For the last month, all that our friends can talk about has been the Super Star starrer Kabali. Any attempt to converse about anything else is quickly thwarted, and a hearty exchange of punch-dialogues ensues. Rajinikanth is a phenomenon that has the people Tamil Nadu losing control over their emotions, and the rest of the world attempting to decipher his powers to sway millions of people.
It is against this backdrop that the chefs at J. Hind – the contemporary Indian restaurant at Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels decided to pay tribute to Thalaivaa through what they do best – FOOD.
In the run up to the release of the movie, the team put their heads together to pick a few of his movies for inspiration for a degustation menu – one that let you sample the best of the restaurant, and the best of the Super Star. The items looked interesting, but in no way prepared us for what was to come!
The Amuse Bouche inspired by Apoorva Ragangal comes in a spoon containing a tiny globule, alongside a shot glass filled with fresh carrot juice topped with thandai foam. The globule pops in an explosion of yoghurt flavours when I taste it, and the carrot shot is just divine. My taste buds are definitely amused!
This is followed by a three-flavour soup topped with beetroot foam and served with a three-knot bread. It’s heavenly and has tickled our interest for the next few courses.
Unexpectedly, a very smiley chef pulls up a trolley in front of our table and immediately launches into the most action-packed teppanyaki chaat I have ever seen. He freezes dhoklas with liquid nitrogen and…..watch the rest for yourself!
We move on to a course of vada-pav served with a gold coin (unfortunately it’s chocolate not gold!) inspired by the famous coin flipping in Sivaji. It’s served with a tube of rose water to spray into your mouth to balance out spices. It’s quirky, but really fun!
We’ve just finished relishing the lovely pav when a gorgeous shell appears before us, and nestled inside is a “pearl” arancini ball. It’s served with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, tomato salsa and gunpowder (relax, just idli podi, the food ain’t violent!).
It’s so pretty, we almost don’t want to eat the Muthu movie inspired starter. Yep, we’re only on starters so far!
We then indulge in a beautifully light ragi idiyappam served with lamb curry and a tiger prawn (Aadu Pulli Aatam. Get it?). We’re soon losing space in our tummies when a massive train is placed on the table, carrying flaky parathas with chicken and paneer gravies. Gorgeous biriyani is also served, and the meal is completed with the must-have variations of curd-rice.
We’re absolutely stuffed full, but there’s always room for dessert. And just as every other dish has, this one surprises us too. What looks like a piece of layered cake is actually paan flavoured and the unexpected taste jolts our brains out of the food coma we’re slowly slipping into.
Whether you’re a Rajini fan or not (but really, who isn’t?) this menu is an experience you will probably never have again. It’s inspired, it’s creative, it’s interactive, and it’s most definitely memorable.
It’s just like the Super Star himself – of impressions, style, and showmanship. Go on, try it, and tell us Idhu Epadi Iruku?
To make reservations, call J. Hind on 044 2815 0500.