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    After an affordable breakfast buffet, L’Amandier has a menu update that is partial to taste over authenticity

    Lamandier_Dish_Processed_v2cLast weekend, over 10 hotels and restaurants had rolled out the red carpet for ghouls, goblins and witches. We evaded the ‘dinner and DJ’ offers and settled for Spoonbill instead, the cafe in Alwarpet that seemed to have got the Halloween act down to an art – or so we thought. At the darkened venue, The Mummy (chicken sausage) and Haunted Grave (jelly with whipped cream and brownie) did the rounds as many young things, faces painted and in selfie mode, posed with the props and the wait staff. Faced with the possibility of having to stand in line for tired hash browns and crisps, we scooted to the closest ‘familiar’ restaurant on our map – L’Amandier. The almost two-year-old bistro had succumbed to the Halloween spirit as well – a coffin and jack‘o’ lanterns lined the entrance and bats and cobwebs plastered the walls inside. The menu, however, was another thing. Recently updated, it was fresh and unexpected and had everything from zucchini fries with jerk spice to chicken liver pate with melba. The globe trotting owner, Nidhi Thadani, had evidently got in some consultants – a visiting team from Mumbai and four months of brainstorming – to present a bit of this and that, with some tweaks. For instance, the prawn ajilo, a tapas bar staple, came with Thai influences – very tom yum and very welcome. There was twice cooked chicken breast served with mash – with succulent morsels of the bird and the creamiest mash this side of town. A spaghetti with jumbo prawns marinated with garlic and basil and served tandoor style was another delightful surprise; we’ll be back for this compact, buttered treat. Other options like a Thai green curry with rice and a sweet vanilla pannacotta with basil seeds hit all the right ‘comfort’ spots, as a young singer belted out Bruno Mars in the background. This here is a menu where ‘tasty’ is given precedence. Don’t wait another day.   Pricing approx Rs 1400 for two. Details: 30853590

     Rosella Stephen

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