Friday, 17 March 2017

Avartana, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy, Chennai



Contemporary Progressive Cooking has been in vogue for a while now and most common with Mediterranian Cuisines. Chennai has its own set of restaurants which serve such food. During one such experiences, I along with other foodies, wondered when South Indian food would get such a makeover.

Vola! Two years down the line from such a discussion, ITC Grand Chola takes the bold decision of serving up such an experience at Avartana - Contemporary Progressive South Indian Dining in Chennai.

I had the opportunity to dine here for a preview dinner. The entire meal was a MasterChef level experience. I was blown way by how a normal South Indian dish with humble origins could be made into a contemporary dish with such zeal and flair.


Food:
The meal started off with a amuse bouche -  Air like Fennel & Pepper with Avocado Fluff.  Indeed,  just like air, it vanished.



Next Herb Infused Tomato Rasam - Yes the simple rasam becomes a drink - served in Margarita Glass!


I love Brain Pepper Fry. Have had them a couple of times at Chettinad joints. But here it gets a twist as Lamb Brain Dumplings Wowie!





Cocktails and Mocktails too, have been given a treatment to suit the south indian fare - Mount Road 63, Nannari Slush & Raw Mango Coriander with Chilli.


Then the vegetable which I rarely consume - The Bitter Gourd, gets a modern twist which made the taste so irresistible. Dehydrated Bitter Gourd with Potato & Sauce


Stir Fried Lobster with Chili & Garlic, looks and feels very much like a Podi Idli


The veggies had Kulipaniyarum with Madurai Chutney which was simply delectable


Then one of my all time favourites- Iddiyappam & Stew with Asparagus & French Beans. The Stew was so delicate and at the same time reminded me of traditional south indian flavours


The Pepper Chicken served with Malabar Parotta & Sweet Meringue was the show stopper. Soft Malabar Parotta with Spicy Pepper Chicken reminded me of my grandma's cooking, but the platting was totally reimagined.


Lamb Congee served with Aubergine Pachadi was simple yet tasty.



Finally the piece of resistance every south indian meal should have - Curd Rice / More Kulambu with rice, here in a different avatar - Butter Milk Noodles with Pickle.




Finishing off with Birds Nest - Finger Millet Vermicelli with Coconut Ice Cream & Caramelised Milk - Yumm!

Beeda Time - but here it takes a new route with Nitrogen - Winter Paan.

Ambiance:
Common South Indian interiors but reimagined. Carpets resembling banana leaves and wall motifs like Kerala Boats finally a open kitchen -a first for a south indian restaurant. The restaurant also has a private dining which can seat about 10 people at a time.

Price:
Avartana offers tasting menus ranging from Rs 2000/- and upwards for a seven course meal.

Calling this experience 'mind-blowing' would be an understatement. Having a Masterchef style experience from a south indian cuisine will have you raving. Avartana is here to redefine the food with simple and humble origin into Michelin experience.

Disclaimer : Invited Review

Avartana is located inside ITC Grand Chola, Chennai

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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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