From kebabs to halwa, R Mahadevan’s newest restaurant offers Indian at its best
The walls are citrus green with plenty of white in between. Just outside, under the trees facing a quiet by-lane off College Road, a giant glass cube houses a private dining space, from where you can contemplate the stars. As we bite into crispy soft wedges of a roomali roti that has been stuffed with thin layers of paneer, that they describe as “Lifafa Roomali” we can only sigh. Chennai’s long time food impresario, Maverick Mahadevan has done it again! Like PC Sorcar, there is something of the magician about him. Now you see him, now you don’t — when he’s not setting up a new restaurant, he’s away in some distant part of the globe.
Some of us have a tendency to whine that when he’s not there, the magic tends to fade. When we complain, he whips out his electronic ready-reckoner and points out that he’s never more than a fingertip away from knowing exactly what’s happening with every one of his restaurants. “It’s the last thing I look at before I go to sleep,” he tells me, “the profit and loss.” “How romantic,” I murmur. Romance is however, what the Bombay Brasserie is all about. The romance of the street foods of the city that never sleeps, the seafood specialities of the Konkan coast, the soft as silk galouti kebabs and fine as a muslin dupatta worn by the famous courtesans of Lucknow, the robust lentil dishes cookedfor the soldiers guarding the North West frontiers, you can try them all.
There are ample provisions for a non-vegetarian see-through tandoor-style showcase and a special one for vegetarians, plus the main kitchen area beyond. Our dinner does take a little extra time to arrive. However there are expertly made mocktails and finger foods to keep you busy. When it does come, the food we order lives up to all our expectations and some more. The ‘some more’ is in the desserts. The halwai from Mumbai, Shantharam has tweaked some of the old favourites and made them dance. Phirni, that some will say tastes best in the “kothis” of Lahore has been served as a triple delight, in tiny glasses, each with a different flavour and you will want more. They also give you extra spoons to taste and share. For chocolate fanciers, there are variations on the lava cake. But for mango fans, the sight of a foaming platter of dry ice topped with a dish of Alphonso mango raas with secret additions must serve as the highlight. Go today. Before the magician vanishes.
Meal for two at approximately Rs. 1,600. Details: 42100709