Novotel, ibis and The Square on OMR

Novotel ibis Chennai OMR is AccorHotel's newest combo property in Chennai. It's situated just before/after the Sholinganallur junction. 12 storeys high, the luxury brand has 3 room categories while budget brand ibis has 1. Together, they have a total of 342 rooms. 

The 2 hotels share a driveway and pillars divide the portico into 2. We had been invited to review Novotel's all-day restaurant, The Square. While waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, the MarCom manager took me around the property that has a contemporary, stylish look.

Reception area at Novotel; the lobby; kids' corner

Novotel's Lobby Bar; Spice It at ibis

The lobby is a compact one, the walls, floor and curtains are in shades of tan, colours pop out from the carpets and upholstery. What would gladden the hearts of parents who come in with their little ones is a kids' corner with activities to keep them busy. The lobby bar would have been a stark space if not for the bright red accents on the seating and cushions. This colour scheme is repeated in ibis and in their soon-to-be-opened restaurant, Spice It. It's a lovely space that exudes warmth, cheeriness and an air of informality.

The suite at Novotel
Meal stations at The Square

The Indian section

Dessert buffet

Clip art - fried snack and a refreshing malted drink

The Square is a busy place, if alfresco dining is what you prefer, you could step out onto the breezy deck. Back in the restaurant, Executive Chef G. Muthu Kumar had put in place a tasting menu for us. What kept the evening interesting was not only the food but also the quirky presentation.

Top: papads with brown onion sambal and tomato coriander chutney
Bottom: green veg & broccoli cheese dimsums with 2 dips

The brown onion sambal and tomato coriander chutney were both delish. Tiny papads were served to scoop them up with. I usually skip veg dimsums but I'm glad I did try both as they were yummy. The dumpling skins were a little thick but otherwise they were well made the fillings were flavourful and scallion, roasted chilli and tomato dip had just the right amount of heat and tang to accompany them.

Gosht gilafi seek kebab and blueberry yoghurt dip

Gosht gilafi seek kabab with its cheese crust was delicious. The meat was finely ground and the spice mix was perfect, no one spice dominated. Served with an interesting blueberry yoghurt dip in a gleaming little pan, I couldn't decide if it looked or tasted better!

Tofu and prawn roll with Thai chilli dip
Chalupa stand

Steel buckets on a bamboo frame caught us by surprise mid-conversation. The buckets held chalupas - roasted veg mash with Mexican spices, refried beans, sour cream, Monterrey Jack cheese and a slice of dehydrated orange that tasted like a dried apricot. To scoop it up was a polenta-masa harina nacho. This dish certainly brought smiles to our faces.

Palate cleansing lime syrup
Crisp chicken flower rice with Siracha sauce

Carrot pearls

Chicken burgers 2 ways

Our trays held a mystery box and they were opened to reveal chicken burgers. The meat was done 2 ways - pulled and crunchy. I preferred the pulled meat filling as the crisp chicken in the other kept falling out. The buns looked dramatic, were very soft and well made - they didn't crumble or break apart. The burgers were served with potato wedges and carrot caviar pearls.

Gosht roganjosh ; millet & ragi breads; murgh makhani

To showcase the Indian section, we were served murgh makhani and gosht roganjosh. With tender meat and balanced mix of spices, the tiny portions of ragi and millet roti were just the thing to mop up those gravies. The rotis were a little dry, guess you should eat them as soon as they are served.

Fantastic Four - and they truly were!

Dessert was served in a little dimsum basket - a river of whipped Philly cream cheese, macerated strawberries, soft-centered chocolate cake and an absolutely delicious chilli jangri. No, it wasn't spicy but the combination of heat and sugar was the perfect end to a dinner of surprises.

The Square has buffet services but if you'd like to have a meal like what we had, you could ask the chef to help customise one for you.

Novotel & ibis Chennai OMR
+91 44 6644 4777.

Dehydrated orange


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