-By Ameeta Agnihotri
The oldest five star South Indian cuisine restaurant in Chennai, The Raintree is literally tucked away at the back of Vivanta by Taj Connemara, under a Raintree, from which it derives its name. Done up in true Chettinad style it has a red oxide tiled floor, gleaming old wooden furniture from the land it depicts and the spices used in the food are reflected in its interesting décor. You will notice some beautiful paintings dotting the walls. "They are by the famous Thota Tarini," says the restaurant manager with deep respect. The absolute piece de resistance is the chutney and pickle trolley. During a meal, this engrossing piece on wheels goes to each table offering diners 10 varieties of chutneys and 10 varieties of pickles. Their buffet is a sight to behold. The huge copper cauldrons with their long ladles are attractive, while the performing skills of Raintree's chefs who deep-fry and pan-fry their ingredients wherever possible have always been a feature of their 'Spot' cooking. The all time favourite is the Kozhi Milagu, of chicken glazed with a tangy pepper marinade. The bite-sized bits of the Chicken Pepper Fry are outstanding. There's a fiery looking crab curry, prawns in a rich creamy curry and a delicious lamb curry called Kari Murungai Therakkal. For vegetarians, the choice is even more varied, from khorma made of double beans, a roast preparation of small potatoes, ladies fingers, sting beans and the most delicious lemon rasam and sambhar. The rice items that accompany most South Indian meals are simple. There's a green coriander rice and plain white rice, with curd rice as a filler. For those who like steamed items, idiappams and jasmine soft white idlis are delightful. The Chettinadu style fresh fruit salad made with condensed milk and almonds and raisins and the famous Kavanarisi Halwa made using red rice reserved are part of their repertoire.
Review posted within last 6 month
A PLACE PAR EXCELLENCE FOR ATMOSPHERE SERVICE & FOOD.
Review posted within last 6 month
The South Indian dishes are liked it very much and the taste is very good and worth for the money we pay. Lemon Rasam, Sambhar, Briyani served are liked by me and my friends. I was told that Chettinad cuisine are vary famous at this outlet and those who are interested can try and confirm
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: All
Review posted more than 6 month ago
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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