7 spots in Chennai that serve rainy time snacks with a stellar view
These munchies are made for the monsoons. But we took our roundup of restaurants a step further this time around and insisted each bite came with a postcard vista of the showers. With our umbrellas already having had their fare share of outings in the past few weeks, why wait till October to get planning, right? From seaside destinations to garden cafés and rooftop restaurants, here is our list of where to go for your next chai break.
The Mediterranean samosa
With a rooftop view that offers a gorgeous panoramic lens of Mount Road under the shelter of colourful canopies, Kefi at Taj Mount Road serves a healthy Mediterranean alternative to the much-loved samosa. Chef Sumeet Sood says,“Our pastry triangles baked at 280°C are fresh, crunchy and most importantly, not deep fried.” The filling of sautéed spinach, feta and roasted pine nuts sounds pretty darn inviting as well. Rs 425++. For a monsoon-inspired main course, he recommends we try the Kleftiko or braised lamb shank marinated with cinnamon, cardamom and a hit of black pepper. Rs 800 ++
KoKoMMo, a five-star beach shack at InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, offers some delicious seafood, by the waves. “Since we have a lot of mud crabs coming out during the monsoon season, we have a slow-poached mud crab in Gassi (one of the lesser known regions of the west coast, near Karwar) gravy,” says Chef Indrashis Saha says. (Rs 850++) There’s also Char smoked Lobster (Rs 2,500 ++) to be had, or if you just feel like some munchies over a beer, a rainbow of root and shoot vegetables, flash fried and tossed in podi masala and curry leaves. Rs 450 plus ++
Try this, prawn-to!
Sit cosy with a cup of artisanal Apple Strudel tea (Rs 125) at That Madras Place, with a French window-style view of the rain pelting on the green lawn outdoors. For a crispy bite to pair with the wet weather, owner Mathangi Kumar who is also a Cordon Bleu-trained chef suggests this dish, similar to the Parsi Koliwada. “These are prawn fritters that are almost like a pakora, but here we fry the prawns, delicately encased in onion rings.” Rs 275++
When it comes to rainy time treats over at Vasco’s, Hilton — the sky is the limit. The biggest perk: you get to enjoy them with a beautiful view of the Guindy skyline. Serving up a multitude of regional rainy favourites from around the country, Executive sous chef Manish Uniyal tells us to expect, “Kappa Pao (Goa), a steaming bowl of momo soup (Darjeeling), Pattrode (Gujarat) and of course Vazhakai Bajji (Tamil Nadu).” Pattrode, in case you are wondering, he tells us, “is made of Colocasia leaves slathered with gram flour batter rolled, steamed and fried.” Rs 325 to Rs 450 ++
The Surf Turf café in Kovalam serves up an incredible view of the waves, minus the sandy toes. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some surfers in action (like at the Covelong Surf Festival this weekend). The view is best paired with their tart and delicious Beach Manga salad, Cheesy Corn on the Cob and Fried Calamari. The advantage of eating by the ocean, as owner Arun Vasu explains is, “All the seafood options are fresh and our menu is dictated entirely by the season.” Rs 150 to Rs 350 ++
We know you’ve tried mirchi bajji by the beach. But have you ever tasted it 20 floors up with a 360 degree orbital vista of the skyline? Now imagine that over the harmony of a soft drizzle. The Crown at The Residency Towers in T Nagar blends local fare and luxury, and how. Best paired with a masala chai, or if you’re vegan, eight varieties of dairy-free options like basil, lemon and green tea. Bajjis at Rs 300 and tea at Rs 175 upwards.
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