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    Sam Paula��s restaurant chain launches a third chapter, offering world cuisine and plenty of pie

    image1Jonah is one happy boy. His namesake restaurant in Besant Nagar is barely a year old and has already multiplied to three outlets, with more coming up soon. a�?Wea��re getting ready for Jonaha��s Goes to West Coast next, and maybe a Jonaha��s On Lent for vegetarian cuisine. The brand has lots of potential and we are sure that we dona��t want to repeat the food,a�? beams Sam Paul, a serial entrepreneur and father of said happy boy. If youa��ve been following Jonaha��s journey that started last August, youa��re probably aware that the chain opened its second outlet, Jonaha��s Goes to Japan, in Phoenix MarketCity this February. And on learning that their third, Jonaha��s Meets Chef Willi (with the expat chef as a�?consultanta�?), was opening soon, we made sure we didna��t miss their pre-opening tasting.
    Tasting, testing
    Seated at adjacent tables from each other (the restaurant is after all, empty), the witty Willi Wilson and I make conversation, as we await Paula��s team, who are joining us for lunch. a�?The menu will be about 350 pages a�� just light reading,a�? shrugs the chef, and I nod with as straight a face as I can manage. a�?Wea��ve picked up flavours from around the world. Definitely a lot more than whata��s on offer at Besant Nagar. And plenty of vegetarian food,a�? he adds on a serious note, by which time our company arrives. Roasting each other throughout our meal (even Paul is not spared), this group is definitely entertaining company. Wilson starts us off with a hearty beef tenderloin. The juicy, medium-rare fillet rests on a a�?pastry rafta�? of roasted beetroot and cheese, with baked potato strips as big as my thumb on the side. As it vanishes, the Florentine-style baked chicken turns up. Mildly flavoured, to let the filling of spinach and mozzarella shine, it comes with zucchini rice and a mustard cream.
    Our verdict
    True to his promise, Wilson then sends out a slew of vegetarian dishes, of which the roasted paneer and the BBQ aubergine timbale deserve special mention. The paneer, stuffed with a broccoli mash and a salsa-like tomato chutney, is accompanied by a rich, cashew nut gravy of peas and mushroom. And encased in the smokey aubergine timbale, is a creamy, ricotta pasta thata��s complemented by a topping of Greek yoghurt and black olive tapenade. And though wea��re not getting any during our tasting, the menu has Wilsona��s special thin crust pizzas (for every appetite), wea��re told. Post a cherry pie, apple pancakes and lots of laughs, we leave the Poes Garden restaurant thoroughly satisfied.
    Meal for two at approximately Rs 1,200. Details: 43053030

    Ryan Peppin

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