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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Azulia GRT, Chennai

 'Marhaba Ma'am were the 1st words i heard as i hopped off the elevator and walked through the door into Azulia... This is the Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant in GRT, T Nagar. I have visited Copper Point in the ground floor numerous times, but this was the 1st time i was at Azulia.

 The grand entrance.... 

 The ambiance seemed like it had come out from  a movie based in Egypt or Turkey, there were beautiful light fittings and so were the other pieces on the walls. After being shown to our table, Chef Ethem Aydemir came over to say hellow and give us a brief into the cuisine and the dishes he served at the restaurant. Following this, we also got a bit of insight from the Restaurant Manager Ricardo and PR man Marc. The menu card, is more like a coffee table book, so elaborate- filled with pictures from the 10 countries [They serve the cuisines from Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco, Greek among others] spread across the elaborate menu, with nearly 160 dishes- from Soup, starters to desserts. 

 The arrangement in the table- bottle of water, olive oil+balsamic vinegar and the pepper mill which had light at the bottom 
Lost between the pages, we decided to give the task of choosing dishes to the Chef and we were not disappointed. I have had Lebanese/Greek/Arabic food earlier, and so i was prepared for what was being brought to our table.  The waiters and waitresses quietly went about putting an Apron on each of us, going with the custom of savouring this particular cuisine with ones hands. [Wish i had taken a picture in the Apron, felt like i was on Masterchef ;o)] 


The Turkish magic- a small pill when water is poured expands to a hand towel..
The lunch opened with the Cold Mezze platter- Pita bread, Hummu [Chick peas], Mutabal [Babaganoush-made with Brinjal, sesame paste, garlic and olive oil], Tzatziki [thick yoghurt with cucumber, onion and herbs] ,Tashi[ sesame paste dip].. followed by a plate of Dolmades ..

Before we were done sampling these, an array of Hot Mezze dishes made their way to our table- Falafel [chick peas, broad beans, red pepper, dill, coriander, garlic & chilies, served with  tartar Sauce],  Bourak Bel Jibneh [Cigar like rolls with 3 different kinds of cheeses that was simply sinful],  Fatayer [a kind of samosa with Spinach and pomegranate sauce filling ],  Kebbe Laktine  [a dish made with broken wheat yellow pumpkin and herbs]   



 Amidst flowing conversation, the food kept flowing to our table... The non veg gang got quite a colourful mix of dishes.. Castalata [Lamb chops] ,Fillet de poivre, Poisson a L'Estragon [Fish], Cannelloni al a Bolognaise, Yoghurtlu Kebab, Beef Steak and ofcourse the Chef's creation prawn marrakech with gnocchi....  

Lamb chops i heard was not cooked to perfection, and the gnocchi wasnt too great either, but i saw the others polish off their plates... :-)

We, the vegetarians got some interesting main courses -Risotto Tortufo fungi[rich risotto cooked with mushrooms] &Pasta Genovese Verde [mine with Asparagas and artichoke, while Nishanth's had sauce and looked different]... Along came the thin crust pizza loaded with vegetables- Olives, tomatoes, onions,mushrooms, liberally drizzled exotic herbs and olive oil, cheese and few mint leaves. The base used on the pizza was the authentic Arabic spice mix- Sumac & Oregano].


Before we could blink, it was time to wrap up the meal, but not before biting into the 3 desserts that were laid out on the table... The Chef was gracious enough to send out platters filled with the desserts- Baklava dripping with sugar syrup, Gateaux Fromage [Orange flavoured cheesecake] and Hot Soufflé [which was almost like a lava cake].   The Baklava was good, but it was a tad too sweet, while the Hot Souffle was oozing with Chocolate and the Cheese cake had a strong Orange Flavour to it...
 

Subsequent to the lavish meal, we were given a tour of the kitchen and sneak peek into the various Spices, oil and flavours used in Mediterranean cuisine... There we were, a bunch of "educated in Mediterranean cuisine and their culture"... As we bid adieu to the staff and Chef, we were each handed a bag with an Apron and a little box with a Turkish Evil eye .. 


 What are you waiting for? Head over here if you wanna experience the Mediterranean in Chennai.... 

Food- 3/5
Ambiance- 4/5
Service- cant really rate it because it was a review meet! 
Price- Looking at the menu, it looks like a meal of 3-4 courses for a couple will work out to Rs3000 - 4000/- 

Address:
GRT Grand
120, Sir Thyagaraya Road,
T. Nagar, Chennai - 600 017
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: +91-44 2815 0500 / 5500
reservations@grtgrand.com 

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