Patina's new menu serves up big flavours laced with liberal hints of nostalgia
Parle-G biscuits with your tea and Jhalmuri with cheeselings, anyone?
Chai in cutting glasses and Parle-G biscuits whisk us back in time, as we settle in for a taste of the new menu at Patina. Dip, hold for a measured second and bite right into a childhood memory. There is one twist that takes us by surprise, however — we get a mild hit of chilli at the end of that first sip. And it turns out the ‘Chilli Chai’ is a really fun way to combat all those sniffles going around...
Stoked about yolk
Partners Mathangi Kumar (also the head chef) and Krithika Swaminathan who hails from the Woodpecker Furniture family-run business (and is all of 21) take us through the new offerings in store together. We discover fairly quickly into our meal that behind many of the new dishes available at this Indian diner in Besant Nagar are in fact nods to the past. This is irrespective of whether the dish hails from the Parsi community, the streets of Kolkata or cafés in Mumbai.
Think Kheema par eedu (slow cooked kheema topped with runny eggs yolks), Jhalmuri with cheeselings for a touch of nostalgia and a dash of lemon pickle for a sharp citrus punch.
And that’s not counting tiffin box lunches like the desi-fied Curry Macaroni — a time portal right back to Mathangi’s school days. Expect subtle hints of a homemade spice mix with the likes of jeera, chillies, turmeric and garam masala. And even throwbacks to that one neighbour who made the best evening snacks — with an appetiser called Aunty’s All-Veg Cutlet (a mix of beetroots, carrots and potatoes, no garlic). This has us involuntarily return for ‘just one more bite’ more than several of the other more refined restaurant-approved dishes on the list.
With a number of gyms in the Adyar neighbourhood, Patina will be getting on board the keto train next month with weekly subscription meals. We got a sneak peek at their menu and can’t wait to try the Stuffed grilled molagha bhajji with cheese and chicken! INR 4,000 for veg and INR 4,500 for non-veg (includes lunch and dinner).
We are almost entirely full as our main course of Malayakari fish (using tilapia instead of the standard choice of Basa) with rice arrives. Definitely a must order for its tangy rich gravy of tomato and coconut cream and all round Instagram-appeal, this one goes right on top for us, alongside that beautiful pan of kheema and eggs.
Dessert comprises two creamy scoops of Paan ice cream outsourced from Gulabs and a subtle Gulab (rose-flavoured) panna cotta. The big surprise is that there is also Kaya toast on the menu, upon a Kaya-obsessed Krithika’s insistence. Primarily popular in places like Malaysia and Singapore, we are quite stoked when we are told, Patina makes their own Kaya jam as well, sold off the shelf. A bottle is priced at INR 200.
Meal for two INR 600.