It might be a while before normal service as we know it resumes in our favourite restaurants and eateries. While nothing beats a hot masala dosa off the pan, there are quite a few menu options that taste almost as good out of a box and in the comfort and safety. From DIY meals to sushi in a box and to wood-fired pizzas for those frequent, lockdown-induced Netflix marathons, Chennai's restaurants and hotels have upped their delivery game.
Here're 10 Of The Best Chennai Restaurants That Are Now Open For Home Delivery:
1. Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road
Novotel in the heart of the city has been constantly tweaking its home delivery options almost since the first lockdown. If breakfast is your thing, try one of the hotel's clever DIY boxes - the Egg Benedict is our pick. The hotel also launched Tossed by Koox, a gourmet DIY solution that includes everything from BBQs to sushi rolls from Koox, the rooftop bar and restaurant.
2. Ciro's Pizzeria
Located on East Coast road that connects Chennai with Pondicherry, this true-blue Italian-style pizzeria has been one of my discoveries through the lockdown. Their thin crust pizzas are packed with a choice of toppings and exquisite cheese, including Scamorza, Parmesan and Mascarpone. The Sicilia with black olives and sun-dried tomatoes and the fully loaded Inferno that combines Italian sausage, bacon and pepperoni are among their standout pizzas.
3. ITC Grand Chola
Flavours curated by ITC Grand Chola has made its appearance on popular delivery platforms, allowing you to order ITC's signature dishes. This includes legendary Dal Makhani as also dishes like Meen Gassi that are part of the hotel's 'Local Love' section dominated by South Indian specialties. The menu also includes a 'World Kitchen' section with international favourites and a choice of desserts and chocolates from ITC's Fabelle collection.
A celebratory meal at a restaurant might be some time away but Taj Coromandel's Hospitality at Home menu combines some of the hotel's signature dishes from across its restaurants. From the Gilli Biryani at Anise to Kung Pao chicken at Golden Dragon you can savour your favourite dishes at home. The hotel also has a range of hampers that include bakery delicacies.
5. Soy Soi
If there was one discerning trend from the lockdowns, it's the emergence of a whole new breed of master chefs who've discovered the joy and in many cases the necessity of cooking. However, dim sums and sushi rolls remain tough challenges even for many of these new Instagram stars. Soy Soi is one of the restaurants that has helped Chennai cope with its dim sum and sushi cravings. This exhaustive home delivery menu also includes a wide range of Asian curries.
If there's one thing that still tastes delicious even after spending 40 minutes in a box, it's a kathi roll. Bayleaf positioned as a Kolkata eatery offers a choice of Bengali dishes and also the city's unique style of kathi rolls. Try their piquant achari paneer tikka roll or the delicately flavoured chicken lasuni roll. Not far from Bayleaf is Tic Tac, Chennai's other 'go to' spot for kathi rolls for over three decades. Their chicken tikka and paneer tikka rolls seldom disappoint.
7. 601, The Park Chennai
A 2am-snack after a night on the town or a late night movie almost seems like a fantasy from another time. 601, the Park's all-day diner was one of the popular pit-stops for those comfort food cravings round the clock. 601's home delivery menu addresses some of those cravings. It includes their popular juicy burger, signature 12-inch, thin crust pizzas, pastas and their sinful tiramisu.
8. Phuket Street by Benjarong
One of the city's most authentic Thai restaurants - Benjarong has launched a new delivery brand. If you've enjoyed street food at Bangkok, you might dig the affordable box meals and combos in this menu that include flat noodles with minced meat and the flavourful Chilli basil egg fried rice with crumb fried chicken. Also, on offer are a range of starters and desserts that include a Pandan Tres leche, a clever spin on a classic Western dessert.
Among the first vegetarian restaurants to offer an exhaustive 'Continental' (that was quite a fashionable food term back then) menu - baked dishes with generous quantities of cheese. The restaurant's menu has remained largely unchanged for almost three decades and also includes a selection of home-style Indian dishes. The Chef's Baked Bowl and Spaghetti Supreme are among the restaurant's fail-proof dishes.
10. Kappa Chakka Kandhari
One of Chennai's finest Kerala cuisine restaurants has introduced a new menu with an emphasis on large combos. Their Bento Combo (also comes in a vegetarian version) is a popular choice and includes a Malabar-style biryani packed with chicken fry, chicken curry, prawns roast, parotta and a delectable, home-style Caramel custard. The new menu also includes other South Indian signature dishes like a cauliflower bezule and Pallipalayam chicken fry.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.