At The Table By The Sea

Just a little wine and a fine dine seems to be overrated with fine-dine restaurants opening a dime a dozen. But add a generous splash of the ocean, the soothing sound of the waves, a gentle breeze that ruffles your hair, not to mention the expertise of the Taj and you are set for an evening of fun. Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove offers you something that is exclusively unique – a bistro style meal just yards away from the deep-blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.

The iconic Julia Child once said, “The people who love to eat are always the best people.” And by those standards we are joined by two of the best, most fashionable and sought after designers, Vivek Karunakaran and Chaitanya Rao.

At Upper Deck of Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove we are greeted with a welcome cocktail – Daiquiri Basilicum, which is certainly a mouthful but, is equally flavoursome. The cool ocean breeze, elegant lighting, white gazebos and the rustic wooden floors put us at ease right away; a quick way to unwind on an extremely tense workday.

The food brigade at Upper Deck is led by Executive Chef Sumeet Sood and junior sous chef Mrinalinee S Majumdar, whose bistro style menu is inspired by the continental cuisine from Northern France and North Western Italy. Chef Sumeet hands over a menu as he explains the concept behind our meal for the night and prepares us for an epicurean feast. We toast the night with our Pinot Noire and get to talking as the chef heads back to wow us with his food.

Vivek Karunakaran is no new name to the fashion elite of Chennai or the rest of the country. It has been over 10 years since Vivek debuted at Lakme Fashion Week and his designs continue to make heads turn any day of the week. His latest Valentine’s Day collection Just Love has also been creating quite a buzz.

City-based designer Chaitanya Rao may have hit a rough patch recently, but that has in no way got his spirits down. The fiery designer is known for his strong ties with the film world and currently working on three projects: Styling Trisha in Nayaki, working with Trisha and Anupama in Kodi and styling Keerthi Suresh in her upcoming flick with Sivakarthikeyan.

Our first course for the night arrives even as we tuck into our bread basket. The Sea Food Bisque, a melange of seafood extracts and pepper rouille is flavoursome and very rich. Though the pepper rouille makes a slightly buttery bisque, it is still delicious. Next on our plate is the Leek Tart with Goat Cheese. The tart baked to perfection; light and crumbly, the goat cheese rich and creamy, all brought beautifully together by the crunch of the walnuts. ‘Tart connoisseur Vivek’ as Chaitanya calls him, however, is not all praise for the dish. We are in for a little surprise as the charming sous chef Mrinalinee tells us though the leek tart is her star dish and a crowd pleaser, she agrees with Vivek.

As we wait for the chef’s next, we dig into a fresh Caprese salad with the right mix of buffalo mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil, perfectly seasoned with salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. No doubt a salad which leaves you feeling light is just what we need since our next entrée Chicken Liver Pate is a table favourite. The Chicken Liver Pate is accompanied by Walnut bread, Arugula, Apple chutney and caramelised onion. Chef Mrinalinee makes a trip to the table, educating us on how to enjoy the dish. To say the least, all our plates are spotless at the end of this dish.

Another favourite is the Fillet of snapper, broiled to perfection; the flesh still moist and succulent complimented by polenta and the sweetness of cherry tomatoes. We get to our main course Coq Au Vin with mushrooms, onions and bacon braised in Pinot Noir. The meat is tender with a deeply infused flavour from the braising; a definite must try at Upper Deck.

Despite protests, we are served our dessert, moist chocolate cake, apple tart and a scoop of vanilla ice cream with crumble. While we slowly nibble away at our dessert, our guests Vivek and Chaitanya cannot stop gushing about the Chicken Liver Pate, the Snapper Fillet and the Coq au Vin. We on the other hand have simply enjoyed a fabulous meal set in such romantic ambience with our two charming gentlemen.

Taj Upper Deck has sure left us with a wonderful aftertaste, a lovely evening and renewed friendships.

Vivanta By Taj Fisherman’s Cove is at Covelong Beach, Kancheepuram District.

For reservations call +91 44 67413333