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    With a tinseltown connect and a menu inspired by classics and personal favourites, ECR gets a new eatery.

    The name hints at divine inspiration, but for most of us ECR’s new restaurant’s claim-to-fame is that a film star has ventured beyond the screen, into the hospitality world. Godka by Simran almost seems like the answer to a prayer for the (until recently) food-barren stretch of the East Coast Road. Located at Akkarai junction, Sholinganallur, it was launched with all the expected glam and glitz.
    Free Wi-Fi, comfy sofa seating, a mocktail bar and a coffee service add a conversational edge to the layout. The chandeliers and the Bollywood-themed walls complement the clean lines of the interiors. While the menu is largely understated, Deepak Bagga, actress Simran’s husband and partner in most ventures, admits that the food represents a lot of what Simran and he like to eat when they travel. So a little Bangkok, a little Malaysia, and familiar pan-Indian fare feature alongside classic one-meal plates from the Continent.
    I reach beyond the fish and chips, and the spaghetti alfredo, and even the roast lamb ribs for something with a little more bite. The Tom Yum soup was just how I like it, hot and fragrant, and loaded with chilli and lemongrass. The nethili fry under the Godka specials is crisped in batter and served with mint sauce. But the pla tod gratiem prik Thai (crispy Basa tossed with garlic and pepper) could have been more meaty. In keeping with the South-East Asian fare, I order nasi goreng (Indonesian style fried rice) and stir-fried chicken with cashews, which is quite basic. While the desserts can get an upgrade, we find the setting is nice, the location terrific, and the bistro-style menu very accommodative.
    Meal for two at Rs 1,200 approximately. Details: 9600032441

    — Niren Saldanha

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