Citibank Restaurant Week, Hip Asia!


Citibank's Restaurant Week, that has been doing the rounds for the past few years in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, finally lands in Chennai! I guess, it required Chennai making it to four international publications as the Best City to live in, Best city in the world, Best city in the universe etc etc, before Citibank saw it. We Chennaites, of course knew it, long back. Its okay. The world has found out only now!

So, jokes apart, Restaurant Week is a fabulous concept that happens around the world. It happened in Boston, when I was in MIT, it happens in.......long story short, it happens around the world. Every place has its own unique way to operate, but in India, its about getting fancy restaurants to give you sit down chef meals at a much lower price. I've not been a part of it in India, but some friends have been to Caperberry in Bangalore during this week and have raved about it.

The list in Chennai was impressive. Benjarong and Teppan were there and the rest were from 5 star hotels. Samudra from Trident was there and a range of restaurants from the Taj group. I would have liked to see some more restaurants, like Pan Asian from Grand Chola, Dakshin from Park Sheration and a few more stand-alone restaurants that are capable of serving fabulous dinners, like Sandy's, but I should quit nitpicking because this is the first year!

So my friend and me landed at Hip Asia. At Rs 750 per person, this was a steal. A three course chef's menu! Since we were two of us, we ordered different dishes to taste. The chicken starter was a bad choice, but the fish more than made up for it. It was awesome!

For the main course, we had a beef with bok choy and a two coloured chicken. The chicken was fabulous this time, but the beef was disappointing. Because we did not like two of the dishes, the chef was gracious enough to serve us another dish, a fabulous spicy chicken that tasted like the erstwhile Chilly Beef, but in the chicken variant. Loved it. There was an option to get either rice or noodles with the main course and we got one each. The rice was nice, the noodles was super nice!

Hip Asia reserved the best for the last - dessert. The silky cake was a stunner. It was silky smooth and decadent chocolate mixed in heaven! The usual water chestnut in coconut milk was also rather different, the coconut milk seemed to have a little custardy taste to it. Together the desserts were stunning!!!

But the bigger picture is that Restaurant Week arrives in Chennai and hopefully we get more restaurants on board!