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    The coffee shop at The Raintree St Mary’s gets re-branded and turns into a Colony

    The coffee shop at The Raintree St Mary’s has been transformed into Colony, with a new bar counter-cum-lounge leading to the entrance. “The idea is to bring back the old mess-like feel of the common dining halls,” says executive chef Hushmoin Patell, as we try to imagine one during the time of the British Raj. He points to the wall with plenty of crockery arranged on shelves and a picture starts to form. But the honey comb-like installation of metal sieves in different sizes (each with a very Chennai artefact — think matchboxes, cows, veenas — housed within) on the opposite wall, though very novel and quirky, misleads from the concept.
    Coming to what really matters, the food here is a mix of cuisines, with a focus on the Indian. The buffet is a cozy affair with a few cold cuts and salads on display alongside Continental (think sweet and spicy beef roulade, paprika roasted potatoes) and Indian mains (subzi biryani, dal tadka and plenty of breads) and desserts. To keep things fresh, your soup and specials of the day arrive straight from the kitchen (we enjoy a chunky Andhra braised mutton and a khoya and nut-laden paneer pasandha on our visit) and a live counter dishes out something new each day (we are treated to a heap of mini idlis in herbs, podi and more). Their a la carte menu (we visit while still in trial), we’re told will feature a tiffin platter, 63° eggs and prawns pollichathu in addition to specials like pork ramen, introduced for their numerous Japanese guests. And on Sundays, enjoy a brunch of fresh sorbets, milkshakes and other fare from their anti-griddle.
    Buffet at `1,200 plus tax for lunch and `1,350  plus tax for dinner. Details: 42252525

    Ryan Peppin
    Pics: R Satish Babu

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