The best chef's tables
August 19, 2008
Want to treat a few important guests to a meal they won’t forget? Book the chef’s table at these fabulous restaurants and get a special menu laid out for you.
Where: 30 K. Dubash Marg, Kalaghoda, Mumbai
Open: 12.30 p.m.-3.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. to midnight
Meal for two: Rs 1,200-5,000
Must try: Sushi and Sashimi and the Chilean Sea Bass, Balinese Clay Pot Curry and Hot Kahlua Soufflé
The chill factor
The Chef's Table, a popular concept in restaurants across the world, gives chefs the creative licence to experiment and tickle the taste buds of guests exclusively. It is said that the concept dates back to Middle Ages when the king's personal chef would interact with the royal guests and create a menu after finding out their tastes and preferences.
While the concept is common the world over, it is yet to catch on in India. Joss in Mumbai was the first restaurant to start a chef’s table five years ago. The restaurant has a special table called the D-1—an eight-seater that is cut off from the main dining space. The dishes are exclusive, made-to-order and not necessarily from the regular menu. They are prepared as per the tastes of the guests. The chef’s table is generally booked for celebrations or anniversaries. Joss does at least one of two chef’s table every week. Such exclusivity comes at a price, though. A complete meal will range anywhere between Rs 1,200 and Rs 5,000 for a chef’s table.
Where: 3rd Floor, No. 2011, 100 Feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Open: 12.00 noon-11.30 p.m.
Meal For Two: Rs 2,000-Rs 3,500 plus taxes
Must Try: Peson Wong (marinated duet of mushrooms wrapped in banana leaf and grilled), Gai Pahd Med Himapan (shredded chicken tossed with dry red chilli and cashewnut)
The chill factor
Chef Sandesh Reddy of Mugen (which means fantasy in Japanese) has lived in the Land of the Rising Sun for 14 years and, along the way, has become proficient in food from across the Orient. Chef Reddy uses his experience from the renowned Blue Elephant Cooking School in Thailand and Balinese cookery at Bumbu Bali in Indonesia to cook up an Oriental storm at the specially reserved chef’s table. The interiors have been designed by award-winning architects Vivek Menzel.
The central chef’s table—a 10-seater—looks inviting with its Benjerong crockery placed on individual Khantok (the traditional Thai lacquered tables). The low-seating arrangement enables guests to be more comfortable while enjoying a meal. You’ll need to book the chef’s table 24 hours in advance, though, and a minimum of six people are required for the customised eight-course menu. Remember: Chef Reddy is best known for his mastery over Japanese and Thai cuisine.
Where: Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi
Open: 12.00 noon-2.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m.-11.30 p.m.
Meal for two: On an average, it can cost Rs 5,500 plus taxes. Chef’s table booked for a minimum of four guests.
Must Try: Porcini Mushroom Vellute with Goat Cheese Dumplings, Parma Ham and Rosemary Olive Oil.
The chill factor
With its fine wines and rustic surroundings, this is the perfect place to head to when treating esteemed guests or close friends to a lavish meal. The stone floor, wooden table, white stippled walls and wooden ceiling will make you think of Italian grottos as you walk in. The entire experience at the exclusive chef’s table is made even more memorable with recordings from Luciano Pavarotti’s opera music playing in the background.
Chef Wladimiro Gadioli, the master chef, will not only garnish your pizzas and pastas with oregano and cheese but narrate interesting tales from his native land, Brescia, in northern Italy, as he serves you. Book Chef Gadioli’s table to get a taste of Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. If you are looking for something exotic, it’s a good idea to let the chef know at least a day or two in advance about the exact items you plan to order.
Where: Kathipara Junction, GST Road, Chennai
Open: 7.30 p.m.-11.30 p.m.
Meal for two: Rs 5,000 plus taxes
Must try: Scalloped and Grilled Garlic Prawns, Smoked Salmon and Sea Bass Fillet
The chill factor
Kayal, the restaurant inside Le Royal Meridien in Chennai, will charm you from the moment you enter. Candle-lit interiors, designer crockery with piscine patterns, opulent décor and a 2,000-sq. feet area for only 40 seats—this is a haven for those looking for a quiet, yet lavish and luxurious dinner. The chef’s table can be reserved a day in advance and the choice of food is vast: lobster thermidor, shrimp chowder, smoked salmon rolls and sea bass fillet, among others.
The signature dish is Scalloped and Grilled Garlic Prawns in Tangy Carolina Sauce. Chef Manuel recommends white wine to complement this masterpiece. Right from the cold towel offering and friendly suggestions on the wines, you are assured of a good evening here, especially if you have booked the chef’s table.