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    ITC Grand Chola pulls  out a signature breakfast menu that celebrates new  age eating habits

    FOOD SHOT AT ITC GRAND CHOLA. EXPRESS/A.RAJA CHIDAMBARAM.BREAKFAST at ITC Grand Chola can go on for a few hours, given the generous Far Eastern, European, and Indian spread. But if you are feeling very zen this weekend, sign up for their Signature Mornings. Introduced a few months ago and yet to be promoted, it has a following among expats, Chennai’s globetrotters, even those with rustic leanings. More importantly, it checks all the boxes when it comes to millennial dietary requirements – gluten free, locally sourced, natural sugars and forgotten grains. On a rainy Saturday, my gluten-intolerant six-year-old and I tuck into firm ragi pancakes streaked with buttery jaggery sauce and an aloe vera and black currant relish. Delicious. Next comes a variation on the traditional Eggs Benedict, with smoked salmon on amaranth crusted brioche, topped with egg and velvety hollandaise. Almost like a puff pastry, this one, and the compact size does not make you feel wasteful. If you are in the mood for more egg, ask for the third option. But don’t let anyone come between you and the goat cheese scramble, for this is one dish that must be had hot. Especially when it’s pouring outside. Sitting in the Mercara coffee shop, away from the buffet breakfast that is also part of the meal, it is easy to feel self-righteous about the seven grain porridge. It has been carefully created by senior sous chef, Nikhil Merchant, but requires a superior will to complete. The coffee shop’s famed oat muffin and the gluten-free dry fruit bread bring back the smiles, fortunately. On the whole, this responsible luxury initiative is worth a try.

    Breakfast buffet at `950 plus taxes. Details: 22200000
    — Rosella Stephen

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