Experiencing good food is truly liberating. The joy that comes from letting our taste buds wander around by indulging in the bold and beautiful flavors of the world is simply limitless. Chennai’s food scene has opened doors to exotic flavors from all around the world. Read on to know these cuisines a little bit more before you let yourself transcend all cultural boundaries for the love of good food.
Parsi cuisine combines the culinary traditions of Indian and Persian food. Most of their dishes have a perfect balance of ‘Khatta’ and ‘Meeta’. The star attraction of any Parsi wedding is their food; every dish served is slow cooked with an abundance of tradition on your plate.
Egg is a staple ingredient in most dishes and they are accompanied by a generous serving of Kachumber (A salad of finely chopped onions, tomatoes and cucumber with a generous sprinkle of coriander. This salad is dressed with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt.) Simply put, this cuisine is the extravagance, all meat lovers (Seafood lovers also included) should indulge in.
Head over to Batlivala & Khanabhoy, a newly opened restaurant in Chennai to indulge in some genuine Parsi soul food. Some of their signature dishes include: Sali per Eedu cupcakes, Dhansak, Hot Kheema Pav, Lollypop na Farcha, Prawn Cutlets and Lagan nu Custard
Cost for two: 1200 rupees
Russian cuisine comprises of hearty dishes served in abundance. Russians are known for their hospitality and exquisite taste so it comes as no surprise that the heart of their cuisine is where comfort meets gourmet dining.
Some of the most commonly used ingredients include: Fish, berries, mushrooms and a variety of grains. Also, an authentic Russian meal is incomplete without a generous serving of black or red caviar rolled together delicately in a pancake.
To experience the richness of true Russian Cuisine, book yourself a table at the Winter Palace. They serve authentic delicacies like Pelmeni, Caviar Pancakes, Solyanka, Draniki, Borsch and Pirozhki
Cost for two: 1100 rupees
Iranian cuisine is heavily influenced by the culture of its neighboring Middle Eastern regions. Their dishes have an aroma of fresh herbs used in combination with the sweet and nutty flavor of pomegranates that will leave you wanting for more.
Saffron is very widely used and they are also known for their Tadeeg, burnt and flavourful rice with a crisp bottom layer. Last but not the least, one of their international favourites includes Kebabs, a diverse variety of meat grilled to perfection. Be warned though, you can never stop with just one minced meat Kebab.
Shiraz Art Café in Chennai serves Iranian food fit for the Shahs themselves and what’s more they have the most beautiful outdoor seating so go ahead and make plans for a visit soon.
Cost for two: 1100 rupees
Japanese cuisine is simplicity at its best. Most of their dishes are made in accordance with their seasonal produce and the connection they have with nature and tradition is reflected in their colorful and fresh variety of dishes. Though Sushi has gained popularity over the years, Japanese cuisine holds many more mysteries to uncover one plate at a time.
Rice, fish and Miso soup are staples of any authentic Japanese meal and some of their other beloved dishes include ramen and gyoza. Most of the dishes are seasoned with Soy sauce, Vinegar, Sugar and salt. Japanese food is also considered to be very healthy as most of the dishes are steamed or eaten raw with a very few deep fried exceptions.
At Aki Bay, you can satisfy your cravings for some Japanese style Ramen and so much more. The staffs at this restaurant are extremely welcoming and if you are willing, they might even teach you how to use chopsticks. How cool is that?
Cost for two: 800 rupees
While it is true that Korean cuisine is influenced by Japanese and Chinese cuisines, the combination and the quantities of the ingredients used are entirely different. Garlic is used in most dishes and Kimchi (fermented vegetable side dish) is quintessentially served along with all the dishes.
Women are said to be the sole guardians of Korean recipes and preparation. A lot of Korean recipes have medicinal properties as Koreans consider food and medicine to be one and the same. They follow an extensive fermentation process to improve the taste and nutrition of their food.
North East Kitchen in Egmore, has a wide variety of Korean options to choose from and their signature dishes include Kimchi Jigae, Heamul Tang, Tangsuyuk, Kim Bap and Kimchi Bokkum Bap
Cost for two: 450 rupees
Traditional Balkan cuisine is a blend of Turkish and Mediterranean food culture. Seafood is a predominant part of their dishes due to the proximity to the Adriatic Sea. A lot of the meats they use are air dried and seasoned which makes it ideal for immediate consumption and storage as well.
Balkans worship Bread, throwing away even an old piece of bread is considered to be a sin; instead they leave it on the road for the birds and animals to feast on.
You can try some lip-smacking Balkan dishes by chefs Jovan and Goran at Basil With A Twist. Some of their signature dishes include Adriatic Grilled Fish, Dubrovnik grilled fish with Dalmatian potatoes, Balkan stuffed pepper and Ushtipci Tenderloin Beef.
Cost for two: 1500 rupees
As Julia Child once said, “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport”. Chefs attain a god-like status and cooking is an art form meant only for the passionate and keen eyed. Most French dishes are richly flavored and complex and you will be highly respected if you know your bread, cheese and wine. Truffles are one of the most widely used ingredients in France; they are known to be a worthwhile extravagance.
In France people believe in savoring their food, so they spend more than two hours at a restaurant for every meal. Though French is slowly becoming a global cuisine, some of the internationally favorite French dishes are crepes, Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Ratatouille, Aligot, Fondue Savoyarde and French toast.
Kitchen 187 Creperie & Café as the name suggests serves an interesting and authentic array of savory and sweet crepes along with a mouth-watering assortment of French toasts. Pesto Russo Crepe, Crepe Lasagna, Nutella French Toast are the dishes that come highly recommended.
Cost for two: 1000 rupees
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