American corn dogs meet 12-hour cooked Ramen broth in Crimson Chakra's new menu
The new menu at Chennai's Crimson Chakra restaurant boasts an extensive range that includes old favourites, new recipes and nostalgic stories
Earlier this week, we headed to the Crimson Chakra in Gandhi Nagar to sample their new menu at their lovely heritage property. Owner and self-confessed foodie, Nikhil Moturi agreed to curate and design a degustation menu for us — that overwhelmed us promptly on account of sheer variety, to begin with! And what’s more, he picked dishes that had stories to tell and oodles of nostalgia besides a balance of sweet and spicy flavours. We slurped on a refreshing Watermelon Ice Tea as the first platter found its way to our table. The spicy Nei Kozhi came with a delightful sweetish raw mango chutney along with a Nagarjuna Green Chilli Chicken. Nikhil informed us that the homemade ghee in the dish comes from a friend’s farm which is 50 kilometers from here. “I wanted to go local and support the local entrepreneurs and this is why I have a humble Nei Kozhi in my South Indian line-up. With that in mind, I paired it with a spicy Nagarjuna green chilli chicken. Who does not love a classic dish with a spice level that kicks up a notch similar to a Telugu movie where the bad guys go flying like Superman?” asks the restaurateur who had launched a series of cloud kitchens during lockdown, including the famous Naidu Biryani.
The cheesy Corn Dogs were delectable even as Nikhil told us that it was inspired by his college days in New York, adding, “It just felt like comfort food and during those wonder teenage years where one can keep eating without regret.” While we didn’t have the luxury of that age, we nevertheless did keep eating without regret! Soon we had successfully polished off the signature Chilli Cheese Chicken Kebab along with a spicy Angara Chicken Kebab, a Beef Coconut Fry and an innovative wafer cone stuffed with paneer butter masala. The mains saw a traditional Andhra-style stuffed brinjal — the Gutti Vankaya Kora, that is reminiscent of the Tamil style Yennai Kathrika albeit with delicate flavours of the spices and generous sprinkle of roasted peanuts.
However, all the flurry of our busy dinner came to a halt when the Ramen Bowl was served! The broth had been slow cooked for 12-hours, we were told and our palate reconfirmed with delight. We silently savoured the bowl of perfectly balanced flavours, fishing out the shiitake mushroom slices with the soft boiled egg and chicken. Eventually, we found ourselves lingering over some sweet rum-infused gulab jamuns, a whiskey mocha mousse and some more curious stories from Nikhil’s humorous repertoire! Meal for two at `1,000
‘A-mousse’ your girlfriend : Valentine's Day hack
“So why is the dessert important? I feel it’s the only time people will share their feelings if they are interested (dating phase). That’s when the gentlemen can coyly ask for another date. (In the case of married men, a day of hanging out with the boys, maybe!) With that thought in mind, I thought why not celebrate with a bit of whiskey and a bit of cream, a whole lot of love and magic when we make our desserts. And lo’ and behold I present to you the Whiskey Mocha Mousse. This is how I proposed to my then girlfriend who is now my wife!” — Nikhil Moturi