A new restaurant in town offers delicious food in a terrific ambience

Sometimes we are so focussed on the food at a restaurant, we barely notice the surroundings. At Bird on Tree it is difficult to ignore the ambience. It is located at a rather exclusive address (opposite the Circuit House). So greenery and quiet are a given. But the minute you drive in, you can’t help going wow! On the outside wall is a painting of a big tree with fluttering birds. Goes with the name doesn’t it?

Explaining why they picked Bird on Tree as the name and theme of the restaurant, V. Lakshmi Narayanan, one of the partners, says, “If you come here early in the morning or at sunset, you can barely hear yourself think. The chatter of birds is so loud. The trees here are home to hundreds of birds!”

Lakshmi Narayanan is a keen wildlife enthusiast and photographer, and as you step inside you see some beautiful photographs he has taken of several birds, hanging on the walls. Everywhere you go in the split-level restaurant, you find models of birds with brilliant plumage. You encounter them hanging from the ceilings, perched on stands and painted in unexpected corners.

Coming to the food, a delicate clear basil and garlic soup starts us off. It is piping hot, with not too many flavours fighting each other and is delicious. As starters, there are mushrooms with a thick crunchy crust and gooey insides. There is the inevitable paneer tikka. It is tasty but I wonder at the spell the paneer casts over restaurateurs. Even in Bird on Tree, for vegetarians wanting to opt for the Indian menu, it is predominantly paneer-based.

Innovations

There is a wonderfully innovative kofta, that is actually rasagulla with all its syrup squeezed out, and then stuffed with goodies and put into a creamy gravy. Do ask for the assorted basket of rotis. They come hot and crispy, and you cold make a wholesome meal just of them with a simple dal! There are plenty of exciting non-vegetarian options too.

Make sure you reserve some place for the dessert. The baked yoghurt is my favourite. It is yoghurt, it is sweet and creamy and it is something I would have had another helping of, had I not eaten so much before. Next time, I propose to start with that.

Bird on Tree offers three cuisines. Besides Indian, there is Continental fare as well as Asian. They serve the corresponding desserts too. We are told the Continental menu is a big hit with the diners; many of them have come back for more even in the very first week of the restaurant’s existence.

A portion of the restaurant has been sectioned off for a coffee shop that has a different menu. “You can work on your computer, listen to music, read a book or just bird watch,” says Lakshmi Narayanan.

That is the nicest thing about Bird on Tree. It is a getaway with reasonably-priced good food and friendly service.

One of the young servers is a literature student from Manipur, who works here part-time. It is these kinds of details that make a place special. And Bird on Tree is quite special.

Bird on Tree is located on Kamaraj Road (opposite Circuit House), Race Course. For reservations and details call: 98658-31000.