KooX @ Novotel Chennai Chamiers

There's a brand new Asian grill in the city and this one is up on a rooftop, the rooftop in question being the one at Novotel Chennai Chamiers. Called KooX, it's the domain of 2 chefs, one specialising in Japanese fare and the other, Sichuanese.

From the outside looking in

Invited for a preview, I loved the place at first sight. Up on the 8th floor of the hotel, it has the pool and gym for company. KooX has an alfresco seating area from where you have a good view of Chamiers road and the adjoining flyover. What a view! It's pleasantly breezy and right now, open to the sky but before the first of the monsoon rains hits the city, it will have a roof.

Perfect lighting

The adjoining grill room has a bar counter where the bartender makes some real cool KooXtails cocktails! On the opposite end is the glass-enclosed kitchen where you can watch the KooX cooks chefs at work. The lighting is dim, the space is very cosy and the music is so cool.

Drunken Chemist

There's cinnamon in my cocktail!

My cocktail, Drunken Chemist, had vodka, celery leaves and sour mix with dehydrated apple slices clipped to the side. The first few sips tasted very nice but after a bit, the celery leaves became a bit too much.

A second cocktail had pineapple juice and a nice hit of cinnamon. A torched stick of cinnamon floated around and yes, this one was so much nicer.

Conversation starter - edamame

Veg sushi

Seafood sushi in a boat!

A couple of boatloads of sushi arrived on the table, one vegetarian and the other, seafood. The interesting one on each platter were those made with Assamese black rice. How dramatic can rice look? Slightly nutty and absolutely delicious, it held together so well while being lifted with chopsticks and presented a beautiful contrast for the other components of the sushi.

Salmon tartare

Chilli chicken skewers with house made dips

Our appetisers included  salmon tartare with green onion, cucumber slices and aged soy sauce. The composition was very pretty and the salmon was fresh. Chilli chicken skewers was nicely done and they do pack quite a punch, perfect with drinks.

Watermelon carpaccio

Watermelon carpaccio was delightful. Take alternate bites of the melon and balsamic caviar and you'll know what I'm talking about. Pondicherry feta is much less saltier than its Greek counterpart and with briny olives to provide contrast, this was a refreshing take on the usual watermelon and feta salad.

Norwegian salmon & NZ lamb chops

Sichuan dry pot with broccoli, lotus root & parsley

Salmon, lamb chop; sprouts, cabbage & beancurd; noodles; dry pot veggies & sticky rice

The main course was a mix of their speciality cuisines. Norwegian salmon fillets and New Zealand lamb chops graced the tabletop robata. The salmon, glazed with mirin and teriyaki, was delicious. The lamb chops, with soy, garlic, togarashi and sesame oil, had been cooked perfectly. The centre was pinkish and the meat tender. The Asian main courses of sprouts, baby cabbage and bean curd were a little overdone. The Sichuan dry pot of lotus root, broccoli and parsley as well as the Koox-style Sichuan noodles could do with a little more heft while truffle garlic sticky rice was good. 

Dessert arrangement

Gooey 5 spice molten chocolate cake

The pastry chefs were having a whale of a time laying out dessert - really laying it out! Tiny bowls of yoghurt brûlée, green tea tiramisu, 5 spice molten chocolate cake, little bowls of tender coconut ice cream, macarons, cake crumbs and tarts filled their canvas, interspersed with micro greens. Such a pretty sight.

KooX is a great place to hang out with friends. It has great music, a lovely ambiance and good food too. Timings are from 6pm - midnight.

Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road
11, Chamiers Road
Nandanam. Chennai 600035.
+91 44 2302333.


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