Phone: 044 33011559
Address: Trident, 1/24, GST Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Time: 7 PM – 11 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 3,000
Cuisines: Seafood, South Indian, Chettinad, Mangalorean, Andhra, Kerala
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Luxury Dining, Wifi, 4/5 Star, Valet Parking Available
Samudra: Trident, GST Road, Chennai: Decor
Understated, simple yet luxurious, Samudra is all gold, red and cream. Light wood clads pillars and walls. Elegant straight lines and minimalist restraint leaves me with a feeling that there’s something pure about this place. The centre piece, a rectangular glass chandelier cannot be ignored. I love the warmth of Samudra and its unrestricted view of the sprawling gardens that form the backyard of the Trident. Outside, a gentle breeze plays catch-me-ifyou-can with the leaves, as the sun shines, bright and hot. Through the sheer glass windows, I watch a few sparrows have fun on the lush green lawn.
Samudra: Trident, GST Road, Chennai: Food
This is an Oberoi hotel we are talking about, a chain that prides itself on its food, and Samudra is no exception. All the four pickles in front of me are made in-house by Chef Indranil and his team. Each is different, and holds its own distinct, pure flavor. Before I binge on those prawn, garlic, beetroot and papaya pickles, my amuse-bouche comes on a tiny banana leaf disc. It looks like a Paniyaram, which it is, but it has the added twist of black olive and basil. I top it up with the tomato chutney and finish it in one bite, setting up my palate for the Samudra Turf and Surf Platter. Squeezing droplets of fresh lime on the entire platter, I find the Cochin Prawns quite the star. Crisp because of the batter and deep frying, it is succulent inside. The coconut oil flavors do their bit while minced garlic and coriander leaves lift it to a higher plane.
Distinct, the aroma of curry leaves and black pepper as the Attukal Soup, a Tamil Nadu broth of lamb trotters makes its way to my table. Beneath the dark brown, fragrant liquid are small, tender bits of lamb meat, which have soaked in all the flavors that have been carefully added for just this purpose.
On request, and I do request, the Lobster Polichathu, made Kerala style holds in its succulent lumps of flesh the care that has been taken to cook it. Respect, almost. It is cooked in a banana leaf inside the lobster shell, and has freshly ground whole coriander seeds, jeera, methi seeds and saunf along with shallots and local tomatoes. The result is an earthy, distinct, beautifully presented whole lobster in its shell.
Excellent though they are, Samudra Dal and Urlai Roast with unpolished brown rice offer soothing respite from all the self-indulgence of the previous courses. Almost home style wholesome comfort food. Elaneer Payasam has the lightness and the whiteness of the tender coconut. It has tender coconut pieces, the pulp, the water, a little bit of condensed milk lending its milky sweetness along with jaggery and powdered cardamom to make it totally sigh-worthy.
Samudra: Trident, GST Road, Chennai: Plus & Minus
Even though it’s been on the gourmet food scene for many years, Samudra at the Trident has never received the attention it deserves from Chennai, simply because it is a little out of the way for the city dwellers. Another reason could be Samudra has never really tried to seek its place in the sun.