Restaurant Name: On The Rocks: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
Phone: 044 42991940 / 044 24994101
Address:Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, TTK Road, Austin Nagar, Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 6pm – 11:45pm
Meals for two: Rs. 4,000
Cuisines: Continental, European
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Wifi, 4/5 Star, Luxury Dining
On The Rocks: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, Alwarpet: Decor
On The Rocks (OTR) is all about the experience. A mellow space, the décor, though perfect in its oldness hasn’t changed much. It has the dark wood sophistication, with glass and metal doing their bit to enhance OTR’s beauty.
Glass and metal sparkle in the muted lighting, in sync with the mood. I feel like I’m walking into a different world, leaving my troubles right outside the door. I love the large shiny brass lamps hanging from the ceiling, reminding me of quiet temple bells shining their light on the bar, with wine racks forming it’s backdrop. I climb up the stairs and… right there, in front of me, the wine racks continue, climbing up, shelf by shelf, right to the ceiling of the first floor. But I don’t gaze at those bottles for long. I need to look centrestage, into the bright show kitchen, where chefs are busy creating their own brand of OTR drama.
On The Rocks: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, Alwarpet: Food
Taking my seat, I am presented with a flawless glass decanter, holding an orange liquid and a bundle of green, grassy herbs that turn out to be Rosemary and Thyme. Called Spice on Carafe, this one is vodka based. The orange liquid is orange juice with orange zest. Adding to the drama, a sugar cube dipped in Cointreau is lit up in flames and dropped into my glass before the whole thing is shaken with many other ingredients. The end result is a delicious, subtle blend. One bite into the succulent and perfectly cooked Seared Scallops complete with whole pink peppers and sting of red Thai chillies jolts me out of the lull I was enjoying. The dish itself is quite colourful with pink radish, green microgreens and arugula. By my second bite, I know what to expect and find the full-bodied, fermented black bean and chilli sauce quite intriguing.
Truffle, in any form, seems to be the ingredient of the year, in the fine dining segment. Here, the Mushroom Soup is scented with truffle oil supported nicely by parmesan foam. I like the tiny homemade Raviolini, stuffed with a complex recipe that contains minced mushroom, white wine, ricotta and mascarpone cheese along with caramelised shallots. This light soup in a cup needs a little stir before I sip, and I see why. It brings all the flavours together.
Before someone whisks that warm, glistening bread bowl away, I quickly grab my piece of it, as the fragrance of the garlic soaked in olive oil that has been squeezed over it is far too tempting to resist. I eat my first bite plain, then smear on some chimichurri and enjoy the decadent softness.
The main course, called On The Plate has a variety of meats and vegetarian options. I start off with a jumbo prawn and smear on some blue cheese sauce on one side and barbecue sauce on the other. I prefer the blue cheese with this one, as it has a more individualistic flavour.
In between, I enjoy the baby carrots, baby corn, broccoli, mashed potato, zucchini and asparagus that are on my plate.
Only the best ingredients will do, I realise as I take a moist bite of the corn-fed chicken. This one has been soaked in beer, thyme, rosemary, hill garlic and red onion. the softness comes from the beer.
I end my meal with the sophistication of Chocolate Delicious made entirely of chocolate: dust included, except for the passionfruit jello, hazelnut and raspberry coulis that cleanses my palate with its tang in between the sweetness of that glorious chocolate.
On The Rocks: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, Alwarpet: Plus & Minus
On The Rocks, where you grill your food according to your liking is THE thing, as is making your own Hot Pot. The newest, third option is to let the chef grill your meat the way you like it and bring it On The Plate, completing the experience with wine pairing using a wine aerator to open up the red wines.