Home Chennai After Dark A weekend of wine and Starbucks

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    Arvind Swamy at On the Rocks

    This week has been a mixture of emotions between Djokovic emerging victorious at Wimbledon, Formula 1 drama and FIFA madness reaching an all time high. The Brits might have been upset about home boy and defending champion Andy Murraya��s exit, but were quickly soothed by Lewis Hamiltona��s win at the British GP. Whichever you chose to indulge in, youa��re sure to have found groups of boisterous people cheering as if their lives depended on it.

    Despite all of the sports festivities over the weekend, On the Rocks witnessed a full house as they welcomed guests to an evening of food and wine pairing. The star of the evening was sommelier Anae Fournier, who, besides being an expert on the subject, also has a great way with people. While she found Chennai to be quite discerning and well informed, questions were welcomed, and explanations given. As expected there was lots of discussion on pairing wine with Indian cuisine. Anae handpicked a selection of wines to go with the specially prepared menu that included grilled meats and fresh garden produce, put together by Chef Rohit and his a�?grill brigadea��. Bronze Bay scallops, confit chicken and herb crusted tuna were paired with a variety of reds and whites, followed by dessert wines to go with dark chocolate mousse, strawberry jelly and burnt honey ice cream.

    And the sampling didna��t stop there. The week took us from grapes to beans, with coffee giant Starbucks finally putting their stamp on the Chennai scene. The launch was a high profile affair, with guests being given a comprehensive taste of the menu. From teeny samplers to giant mugs of coffee, we were encouraged to try different signature drinks, and customise them. Formal welcomes were set aside for loud cheery greetings from the staff. After we slowly worked our way through the menu, and what must have been several cups of coffee, we said our goodbyes, hoping wea��d be able to sleep. a�?Well thata��s what we have de-caf for,a�? said a friendly Barista on our way out. Point noted.

    -Paloma Rao (paloma@newindianexpress.com)


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