Master Chef Sashi Chelliah picked Chennai for his first restaurant venture in India - Pandan Club, a restaurant themed around Peranakan cuisine from South East Asia. Earlier this year the city also became home to India's first dedicated Singapore cuisine restaurant - Mr Ong at the Park Hyatt Chennai. Chennai's F-n-B scene continues to boom and just like all other major metros in India, has put the challenges of the pandemic behind. From a garden-themed cafe to national restaurant brands that have added Chennai to their footprint, we round up some of the newest F-n-B spaces in the city that have all debuted over the last few weeks.
Here're 7 New Restaurants In Chennai:
Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine dates back to the 15th Century; it combines Chinese, Malay, Javanese and South Indian culinary influences. Pandan Club. The restaurant serves some of the quintessential Peranakan dishes in an elegant setting. You will find signature Peranakan design elements like handmade ceramic tiles and rattan frames that complement the dining experience. The Indonesian influence is evident in dishes from Melaka (like the Coconut Vegetable Curry at Pandan Club) with the generous use of coconut milk. One of the stars of the menu is the blacknut lamb curry flavoured with blacknut (also known as buah keluak).
Where: Bazullah Road, T Nagar
Sekhmet Lounge and Club:
This place has quickly become one of Chennai's 'go to' nightspots. It's one of the largest new lounges in Chennai with a massive screen - perfect for big match nights. Sekhmet takes its name from the Egyptian lion-faced warrior goddess and is spread over multiple levels. Aside from the lively music and artisanal cocktails it's the food menu that holds centre stage. From comfort options like galouti kebabs to exotic eats from across the world - try their chimichurri grilled prawns, you're more than covered.
Where: Chamiers Road, Alwarpet
For years, Chennai has been a cycle manufacturing hub and it's fitting that the country's first cycling themed cafe debuted here. The first cafe was set up in Kotturpuram and Ciclo has gone beyond Chennai. The newest Ciclo Cafe has just been unveiled along one of the city's most popular F-n-B zones - East Coast Road (in Uthandi) and sticks with the same formula with an accent on comfort food. Look out for their thin crust pizzas and their quiche of the day.
Where: East Coast Road, Uthandi (near the ECR Toll Plaza)
Pa Pa Ya:
The pre-launch buzz has already begun. Pa Pa Ya's Chennai outpost has been open for previews over the past few weeks and is all set to launch on November 4. Positioned as a modern Asian bistro and tapas bar, this initiative from the House of Massive Restaurants has wowed diners across India with its radical interpretation of Asian cuisine. It combines various cooking techniques and cultures from across Asia with its own modern take
Where: Uttamar Gandhi Salai, Nungambakkam
The Entrance Cafe:
From historic buildings to sprawling bungalows that have been re-imagined as cosy oases, each of Chennai's cafes have their own story and cult following. Entrance Cafe is the newest kid on the block and offers a refuge from the hustle of the city. The food menu takes you on a culinary journey across the world with hearty steaks, a Thai green curry that is almost spot on and chicken baos that make for the perfect sharing plates.
Where: Taylors Road, Kilpauk
Bhola and Blonde:
Hot on the heels of its success in Bengaluru, this progressive Indian restaurant has arrived in Chennai. Progressive may be an overused word in the restaurant space, but this new hotspot finds the delicate balance between classic Indian cuisine and international favourites that we are now familiar with. The kaleidoscopic interiors stick to the Bengaluru template while the menu is full of interesting twists - their green pao bhaji bunny chao and their malpua with rabdi panna cotta are a case in point.
Where: Khader Nawaz Khan Road
The name translates to food of the gods. What started as a family-run bakery in Mumbai back in 2004 has now become a pan Indian chain. The first Theobroma outlet opened in Chennai in October 2022 and rounds up some of the chain's popular options including its fail-proof brownies (the Nutella and the Outrageous brownie are popular options). Also check out their cupcakes and desserts
Where: Shanti Colony, Anna Nagar
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.