Outlet: Beyond Madras at Velachery
Sherbets: I enjoyed watching their live sherbet counter. We tasted three out of the four sherbets they offer. We picked Nannari Sherbet, Paal Sherbet and Panakam Sherbet.
Vanjaram Meen (Seer Fish) Varuval - They did recreate a brilliant dish that is an age-old recipe cooked at every household around Tamil Nadu. Loved it.
Address: Park Hyatt, 39 Velachery Road, Velachery, Chennai
Phone: 044 71771234
Cuisine: South Indian
Overall Rating: 4/5
When I got the call from “Beyond Madras” team at Park Hyatt I was excited too-much that it’s tough to express via words. They are hardly two months old and have ventured to serve the diners with age-old traditional (Granny’s) recipes collected around Tamil Nadu. It shouldn’t be hard to locate Park Hyatt with maps. And they are all about brilliant ambience (Check my Post).
As they sprinkled rose water and greeted us inside the ‘Beyond Madras at the Dining Room; the ambience was impeccable. Memories started to unfold as I took the tour around their dining place that speak heaps about the cooking heritage of Tamil Nadu. The live sherbet and bread counter bring in some theatre effect to the calm and serene food experience. It was a pleasure to know the restaurant’s birth and insight from the very words of Chef Balaji and Restaurant Manager Mr. Vinoth (Thank you!!).
It’s food time now! The restaurant opens only for dinner (7 - 11 PM); their Set Menu (Veg & Non-veg) kick starts and ends with cold-hot beverages. And here’s everything they served to help me fill my tummies!!
Disclaimer: The menu changes every day so my review is based on the dishes we ate the day we visited.
Crunch Time: The complimentary homemade bread made with spices and crushed peanuts tasted brilliant with the onion tomato chutney. Loved the blend of spice-tanginess in the chutney.
|Sherbets - Nannari, Paal & Panakam|
The best was the Nannari, the freshness of the lemon and herbs with almond gum was refreshing and light. Paal Sherbet, the rose milk, tasted good. But I would prefer the consistency to be thicker though I know it was a sherbet:-P. I am not a Panakam fan so if you’re one get those, they did bring out the exact flavours of the beverage.
|Starters - Fish, Bajji & Plantain|
Milagai Bajji - Crispy-hot chilli bajji’s ended up perfect for the cozy chennai climate.
Vazhakkai Pirattal - My favorite pick. The plantain tossed in the masala tasted delicious.
The Breads were coming out hot and fresh from the four live counters. They served Ragi Idiappam, Aapam, Thinai Dosai and Parotta.
I enjoyed all the breads they served on my plate. The best among them would be ‘Thinai Dosai’ and ‘Ragi Idiappam’. The dosai was light and crispy; being failed many times cooking dosa out of millets I was surprised to one that looked and tasted good. The idiappam was soft and tasted perfect with kurma.
The parotta was flaky and crisp; they weren’t heavy. The crispy corners of the aapam and soft center with chicken kurma was spot-on.
Curries: Most of my favorite curry collections were presented on my plate. I wouldn’t have been happier.
Veg Curries: Ennai Kathirikai Kulambu, Kaikari Vellai Kurma, Avarakkai Kozhambu, Urulai Mochai Masala and Keerai Vadhakkal. One sentence review for all the veg curries “irresistible ramp of curries that tasted homely and brought back granny’s memory”. The curries made brilliant match to the breads. I couldn’t fault any of them expect the Keerai. I felt the Keerai being a little left out among the other curries as I didn’t know for which bread they tasted good.
Non-veg Curries: Kozhi Thengai Kurma and Attukari Urugai Masala. THE BEST chicken kurma. We kept asking for more; they went well with all the breads. Mutton masala was okay, wasn’t a huge fan of the masala. But the meats were cooked perfect. And this is how we ‘Tamilians’ ate our tiffin.
Sammai Pattani Biriyani - Millets Biriyani, surprisingly they tasted great. Kudos to the Chef! Brilliant cooking, he as did justice to the recipe.
I was surprised to see myself happy right from the beginning to end of a meal. Some of the traditional desserts that is unspoken about were brought alive on the plate. The yummy desserts:
Vattalappam - The sugar syrup and coconut elevated the taste of the caramel custard.
Kavuni Arisi - The black rice pudding tasted great. Loved it.
Rose Bun - I was enjoying the piece of rasmalai (atleast that’s what I thought:-P) and strawberry ice-cream until the staffs said its ‘Rose Bun’ served at one of the village in Tamil Nadu. Surprised and excited to see and taste a unique dessert that’s part of Tamil Nadu.
Filter Coffee Ice Cream - What more could a coffee lover ask for? Perfect ending to my meal. The strong and bitter filter coffee flavor with tiny wafers just turned out to be my favorite ice-cream.
For finale they serve hot beverages, filter coffee and panankarkandu pal. We didn’t get a chance to taste them hope to have a sip if I visit again!!
The ambience were magnificent. Being an invite, I really can’t comment about the service and price. But they really have scope for improvement atleast with the service; they were definitely slow and forgot to serve few dishes that were mentioned in menu. Pricing, definitely on the heavier side with Rs. 1350 INR (plus tax) per set menu.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking (5/5): Positive. Easy to locate them on the Guindy-Velachery road near Raj Bhavan. Parking shouldn’t be a question here.
Ambience (4/5): Positive. The lights, decors, and live counters amp up the environment and suits the restaurant theme. Loved their cookery collection.
Food Variety (4/5): Positive. It is a Set Menu that changes every day. They have good number of variations in starters, mains, beverages, etc. But I did miss Chutney and Milagai Podi, adding them would make people happier.
Taste (4/5): Positive. The dishes tasted great. I hardly could find fault.
Quality & Quantity (4/5): Good. The banana leaf presentation and usage of beautiful cutleries were brilliant. The food quality stood out and limitless quantity is a good plus.
Service & Pricing (3.5/5): Good. Being their guest I hardly have a say here. But they do have a scope to improve their service which might impress the customers more. Especially, they can be more conscious and quicker in serving the dishes.
Beyond Madras is an exhibit of Tamil Nadu food heritage. Their effort to showcase the food culture of Tamil Nadu is commendable. Loved the food variety and quality. The taste of desserts and curries was excellent. To bring out the essence of home cooking in a restaurant is appreciated. Pricing is expensive but experience makes it worth. Service needs a bit of tinkering with respect to pace. Beyond Madras is beyond words, experience the food mela!!
Beyond Madras at the Dining Room, Park Hyatt - Restaurant Review Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 22:36 Rating: