On The Plate, On The Rocks

There's an air of elegance about On The Rocks. The split-level restaurant at Crowne Plaza, Chennai is quiet, the seats are comfortable, the setting romantic, lights are focused on the centre of the tables and there's an awesome selection of wines and great food. Now, it has introduced a new concept called On The Plate which I had been invited to preview.

OTR's signature focaccia rolls with garlic oil & dip

Cheerful chef indeed!

Pomo Cino
Sommelier Anand Krishnan at the wine vault.
Pic credit: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park

From the cocktail menu, I chose Pomo Cino and it was a stunner. A mix of cinnamon-infused vodka with pomegranate juice and lime juice, it tasted like a refreshingly spirited pomelo juice.

Mixed leaves, cucumber, feta, pomegranate with maple dressing & candied walnuts

Salad is a good place to start a meal and I've become such a fan of the restaurant's maple syrup dressing. The salad was colourful with torn frisée and arugula, sliced cucumber, feta, pomegranate and candied walnuts.

Juicy chicken thigh with bbq sauce and blue cheese sauce

Smoked duck from Thailand. The skin has been scored before being grilled

Executive Chef Deva.
Pic credit: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park

On the Plate has been curated by Executive Chef Deva. You can opt for either the 3-meat course which has chicken, Australian lamb and filet mignon or the 5-meat course which has the previous 3 meats as well as smoked duck and jumbo prawn. Each of these meats has a dry rub and is brushed with a special marination that Chef Deva cannot reveal! They are grilled and brought to the table on skewers. All the plates are served with a side of buttered vegetables, mashed potatoes and a selection of sauces. The staff will tell you the best sauce pairings with each kind of meat.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sommelier Anand Krishnan had chosen Sula wines to go with the meal. With poultry, he selected a Sauvignon Blanc. It was a good choice, loved its crispness and slight acidity and a perfect pairing for both chicken and duck.   
Australian lamb

Filet mignon on a skewer

Plum red Cabernet Shiraz

Both the Australian lamb and filet mignon were deliciously tender. To dip in or smear over the meat were little pots with chimichurri and smoked tomato salsa dips. Sula Cabernet Shiraz was the accompanying wine that was medium bodied with a slightly oaky taste. Since the bottle had just been opened, Anand poured it through a wine aerator. Unfortunately, the video I took was too dark to make out anything much.

Whether you order the 3 course or 5 course meats, it is unlimited. How done would you want your meat? I had asked for mine to be done medium and it was pink in the middle. To be able to treat meats with this level of skill is remarkable. 

Tiger prawn cooked just enough to retain flavour

Coco Passion with lemongrass ice cream paired with a glass of Chenin Blanc 

Chocolate mousse entremet with more chocolate 

I find most dessert wines too sweet but Sula's late harvest Chenin Blanc hit the right spots. It was fruity and well balanced and had a lovely finish. It was the perfect ending to, not one, but 3 desserts. All three were spectacular so different from each other. Torching the Espresso Crème Brûlée brought the meal to a dramatic end.

If you liked the existing menu at On The Rocks, the good news is that it is still in use.

On The Rocks
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
TTK Road, Alwarpet.
 044 24994101 


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