Home Chennai Rendang repast

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    This Asian canteen serves classics we love  and industrial chicnasi0138 décornasi0263img_9021

    As far as first impressions go, this place makes one even before you step in the door. Light bulb letters that spell Nasi and Mee, Broadway-style, call on your attention wherever you are on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. In contrast, the interiors have wooden crates that house suspended light fixtures for an industrial chic décor theme. And long tables flanked by metallic chairs offer that ‘canteen’ feel we’ve heard so much about from their first outlet in Bengaluru.

    Chicken soup for the soul
    Not to be carried away by aesthetic, we taste our first dish. Enter the Chicken Winter Melon soup and we are definitely impressed.
    Packed with shiitake mushrooms, melons and bak choy, it is delicious. For those with the preconceived notion that clear soup is boring — this bowl of wholesome goodness promises to bowl you over.

    Open kitchen, hawker style
    Ravi Nahappan, a fourth generation Malaysian who brings us this restaurant in partnership with Singapore-based Lioncity Foods tells us the space was born out of the simple idea of sharing the food he grew up eating. The spread covers classics and hot sellers from street hawker stalls across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Keeping with the street food vibe, he points out, “We’ve tried to keep the kitchen ‘open’ to all, reflecting the preparation of dishes right in front of you. While on the heritage theme, he adds, “You will notice elements like glazed tiles, mosaic and printed tiles, which can still be found in many shop houses in Malaysia and Singapore.”

    Dimsum and then some
    For a space that is just over a week old, word on the food seems to already be doing the rounds, given how busy the tables are. We taste the Xiao LongBao dimsums with chicken and the Prawn HarGow dumplings that come highly recommended from Ravi and Malaysian satay skewers. Sadly, the Laksa was not available with a chicken base, which is disappointing when you have a shellfish allergy. But the Chicken Rendang that arrives instead is so good — it deserves to be on a bucket list. “We slow cook it in coconut milk and homemade rempah which makes it drier and melt in your mouth,”
    says Ravi. Chocolate banana spring rolls teamed up with globes of fried ice cream seal the deal.
    Seats 70 plus.

    Average cost for two is Rs 1,000. Details: 48548222, 7550067035

    — Sonali Shenoy

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