This month, we’ve rounded up four of Chennai’s latest additions to the city’s constantly evolving restaurant and dine-in scene. Grab a steaming cup of filter kaapi and settle in as RITZ takes you on a culinary journey with flavours and dishes that take inspiration from North India’s plains to the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast and more.
Text: SIDDHARTH KUMAR
Les Amis: Curated European Goodness
Having found its roots as a small Instagram-based business, Les Amis, now situated in a sprawling 7,000 sq. ft. three-storey cafe space on Chamiers Road, specializes in creating European treats, baked goods and confectioneries. However, I was invited to try Les Amis’ spanking-new and exclusive one-of-a-kind dining experience that came in the form of The Whole Shabang – an impeccably curated seven-course European influenced menu heralded by Head Chef Cheruba Nelson. Les Amis has dedicated their rooftop space towards The Whole Shabang – and they’ve certainly pulled out all the stops when it comes to setting up the dining area. Rows of strung-up light bulbs make for the perfect setting as you’re surrounded by a plethora of potted plants and inbloom bougainvillaea.
Settling into the carefully chosen, Scandinavian-inspired furniture, I was initially offered a choice of cold-pressed fresh juices, of which I chose the watermelon offering. It was refreshing, cool and was gushing with the natural flavours of the watermelon. Up next came the Grazing Board – an excellent selection of European-style cheeses – served up an assortment of fresh fruits, along with almond crackers, focaccia and brioche bread – all baked in-house. The soup followed soon after, and it was a creamy yet light Zuppa Toscana – a mild-flavoured Italian soup that was chock-full of al dente zucchini and pumpkin – with an option of chicken for the nonvegetarians. The main courses – a lip-smacking Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto and decadent Chicken Tetrazzini – were both equally delicious, with authentic Italian flavours shining through. Chef Cheruba then walked over to me and offered up a bit of a surprise – she’d just received a shipment of some fresh-off-the-boat jumbo prawns from Tuticorin. The simple yet amazingly flavourful dish she came up with on the fly was Grilled Prawns with a Chilli and Honey Glaze, perfectly cooked in their shell while bringing together flavours of Spain and the Mediterranean- I’d indeed received my seafood fix for the week! A selection of Gelatos, Sorbets and a Madagascar Cinnamon-Vanilla Panna Cotta was the perfect end to what was a fabulous meal at Les Amis. The Whole Shabang checks all the right boxes – I’m most definitely going back for round two.
Do Not Miss Out On: Grazing Board, Grilled Prawns with Chilli and Honey Glaze, Alphonso Mango Sorbet, Belgian Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Address: Les Amis, 83, Chamiers Road, RA Puram, Chennai
Call: +91 98405 53635
Average Cost For Two: ₹3000 plus taxes extra (The Whole Shabang Menu)