Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunset Grill, Westin, Chennai

We recently visited the latest offering at Westin, the Sunset Grill, and boy, was it an experience. Situated on the rooftop, it offers a sweeping view of the Chennai skyline and a good breeze to accompany the cozy dinner or an elaborate group affair. Being an open space, rains are a foreseeable threat, however it did not rain the night we were there; and instead, the excellent sea breeze accompanied a memorable dinner with eclectic music, a no-frills ambiance, delicious food and hospitable service. The Executive chef was kind enough to join us and offer his delightful company; he took us through the elaborate meal and explained the thought and insight behind every dish.

The food is, as the name suggests, a good mix of grills and on the outset, will certainly do any meat lover proud. Don't get me wrong, the vegetarian options are quite the sizzle too, but if you have a meat lover in your circle, then Sunset grill will not disappoint.
Cooked to order in the open kitchen in vicinity of the restaurant, not only does the chef take pride in the freshness of the meals he dishes out, but also the breads that are served along side the meal. These breads, including focaccia and assorted buns are freshly baked in their oven. This ensures the freshest, tastiest  loaves to accompany the rest of the meal. Needless to say, we were impressed!

Moving onto the meal, their peri peri prawns and boti talwar lamb kebab in the appetizers section are dishes to look out for. The peri peri prawns are juicy and the peri peri rub lends a flavor unlike any other. They have an eternal fan in me with their bharawan e khumb, it is a mushroom dish, stuffed with cheese and spices, and cooked in the tandoor.  The boti talwar kebab was an instant hit, tender and moist, seeing as it is baby lamb legs in spiced yogurt and cooked in a clay oven to retain all the flavorThe other veg dish of note was the lahori paneer tikka, the freshest and softest paneer with a hint of  spices and again, cooked in a clay oven. They were succulent and left us asking for more. The murg hawa mahal, coated in egg white and cooked in the clay oven was a different take on chicken, and was alright. Frankly, we were too busy with the lamb, mushroom and prawns to notice anything else! The ocean crumbed calamari was served with a garlic aioli and it would have tasted best if we had eaten it as soon as they brought it to the table - the constant breeze cools the food in a jiffy.

They take their salads seriously, with a short but interesting range, they are fancy and leave a refreshing hit. The mesclun with feta and orange segments was the favorite of the day, and the insalata parmigiano e limone came a close second - it is a vegetarian ceaser salad with parmesan dressing, a garlic baguette and arancini. Wholesome, light and refreshing! The tuna nicoise looked fascinating too, but we were ready to move onto the mains.

The mains blew us away with the Sunset grill signature dish, the Slow roasted spiced pork belly - it is a thyme, coriander, fennel and demerara sugar rubbed juicy belly ensconced in the crispiest crackling that just snaps and cracks with the knife passes through it. A delight to the senses, it is by far the best belly eaten here in Chennai.

The tenderloin steak is commendable, served on a bed of mash, the lamb chops knocked it out of the park, as did the jumbo prawns. The other main dish worthy of mention is the Norwegian Salmon. A point of mention at the Sunset Grill is, the quantity per portion. The Salmon weighing in at 10 oz. is a meal in itself. Fresh Salmon with crisped skin and served with a side of sauteed veggies, the meat, though a little overcooked was delicious.

As always, all's well that ends well, and so was the case here at the Sunset Grill as well - the desserts of course! The New York Cheesecake did not disappoint, and the Tiramisu was a crowd pleaser as well. The best dessert though, was the baked yogurt with a berry compote.

We are looking forward to the next visit, and can't wait to find out how they have maintained the initial standards. They are generous with the portioning and flavors, and that makes it easier on the conscience to order that extra jumbo prawn main course dish.

P.S: The food portions featured in the pictures were tailored for the photography and not the regular servings.


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