The Park Chennai's new festival Meat Memoirs has exotic options you haven't tried before
Blue scampi to Bannur lamb, this menu serves up poultry and seafood that will be tough to find in most markets
There are nine exotic meats on The Park Chennai’s latest festival list. But here’s the juicy bit: “Most of them are not commercially available,” says Executive Chef Ashutosh Nerlekar. In other words, you couldn’t get a taste of a majority of these meats, even if you tried. No, not even if you were ready to shell out the big bucks. In fact, the chef surprises us, “Actually, nothing on the menu is over
Quail of a time!
As we kick off our degustation tasting with a Tibetan style Quail thukpa — we are told that the festival, Meat Memoirs, which begins today is just the tip of the skewer you might say — compared to what is in store for The Park Chennai’s 17th-anniversary celebrations, which begin on May 13. Look out for a champagne tower in the lobby, a food map of varied cuisines routed through the hotel and celebrity performances by artistes like Shakthisree Gopalan and rapper Shah RuLe.
We take it all in as we slurp away on our hearty noodle broth, maneuvering that succulent quail meat (sourced from within the city) with chopsticks.This dish, even by chef Ashutosh’s admission is a personal favourite. Served with a spicy gorkha chutney to offset the mild taste notes of the soup, we also love the varied textural elements like a chicken dumpling and a 62-degree egg that oozes a
gorgeous golden yolk.
For seafood enthusiasts, there is a Blue Scampi Allepey Curry and Halibut (sourced from Kanyakumari) en papilotte a la indien, to choose from. We opt for a tasting portion of the latter and fall in love with the delicate taste of fish and the red pepper curry it arrives with, which bears a subtle hit of spice and a mild tang.
The Kaali maasi (black chicken from Pune) roulade which follows is perhaps the prettiest platter but our least favourite on the menu. Although, the chef did warn us that the meat is known to be tough. The dark colour of the meat is a stark contrast to the golden spheres of beetroot on the plate, served alongside a kalonji aur barista biscotti (flavoured with browned onions) for a hint of crunch, alongside delicious kasundi (mustard) roasted baby root vegetables.
Let there be lamb
We wrap up our meal with a delicately flavoured Fennel and Garlic Pork Loin (from Chennai) quickly followed by a Bannur bhed ke pasiliyan (lamb ribs sourced from Bengaluru). The latter, we’re told is sought after because of the marbling of fat and meat. “When it cooks, the fat melts beneath the lean meat making it more moist,” chef Ashutosh tells us. So when we do reach for our Karbaga-style twice cooked mutton ribs, we already know it’s going to be brilliant. And it is. Especially given that it arrives with sides that we least expect — a bowl of dal and aloo jeera. Stuffed to the gills, we vow to return for the Water Buffalo T-bone steak before the festival ends.
May 3 to 11. At Six ‘O’ One, for dinner only. Dishes priced at INR 500 to INR 1,600.
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