Home Chennai Food&Drink The thali from Italy

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    o be fair, it’s a mix of Italian and French cuisine, but we do like chef Willi Wilson’s idea of calling it the Italian Thali. Before you start picturing a silver plate with a heap of spaghetti and servings of pesto on the side, Tuscana on Chamiers’ ‘Italian Thali’ is a set five course lunch presented on a wooden tray. Targeted at office goers who can call and place their order before reaching the restaurant, guests have five options to choose from — two for vegetarians featuring mushroom or tomato soups, garlic bread, risotto patties or crepes and three for non vegetarians featuring salads, focaccia wedges and some pasta too.
    You will notice that all five thalis are predominantly vegetarian (something we find helps keep you awake when you have a good four hours of work left post lunch) with just the main course featuring a non vegetarian special (pan-seared chicken escalope, grilled beef medallions and grilled bekti). The desserts on offer include a chocolate fudge cake, walnut cake with honey syrup and apple pie with vanilla sauce, and no, you sadly can’t have them all in one thali. But one bite of the dense chocolate fudge cake and your taste buds beg for more. Priced from `575 to `675 for five courses, we’d say these thalis are value for money. And as head chef Hari Rajan assures us, the carefully designed combinations are filling while not leaving you stuffed. And did we mention you can top off your meal with a shot of espresso — another reason why you will not collapse at your desk back at office. Details: 45000008

    — RP

    Roll with it

    Last year saw a rash of kebab outlets spring up around the city and this year seems to be the turn of the katti roll, with two speciality outlets opening shop in the last two months alone. The newest, Katti Kebab Company, is located in Wellington Estate on Ethiraj Salai. In addition to experts from Kolkata, the Katti Kebab Company showcases an elaborate menu and some extra touches for the health conscious. Spoilt with choice
    There’s egg, chicken, mutton and mutton liver (something one rarely sees at stand alone outlets) in single and double options with minced versions of the meats being available as well (shammi rolls). Vegetarians will easily give the aloo channa (our favourite) a thumbs up, while the paneer, aloo palak and mixed veg — available as single or double variants — also deliver. With about 50 rolls on their menu, you are encouraged to experiment. But since the 580 sq ft outlet can seat just about eight people, you’ll understand that we chose to take our rolls home.
    Last word
    The kebabs (both meats and paneer) are juicy and full of flavour and we give them points for their wheat roll and egg white roll options. You can have yours on a plate with sides of mustard and mint chutney at the store, if you wish. But at `110 for a chicken roll (as opposed to around `75 elsewhere) one may wonder if their prices are a bit high. This, owner Krishna J Sukkal explains, is because of their strict focus on hygiene (they use only bottled water for cooking) and quality ingredients. We look forward to their branches in Velachery and Adyar that Sukkal says should be ready by next March. Details: 60501230

    — Ryan Peppin

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