EATING OUT At the Ramada’s open air restaurant Boardwalk, Oriental cuisine and good music make for an interesting experience
There’s something about dining under the stars…its magical and that’s why Boardwalk seems like a dreamy place. This open air restaurant at the new Ramada Chennai Egmore, has kindled interest — maybe it’s the wooden panels and dramatic lamp posts or perhaps the giant screen that’s visible from even a mile away as you approach the hotel. So it isn’t really a surprise if you find a crowd gathered outside, perched on walls of neighbouring buildings watching a match in progress… sometimes its Messi on the large screen doing his tiki taka move or Vettel whizzing down a circuitous track or at other times the Indian cricket team pulverising the Aussie attack.
We make our way through the lobby that’s bustling with cheerful restaurant staff in crisp suits. Into a lift, up a flight of wooden stairs, through a wooden path and we are at Boardwalk. There’s live music, people hovering about the buffet table, couples gazing at each other and little children cavorting around. We seating ourselves at a table overlooking the city and listen to the music the Bulgarian band is playing, but not for long as a few mosquitoes decide to snack on our feet. The band plays foot-tapping music, and a good thing too — it helps keep the winged menace at bay.
We move to the indoor seating area. It’s like sitting inside a little glass box. All the furniture, the wooden flooring and the path are made of boat wood — it feels like you are sitting on the deck of a ship. The staff is warm and so is the chef who checks on us and makes suggestions. For starters he recommends the Paneer tulsi tikka — a platter of soft paneer mildly slathered with tulsi paste and served with mint and peanut chutney. We are quite pleased with it. The Panko fried calamari, usually our favourite everywhere, is sadly a tad leathery. Even a generous dip in the garlic mayo couldn’t do much to better the taste.
It’s a multi cuisine menu with an interesting assortment of Thai, Japanese, Korean and Indian. We experiment with the unusual Dakgochigui and to play it safe also order a Corn-fed chicken breast which is a satisfying combination of grilled chicken breast topped with creamy mushroom sauce and served with delicious tomato risotto. The Dakgochigui catches our palate unawares — a little too fiery with all the pepper it’s coated with but thankfully the flavourful burnt garlic noodles accompanying it help tame the spice.
We are ready to leave but the dessert menu looks at us beseechingly, or so we think. We give the tried and tested Phirni and Lemon cheese cake a pass and ask for Caramel Bavaroise with caramel sauce. It’s a three layered frozen dessert, pretty and well presented but our spoon just wouldn’t cut through it. It tastes no too bad but it misses the point of a dessert, that of leaving the one eating it in a blissful state.
Boardwalk is located at Gandhi Irwin Bridge Road, Egmore. For details call 3000 4777.