Phone: +914424459999, +917338891513, +917338891511
Address: New 40, Old 71A, B. Ramachandra Adithanar Road, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 12:00 Noon – 03:00 PM, 07:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,800
Cuisines: North Indian, South Indian, Desserts
Facilities: Home Delivery, Wheelchair Accessible, Vegetarian Only, Free Parking, Indoor Seating, Table reservation required, Vegan Options, Valet Parking Available, Private Dining Area Available, Gluten Free Options, Serves Jain Food
Hamsa, Adyar, Chennai: Decor
A potpourri, Hamsa’s decor is a reflection of the beauty that is India. The bronze bells at the entrance, with two peacocks on either side, when struck, make a sound that unites both sides of the brain, I am told. The shimmer from the bronze-lined panels — 108 of them in all — the number considered sacred in our country, reflect golden light like only brass can. One whole wall is covered by a stunning mural made using various materials. Sections of walls have marble and sandstone carvings, replicated from the 16th Century work seen in Old Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri. Even the base of the tables are made of Burma wood and intricately carved in Chettinad style.
Hamsa, Adyar, Chennai: Food
Every Hamsa meal begins with a small, perfectly brown Gulab Jamun. My starters begin with Bharme Aloo Lahori. Stuffed with chopped nuts and cream, they are slightly charred at the edges with a hint of smokiness because of the tandoor; the aloo is cooked just right, and the stuffing is a delight. The Chilli Thecha that is to go with the Sabudana Thali Peeth needs more personality. In fact, I like the Sabudana Thali Peeth better on its own, because of the different textures it offers — identifiable density of the peanut crumbles, stickiness from sabudana, smooth starchiness from the potato. Soothing, warm and tangy, I could not have asked for more comfort in the form of the Tomato Dhaniya Shorba. The tomato used for this one is the flavoursome Naatu Thakali. The tang quest continues as I dip the roti into the Vendakai Mocchai Kuzhambu. I’m happy I did, instead of mixing it into rice (as is traditionally done), as the unusual combination is quite enjoyable. A little slippery (bhindi, you see), with the sourness coming from the brown tamarind, I get my protein from the well-cooked mocchai beans. My next bite of roti is with the Kofta Brindavan. Paneer and spinach in a beautiful onion, tomato, cream and cashew gravy with a hint of cheese!
Warm, the Anjeer Adrakh Halwa is brown and shiny. The figs hold on to their flavor as much as the ginger does. Together, they make an interesting combination.
Plus and Minus:
I like the fact that Hamsa is willing to explore Indian vegetarian food and are committed to sourcing the best local ingredients.