Espa at Leela Palace Chennai has curated a food menu that nourishes you from within
Leela Palace Chennai's best-kept secret is the 12,000 square feet space at their basement. Espa, their sprawling spa is exquisitely designed with numerous cosy nooks and alcoves for you to put your feet up and cut-off from the madding crowd. Now with their exciting spa menu, you don’t have to surface even to grab a bite — they have you covered right from a refreshing honeyed lemon-ginger drink (with hints of green apple) to welcome you, to a thoughtfully curated healthy menu that makes sure you linger in the dimly-lit corridors of Espa, pursuing one delightful spa treatment after another.
Red rice & a jacuzzi
Planning a head to toe pampering itinerary, Dr Pramod Kumar, the manager here, suggests that one start with the vitality pool which is a jacuzzi-like set up that has jets of water and air working on specific parts of your body. The warm Jasmine Tea is perfect to sip on as you wait bundled in fluffy bathrobes, for a facial treatment and maybe fit in the very popular anti-aging eye treatment too. The Banana And Red Rice With Wild Acacia Honey smoothie is creamy with yoghurt and makes for a perfect snack if you want to take a break in the relaxation room for a bit before the next session. After a brisk exfoliation with a Mexican cactus brush and sea salt, followed by a languorous detox ritual that involves aromatic oils and rose petal infused foot soak — you will be surprised by how hungry one can get!
Tuna paloma blanca
All scrubbed and shiny, we head to one of the alcoves where we start a tasting session of the spa meal with a gazpacho. The Chilled Papaya Ginger Ale soup with pickled gari and a garnish of some low-fat yoghurt and chia seeds is soothing and feels like another smoothie. The cubes of Seared Tuna are delicately seasoned and delicious, however the Arugula Salad has our vote. It is delightfully fresh and the sweet dressing of the honeyed vinaigrette is perfect for the bits of orange, feta and walnuts. The sous vide chicken is filling but it is the Soba Noodles that finds us slurping joyfully. The miso broth is stuffed with bok choy, sprouts, scallions and a juicy chicken dumpling. We wash it down with fresh tender coconut that has hints of lime and mint. As we step out of Espa, one does feel rejuvenated and ready to fight the big, bad and too-bright world!
A meal from the spa menu (a la carte) at about INR 1,600.