This festival at Dakshin, Chennai serves up live classical dance performances alongside a 25 course thali
One can safely say that in today’s age of change and fluidity, the delightful predictability of Dakshin is its ultimate draw. Right from the warm welcome by their familiar staff and the mandatory but famous banana dosa from the Iyer’s Trolley — it is all about the grandeur of tradition and authenticity of flavours. Yet, at Dakshin (Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park’s South Indian restaurant) they always find novel ways to showcase their exquisite cuisine and its integral connect to South India’s rich heritage. This time the spotlight is on classical and folk dance from the four Southern regions.
With live classical dance performances scheduled at the restaurant, Chef Vijay Kumar, Chef de cuisine — Dakshin, who has been with the establishment for 22 years, tells us how he has curated the upcoming food festival with five different thali options of nearly 25 courses, to match the regional roots of the dance forms. At a tasting session at the restaurant earlier this week, we find the mirrored pillars sporting colourful water colours painted by local artists depicting the dance forms of Bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam and Kunitha.
“Along with Dakshin’s favourites, we have included traditional signature dishes from Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra and Tamil Nadu,” says the Chef while assuring us that the Iyer’s Trolley and the delicious mukkani ice cream (of mango, jackfruit and banana) for dessert is definitely on the cards. We sip on some honeyed tender coconut as the crunchy, deep fried Nethili meen porichathu (Kerala style dish) has us engaged. Soon we dive merrily into the spicy chicken soup where the meat chunks are in a pool of delightful rasam that is delightfully.
We find that the Veechu Parotta works perfectly with the Royyala vepudu, an Andhra dish of juicy prawns in a spicy onion, tomato masala. Meanwhile the Kori ajadina (of Karnataka) is a traditional Mangalorean style chicken, succulent and cooked in a spicy Kundapura Masala. The aromatic Atteratchi ulathiathu (Kerala dish) is delectable with chunks of lamb stir fried with shallots, coconut and black pepper corns. Intermittent sips of pepper rasam enthrall us even us we are told that each thali sports a variant. From elaneer payasam to the aforementioned ice cream, dessert is a happy series. However the quintessential filter coffee, poured from a metrehigh makes for the perfect ending.
Thali starting from INR 2,200 + taxes, ongoing till February 29.