Gourmet Bar in Chennai has a brand new menu and we definitely recommend the Lady Mermaid Cocktail
If you are wondering how the Gourmet Bar of Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road has become such a popular hangout in such a short period of time, there are a couple of compelling reasons besides the great location. Yes, they have already created an identity with their eclectic food menu. And we are not even going to start with their new menu, which includes their delightful Lady Mermaid cocktail, that is bursting with citrus notes, is a great brunch drink! All that said, the biggest draw of the place is the charming couple who owns the property — Ashish and Shweta Gupta. And now that their bar license has come through, they have the patronage of the jet-setting crowd of the city. Their warm hospitality and great taste in music — saw a packed house a fortnight ago, at the launch of the Gourmet Bar. Primarily from the garment trade industry, Ashish shares with us how his work took them across Europe and inspired them to enter the hospitality line. “We felt that there was a lack of a good, modern business hotel in the city. The designs and concepts of these European hotels inspired us to bring something like that back home, to our city,” says Ashish.
The interiors of the 72-seater easily drew us in with its sense of space, the contemporary aesthetics and the high ceiling along with an eclectic choice of a metallic chandelier and oodles of natural light. Shweta, who was the creative force behind the design elements here, concurs, “Even though we wanted it to be very modern and comfortable in terms of design, we wanted the classic element. The furniture is very straight-line and European. We have a lot of classic elements like heavy rustic wooden cladding on the walls with brass inserts. All these give the place a casual, yet warm feel.”
As we sip on a Mai Tai, we decide to go with Ashish’s favourite and opt for the Warm Olive Bruschetta. Soaked in olive oil and topped with finely chopped dark olives, this one is perfect as a bar snack. The Honey Mustard Fish is tame with mild flavours, albeit with fresh ingredients. We linger over the Sriracha Paneer Skewers that lends some welcome heat to the palate. Meanwhile, we move on to my favourite thirst quencher, the aforementioned citrus delight that is stuffed with orange slices. The tangy flavour refreshes the palate in preparation of the next dish. The Ginger Soy Chicken offers the familiar sweet and spicy Oriental flavours that are always a hit when paired with a tall cocktail. However, it is the Bacon Spud with Sour Cream and Salsa that proves to be our undoing. As we polish off the tray, we discover that when one overeats jacket potatoes stuffed with bacon and melted cheese, topped with sour cream — one is rendered unable to devour any more food! Promising to eat more sensibly next time we bid them adieu!
Meal for two at Rs 1,800 (not including beverages).