While some dishes are made to blow your mind, there are times that a single dish may not stay in your memory, but the meal does. These are times when the experience of the meal leaves a long lasting impression and you enjoy going back for the experience and not a single dish. 2017 got me a few such experiences and here are the top 5.
5. Truffle Overdose, Focaccia, Hyatt Regency Chennai
When a chef comes back from his hometown and brings some nice ingredients with him, I would expect a good meal. But I wasn't prepared for this special truffle meal where almost every dish had truffle in it. The entire 6 courses had 5 truffle dishes and at no point was it an overdose. Chef Mauro Ferrari's truffle dinner is with a white truffle pizza is not going to get out of my mind anytime soon. The link to the original article, here
4. 23 Risotti, Milan
Tucked away behind a gas station, 23 Risotti is known by the locals for their fabulous array of risotto. My meal had only one, the classic Milanese Risotto with Ossobucco, but complemented by two appetizers, a beautiful artichoke and pumkin fondue along with beautifully light fried zucchini flowers and mushrooms. The Milanese cake to finish was definitely the cherry on top of the, well, cake. The meal experience documented here
3. Anti:dote, Fairmont, Singapore
A high tea. That is all there is to it, but Anti:dote at Fairmont serves it up in all things chic. Starting with a mini platter with a choice of Asian or continental with truffle eggs, to the beautiful designer dressing drawers serving up four courses of dishes to complement your tea, anti:dote ticked all the boxes for a perfect mid day meal.
2. A 9 course meal, Avartana, Chennai
Easily Chennai's best restaurant for now, Avartan is an example of doing things just right. Taking South Indian food, tweaking the way it looks and feels and serving it back to South Indians takes a lot of guts. With super soft idly and mutton gravy, paneer soda in a margarita-ish avatar and all things South Indian, without diluting the flavours and only making the food visually appealing, Avartan has done something no Chennai restaurant has been able to do. It will be interesting to see if they are able to take this Pan India. The meal is written about in detail here.
1. Chef's 13 course seafood meal, POH, Mumbai
Chef VIkramjit is no stranger to Chennai. And him going to Delhi and then setting up his restaurant in Mumbai hasn't dampened many a Chennai-vasi's tongue missing him here. They simply fly over. And I am one of them. My friend who ate the 13 courses of vegetarian dishes was ready to camp on site and was in a foodgasm and food coma all at once. My 13-course meal with Alaskan crabs and Oysters (that is also featured in my top 10 dishes of 2017) was a few notches above. With flavours meant to look different from what they taste, there was a caprese salad with no milk or tomatoes, chicken breast in cubes and all things fancy. At Rs. 4500 (the veg meal is about 2500) the seafood chef's meal isn't cheap, but will be a brilliant way to celebrate any occasion.
Looking forward to a much more exciting 2018!
Happy New Year folks.