Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Marina, Egmore

If there is something amiss with the Chennai food scenario, it is a PUCCA seafood resto. Apart from a few exceptions which are a little away from the city, nothing per se  has tempted us sea food lovers. So this new restaurant The Marina is a heaven sent joint for people like us. I was here sometime ago, with a couple of CFGians to tryout their menu before it's launch.

This restaurant is the brain child of Mr.Mahadevan of Oriental cuisines and from the looks of it, he has taken pains in making this joint stand out. First and foremost is that the fish served here are very fresh, and caught with a  hook and not by nets. For this he has adopted a fishing village, given them new rides and taught them the art of hook fishing. Finally he buys the fresh produce and brings them straight to the kitchens of 'The Marina.' How is that for the tenacity of the super hotelier!

The restaurant too has a new concept. You choose the fish/prawn/squid/crab and "buy" it by weight. Then you have it sent  it to the kitchen where it would be prepared as per your orders. To facilitate this, the restaurant is equipped with 3 chefs ( Indian, Conti and Chinese) with vast experience in their fields. Or if not, you can buy the seafood and take the fresh catch home like you would do at a market. Or if you want it marinated, you could do that as well for a fee and then take it home and cook it when required.

Food:

Once the team of CFG Avengers had assembled at the restaurant, the service began with a Prawn Tom Yum soup. The soup was very average. Later we were informed that it was the chefs take on Tom Yum soup.

Next up we were served Corn in Rice Baskets. The taste of this was reminiscent of wontons in Wangs Kitchen. In short, very tasty! There was  grilled prawns which was drizzled in lemon which many people raved about. Sadly I did not get to taste it being one of the disadvantages of sitting at the end of a large table.
Next up I was served with Squid Fry. People around me felt the squid was a wee bit rubbery. But mine was spot on. There was also a Fish Lassoni Tikka which I missed because of my position at the table.
We were served with Pepper Prawn Fry. This dish had finely chopped pieces of prawn mixed with a healthy helping of onions and ground pepper. Loved the deep flavors of the dish. Superb dish on a rainy day.
Next I had a serving of Fish Chingari ( I suppose that is the name, not quite sure about it) it was a nice thick chunk of fish drizzled with a bit a cheese and herbs and grilled in a tandoor served with freshly cut onions and tomato. Fish was perfectly cooked, soft with right amount of spices.

After some tandoori's and fries we served with a Crab Kerala Masala which was outstanding. The masala had rich flavors. The combination of the crab with the Ghee Rice was too good.
But to me the standout dish was the Mango Seer Fish Gravy which I had with the ghee rice. There was some curd at the table, which I mixed with the gravy and rice. The taste was divine. You end up getting a taste from two different end of the spectrum. An absolute gastronomical delight, an absolute must try if you guys do not mind mixing flavors.


Finally we were served with the lip smacking Karimeen Pollichadu in a banyan leaf wrapping. Fabulous presentation, excellent aroma, super soft fish. But it was more like their take on the Karimeen, nevertheless it was great. If all goes well this resto could be my idea of a seafood heaven.

Ambiance:
The restaurant has a nice contemporary design to it. An open counter with a large selection of the daily catch on display, with huge bulbs hanging on top of them. Excellent touch.

Price:
Since this restaurant works on a different principle, you pay for the choice of seafood first by weight. Then you pay for the preparation in per head charges, which is Rs 250. So its better you head here in a large group, since it evens out the price and you get to have large assortment of dishes. A meal for two would cost anywhere between Rs 1500 - 2000/-.

Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Price - 7/10

The Marina is located next to Pink Fitness Center in college road.

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*A review about a place holds good only for 6 months as there can be a change in quality and quantity of the food, the service and the staff, due to reasons best known only to them. So kindly consider these factors while visiting the places.
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