Restaurant Review: Samasa, Turyaa

It is not often that a restaurant in the city can boast of giving a bird’s eye view of Chennai. But when we got a chance to dine at Samasa, a rooftop dining place at Turyaa, the newest five-star property on the IT corridor in OMR, we jumped at the opportunity.
Restaurant Review: Samasa, Turyaa
Breeze and a happy buzz at this rooftop dining space


A product of a 140-year-old Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence that has over 24 resorts to its name in Sri Lanka and Maldives, Turyaa in Chennai is the first city hotel in its portfolio.
Arun Raj, the general manager of the new property greeted us at the lobby and after giving a brief tour took us to Samasa, which stands for ‘fusion’ in Sanskrit, he informed. As we walked into the poolside- rooftop place, the cool breeze and the intimate setting blew our mind away. The lights and tall buildings around almost made us forget that we were dining in Chennai. Arun, pointed at the lights from the steady stream of traffic on the road below and said, ‘This is our Queen’s Necklace, since we don’t have one.’ We settled down at one of the tables with Arun. 
Over conversations on the recent demonitisation by Modi and Trump’s victory in US elections, we got ready to start our gastronomic journey. We started off with small portions of green asparagus cappuccino and poultry consommé. While the former was a creamy soup finished with cream, the latter was clear chicken concoction served with toasted cheese bread. We loved the rich texture of the former and the flavourful chicken broth in the latter was perfect in the cool weather. For starters we were served paneer khur khuri, basil crushed southern spices button mushroom, murgh rosemary cashew tikka, basil achari prawn tikka and thyme and garlic infused lamb. The paneer marinated in southern spices and deep fried in village-style was the perfect accompaniment to our fruity Cosmopolitans. The mushrooms were interestingly marinated in southern spices, a western herb like basil and then fried in basil-coated panko crumbs. Although the crust was flavourful, we felt the flavour didn’t seep into the mushrooms. Among the non-vegetarian starters, we absolutely devoured the murgh rosemary cashew chicken tikka and the prawn tikka. The chicken tikka marinated in rich Awadhi saffron, cashew paste and cooked in tandoori clay pot was soft and juicy. We couldn’t stop at one! Similarly, the prawn marinated in tangy pickles, cashew, basil and creamy seasoning was delicious. But we felt that the lamb lacked flavour and wasn’t impressive at all. 
For the main course we were served a giant mixed seafood platter that had grilled fish, prawns, squids and crab in a citrus-buttery sauce served with risotto and buttered veggies. While the sauce was absolutely bang-on, we felt that the squids and the fish needed to be cooked a tad bit more. The veggies and risotto came as a relief to the palate, that was saturated with the seafood after a while. We were also served butter chicken and chicken Chettinad pasta. An interesting melange of the east and the west. For all those who complain that their pastas are too bland, these spicy options are the way to go. 
To satiate our sweet tooth cravings, post the main course, we were served the typical Sri Lankan watalappan, anjeer rasmalai and jamun double ka metai. The watalappan was a flavourful baked coconut custard blended with mixed spices. Absolute bliss for all those who don’t want their dessert to be overwhelmingly sweet. Being a fan of fig, we were thrilled to try out the rasmalai with fig puree, the freshness of fig cut into the sweetness of rasmalai! And what is a dinner that doesn’t end with jamun and when it was served with fried bread and rabdi, it is like a perfect climax to a thriller film!
Samasa, Turyaa 
Cuisine: Multi-cuisine
Must try:Green asparagus cappucino, paneer khur khuri, murgh rosemary cashew tikka, mixed seafood platter 
Contact: 044 6697 0000 
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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