It’s good we hadn’t eaten much on the day of the review, for we were unaware that he was planning to serve us a delectable 63-dish menu. After showing us our table, he gave us a quick introduction about the restaurant.
“People don’t realise how much garbage they eat in the name of food — some colouring agents are carcinogenic, other ingredients contain 6-7 per cent plastic and most of the chicken we buy is full of antibiotics. I only serve the choicest of naturally grown ingredients and free-range poultry like turkey, kadai (quail), naatu kozhi (country chicken) and kadaknath murga (a breed of chicken),” he says. We’ll come back to the last one in just a bit.
The traditional kari virundhu (non-vegetarian meal) we were served started with fritters and four varieties of dips: Avakkai mayonnaise and chutneys made from green chillies, tomato and curry leaves respectively. If you can handle spice, which the chef judges after you’ve eaten the green chilli chutney, he brings out a weapon of sorts — his special chilli oil. “It’s a blend of eight varieties of chillies right from bhut jolakia to the Guntur variety that are infused in cold-pressed oil. We spray sparse amounts of this on a chicken lollipop,” says Koushik, proving why he’s known as the ‘Mad Chef.’ Trust us, do not try it if your threshold for spice is low.
One after the other like tireless soldiers on a battle field the dishes kept coming to our table. Deep-fried okra, colocasia roast, mushroom perattal, butter fried chicken, Nellore kodi tikka, chicken 65 (marinated in chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and lemon) and the kadaknath pepper fry decorated the banana leaf.
The specialty of the last appetiser mentioned is that it’s made from a breed of chicken native to Madhya Pradesh. The meat is tougher than broiler chicken, has a unique taste and the feathers, meat, bones and even eggs of this chicken are completely black/grey.
Judging by the little space in our stomachs we had left to eat, chef served us bun parotta and chicken salna, which reminded us of a thattu kadai on the streets of Madurai, as main course. Chicken biriyani that followed was so delicious that we were salivating as we were eating it.
A multitude of beverages served through the meal— ranging from rose milk (to die for), Kerala kulki soda and panagam — and a variety of six desserts added the perfect end to the fiery meal. Our favourite was the iruttu kadai halwa with ice cream and a biscuit crumble, and just for this, we’d go back again in a heartbeat.
Address: 23, Kodambakkam High Road, Dr. Ambedkar Nagar, Kodambakkam
Cuisine: South Indian
Timing: 12 pm to 4 pm, 7 to 11 pm
Star rating (on 5):****