the year. He came, he floored us, he left. Not this time. Now he came, he conquered and he left. Within the grand Flying Elephant, with his own menu and his own seating, he has truly conquered. A small piece of real estate, but he has conquered.

The brand new Italian menu at the Flying Elephant has chef Allesandro written all over it. He may have left, but I hope he has taught the rest enough to keep this menu going. We were then when the man himself was around. Smiling, pranking and of course throwing fistful of stuff into the stoves.

Green pizza. Thin crust, crisp and pesto instead of tomato! Beetroot salad was a treat to both the eyes and the palette. Then there was the gorgonzola balsamic risotto that made my friend cry last time. Nobody cried this time around, but that is because we are used to it. A duck ravioli with nice sauce made its appearance.

But there was one dish that was worthy of tears. If my crying friend was around, he would have cried for this too. The liver pate. I hate offal and am not a big fan of liver though I have had it at times. This particular one was brilliant to say the least. Sandwiched between two fried croutons, a stick sticking out from the pate placed on a bed of caramelised onions, some pomegranate and micro greens, this was a stunner of a dish. Yes, the fried croutons and the caramelised onions were dominant, but they beautifully over shadowed the liver pate, which played a good second fiddle. For me, I was perfectly happy with this arrangement.

Fried cheese cake and a cone inspired from the streets of Hyderabad made up dessert.

While I hope that one day Chef Allesandro moves to Chennai, this is a great first step in that direction!

The new menu is now available at Flying Elephant, Level 1 at Park Hyatt, Velachery. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2r7sSbN