Chennai, India ! Experience Exhilarating Culinary Creativity and Architectural Ingenuity

hennai, India Indfused's review of The Painter's Brunch at Madras Pavilion @ITC Grand Chola and 8th century architectural wonders.
Chennai, India Indfused’s review of The Painter’s Brunch at Madras Pavilion @ITC Grand Chola and 8th century architectural wonders.

I was super excited about my trip to Chennai, India and it exceeded my expectations on two major fronts- food and architecture.

As you all know, I am a huge foodie and when taste, mindfulness and creativity are combined, it simply invigorates me ! And that is what happened at the Madras Pavilion at ITC’s Grand Chola in Chennai. The theme when we visited was ‘The Painter’s Brunch’ which was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

In full disclosure, I was invited to review the themed Sunday brunch, but my opinions are my own.

World cuisine at The Painter's Brunch @ Madras Pavilion
The Painter’s Brunch @ Madras Pavilion

Executive Chef Badri and Manager Deepanshu create an amazing dining experience keeping in line with ITC’s branded theme of Responsible Luxury and Local Love Cuisine.
There are over 200 local, Indian and international dishes that are a gourmet’s delight and are presented spectacularly!

Executive Chef Badri giving me an insight into their thought process behind the Painter's Brunch themed buffet
Executive Chef Badri giving me an insight into their thought process behind the menu for ‘The Painter’s Brunch’ themed buffet

Allow me to give you a short tour with just a few of the highlights! Starting with Van Gogh inspired salad, with freshly made roasted pumpkin savory ice cream topping greens, peppers, tomatoes, olives, pomegranate arils and more. This unique salad is not to be missed!

Van Gogh's Icecream Salad @Madras Pavilion
Van Gogh’s Ice cream Salad
Vibrant salad with savory Roasted Pumpkin icecream
Vibrant Van Gogh inspired salad with savory Roasted Pumpkin ice cream

Look at yet another eye-catching and scrumptious salad-

Eye- catching salad with snow peas!
Eye- catching salad with snow peas!

Check out this Pablo Picasso inspired Rainbow Fruit Salad with chaat masala … I wish I could eat this rainbow everyday as I love eating local fruit.

Pablo Picasso inspired Fruit Salad!
Pablo Picasso inspired Rainbow Fruit Salad!

The chaat cart was another favorite-

Chaat Painting inspired by Amrita Shergil
Chaat Painting inspired by Amrita Shergill

For Da Vinci’s sliders, I was happy to see that the bread buns are colored with natural foods like spinach, beets , squid ink and turmeric.

Da Vinci inspired Masterpiece burgers!
Da Vinci inspired Masterpiece burgers!

There were 4 of Madras Pavilions signature biryanis and even when stuffed, I could not resist the Gosht Dum Biryani. I am a self proclaimed biryani snob so believe me when I say that this biryani  in itself is worth going to Madras Pavilion for!

Madras Pavilion's Gosht Dum Biryani
Madras Pavilion’s Gosht Dum Biryani

Another highlight was M. F. Hussain’s Idiappam jar portrait. How imaginative is that? You could get hot steaming iddiappam ,topped by your choice of Indian or Italian sauce!

M. F. Hussain's Idiappam jar portrait
M. F. Hussain’s Idiappam jar portrait

There were so many more irresistible entree dishes! I wish I could sample them all. And can you imagine eating dessert after this ? But how can anyone resist this innovative extravagance by gifted chefs?

Innovative desserts by gifted chefs at the Painter's Brunch @ Madras Pavilion
Innovative desserts by gifted chefs at the Painter’s Brunch @ Madras Pavilion

Come take a closer look…The eye for detail really blew me away!

Innovative desserts by gifted chefs at the Painter's Brunch @ Madras Pavilion
Innovative desserts by gifted chefs at the Painter’s Brunch @ Madras Pavilion

Above all, we cannot say enough about the warm hospitality and excellent service by the entire staff at Madras Pavilion! I look forward to visiting them again soon.

