With six new restaurants signed up for Chennai’s second edition of Restaurant Week India, it’s time to start booking
Barely four months have passed since the Citibank Restaurant Week India (RWI) by Desi Restaurant Week Events came to Chennai for the first time. A total of around 500 people dined at 10 restaurants across 10 days and the only complaints according to chef Nachiket Shetye (who started RWI with food writer Mangal Dalal) were that of too much food. Our grouse though, was of the opposite nature, having tried one of the star restaurants on the list. Shetye insists that RWI is not in control of how much food is served. “The restaurants serve their regular a la carte portions. We only decide on the number of courses,” he says. Quantity aside, there were no issues with respect to quality and the response from Chennai even motivated the team to rope in six new restaurants to accommodate the long list of diners who had to wait the last time around.
“I am super excited that we have two restaurants from Taj Coromandel on board this time — Prego and Golden Dragon. There’s also Dakshin and On The Rocks from Crowne Plaza and Park Hyatt’s Beyond Madras that is launching just days before the event begins,” he beams. The good news is that prices remain the same for now (they revise prices every year). Especially given that dishes like the Beijing style crispy lamb and juicy tenderloin Mongolian style that are on the RWI menu at Golden Dragon, would cost you Rs.725 plus tax (each) on a regular day. The only noteworthy difference perhaps, is that Beyond Madras at Park Hyatt will not be doing courses. “They are showcasing regional dishes that don’t fall under any category. So you will be tasting 12 to 15 items back to back,” Shetye explains.
While Benjarong and Teppan remain the only two stand alone restaurants on the list, The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt is the sixth new restaurant to sign up. Given that Shetye and his team have been considering the likes of Winter Palace, In Seoul and Momo Yama, it might be safe to assume that we’ll see more stand alone restaurants in the next edition. “We were approached by several others like Basil With A Twist and Kipling Cafe, but all these restaurants are already very competitively priced,” Shetye points out.
RWI begins on September 11. Bookings open from today for Citibank card holders and September 6 for others. Rs 750 for lunch and dinner. Details: restaurantweekindia.com
— Ryan Peppin