This new restaurant at St Thomas Mount is made for Instagram!
Ever had a dosa at a table overlooking a golf course? Well, we did — at the month-old North View Kitchen. And before you jump to assumptions — and wonder — Adyar or OMR (both posh parts of town with golf courses) — let’s just say this location is none of the usual suspects. Pray, when was the last time you drove down St Thomas Mount?
Ashwin Saravanan’s rooftop space is reason enough to make the drive for two reasons: the stunning view and the endless selfie opportunities. The fact that this 28-year-old is in the construction business quickly puts things in perspective as to how Saravanan not only discovered a prime location that a veteran hotelier might not have access to. But it doesn’t stop there. Every inch of the 1,200 al fresco-style space is crafted to make the perfect Instagram backdrop. There’s a window overlooking the golf course (complete with an ornate black frame painted around it) sized just right for portrait mode and a textured artificial grass wall with a readymade hashtag above your head that reads #itsbetteruptop.
Aside from the lack of air conditioning which we must admit in Chennai’s weather — we did miss — we have to agree. The sustainable décor of bamboo log landscaping and cane couches also help of course.
Look for the battlefield
Here’s some trivia for the weekend. The sprawling lawns of the OTA golf course opposite this restaurant was where the Siege of Madras took place when the French captured the city over 200 years ago. Even better — Google Maps has the spot landmarked. So, if you need directions, don’t look for a mall or theatre nearby — just look up Battle Field 1759!
Bridging the gap
Moving on to the menu, we discover the café-style interiors do not restrict the eating experience to staples like pasta or pizza. Instead, the multi-cuisine roll out includes ever everything from Meen Kuzhambu to Caesar’s Salad. Ashwin, who is banking on customers who live in the neighbourhood, explains the food gap. “Residents here have the high-end Hablis and Le Royal Meridien nearby and Yaa Mohideen or Aasife for a biryani craving — but that’s it. There are no restaurants or cafés serving you Chinese, Italian... ” Which is why despite being an intimate 60-seater restaurant, Ashwin had made it a point to invest in not one but three head chefs — to handle specialties like South Indian, North Indian and Italian.
Back to basics
And the fare though standard — think tandoori platters, milkshakes, noodles and Schezwan chicken — covers all your basics and tastes pretty darn good. “The running favourite is the parotta and khurma,” Ashwin tells us.
Our must-have list includes the oh-so-delicious Kozhi Rasam, the kheema dosa with a tangy homemade tomato chutney and the chef’s special Chicken 65 — which is brown, lightly battered and crunchy. Add a squeeze of lime and you’re golden. Incidentally, he also owns Polka Cafe next door, which offers a fudgy, moist chocolate brownie for dessert.
Meal for two Rs 800.
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