Trying to find a middle ground between our two work places, we narrowed down on Soy Soi for our lunch meeting. It was new, it was supposed to be quirky and I knew that the chef was making a come back to Chennai after helming some of the best restaurants here, before disappearing to other parts of the world.
We started off with bao. You get two nice and big ones per plate. The prawn bao came with crumb fried sweetish prawns, but the thinly sliced juicy beef in a mild black pepper sauce with minimal veggies in the beef bao was the highlight of our lunch. The super soft and stretchy bao with just the light sweetness with perfectly fermented dough, while difficult to notice, didn't interfere with the wonderful fillings inside. The chef's choice satay platter had two very Indonesian flavoured satay. One was chicken and I don't know what the other was, but it didn't stand out, so I didn't bother finding out.
When the main course arrived, the portions were surprising. While we did go overboard on appetisers, the char keow teow with its chunky chicken and lightly saucy gravy was excellent. I don't know why the char keow teow in India isn't quite as 'charred' compared to the rest of the world, but it tasted great and I'm not going to make comparisons till I find a restaurant that serves it like the streets in Singapore. The companion dish for this, the lamb stir fry was just as excellent and just as generous in its portion. We had to pack half of both on our way out.
The dessert was interesting. Not the sphere cracking open while pouring hot chocolate over it, this trick has been done to death, but the one spice that was a misfit in this dessert. There was a nice butterscotch ice cream that the sphere enclosed, some oreo, some crumbs, nice 70% dark chocolate and one little spice that didn't seem to fit in. Every time that came, it tasted funny. When the spoon didn't catch it, it tasted great. But I must say that the misfit spice did make this dessert interesting and not too sweet!
Whoever started the fun and quirky Asian dining in Chennai, has created a trend that is getting replicated way too often and sometimes falling flat even before taking off. Thankfully, Soy Soi, atleast by the first impression, seems to have gotten a lot of things right. To start with, the chef. Peter, is now on some kind of a home coming with this restaurant. The prices and the quirkiness. And it shows. Most starters are priced around the Rs. 250 mark and the mains at the Rs. 350 mark and is bang on with its pricing.
Located in Kotturpuram main road, Soy Soi is hard to miss. And is not worth a miss!