M'Bessy - at the Republic of Gastronomy

Walk into M'Bessy and what catches your eye is the huge chandelier. Then you see a wall with the map of the world done with corks. Vintage European-inspired furniture dominates the dining area, and to the left, plated desserts looking enticing in the pastry counter and a pizza oven all fired up for its next order.

Flags of the world

Renovations are almost over at Esthell Hotel, Adyar and the city's newest Continental resto-bar is housed in it. We go up the stairs to the said bar and in the vestibule like foyer hang framed flags of different countries. Tiny ones. Great idea for a play on the word M'Bessy though it is actually a reference to Bessy Beach.

We were a group of 6 and considering it was a weeknight, many of the other tables are occupied.

Spirits on display

We're told M'Bessy has the largest bar in the city and one of the most extensive collection of spirits. Seating is mixed, high tables and bar stools, couches and even a private room which reminds me of a train compartment.

Maid in India; M'Bessy sour

Twisted Clover; Royal Tea Punch

We tried 4 of their most popular cocktails. Bacardi-based Maid in India had a big block of ice it in - ice cubes would melt too fast and dilute the drink; Beefeater gin-based Twisted Clover, my favourite of the evening - M'Bessy Sour with Black Label as the base and vodka-based Royal Tea Punch that arrived with a lighted stick of cinnamon, smoke and plenty of drama.

Citrus Junction; Ginger Cosmos

Beat the Heat - non-alcoholic mint julep and was it cold!!

They also have a few mocktails on offer. Interestingly, some of the drinks are decorated with house-made dehydrated fruit slices.

Mezze platter

The menu has plenty to order from; we try the mezze platter with lavash and pita triangles, served with 3 dips, the best of which is the baba ganoush.

Broccoli Polonaise

There's a plate of Broccoli Polonaise - florets of broccoli topped with cheese sauce that's been grilled and served with salad and yummy bruschetta. It's so good that we order a second one.

Dynamite Prawns; M'Bessy Spiced Chicken on skewers

'Bessy Spiced Chicken was served with a blue cheese dip. The chicken was tender but somewhat bland, the dip was just what it needed. The Dynamite Prawns was also really good, loved its freshness though it didn't quite live up to its moniker.

We go down into the fine dine restaurant below. On one wall, hang platters that are painted in gray and black. The platters represent the ones that are used for food service. I love the grays that dominate the room because it a beautiful background canvas for the food that is served.

Pizza Bianca; Pollo Fumet
We start with 2 kinds of pizzas - the Bianca with sundried tomatoes and the pronounced flavour of blue cheese (delish!) and Pollo Fumet with smoked chicken, scarmoza cheese, rucola and pesto. Both have thin crusts. There was a risotto but the rice was slightly underdone though it had a flavour that could grow on you.

The chicken steak that came next was served with fries, chunky steamed veg and salad. While the meat was fairly tender, the flavour of cumin was quite dominant for a meat as delicate as chicken.

The Australian lamb chops were overcooked and the the bone had not been frenched properly resulting in the meat being charred in places. The hickory flavoured sauce was delicious though.

Chocolate terrine; banoffee pie

Deconstructed tiramisu

The meal ended with 3 desserts - a bannoffee pie (personally I never eat anything that has a banana in it but the others seemed to enjoy it), a nice chocolate terrine but the best was a deconstructed tiramisu. The smooth marscapone-laden sabayon provided a wonderful contrast to the coffee flavoured squares of cake.      

While M'Bessy's bar menu is well thought out and varied, the restaurant's menu needs a little fine tuning. The location of the hotel couldn't be better and with a dynamic managing team in place, things can only get better.

A meal for two without alcohol should work out to around 1800/ ++
M'Bessy Kitchen and Bar is located at No. 1, Royal Enclave
Besant Avenue,
Adyar, Chennai.
Phone: 044 24463311

This restaurant is now shut down


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