Address: Holiday Inn Chennai OMR IT Expressway, Taramani, Chennai, India
Time: 6:30 AM to 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 3,000
Cuisines: Continental, North Indian, Italian, Chinese
Facilities: Breakfast, Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Valet Parking Available, Buffet Kid Friendly, Wifi, Free Parking
Cafe G – Holiday Inn, Taramani, Chennai: Decor
Holiday Inn is long and narrow, constructed to look like a ship. So it’s no surprise to see Cafe G done up somewhat like the buffet restaurants on a cruise liner, complete with the central buffet counters and large selections of colorful desserts. I like the sense of openness it gives and the lavishness of the buffet. Interesting colour scheme, with beige and blue seating, high and low tables, placed on happily colorful pink and purple carpeting. Somewhere, I see a circular connect in the whole decor scheme.
Cafe G – Holiday Inn, Taramani, Chennai: Food
Not many people can resist the blue ginger bramble, with the green mint on top. Lemony and refreshing, it has ginger juliennes adding a hint of spice. I even enjoy the pickle jar, another drink, that comes in an actual jar with a piece of mango pickle adding tart saltiness to the ginger ale.
Choosing the healthy way to begin my meal I pick the classic tuna nicoise. Crunchy veggies and rare tuna with salty anchovies add bite to this otherwise bland salad. I like the surprise of parmesan slivers.
A thick wild mushroom cream soup with truffle oil offers a hint of garlic, along with an assortment of the fungi sauteed with thyme. Truffle oil is quite the charmer here. As is the porcini dust that adds power to the soup, making it a delicious blend of flavors.
It’s tuna again. This time on a Maggi noodle slider. Can I call it comfort food? Not a great fan of this brand of noodles to begin with, I end up not liking the base, but quite enjoy the tuna cutlet, made using a crab cake recipe.
Chennai loves its podi idli, and so do I. But this one’s gone a bit awry with the podi not really holding forth as it normally does. The tiny idlis, in this case are too dense to let the ‘gunpowder’ flavors seep in.
I quite enjoy the moist meat and the crisp skin of half-a-roast chicken, cooked as it is in the sous vide and wine before being crisped up.
Seven layers of green, cream and red arrive at my table, topped by two triangles of chocolate, with fresh fruit on the side. This is the pistachio raspberry charlotte, and those seven layers are pistachio sponge, mascarpone cheese with raspberry coulis jelly taking centre stage. I like that it tastes as good as it looks and is not overpoweringly sweet.
Cafe G – Holiday Inn, Taramani, Chennai: Plus & Minus
The Holiday Inn recently acquired the 5-star certification. Now, it’s time to show it off in their food, which needs to be more distinctive and consistently ‘wow’.