Eastern Wedge in Chennai serves up pan Asian flavours for the vegetarian soul
With pan-Asian being the flavour of the year, Chennai saw the opening of another Eastern restaurant a fortnight ago. Taking over the location that formerly housed Dario’s, down Kasturi Rangan Road, we have Tarun Mahadevan offering an exciting vegetarian menu of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. If you are surprised how a former investment analyst, and all of 22 at that, is now in the food business, when we tell you that he is popular serial restaurateur M Mahadevan’s son — you will get the picture. Furthermore, considering that Mahadevan owns four successful Asian eatery brands (China Town, Benjarong, Va Pho and Teppan) already, we are eager to try the menu at Eastern Wedge.
All in the family
“I am a numbers guy. But of course, I have been involved in the workings of our ventures like Writer’s Cafe and The Marina. And now that I am on board — you can call us a family run business!” says Tarun who recently got back from England and is the Business Development Manager at Cool Cream Milano Pvt Ltd, their holding company, which also owns Sera and Ente Keralam, among others.
The kitchen team at Eastern Wedge is power-packed. They have expat Chefs Low Chee Ee from Malaysia and Tetsuya Yanagida from Japan curating the menu, while tossing and tweaking the dishes to perfection is Chef Ramkumar of 16 years experience (from Benjarong, the Thai restaurant).
The Chanko Nabe with Udon noodles and assorted vegetables is a house special, in Chennai for the first time — it comes to the table along with the stove and wok. Expect to choose from mixed veggie balls, cottage cheese and vegetable protein, and choose your broth too.
Pandan + paneer
As we chat with Tarun about how the redesigning has enabled easier car parking facilities here, we sip on some soothing jasmine tea. Soon things get more animated with the strongly aromatic, pandan leaf wrapped paneer, that is saucy and addictive. The kushi yaki platter of grilled veggies has button mushrooms that are juicy and the French beans are flavoursome. While the tempura platter of broccoli and cherry tomatoes was tame, it was the dumpling basket that stole everyone’s thunder. The spinach stuffed one was an explosion of flavour, while the glutinuous rice dumpling was smokey and begged a second helping. The BBQ pao bun was jammy and sweet. Here the refreshing lemongrass cooler, that is a Thai version of our more commonly found lime mint cooler, works as a delicious amuse -bouche.
The cold Ramen Salad was a delectable dish that could very well be a main course, with crunchy veggies besides tofu and soya, tossed in a roasted sesame sauce that does the trick. The Wonton Soup, which is a part of the main course, is a generous broth that has an irresistible mushroom stuffed wonton on the side. But we will always remember it for the Nanami Togarashi seasoning that was suggested. The spicy powder added a delightful punch to the dish. The Bamaa Curry Rice is filling and has the signature aroma of kaffir lime leaves, but the creamy curry renders us too stuffed to try the desserts. We do get persuaded to try the sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste, which works well with a drizzle of honey. However, we suggest you opt for their Milo drink as a meal-ender — it is thick, nutty flavoured and chocolatey — a must try!
Rs 1,400 meal for two.
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