Offering a fresh and young vibe, the third Sandy's in Chennai woos us with a pull-me-up Milo Tiramisu
When you are a regular at the 12-year-old Sandy’s Laboratory and Kitchen, like we are — and hear that the chef and restaurateur Sandesh Reddy has opened his third outlet in Chennai — we thought we knew exactly what to expect. Boy, were we surprised! Right from the interiors to the menu — there are delightful new elements that happily validated our trek across from Anna Nagar to Besant Nagar last week! To begin with, the décor is popping with colour and has that cheery Am e r i c a n diner vibe, right from checkered floors to bright red seating. “We are always trying to recreate nostalgia that is associated with classic experiences,” shares Sandy (as Sandesh is fondly called).
We start off with a pretty, mauvehued, blueberry milkshake that is resplendent with sprinkles and topped with a small cloud of cotton candy. Sweet as sweet can be, this one gave us a sugar rush and is Instagrammable to boot. We slurp from the tall glass, even as we are served a plate of Smashed Avocado toast. The sourdough bread wins us over immediately and the fresh tangy topping is delicious. While the Onion Rings are mild, the plate of Hot Dust chicken wings is spicy and coated with masalas. We suggest you save some of those avocado toasties to cut through the spice.
Being bread lovers, the croissant sandwiches snagged us fair and square. The first one was stuffed with juicy roasted mushrooms with mascarpone and we nearly called it the best on the menu. However, the Roasted Chicken and Cheese version claimed that position within one bite! Though Sandy’s classic cheese burger has always been our favourite — this time we tried the new entrant, a Louisiana Fried Chicken Sandwich. Generous portions and perfectly done slices of chicken breast made this a filling meal. For tenderloin fans, the steak sandwich brings simple and straightforward flavours where the welldone meat shines through.
As the desserts make their way to our table — do forgive us if we harp a tad much about Instagrammable moments. As the chef yanks away the cellophane holding the Milo tiramisu together — the avalanche of cream makes the dessert an immediate boomerang-video favourite. Meanwhile, the Tiny Chocolate Cake, made famous at the flagship outlet, finds a more theatrical role here in a sundae smothered in freshly poured hot chocolate sauce and creamy ice cream.
Meal for two at about `1,000.
From his 'Fingeasy' food experiments to his sourdough chronicles on social media, it is clear that Sandesh Reddy has been keeping very busy the past year. In fact, last month we sampled some delectable ready-to-cook meats from Fipola that the chef had created the marinades for. The collaboration has brought out 20 different flavours including Chicken 65, Amritsari Fish Tikka and Kali Mirch Mutton kebab. The Indian Basa is quick to cook and the marinade is piquant, while the Chicken 65 is flavourful like we have never had before. The juicy meat of the kebab is a bit tricky and we suggest you cook it on low heat to avoid charring. “We are just trying to bring you fresh food using quality ingredients — especially now, since many prefer home cooking,” says Sandy, adding that expansion plans for the French Loaf chain is what has his attention at the moment.