Nipponshoku Matsuri – The Autumn menu at A2, the Park Chennai
Autumn; it’s certainly not a season you associate with Chennai. However it’s an excuse for A2 at the Park to roll out an autumn inspired Japanese menu. A reason for Chef Rahul Shrivastava to reinvent the Japanese selection at A2. Rahul clearly loves a challenge; the passion for his craft is complemented by a growing number of Japanese food aficionados in the city. Only Delhi has more Japanese expats than Chennai (in India).
You either love or loathe the interiors at A2. Distress Chic is clearly not for everyone. The tables are not the most friendly especially if you need to play fetch with chopsticks. We love the quaint chairs (The Park calls them Potli chairs) around the bar/sushi counter.
Degustation menus can be fun. It’s the first thought that crossed my mind when I got to sample all the four soups on the menu in shot glasses – the Japanese Onion Soup won that round quite comfortably. If you’re not an expert on Japanese cuisine, it’s easy to miss the lines between the classics and Chef Rahul’s clever new-age style versions. The menu has a bunch of tweaks, like the Dynamite temaki, dusted with jalapeños and spicy chilli salsa.
If textures are your thing, try the cunning squash flower tempura filled with BBQ pork belly. Japanese cuisine is only as good as the ingredients culinary teams are able to source. The Park’s culinary team has certainly gone the extra mile; I can’t remember the last time I spotted sea urchin in a Chennai restaurant menu. Of course, its high on that list of things that require an ‘acquired taste’.
You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t enjoy subtle flavours. The Vegetable tendon – a one bowl meal of rice crowned with vegetable tempura and a mild soya dressing is a case in point. Simple yet delicious. Japanese cuisine can give you a high but certainly not a sugar rush; dessert sections in menus can be sparse. You have a choice of two ‘not so sweet’ endings; the Red bean mochi wins our vote. Just in case you won’t leave without dessert.
The Autumn promotion (lunch and dinner) runs until November 25. Meal for 2: Rs 4000/-.
For more deets or reservations buzz: (044) 4267-6000