InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort’s Gatsby Lounge looks straight out of a Pinterest board
Expect global-meets-local cuisine with Curry leaf martinis and Baingan Bharta Bruschetta!
Chettind-style chicken dumplings paired with vodka and with a garnish of curry leaves? Gatsby Lounge, the relaunched restobar at the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort is finding all sorts of fun ways to weave ‘local’ elements into our gourmet experience. This includes the plating as well, we quickly realise, when our lamb meatball skewered through with a delicate bow of farfalle on top arrives on a clay kozhukattai dish!
We can’t help but say ‘hear hear’ as we raise our glass of Beer Mojito to clink, just as newly-appointed executive chef Lawrence Amalraj joins us for a chat. “It’s taken us about a month to put together this menu which has a lot of light bar bites, Asian and Continental — but most of them with an unexpected regional twist,” he shares. As we go about acquainting ourselves with these flavour contrasts — we discover that some like the Makhni Pasta are deliciously addictive — hitting a sweet spot on our palate, almost like that bag of salty chips that you can’t put down. Each time you try, it ends with, just one more...
Look out for!
• Lamb meatball skewered through with farfalle served in a clay kozhukattai moulding dish
• A playful spin on Mac ’n’ Cheese with a makhni sauce arrives in tempering kadais.
• Stirrers shaped like mini wooden oars.
Bathtubs & bruschetta
But others, like the Chicken tikka pizza with a surprise aloo paratha base and mozzarella, sound intriguing but let us down when we taste. Although, we do have to point out, the stuffed paratha is quite delicious as itself. We’re just about to take a bite of our Baingan Bharta Bruschetta (which goesbeautifully with garlic focaccia might we add) when Food and Beverage manager Satish Sundaram suggests we follow him, for a view of the biggest highlight of the Gatsby Lounge...
We are led outdoors to a Pinterest-worthy setting of lounge sofas and fairy lights — perfect for a date. Interestingly enough, the centre piece of colourful illuminated lanterns sits in a repurposed round bathtub — from one of the hotel rooms. Available for private dos as well, this recently constructed outdoor section, is 2,200 sq feet in addition to the 2,000 sq feet indoors.
Dip or dive?
If you’re stopping by for a drink at the Gatsby Lounge, it is essential that you request executive sous chef Tenzin Phuntsok’s special Burnt Garlic Chilli Oil dip, a classic
preparation of the Sichuan region to pair with your appetisers. Locally procured Reshampatti chillis and yellow beans are soaked in sunflower oil with burnt garlic and sautéed onions for four hours to ensure the flavours pop. And boy, do they pop!
Tamarind never dies
We decide to enjoy dessert in the crisp December air. A bit of a wait later, and the last dish of the night is rolled out: a delightfully tart Tamarind sorbet. The latter is creamy and a clear win for us, but we would have preferred it paired with something like chocolate or pudding — to balance out that sharp hit of sour with a little sweet.
Open on Friday and Saturday evenings.Time: 7 pm to 11.30 pm. Meal for two: INR 1,800 to INR 2,000 approx (inclusive of a cocktail selection).
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