Japanese Chef @ Courtyard Marriot








The title is misleading! It should read, New Chef takes charge at Courtyard Marriott, Chennai! But the title does make some sense, especially, when there is a banner as you enter the lobby that says, 'Savour Japanese favourites right here in India.' Having a large expat crowd and quite a few from Japan who stay for like a month on business visits, I guess Marriott has taken an extra to step to serve comfort Japanese for the Japanese. And maybe when they non-Japanese faces, they tweak it a little. Or maybe not. Maybe Indians have found the taste for Japanese food! Whatever is the case, a new chef has arrived in Chennai and has taken charge of Marriott!

The sushi platter he served wasn't much on variety but was visual treat at first. If it wasn't food, we could have kept looking at it for a while!!! Knowing fully well that a decent spread was coming for us to taste, we finished the platter. Yummy!

The Japanese soup with batter fried prawns wasn't tweaked for us and the fishy smell was way too strong for me. I know, I know. I'm a hypocrite here. I can eat sushi, but can't take a little fish smell? Contradicting, right? I know, but I can't explain it. A restauranteur, Sandesh Reddy, who runs Sandy's and the likes, once told me that once you have runny eggs, you can never get back to eating cooked eggs. And the same with fresh uncooked fish, he said. I didn't believe him. Now I do!

So both of us had to waste the soup. Next was a pretty good prawn tempura that wasn't the lightest in the world, but nothing to complain about. Both flew into our stomachs in no time! We then packed our bags, took our visas and flew to China for a bit, with a range of very nice dim sums. While Japanese is Chef Negeri's specialty, he has a flair for all cuisines. We were back in Japan with two fabulous dishes, a seared Tuna which was pretty stunning and a fantastic, Domburi, I think is what he said, but if you go back and ask for Domburi, he will laugh to himself, but surely understand what you meant! We loved it. It was like a rice with egg and chicken and greens and a nice little bowl of comfort food! Aimed right at the Japanese heart, I guess!

We finished with dessert and then I got the best news of the day! Marriott is revamping their Sunday Brunch. The ones who created such a fabulous Sunday Brunch suddenly lost it, but they apparently in a month or so, it is going back to where it was when the Super Star Chef Girish was at the helm. Can't wait for that to happen!!!!