The Hatter's Table in Chennai has chandeliers made of cups and saucers and delectable global fare
You might have to literally fall into the rabbit hole that leads to The Hatter’s Table. We say this because there isn’t any signage up yet, if you’re a shopper wandering the ground floor of VR Chennai. So here is how you find this mysterious wonderland of a restaurant. Clue: look for a garden on the wall. Once you enter (fortunately there is no password) — there is much to take in. Plush sofa chairs of multiple heights call out to us for a game of where-shall-we-sit-first? Look out for checkered tables you could play chess on, clocks of varied sizes and luminescent lanterns that seem to descend like magic. Amid it all is a showstopper of a chandelier — made entirely of cups and saucers!
Spilling the tea
This quirky décor is spread across a spacious 1,600 sq feet, and is one of a handful of brands opened by Madras House. The latter is a social and lifestyle club — which has long-stay residences and food properties (including the recently launched franchise of Monkey Bar) under its ambit at VR Chennai. Chairman Sid Yog, who is also the founder of The Xander Group (fund management) and Virtuous Retail (lifestyle centres) emails us from the UK on his vision for the space which has been a year in the making. Sid recalls, “We started with the idea of a place which had an all-day tea party. So very much like the Hatter’s tea party from Wonderland, where time stands still, at The Hatter’s Table we are open all day long, with quality food from around the world to satisfy both traditional as well as adventurous taste buds.”
Oat with their heads!
True to his word, we find a spectrum of global fare on the menu. Baguettes and sourdough share space with appams and mini dosas. And the elaborate all-day breakfast section with the likes of everything from hearty stuffed parathas to Italian-style Frittatas to rolled oats porridge with cinnamon (vegan) — makes this a great brunching spot. We dip our spoon into a bowl of gently cooked Coddled Eggs served with a parmesan mash on top and a side of spicy tomato relish. And swap out coffee for a healthier alternative — matcha, with a twist. Our matcha is blended into a creamy Virgin Pina Colada that we find ourselves reaching for throughout the meal.
Kheer for some more?
From the salad section — we try the refreshing Roasted Beets with Orange and Feta that pops with colour, no filters needed. And later, a platter of Pan Crumb Chicken Strips and Xacuti Marinated Beer Battered Fish bring some delicious crunch to our table. Dessert turns out to be a symphony of Wild Rice and Coconut Milk Kheer. We are in paradise.
Just as we thought this was the perfect sweet ending, we are told spirits will be made available in the weeks to come. And Sid shares another feature in the pipeline, “Look out for a pet-friendly al fresco zone soon!”
Meal for two at INR 1,300++, at Madras House, VR Chennai. Separate entrance from the outside.