-By Ameeta Agnihotri
Here it is. A taste of the authentic Chettinad thaali beneath the ancient trees, located in my most favorite legendary hotel of Chennai. Here the finest from the kitchens of the Chettiar community (dishes influenced by South-east Asian recipes, tastes and spices) hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, sun dried meats, salted vegetables explode with taste and exuberance. Chef Chandrassekaran excels himself and a thaali meal here under the trees is an experience.
Review posted within last 6 month
Had lunch at Raintree last week and was really spellbound with the dishes!
First, the restaurant itself is located in a corner of the hotel's garden. It was not very impressive from the outside and the interior deco was very minimalist. However it would be a very nice ambiance if you are looking for a simple, quiet, no fuss lunch/dinner.
Next comes the service part. The waiters were very courteous and helped us in deciding the menu. They made sure we were comfortable and saw to it that we enjoyed the meal, without interrupting our privacy in between. It was a pleasant service.
Finally comes the best part - the food. I won't be exaggerating if I said that this is where I tasted the real south Indian cuisine. I was very skeptical about the chicken kothu parota (minced chicken paratha) that I had ordered since it is best tasted in the small road side eateries, but the moment I tasted the first spoonful here, it was pure bliss. Next came the mutton briyani, which was neither too spicy nor too bland but was perfectly balanced . Again it was the best briyani that I had ever had so far.
For desserts I had the 'kavanarisi halwa' (black rice pudding) which came highly recommended. Even though it was the most visually unappealing dessert that I had ever seen (looked more like a blob of tar in a ceramic bowl), it was a wonderful taste which lingered in my tongue long after I had left the restaurant.
The best part is that, no dish was too expensive. Soups were priced at Rs.250, Main dishes are from Rs.400-600, desserts at Rs.200. One soup serves two and a single briyani can easily be shared by two people.
No wonder this place has been awarded the best Chettinadu hotel in Chennai. I strongly recommend that you try this restaurant if you are a fan of Chettinad cuisine.
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Chicken kothu parota
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