Chennai has a serious contender for the title of "Best Restaurant in Town" - Jamavar at the uber-cool Leela Palace Hotel. Sexy, elegant dining room, efficient and friendly service, and food that is to-die for, courtesy of Orissa-born Chef de Cuisine Debdas Balaga - whom I'd say is one of the most talented chefs I'd encountered on the Coromandel coast - what more can one ask for?
Dinner this evening:
- Murgh Malai Kebab: a Jamavar specialty of chicken cubes steeped in royal cumin-enriched cream, topped with grated cheese, garlic, fresh coriander, and grilled over charcoal flames. This was the most perfectly-cooked chicken kebab I'd ever tasted: moist and luscious.
- Allepey Fish Curry: kingfish curry with green mango, coconut milk and green chillies. *This* was how Allepey fish curry should taste like: a perfect blend of rich coconutty creme, the subtle stab of sourish tang from the green mango, the fresh turmeric giving that elusive umami taste, and the green chillies providing the faintest hint of heat.
- Appam: soft-bellied, lacy-edged hoppers with egg. This was the perfect accompaniment to the Allepey fish curry.
Best dinner I'd had in India for the loooong time. The restaurant also has an extensive drink list- though one needs to be mindful of the astronomically high alcohol tax here in Chennai.
The Leela Palace Chennai
Adyar Seaface, MRC Nagar
Chennai 600028, India
Tel: +91 44 3366 1234