A toast to the coast, menu explores southern delicacies
CHENNAI: Food Exchange by Novotel Chennai is offering its patrons a gastronomic experience through South’s coastal cuisine.
Featuring some of the best dishes of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka by Chefs Vishwa, Desilva, and Vignesh, the medley of flavours is experimental and fresh. The menu attempts to explore the local flavours of these places while also catering to neutral palates.
Some of their signature dishes are nandu rasam soup, Madurai uppu kari, sankara fish curry, rava fish fry, squid pepper masala, Dindigul mutton biryani, Malabar prawn gravy among others.
For appetisers, we tried their mutton bone. The soup had a very simple palate feel. The taste of asafoetida and garlic amplified the taste of the soup, on the whole, offering an interesting and exciting flavour. The soup went very well with bread and butter. Pro-tip, add some pepper and lemon for an extra kick of flavours.
From their Tamil Nadu menu, we tried their Madurai uppu kari for starters. This peppery chicken starter lacked a little salt, but somehow still managed to make up for it by compensating with its taste. The chicken was evenly cooked and soft.
From their Kerala menu, we tried their meen polichudhu for starters. The fish was crusty and was not big on flavours. The dish fell flat.
From their Karnataka menu, we tried their achori paneer tikka. The texture of the paneer was nice and soft and almost melted in the mouth. The taste was pleasant and flavourful. With a little lemon and chutney, the paneer was a delight.
Anyone who has reservations about trying squid can put their doubts and preconception to rest with the squid pepper masala. This seasoned dish hit the nail on the head with the spice and flavours. The chewy squid managed to hold all the spices and was a kicker on taste.
For their main course, we tried their beetroot saadham. For anyone who does not prefer beetroot, this dish is a pleasant surprise.
This tangy and spicy dish is very authentic in taste and will definitely remind you of home.
The Dindigul mutton biryani made from seeraga samba rice is true to its name in terms of flavour. The biryani will leave you asking for more.
Their sankara fish gravy was very homely in terms of ingredients and had just the right amount of garlic. The gravy will go very well with dosa or rice.
The restaurant also has several live counters like dosa counters, seafood counters, and tea among others. Their simple dosa served with coconut chutney and sambar is exceptional and the first bite of the dish is paradisical. Anyone who loves dosa will not stop at just one. Their kari seafood dosa is also marvellous.
The food on the whole was a decent attempt to explore the coastal cuisine, while also catering to the taste of local palates. The pop-up menu will end on August 22. So, take a voyage and explore the coast.