The Orange Tea at The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt Chennai

"Kaatru vanga ponen, oru kavidhai vaangi vandhen," sang a former super hero of Tamil cinema. It translates to, "I went to get some fresh air, but I came back with a poem."

That's what happened when I went to the Teppan Food Festival at The Flying Elephant.

OK, so the teppan is behind a glass, so you have to see the tricks with a glass barrier. Ironic. That didn't stop the guests from lining up in front of the glass to take a look and allowing their phones to do the same at the teppan Chef Lalit doing knife tricks while making some awesome Seafood Fried Rice!

While Park Hyatt invited me over for their Teppan dinner, they are not going to like this piece of writing. A little tea hijacking the evening! Can't blame me. They simply had a tea that was brilliant!

Back to Teppan. Dinner started for the four of us with Beef Carpaccio. Brilliant cut of beef soaked to perfection. This was followed by an excellent scampi starter and a wonderful mushroom salad. But man, the tea was Oh-so-good.....sorry. Focus. Focus.

The mains started with Chicken Teriyaki and tea. One piece of chicken, one gulp of tea! Focus. Focus. While the Chicken Teriyaki and the sea bass were pretty good, they were no match for the Seaweed salad that had all the elements of a Japanese and Teppan feel and taste to it. No, the tea wasn't Japanese, but hey......OK. Focus on food. Focus.

This was followed by some display of chef and knife skills by their new Teppan Chef from behind the glass and lots of guests joined us in viewing him chop the omelette with Ferrari speed and Omega Precision! I actually had to look at his fingers to make sure my doctor skills weren't needed! We loved the seafood fried rice long before it was served on the table. I wish The Flying Elephant sets up a Teppan table, but I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon (or late)! The seafood fried rice went well with the Tea! (Pun intended)!

Dessert. Yay! Nothing Japanese about it, but the dessert platter left us gaping and gasping for more! I had to divert my food pipe towards the heart and wished I had a larger heart! As large as the tea pot that carried that tea! He he. But if there was one thing that competed with the tea, it was the dessert platter. The salted caramel profiterole was a stunner that night. Perfectly salted caramel with a fantastic choux pastry. The tart and the macaron and the cake popsicle and the tiny orange pastry all complemented the profiterole. And the tea!

So what was this tea? It was an English Breakfast tea with Orange. As simple as that. Served cold on a hot summer day, this was so refreshing with the perfect balance of tea and Orange juice. I had more than a few glasses and that might have played a role in filling up the tummy leaving barely enough space for the dessert (that then had to be diverted to the heart)!

The festival is on till the 29th, but the chef is here to stay! And so is the tea!