Melange at Mercure



It was a long drive along the road that leads to one of Chennai's most developed industrial areas. It's also home to major car manufacturers like Nissan and Ford and industries like Samsung and Apollo Tyres. The roads were wide though ongoing road works narrowed the width at some places. We passed miles of open countryside when finally, like an oasis in the Oragadam desert stood our destination, the Mercure Chennai Sriperumbudur.

Part of the Accor group, Mercure Chennai is Oragadam's first luxury hotel. We were greeted with ponnadis (so cool😊) and refreshingly cold drinks. What I noticed was the entire lobby and lounge was so well lit - not with artificial lighting but by natural sunlight.

Welcome drink


The 100-room hotel is a 45 minute drive from the airport. There are 2 restaurants and a bar that will soon get its licence. The lounge, Hybrid has a sporty theme - a chess set awaiting players, a pool table and an Xbox. Outside the lounge is the swimming pool, the impossibly blue water is so inviting. The area around the pool will soon be the venue for weekend barbeques.

The bar; snooker table; Melange; lobby lounge
   
Pool scenes

Pickles & podis; salads; desserts

Exec Chef Satya Seelan

Melange is the all-day restaurant and we managed to snag a table that overlooked the pool. However, our focus was entirely on the food, the exclusive turf of Executive Chef Satya Seelan.

The buffet service had been laid out at one end of the restaurant. A make-your-own-salad counter took centre-stage and there's a good mix of international and regional Indian cuisines.

Papads; galouti kebabs; cheesy pizza; chicken haryali kebab, achari prawn

For starters, we had galouti kebab that was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Chicken haryali was equally tasty and the achari prawn was so good that we even ate the tails! There are some innovative chutneys to dip them into.

More starters - green pea tikka

Prawn cocktail

Tempura

Mango sushi

Chicken seekh; torino karage & crisp ebi cutlet with tonkatsu sauce; bharwan kebab

Chef Satya Seelan's forte is Japanese and the large platter of mixed seafood and vegetable tempura was so yummy. His specialty is the mound of grated daikon and ginger that you need to eat together with the tempura and soy dipping sauce. The mango sushi, smeared with a dab of wasabi paste and soy was quite refreshing. 

Lamb chops

Beef tenderloin

Well, we soon discovered that not only Japanese, even Chef's western roasts are spectacular. The lamb chops were cooked to tender perfection, so too the grilled tenderloin. The roasts are not on the buffet but can be ordered from the à la carte menu.

Kheema paratha; Chettinad chicken

Biryani

We couldn't eat a morsel more but were persuaded to try a spoonful of Hyderabadi biryani. Tender meat and fragrant rice - if you love a good biryani, you should just dive right into this one.

Buns baked with vegetable puree

Kanchipuram idli with podis & oil

We had been promised a taste of the famous Kanchipuram tumbler idli and how could we leave with tasting it? Chef Seelan has done plenty of research on making it and I was only too happy to taste what had been made by an expert. It exceeded all expectation - soft, spongy and with a slight touch of sourness from the curd. The accompaniments - curry leaf and milaga podis, made in house, were perfect. The tumbler idli is served at breakfast at Melange.

Yummy green tea mangomisu 

We could have had any dessert from the buffet selection but chef had made us a delicious green tea and mango tiramisu. It was light and fluffy and filled with cubes of sweet mango. Not just the dessert but everything that we ate that day was delicious, the attention to detail was meticulous and with chef serving us some of the food, we loved that personal touch.

The buffet lunch at Melange is 899/ ++ per head. As for the rooms, single occupancy rooms are pegged at 4999/ ++. Looks like a great place for a weekend family getaway!   


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