Besant Nagar gets a cozy new Pan-Asian restaurant  – MadrAsian, and we dig the wordplay

(All images shot on the OnePlus 6 and are unedited)

There was a moment at Chennai’s newest Pan-Asian restaurant when I was reminded of a school theatre production. You throw a guy – let’s call him the ‘narrator’, on to stage and he has to hold things together even as you’re getting the backstage act together. That’s what one of the wait staff at MadrAsian kept doing, holding fort and managing diners as the kitchen was getting it’s s** (stuff) together.  Oman (that’s his name!), never flapped, didn’t lose his smile and managed to keep things under control.

The place itself is charming. It’s right above the Amadora outlet in Besant Nagar with views of the street and cheerful decor. It’s almost the perfect setting for a lazy weekend lunch or catch up with long lost buddies. A lot of effort has gone into some of the smallest elements – from the Rattan furniture to the tableware. It’s the one reason why you might want to head back to MadrAsian. Yes, we almost forgot, we dig the clever wordplay which has become a thing for most of Chennai’s Pan-Asian restaurants. Nasi and Mee, Va-Pho and now MadrAsian.

Their version of the Vietnamese rice paper rolls

The restaurant is proud about its eco-friendly and sustainable living credos. It ought to be. That is something most restaurants take for granted. It’s the food that was a mixed bag. The classic Vietnamese paper rolls (Goi cuon in Vietnamese) were way off. I first got a tiny portion with bite-sized pieces . Version 2.0 arrived after Oman’s intervention but that wasn’t ‘wrapped’ properly. The menu is well curated but quite a few dishes were unavailable including their Japanese style Gyoza potstickers.

The lamb rendang didn’t make the cut too. Of the dishes I sampled, the laksa was the only thing I’d recommend. We understand that Pan-Asian restaurants are a tightrope walk in India. You have to tone down certain strong Asian flavours or avoid ingredients that might shock Indian taste buds. And yet, you need to find that balance like the successful Pan-Asian restaurants have.

The laksa

The restaurant shares its roof with Amadora, so desserts are a no-brainer. You can choose from Amadora’s outstanding ice-creams and desserts like their scrumptious A-Cup or their cunning under-baked cake.

MadrAsian is at T46 A, 7th Ave, Besant Nagar, Chennai: 90. For reservations: (+91) 86083 74444. Meal for 2 (Without dessert): Rs 1,200/- 

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