Review Food

Chennai’s G Bar serves health bites with your cocktail

You can pair your drink of choice with barley and tofu, rajma in arancini and avocado toast, among other options

Party workouts are a thing now. And sweat crawls (like pub crawls, but to gyms instead) are trendy. So, it’s hardly surprising to hear people in bars throw up words like “fresh”, “minimally processed” and “rich in nutrients” in between “another shot of tequila please”.

As if on cue, G Bar, at the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road presents a menu that focuses on health food. “After market research, we found that the crowd in Chennai is looking for healthier options on nights out. So, we curated a special menu,” says Chef Kalai Selvan, executive chef at the property. Which explains why we are reaching out for spoonfuls of barley in between giant swigs of wine. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” my friend looks at me indignantly. “Try it,” I say, confidently passing him the plate of barley and scrambled tofu piquant with sun-dried tomato, and topped with spinach and feta cheese. His grumpy face breaks into a half smile.

The bar has two menus. In the afternoons, they bring out the one featuring health food such as aerated egg white omelette, smoked salmon, burnt garlic cauliflower rice, Kung Pao quinoa bowl and pesto grilled chicken.

The evenings have a bar menu, but with options such as crab cigars, bacon spud with sour cream and salsa, garlic pickle kuzhi paniyaram, baked spinach feta crust... We try Moroccan tenderloin skewers that are garlicky but tediously chewy.

Fortunately it is followed by a trio of Indian-inspired arancini. Each holds a different flavour within its pudgy depths. There’s arborio rice cooked with a dash of tempered curd, rajma masala and a kadi base, all three comfort foods from different regions of the country. They are then crumbed and deep-fried. Ingenious and addictive.

The good run continues with BBQ pulled pork on toast. It’s topped with seared onion, barbecue sauce and peri peri dip: a tad messy but we aren’t complaining.

The double spiced sriracha paneer skewers stay true to their name. Other than setting my mouth on fire, they don’t do much taste wise. I reach out for a cocktail to quench the fiery burn: the Smoked After Shake. This golden brown delight is a potent mix of cognac and whisky with an uplifting aroma of smoked cinnamon.

The bar also prides itself on its seasonal cocktails and fresh fruit mojitos. My drink complements the grilled salmon that’s a beautiful pink inside with pleasantly crisp skin. The accompanying sun-dried tomatoes balance the dish well.

After this explosion of flavours, the avocado sorbet works as an effective cleanser. Surprisingly, even after all the guacamole and avocado toast we have eaten over the years, this combination of grated avocado, cream, sugar and water feels a little unfamiliar. There’s something missing at first glance, but after a few spoonfuls it slowly grows on you.

We end with warm apple pie. Our spoons effortlessly slice through it and we finish it in under two minutes, in complete silence.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 5:56:18 AM |

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