Crimson Chakra has a brand new South Indian menu and we can't wait to go back for more!
We entered the 85-year-old building in Gandhi Nagar, amidst the splashing of a cheerful water fountain, only to find ourselves in a relatively quiet ambience at Crimson Chakra on a Monday evening. Known for its loyal following in the city, we were eager to sample the new additions at this nine-year-old restaurant. Nikhil Moturi, the self-confessed foodie and owner of this beautiful, sprawling property tells us, “I am constantly tasting and trying out food and there is a definite return to regional favourites,” and adds how they have incorporated the trend in their new menu, along with some fusion elements, that have already seen a good reception in the past two weeks.
For a meen appetite
Once settled in at the 80-seater diner, we start off with a popping orange flavoured goli soda that works well with the Kozhi Kari Thattai. A chicken variation of the traditional South Indian snack, the crunchy discs were topped with roasted garlic, chilli flakes and curry leaves prove to be an addictive dish. The Greek Yogurt Basil Tangri Kebab is what one would call a successful fusion dish — where the elements complement each other and the succulent meat clinches the deal. Wrapped in a banana leaf, the Sutta Elai Meen was smothered in a delicious thick sauce and smacked of the traditional Kerala dish of karimeen — however, this was a pomfret version. There is an interlude with some Ice Tea — which needs a mention as the tall, chilled glass saw us savouring the taste of real tea, amidst the mint leaves and the tang of lime. Meanwhile, the Ayala Meen Varuval, the fish fry, won us over easily as only deep fried offerings can!
The candle room
This cosy PDR makes for a great special-occasion-date destination and has all the trappings of a fine dining experience. With a wall covered with candles, this dining space promises privacy and a generous five-course meal for two, at Rs 5,000, where you get to choose the dishes.
Chilli ’n’ cheese
A shift from the South Indian mandate, the Cheese Chilly Paneer Tikka is the much-awaited dish for vegetarians who are Crimson Chakra regulars and have seen other diners gush over the chicken version in the past. “We are more of a neighbourhood restaurant. We are constantly taking feedback from our regulars and this dish has been in the making for a while thanks to the popularity of the Cheese Chilly Chicken Tikka,” says Nikhil as we dig into the creamy slabs of cottage cheese, drenched in melted cheese and green chillies. The real vegetarian star is, however, the unassuming Smoked Chilli Pineapple. The thick, juicy cubes of the fresh fruit were perfectly char-grilled and spiced, offsetting the sweetness.
The mains are a lesson in magnanimity — starting with the Chicken kothu paratha, which is moist and stuffed with chicken pieces, just like how the Kari Dosa is generously laden with the meat topping. The Burma Kozhi is a familiar, comforting chicken gravy that can go with just about anything. The Railway Mutton Curry is all about how tender and flavoursome meat can be, especially when paired with the must-try Vetrilai poondu saadam — a delectable smoky rice dish, which has the distinct and surprisingly delightful taste of betel leaves. After all that indulgence, the light and simple Tender Coconut Pudding worked as a fitting dessert option.
Meal for two Rs 1,000.