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    A hearty laksa rubs shoulders with the biryani at Green Meadows’ The Madras Wok

    Then we learn that Green Meadows has done away with Chemmeen to create The Madras Wok, we are disheartened at first. If you’ve been to an Onam celebration at the restaurant, you’ll know why. But the resort’s GM, Lyndon D’silva, assures us that memories of  Chemmeen will live on, as the resort will continue to host the elaborate festive sadhya that drew in a crowd of around 600 last September — this in addition to retaining favourites like the Syrian beef and Kerala parota that the restaurant was famous for. This is in fact why the cleverly named The Madras Wok has two menus — one dedicated to Indian favourites ranging from the South Indian biryani to the North Indian butter masala, and the second to showcase the skills of their new executive chef, Shivajee Chandrasekaran.

    The transfo2rmation
    Chef Chandrasekaran was last seen at Her Name Is Ming, the pan Asian restaurant at The President Hotel, where he made sure his dimsums had a following. But we don’t see too many dimsums on the menu here as Chandrasekaran is keen to focus on other facets of Asian cuisine. Like the prawn sesame toast and the tau hu goreng. “We have our barbecue set up in place and will be starting that soon,” D’silva says, pointing to the open kitchen of the outdoor section, that is dotted with cabanas to provide the perfect setting for a leisurely dinner. The restaurant has also been expanded to accommodate 64 covers with mushroom-like lanterns lending it an Oriental touch. Much of the herbs used in the dishes are from their new herb garden featuring basil and lemongrass.

    Kachang and more
    After snacking on addictive slices of toast smeared with prawn paste and a sesame seed crust, we move on to a silky tofu with peanut sauce. With a coating of sprouts, the tofu and peanut sauce is as healthy as it’s tasty. The beef bulgogi, though lean, is a tad chewy and does not do justice to the garlic and soy-based sauce. But that is soon forgotten thanks to a hearty laska and our favourite for the day — the Hainanese chicken rice. Mix the clear chicken broth with the rice and dab in some of the thick, sweet soya sauce and you’re in Hainanese heaven. As for the sliced roasted chicken breast that accompanies the dish, it is delicately flavoured to let the sauce and soup shine. Chandrasekaran makes sure we don’t leave without sampling (a plateful at that) his ice kachang — a multicoloured mountain of ice flavoured with pandan, rose and coconut milk, with red beans and atapchi (the nipa palm fruit) delivering plenty of texture to the myriad of flavours.
    Meal for two at approximately `800. Details: 24515555

    Ryan Peppin

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