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    You name it, they serve it. We take you through the rarest of delicacies you can order in the city, with a price tag as exclusive as the dishes themselves

    While New York’s finest restaurants serve Kobe and Wagyu beef, the pride of Sydney’s top restaurants is their Abalone shellfish and West Australian black truffles. Thankfully, Chennai isn’t far behind, as city restaurants offer many of these rare and exclusive world ingredients, at a hefty sum of course.

    By Preeti GT

    VESTIN5Australian Lamb Chops @ The Westin
    Executive chef Joseph Rathna Raj believes that the right ingredients make winning dishes. Like the Lamb Chops The Westin imported at Rs.3,200/kg and used in their roast steak. With a smoked barbecue pre marinade and served with three peppercorn jus, the dish priced at Rs.1,950 is not everyday fare. Also ideal for a special occasion is their Mushroom Risotto, that costs Rs.675 for a portion of 180gms. The dish uses Italian Porcini mushrooms imported at a staggering Rs.6,600/kg! There’s also their Seafood Risotto and Paella, priced at Rs.1,275 with a touch of exotic Spanish Saffron sourced at Rs.1,200/gm. While there, do try their T Bone Steak of US grade meat (Rs.3,200) and finish off with a house special Cheesecake (Rs.475) made with Italian cream cheese. Details: 22553366

    Alaskan Crab @ The Leela Palace
    Succulent and meaty with an intense flavour, the Alaskan Crab Leg served with tobiko is one of the hotel’s best sellers from its Japanese section. Importing at a whopping Rs.12,000/kg, the dish will tastefully set you back by Rs.2,200. Even the tobiko or flying fish roe, is imported from Japan at roughly Rs.5,000/kg. Executive chef Dharmen Makawana insists, “It’s only fitting that a hotel of The Leela’s calibre is able to offer the very best to its guests and that’s precisely why we import over 100 kilos of fresh vegetable and fruits from Thailand every week!” Do try their Sashimi (Rs.900/20gms) that uses Ottoro, a blue finned tuna belly. Signature dumplings of White Truffle paste (Rs.700) also come highly recommended. Details: 33661234

    INGREDIENTS SHOT AT ITC GRAND CHOLA. EXPRESS/A.RAJA CHIDAMBARAM.Hondashi @ ITC Grand Chola
    “To set ourselves apart from the rest, we literally bring the world to our guest’s plate,” insists executive chef Ajit Bangera. And he means everything from the Marmara Almonds of Iran to US grade Rib Eye meat and even Kashmiri Morels. An exclusive Japanese
    ingredient, Hondashi, made of dried bonito flakes, costs almost Rs.5,000/kg and is used in the hotel’s signature stir fries and teppanyaki. Since gelatine sheets are a key ingredient in a pastry pantry, chef Bangera procures a German silver grade variety (Rs.10,000) that is virtually tasteless and hence versatile in its addition to mousses and cakes. Also try their Special Almond Kulfi (Rs.300) or Chandragupta Malpua (Rs.350) that celebrate the ultimate taste of the Marmara Almond, sourced at Rs.4,600/kg. Details: 22200000

    INGREDIENTS SHOT AT HOTEL PARK HYAT. EXPRESS/A.RAJA CHIDAMBARAM.Peruvian Green Asparagus @ Park Hyatt
    Ritzy restaurant The Flying Elephant is home to many an ingredient and chef de cuisine Megha Balasubramanian insists, “Our signature dishes using international ingredients are contemporary and rare — our way of bringing something exciting to the food scene in Chennai.” True to their mantra, you will find Spanish Tapas or Gazpacho soup served with vine ripened tomatoes that come straight from Italy at Rs.1,500/kilo. Fresh Scottish Salmon arrives via an air shipment to create a toothsome Grilled Salmon, served with braised red lentils and tajini (Rs.1,700). To whip up that perfect chilli sambal for chicken satay, special thai red chillies are imported at Rs.700/kg. And for vegetarians, their thick and juicy Pervian Green Asparagus, purchased at Rs.2,500/kg, with morel foam and served with more fresh morels and edamame beans, will not disappoint. Others can try the wood-fire oven Grilled US Black Angus Tenderloin, served with brown butter sauce at Rs.4,000. Details: 71771234

    PICTURES OF INGREDIANTS AT PARK HOTEL FOR INDULGE. EXPRESS / R.SATISH BABUGucchi Mushrooms @ The Park
    Rajesh Radhakrishnan, area director — food production, says, “Chennaiites are extremely well travelled and seek speciality cuisines and dishes. They are willing to pay a premium for authenticity. As a chef, I strive to keep the menu unique using everything from earthy millets to Japanese Wasabi.” Truly bonafide is the Italian mixed mushroom Risotto with truffonade (Rs.850) that uses Gucchi mushrooms imported at a monstrous price of Rs.25,000/kg. Equally fabulous is the Chilean Seabass, procured at Rs.6,800/kg, baked and served with a tomato and basil dust and jalapeno chutney (Rs.1,675 for the dish). For the adventurous, Seared Canadian Scallops (Rs.800) served with an arugula salad are perfect with a balsamic glaze. Other imported ingredients include the lotus stem used in salads and stir fries and wasabi that accompanies a Japanese snack platter. Details: 42676000

    INGREDIENTS SHOT AT TAJ COROMANDEL. EXPRESS/A.RAJA CHIDAMBARAM.Caviar @ Taj Coromandel
    Caviar continues to be one of the most exclusive foods in Chennai. At Taj Coromandel’s Italian fine dining restaurant Prego, executive chef Alok Anand pairs it with classic accompaniments of Melba toast, boiled egg segments, parsley and shallots. Try different varieties of caviar like Oscetra or Sevruga, but don’t miss the ultimate indulgence — Beluga caviar priced at Rs.12,500 per portion. The hotel also stocks fresh blueberries from Holland, available in the form of a low sugar Berry Consommé, Lemon Mint Sorbet, priced at `800.
    Details: 66002827

    INGREDIENTS SHOT AT HILTON. EXPRESS/A.RAJA CHIDAMBARAM.Norwegian Salmon @ Hilton
    “We take our global brand and image very seriously and with enthusiastic foodies in Chennai, we are constantly on the lookout to create nothing but the best for our guests,” declares executive chef Yogender Pal. Go around the world tastefully with imported meats, Madagascar vanilla, gold leaf and more. Norway is synonymous with great salmon and that’s evident if you’ve tried their Teriyaki Salmon (Rs.1,395) served with a hearty portion of grilled veggies and mashed potatoes. Other good alternatives are the Chargrilled US Lobster (pre order @ Rs.2,200) with a Cointreau butter or the juicy New Zealand lamb chops (Rs.2,150) served with an asparagus puree. Better still, try the Sushi and Sashimi made depending on the availability of Kampachi, a Japanese fish. Even the humble lamb stew, Kundan Kalia (pre order @Rs.1,100), is garnished with a gold leaf. Details: 22255555

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