It’s kebabs and kickboxing at this new hotel in Chennai
Word on the street is that the spanking new Slate Hotel is THE place to party! The rush on Khader Nawaz Khan Road last Saturday is testimony to that. And, they’ve not even opened their doors entirely as yet. Formerly The Park Pod, this 20-room property in the heart of Nungambakkam, is now a thumping party zone run by a new team.
Down on the Corona
As you head up the stairs to the 135-seater lounge bar, the Studio, the kickboxing ring on the ground floor holds your attention and adds a certain energy to the place, even without the fighters sweating it out in the middle. The spacious bar sees us start off with remarkably tall cold glasses of Long Island Iced Tea (at Rs. 500) that keep us distracted with dangling straws to slurp the beverage. Another jumbo cocktail that is a sure conversation starter – in an extra large margarita glass is the Coronarita (Rs. 800) with a Corona pint within, topped with vodka, dark rum and litchi crush.
The menu offers multi-cuisine options where we pick the kebab platter. Succulent and mildly spiced, the grilled prawns, murgh malai kebab, chicken tikka and fish tikka, confirm that their tandoor section is spot on. The paneer tray finds me favouring the spicy tikka as opposed to the tamer malai version. The main course is a winner, where the spoonfuls of spicy chicken kheema rice are deliciously moist, and flecked with scrambled egg and diced capsicum – a perfect after-party meal. However, Chef Thirlok Kumar, who has worked at The Wharf (Radisson Blu Temple Bay Resort) previously, besides other properties, pops out of the kitchen with another rice dish – which he is yet to add to the menu. The Nutty Murgh Pilau is an instant hit with me, as the cashews and dry fruits give it a charming Kashmiri touch - this one is a keeper, I declare. Their continental roof-top restaurant – Ayr, is yet to open, while a spa is on the cards too.
Meal for two from Rs. 800 onwards (not including beverages). Details: 8760222277
Croissant in a mug, anyone?
The Deconstructed Café at Slate boasts an exclusive vegetarian kitchen and is run by three fresh-out-of-college youngsters — Vishal Karnawat, Tarun Khabiya and Kanishq Bafna. Curated by Vishal, the full-course menu has experimental eats such as the Auzania (lasagna sans pasta), while the likes of upma and grilled zucchini salad are in their ‘healthy’ section. One dish (masquerading as a beverage) that I am going to write home about is the Croissant in a Mug (Rs. 185). The cuppa steaming latte takes a decadent turn with an eggless croissant – dripping with Nutella and dunked into copious foams of whipped cream, topping the brew. Details: 7502920999
Live and kicking
Expect monthly fight nights, when the Muay Thai face-offs can be witnessed either from seats that are up-close and personal or from the luxury of pre-booked tables at the Studio Lounge or the deconstructed Café, which also overlooks the ring. At their Krudam Muay Thai Centre, you can sign up with international trainers (at monthly packages from Rs. 4,000 onwards) to learn the martial art form here.