Dishing it out Food

A hidden gem

Annam Cafe, for the uninitiated, is the restaurant located within Design Hotel at Phoenix MarketCity. Despite being around for over a year, this property is the mall’s best-kept secret. It’s perhaps the glitzy window displays that keep the attention away from it. Heavily inspired by all things south Indian, the hotel has elements from Chettinad, Madurai and the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Most notable is the jaali work at the reception, inspired by Madras checks.

Inside the restaurant, there are antiques, such as little puja room doors, kuthuvilaku, ewers, stone kettle bells, wooden statuettes, spittoons, jewellery boxes and candelabras.

For the last one year, Annam Cafe was accessible to only the hotel guests, and followed a no-menu style of dining, where they could order anything they wanted to. In August this year, the restaurant opened its doors to outside guests too. This means mall visitors can troop in for a relaxed bite and, most importantly, a cocktail.

The restaurant overlooks a patch of green, with artistic lights overhead in the shapes of the tabla, thavil, mridangam and ghatam. The menu lists a mix of South Indian, North Indian and Continental dishes. The chicken varuval is addictive and feels like the love child of chicken 65 and reshmi kebab. The deep-fried ajwaini fish with delicate flavours of caraway seeds pairs well with a glass of whiskey. For the main course, it’s fluffy, flaky Malabar parathas with paneer makai korma. The gravy is flavoursome, but both the paneer and the corn could be a little softer. The meal concludes with Annam’s speciality dessert — baked yoghurt.

(Annam Cafe is located at Velachery. A meal for two costs Rs. 1,000. Tel: 98845 91888)

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 1:15:42 AM |

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