All my loved ones at the table

September 26, 2019 12:00 am | Updated 03:54 am IST

Whether it is an intimate gathering, kitty party, celebratory dinner or an exclusive chef’s table; these Chennai restaurants are offering diners elegant long tables and curated menus to boot

CHENNAI, 24/09/2019:  For Metro Plus : A inside view of the Kappa Chakka Kandhari Restaurant. Photo: R. Ragu

CHENNAI, 24/09/2019: For Metro Plus : A inside view of the Kappa Chakka Kandhari Restaurant. Photo: R. Ragu

Kappa Chakka Kandhari,Nungambakkam

While the restaurant on the ground floor buzzes with activity, the first floor is an ocean of calm. Perfect for a long table meal to share with friends and family. Add to that a specially curated menu and exclusive service and you have yourself the perfect venue to host your next party. Tables can be booked for as few as 20 guests or can go up to 70 as well; ideal for those intimate gatherings that the regular caterers will not sign up for. At Chef Regi Mathew’s Kappa Chakka Kandhari, the focus is on providing diners with a comfortable home-like experience with a wide variety of food to choose from. Think duck mappa s, Ramaserryidli, kappa , kandhari chilli chutney and mutton chops gravy. “I believe in offering them a wide variety of dishes; small portions; but a larger variety to sample. The menu for these gatherings is specially curated and comprises a minimum of 12 dishes. I leave the beverages and desserts up to the guests to choose from on the spot,” says Chef Regi, adding that people often book these tables for kitty parties, team outings, birthdays and celebrations. The price for these ranges from Rs. 1,000 onwards per person depending on the menu.

While these long tables offer authentic Kerala food, Chef Regi also hosts a chef’s table on request. “Here I cook the food in front of the guests and it could be any cuisine of their choosing — Japanese, Spanish, Italian. These meals are typically 12 courses long and are served in micro portions. This is a more exclusive offering, and I do not do these more than once in two weeks. They are priced upwards of Rs. 5,000 per person.”

Pumpkin Tales,Alwarpet

If you are looking for meals that star locally sourced ingredients, then Pumpkin Tales might be your bet. Here, the long tables are of two kinds: those where Chindi Varadarajulu hosts the meals; and private parties. The menu however, is almost always celebrating local ingredients in new avatars. Think a salad with vallarai (pennywort), jackfruit and caramelised onion tarts, koduva fish grilled and laid on a bed of millet with a rasam broth, and a grilled leg of lamb in a coconut fennel sauce with a butter bean mash and sautéed amaranth. “I usually look at a vegetable and see how it tastes raw; if it is good then it goes into a salad. The ingredient is the star; and at these long tables that is what I like to showcase. We have hosted a variety of long tables so far; some vegan ones as well. They are normally five course meals featuring a fun salad, appetiser, one or two main courses and desserts. I might also do a cheese platter at the end of a meal,” says Chindi, the creative chef at the restaurant.

Every couple of months, Chindi also likes to host a long table with a specially curated menu. She usually opens these out to the public based on ticket sales. For private parties, she prefers advance bookings for a minimum of 24 guests and a maximum of 60. These are usually priced upwards of Rs. 1,700 per person. “I usually like to explain the menu to the guests and the inspiration behind the food,” she says.

Bungalow 12,Adyar

Run by Suneethi Raj, founder of Local XO, the venue has hosted several pop ups and long tables. With elaborate tables laid out in a glass enclosed room that looks out upon dense mango trees and lush greenery, this place is idyllic for dreamy dinners and summery brunches. Bungalow 12 can also be booked the space for private parties and guests usually ask Suneethi to curate the menu for them. “Apart from that, we also host chefs who do not have restaurants of their own. Take for instance, Namrata Sundaresan of Käse, Chef Payal Rajankar of The Gourmet Gig and chef Adira Swamy,” says Suneethi. These long tables range from teas and lunches to dinners and the space offers everything from curated menus, table set-ups, crockery, music and décor.

While chefs themselves host some of the meals, some are curated by Local XO and are usually ticketed events. Pricing to rent the space starts at Rs. 7,500 for three hours apart from the food, décor and other incidentals.

Kommune,T Nagar

Looking for a more party kind of vibe? Then Kommune might be the venue for you. The space has a mezzanine floor overlooking the main watering hole, which is open to hosting long tables. There’s also The Private Dining room that offers a more premium experience, with unlimited pours of premium brands and food that is customised and not on the regular menu. The music, too, can be customised here. Think avocado fries, Amritsaripaneertikkaand chicken tikka, which is a hot favourite at Kommune. Even the mixers here are usually cold pressed juices and not the regular canned versions used at the bar itself. “Everything from the cutlery to the service here is customised and specially reserved. We have had people book the space for everything from business meetings to celebrations and even for a proposal,” says Tanya Kothari, the marketing head.

While bookings at the private dining area are priced upwards of Rs. 4,000, at the mezzanine floor it starts at Rs. 2,500. “We usually need a booking to be made at least five days ahead of the event, so we can procure the material,” says Tanya.

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