CHAO, a very nice, South East Asian cuisine restaurant in T. Nagar, called a bunch of us from CFG over for a Chef Special Dinner. What this aims to do is to give people the option of having an exclusive dinner with stuff from out of the menu! With a small private dining space in the basement which can seat about 20 people, the restaurant is contemplating this 'by-reservation-only' model which gives you exclusivity, privacy and mostly good food! In a place with a cuisine like CHAO, where there is a real danger of every dish tasting very similar, the Chef's' dinner came as a pleasant surprise.
The names of the dishes do not matter because you will not find them on the menu! If you decide to have an exclusive dinner for a team, then you will have to decide on the menu with the chef based on your budget. Our evening started with a fantastic Soup Ayum - perfect flavours of the East Asia blended in smoothly, the soup was excellent. The starter arrived with the typical crispy corn and spinach, but was not typical was the flavour - I cannot describe why I liked it, because I don't know, especially being a vegetarian dish, but I liked it. The stir fried chicken was very very nice. Then came another dish that was a stunner - Bok Choy, essentially a type of cabbage, but the chef had it on plate that had so much garlic, I thought I was going to stink for eternity, but how wrong I was. In spite of what looked like the amount of garlic to feed India for a day, the garlic flavour was just right and I have no idea how he did it - and for his part, he was very clear that he was in no mood to share cooking techniques! Excellent stuff and this is the third photo!
Then there was a Bang Bang Chicken with Noodles, an excellent prawn gravy, coconut rice and a braised broccoli with tofu (no photo) which I thought was excellent. Dish after dish, we were served in small but right portions and every single time, we were left impressed. The evening ended with an excellent chocolate mousse which had a tinge of orange and strawberry and was a fitting finish.
The evening was excellent, catching up with friends after a long time and one where both the food and the company held equal attention and when that happens, you know it was great. CHAO starts these private dinners at Rs 1500 and it can go up to however deep your pocket is! Don't try to call in the house numbers and ask for this, I don't think they will be able to help.