Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Livinghigh was here at 7:08 PM /

Munch on this, if you please

Good evening, all. Forgive the circus ringmaster speech. I'm in one of those moods. Flighty, but not ebullient. Down, but definitely not out. High, but not flying. Batty, but not mad.

This could go on forever.

First and foremost, an announcement. For all those who are interested in classical Greek mythology, I've added a link in my Get Informed column. It's a really terrific encyclopoedia, dealing with a whole lot of tales and legends and biographies. Now you know where Tolkien got his inspiration from.

Secondly, I just wrote a freaking food review and seeing that I've never written anything of the sort before, I'm not sure what it's like - how good or how bad. So, I've posted it here, and I'd really appreciate it if some of you kindly spectators would take a gander and leave a comment.

Something that nobody could accuse the people at Cornucopia of are ostentatious aspirations. Quite contrary to its namesake, the ‘horn of plenty’ of Greek legend for anybody with half an ear steeped in mythology, this restaurant on Cenotaph Road boasts of a Spartan décor that passes for homely because of the bright yellow lights bathing the walls. No gilt-edged furniture here for blue-blooded aristocrats to fawn over, merely the class and elegance due to a good meal.

As a self-confessed myth aficionado, the first thing I did on getting the menu was read through the legendary significance of the cornucopia on the inlet flap. Your time would be much better spent poring through the preparations that chef S Anand and his team have laboured to perfect, since the restaurant opened last September. ‘The restaurant with a difference’, as the tag line goes, specialises in fusion cuisine and dishes out food with influences ranging from the Mediterranean to the Far East. What with my bad experience in what passes as ‘fusion’ cuisine, I wondered what kind of a fool I was for setting myself up for the same mistake again, but by the end of the meal I was a firm adherent to the little-believed ‘Fortune favours the brave’.

Brave heart or not, the lasagne here is a must-try for anyone. Be it either with the aubergine filling for the herbivores or chicken for the carnivores, the creamy cheese layer will tempt the most hardened diet freak. If you want to tantalise your taste buds to the extreme and still avoid those delicious calories that the lasagne will fetch you, opt for the grilled chicken with black bean sauce. Strips of sumptuous chicken, sautéed just right, soaked in a deliciously tangy sauce. Or if you imagine you’re happiest with the sea-wind in your hair and sand between your toes, order the seer steak.

Beware of poachers, however, especially those at your dinner table who ignored the chef’s recommendations and went in for the chicken or seafood salads. Make no mistake – the salads are delicious, garnished with cubes of soft cheese and layered with creamy mayonnaise, served in a huge bowl and decorated with the largest lotus petals you ever saw – but compared to the steak or the lasagne, you will always be left craving something more. Namely, your neighbour’s food and foresight.

Chef Anand beamed with pride when we asked his suggestions on the dessert menu, and with just cause. The all-too-familiar walnut brownie was crunchy and served with gooey chocolate sauce and scoops of vanilla ice cream, while the orange cheese cake was delectably light on the stomach, answering every sweet tooth’s deepest, darkest fantasies. But what undeniably took the… well… cake was the triple soufflé, which had three mouth-watering layers of coffee, vanilla and chocolate, surmounted with a crest of whipped cream.

A word of advice: if you’re the only one at your table who orders this, nothing short of a gun will keep you safe from poachers.

Cornucopia, 30 Cenotaph Road, Teynampet
Rating: 4/5
Cost for two, including dessert: Rs 500.

Namely, the comment I'd want from you: would you eat there?


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