6th Avenue's new menu serves appetizers on a map of Chennai and dessert in an ashtray!
We’re not in Mexico but there’s a Chilli Chocolate Chicken Stew on our table. And by golly, are we digging in. It’s dark, intense and robust with flavour — and for a cheeky side, along the same theme, is a bowl of vanilla-chilli flavoured popcorn for some contrast and crunch. This is just a sampling of the ‘unexpected’ in store as part of 6th Avenue’s new menu rollout. The restobar in Anna Nagar already came with some memorable surprises when it opened two years ago, like dessert that reaches you from a floor above via a suspended bucket. But Chef Vijaykumar Manikandan has a host of new plot twists in store — including flourless fried appetizers (Paneer Kurkure) and custom cutlery (plates shaped like the map of Chennai).
A tale of three beans
The chef who is one half of M&N Consultancy, (a consulting firm run alongside partner chef Navin Prasad) tells us that because of the pandemic slowdown — this offering has been a year in the making. And we believe him, as we observe the attention to detail in every dish. Expect familiar elements like the humble ‘raw mango’ popular on beachside carts with a dusting of chilli powder woven into a refined salad platter with tempered chickpeas, chilli cucumber and crisp onions. And the familiar but curious — like a redefined rendition of the staple ‘galouti kebab’ constructed instead out of a trio of lentils (chickpeas, white-eyed beans and red kidney beans).
The latter is surprisingly decadent to taste and certainly on par with the meat-based original, in terms of its melt-in-the-mouth texture. We also like that each bite-sized appetizer is designed as a mini sandwich with roasted apple wedged in the mix for a hint of sweetness.
Poetry in pistachio
Quick tidbit for those who like trivia, the galouti kebab was created for the Nawab of Lucknow who had lost his teeth but not his appetite for meat! We definitely relate. Especially given the other dishes that we would definitely order again are the Saffron Chicken Soup topped with mascarpone and buttermilk chic-
ken tenders; and the Chicken Bowl topped with an in-house black bean sauce.
Dessert is certainly worthy of chef Mani’s suspenseful “wait for it” when we asked for a clue earlier in the evening. For one thing, it arrives in an ashtray. How about that for novel plating? Lime green pistachio baked yoghurt beckons to be dipped into and does not disappoint with subtle but distinct flavour notes. Criss cross chocolate cigars sit on top for a touch of swag.
Meal for two at INR 2,000, including beverages.