When traveling to Chennai, I also looked forward to seeing The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram as I had studied this temple as an architectural student. Reading the history of Indian architecture and then getting to experience it, is indeed a treat.

Shore temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Shore temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

I stood there spellbound, enraptured by these edifices built in 8th century AD!

Water body and a side view of t the side of Shore Temple
Water body and a side view of The Shore Temple

Also in Mahabalipuram are the Pancha Rathas –

Pancha Rathas in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Pancha Rathas in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Can you believe that these are monolithic structures? That each structure is carved out of a single rock? Take a closer look at the details on these walls-

Pancha Rathas in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Details- Pancha Rathas in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

I am still wrapping my brain around the fact that these structures are from the 8th century! In my book, it is simply ingenuity personified !

Hope you all enjoyed glimpses of my food and architecture travels!

Have a fabulous weekend,

Love,

Sandhya

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Chennai, India ! Experience Exhilarating Culinary Creativity and Architectural Ingenuity

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  1. Great Post Sandhya! loved the pictures, varieties of food and the beautiful presentation.The dessert spread is a feast to the eye and the colorful Da vinci sliders look super cute. The shore temple and other structures awesome.Looks like a time well spent in Chennai!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Greg, I never knew that you lived near Chennai. I was mesmerized by the temples at Mahabalipuram- it was not as hot this time of the year, thankfully. This was my first visit to Chennai.
      Mumbai was extremely humid and hot. we flew out of there into the cold weather here in Boston- such extremes! Not sure which one i prefer 🙂

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  2. Love the photography Sandhya !! A huge collection of foods and everything written up here are wow 🙂 Keep sharing such lovely post….

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  3. Chennai is a city close to my heart as I got married there. Nice to see that so much is happenin g there these days. What a lovely spread of colourful food.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful collection of food – it’s all about the presentation. I’m not sure what I want to try first – the salads, Da Vinci’s colorful sliders, or the biryani choices but most certainly the desserts. Thanks for sharing Sandhya as this is a part of the world I have never seen 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Judi. I sure had a feast there- both for the eyes and the tastebuds.I am so happy you liked reading about Chennai. this was my first trip there as well.

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  5. Ahh you were indeed very fortunate to have accompanied your husband on this trip Sandhya. What is ITC’s Grand Chola? Is it a hotel that was celebrating a theme “The Painters Brunch”? You’re absolutely spot on when you say this was a feast for all the senses. The attention to detail is just remarkable, look at colors, the textures, the aromas, all quite intoxicating I’m sure. How jealous I am! Such beautiful pictures of you with all the stone carvings on the buildings. It really brought the pictures to life. I am convinced now that shots of people really enhance what one is trying to portray, in this case the intricate stone structures. It adds depth and dimension. I’ve just started to add pics of my husband and myself too in my blog posts, at first I was reluctant, just the backs of us, but now full frontal views 🙂 I love that red top too, the fabric looks Indian? A beautiful post dear friend, so happy to have learned more about Chennai now. Thank you 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Loretta. ITC has nice hotels in India and this particular one in Chennai had 7 restaurants. The Madras Pavilion is one of them. The legendary Indian hospitality is very evident and they do 52 themes a year for brunches. I am happy I was there for the painter’s brunch.
      The airline misplaced my luggage and i got it 2 days later. So that red Indian kurta was just bought:) The print is an ancient art called kalamkari, which were hand drawn with a pen (kalam). I absolutely love it. That is where the chintz came to England from.
      I always admire your travel posts and am glad you liked mine 🙂

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      1. Not sure what ITC stands for Loretta but they have 5 star hotels all over India. We visited another fascinating living museum near Chennai where I read about Kalamkari’s history .

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    1. Hi Laura,
      You did Delhi Agra Jaipur triangle? We did that a few years ago too. It is so humbling to see structures built by human beings thousands of years ago.

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