Chennai's newest watering hole English Tavern serves up an exciting menu
When Hari Chandran, the brand consultant at the English Tavern told us that he liked to keep the focus on food, we didn’t realise the delightful implications till the soup arrived. The warm and comforting Tomato Basil soup comes in a tub, literally, and has a crunchy strip of garlic bread complementing it perfectly. Setting the note for flavour and presentation, the evening gets spirited once the Special English Tavern martini arrives. The curry leaves lend it a robust and aromatic zest, while the pineapple juice adds sweetness.
Owned by Dr Kumaresan and Dr Anand, this airy and brightly lit 78-seater has quirky interiors, high ceilings and a commanding television screen. Known for his bustling resto-bar at the Hub down ECR, Hari has exciting plans for this watering hole in Alwarpet, and promises, “The alfresco area is going to be soon serviceable and will add to the seats here. Also, be prepared for special events every other day like Bollywood nights and Ladies special evenings!” On his recommendation, we try the Crispy Battered Prawns and are soon licking the creamy and scrumptious remoulade sauce off our fingers inelegantly. “We use only fresh meat for all our dishes,” assures Hari and the succulent seafood dish backs that claim, along with a seasoned and crunchy batter coating. We wash it down with a delicate Coconut Martini and take bigger gulps when the Achari Mushroom builds up the heat on our palates. Soothing the taste buds are orbs of Parmesan Arancini, which are wholesome and considering the trend for fusion —we were thankful for this tasty classic. The Murgh Banjara Kebab comprises soft chunks of chicken with an appetising marinade, and we soon find ourselves scraping the last flavoursome spoonful off the tray. Pair it with the minty lime cooler, Green Fire, which has green chillies in the mix to add to the zing.
A little known fact is that — the Treehouse restaurant downstairs is famous for their biryani — which is on the English Tavern menu too. So if you are a biryani fan, you have your main course sorted! Meanwhile, we try the Parmesan Chicken that is juicy with a topping of tomato-based sauce and cheese drizzle. With crunchy veggies on the side — this chicken is perfectly cooked and tender. Enter the surprise winner of the evening — the thin crust Mince pizza. A freshly rolled out base and the homemade sauce ensures that no one can eat just one slice. With the delectable and luscious topping dribbling off our chins, the only thing that could distract us was a glass of Whiskey Sour stuffed with fresh, sunny, orange wedges. This one promises to make the evening a long one! We finally end it on a high note — with a creamy, layered Tiramisu, even as our caffeine buzz is accentuated with a perfectly carmelised Coffee Creme Brûlée.
Meal for two INR 1,200.