Tuesday, 3 April 2018

3 Experiential Dining Experiences in Chennai You Must Not Miss

Best Restaurants in Chennai

'People who love to eat are always the best people' goes a famous saying by Julia Child, the renowned French chef. Foodies like me would wholeheartedly believe in this too. In my opinion, Indians love eating and not just eating but also experiences that revolve around food. Each part of our culturally diverse country boasts of a unique story and association with different types of delicacies and ingredients that have crafted a one-of-a-kind historical culinary recipe. In modern times, you see restaurants trying to impress patrons with their own story of sorts, of creating a gastronomical experience, not just for the palate but for the other senses as well. Living in Chennai for the past couple of years, I have seen the culinary scene evolving right in front of my eyes, and it is definitely a welcome sight. Now food lovers from other parts of the country need not associate the restaurants Chennai has as places that served only Idli, Sambhar, Dosa and Curd Rice - all South Indian cuisine staples that I'm definitely proud of, mind you - but also associate them with venues that tickle your taste-buds with niche cuisines, experiential dining experiences, and uncanny ambiences and themes that make dining an overall pleasant sensation. And it is not just the cosmopolitan elite flocking to these venues, but also food lovers who want to savour the experience along with 'Instagram-worthy food'. And so I jot down 3 of my favourite Chennai restaurants with themes that you must visit for, if you want to be served food and a whole lot more.
  1. 747, Thoraipakkam
    Letting your taste-buds take flight, this themed restaurant is designed as a 747 jet aeroplane. As soon as you enter the venue, you first encounter the reception area that has an uncanny resemblance to the airport lounge area. To warmly greet you are hostesses who will check your booking and handover the 'boarding pass' to enter the 'aeroplane', which is the restaurant. The 'cabin crew' takes your boarding pass, which has the table number on it, and leads you to your table. You can enjoy a sit-down buffet at this eating house, served in a manner much like what you'd experience sitting on a flight. The design and d├ęcor of this establishment can be mistaken for the inside of an actual 747; the resemblance is uncanny. Coming to the food, the serving plates are also shaped like aeroplanes. This eating house serves Tandoori, North Indian, Chinese, Thai and desserts. Dynamite Potato, Patiala Chicken Leg and Andhra Chilli Fish are some of the noteworthy delicacies served here. So, if you want to experience dining on an aeroplane - minus the turbulence - this is the place.

  2. Robot Theme Restaurant, Semmancheri
    If the idea of robots serving you food has not gotten you excited, then you can safely skip reading this paragraph. This restaurant's theme is very much a slice of any of the futuristic sci-fi movies that you must have watched. Needless to say, I was totally blown away by the concept. This establishment claims to be India's first robot-themed restaurant and has already made a lot of headlines. Each of these life-sized android bots that move along between the chairs and tables is handled by an operator, who is human, of course. Celebrating all the famous bots featured in Hollywood movies is the artwork on the walls, including the ever-friendly, Wall-E. You are handed a tablet to tap your selection from an assortment of delicacies in Thai and Chinese. Tip: Make sure you make a table reservation in advance as this place is known to be packed even on the weekdays! If this isn't the future of hospitality, I don't know what is!

  3. Kaidi Kitchen, Mylapore
    When you become a prisoner of hunger, this is where you must head to! Offering a one-of-a-kind theme is Kaidi Kitchen, where you dine in a venue that recreates the look and feel of an Indian jail. Modelled on a prison, don't be surprised to see the some of the waiting staff dressed like prisoners and some like jailors. You can choose to dine at a table behind bars (quite literally), where you can sit with your fellow 'inmates' and let your taste-buds be 'captured' by the tastes and aromas of pure-vegetarian delicacies. This kid-friendly venue serves 'jail-ka-khana' with Jain-friendly options. A few of the noteworthy dishes that you can try here are Spaghetti Carbonara, Tiranga Paneer Tikka, Baked Rasgulla, and Chocolate Fondue.

If you are like me and still want to explore more such experiential dining options, also check out Abyssinian in Alwarpet, MadHatter's Tea Garden in Chetpet, Haunted in Anna Nagar East, Winter Palace in Alwarpet, and Dialogue in The Dark in Royapettah. Follow your love for Ethiopian and African food to Abyssinian while Winter Palace beckons you to indulge in the atmosphere and the flavours of Russia. Relive the story of Alice in Wonderland with the vibrant ambience at MadHatter's Tea Garden. Dining at Haunted promises you hair-raising goosebumps, while Dialogue in the Dark will make you 'see' food in a different light. Needless to say, restaurants in chennai are ready to offer you experiential and one-of-a-kind dining experiences. The question is, are you ready to indulge?



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