Svasa by Synck, in Besant Nagar, offers an exciting vegetarian gourmet menu

A sprawling property with multiple dining spaces, Synck in Besant Nagar has launched Svasa, their progressive Indian restaurant that celebrates heritage aesthetics and a gourmet vegetarian menu.
Svasa by Synck
Svasa by Synck

Offering a delightful resort vibe, this corner property on the Besant Nagar beach front has a majestic Chettinad door welcoming you in. We find ourselves looking at a labyrinth of pillared corridors, cosy nooks and high ceiling porticos. Owned by the trio, Krithika Subrahmaniam, Sriman Subrahmaniam and Preeti Sampat, the Synck offers a charming amalgamation of vintage and contemporary, and seems nearly melded into the popular cultural venue, Spaces, next door. “We want to offer a space that is safe and comfortable, that is more than just a place to dine at. We hope to provide a platform for culture and the arts,” says the multi-talented Krithika, a classical dancer and architect, who also owns the boutique hotel, Svatma in Thanjavur.

Krithika Subrahmaniam, Sriman Subrahmaniam and Preeti Sampat
Krithika Subrahmaniam, Sriman Subrahmaniam and Preeti Sampat

In good taste

Restored furniture and fascinating flashes of art on the walls enthrall us even as a huge smart television at one of the dining areas gives a nod to a corporate friendly space. After a quick visit to their yet-to-open bar, the bistro and a quaint little PDR (private dining room), we soon saunter into their progressive Indian restaurant, the Svasa. A delightful morsel of Karuveppilai Idli with Madras curry sets the tone immediately and we get set for familiar South Indian translated to gourmet creations. The Oath to a Plantain Tree is worth writing home about — with banana chips, vazhaipoo bajji and a creamy banana stem soup — it is comfort food with a story to tell. Our favourite turns out to be the Ennai Kathirikai, where baby brinjals sit in a pool of the salan, and the birinji arancini distracts us with a delicious cube of fried bread hidden inside them and an elegant filigree of vattal completes the picture.

<em>Ennai Kathirikai</em>
Ennai Kathirikai

Meat us halfway

While the space offers only pure vegetarian fare, we were in for a surprise when we were served an obviously prawn dish. A charming introduction to their mock meat section, the ‘seafood’ was followed by delicious versions of kola urundai and scotch eggs. As we were savouring the ‘chicken’ curry with neer dosa, the meen kozhambu arrived and stole everyone’s thunder. Flaky meat, just like the real deal, it was piquant and tangy with tamarind and raw mango — this one hit the spot effortlessly.

Sapodilla and sadam

The final dish is mischievous — a slab of pastel green sponge balanced on an anonymous dish of white. Introducing, their curd rice with pickle and buttermilk! Like any true blue South Indian, we sighed with every spoonful of the cold thayir sadam as we munched on the frozen foam. Continuing with the drama of surreal presentations we finish with a pretty Jasmine Ice Cream with Sapodilla and Hibiscus that sits on a bed of sweet boondi and deserves to be enjoyed leisurely.

Preset menu (Chef’s Table) at Rs 1,500 per person. Average meal for two at Rs 2,500.

Avocado toast
Avocado toast

Breaking bread

Recreating the good ol’ neighborhood bakery feel, the bistro Svah has a homely deli that offers an extensive range of eggless baked goodies that are made with organic ingredients. Krithika Subrahmaniam tells us that they are championing for the farm to fork movement. We found the lavash chips to be perfectly crunchy, the Mexican coffee bun to be a great pairing with a steaming cuppa, while the flaky croissant stuffed with almonds qualified as a dessert for us. Expect a nostalgic sense of flavours from childhood that are sweet and vanilla-smelling.

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