Eastern Wedge, Chennai – Review 

Chennai’s new found love for Pan Asian restaurants continues; except this one’s Vegetarian

(All images shot on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro) 

Paneer wrapped in Pandan leaves

That moment you’re in a Thai restaurant and the chicken wrapped in pandan leaves (Gai Hor Bai Toey) your friends ordered arrives. Except you’re vegetarian and have to contend with their description of the dish. That’s not a moment you will experience at Eastern Wedge, where one of their signature dishes is a paneer wrapped in pandan leaves and is a close substitute for the original from Central Thailand. Located where Dario’s (another vegetarian restaurant) once was, Eastern Wedge joins a long list of Pan Asian restaurants that have debuted in Chennai over the last 18 months.

The restaurant is tucked away in the Poes Garden neighbourhood (near the Russian Cultural Centre). The interiors are simple yet elegant. An open, interactive kitchen is one of the restaurant’s key design elements. The multiple enclosures will remind you of Benjarong. Chef Ram Kumar who leads the culinary team at Benjarong has worked with a team of Chefs from Japan and Malaysia on the menu at Eastern Wedge The menu finds a balance between Thai, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. I like the emphasis on reimagining quintessential meat and seafood dishes for a vegetarian audience. The Japanese Kushiyaki was one of the first dishes I sampled – the chicken has made way for a choice of vegetables in this case, dusted with Tongarishi (Japanese spice mix) powder.

Siu Mai/Shumai with glutinous rice

I’d recommend their version of the Siu Mai (a typical Cantonese open-faced dumpling) with glutinous rice to kick start your meal. The BBQ bun didn’t make a big impression but the Eastern Wedge water chestnuts with their distinct textures is a must try along with the Paneer fried in pandan leaves and the Sichuan Shitake. The hearty Japanese style broth – Chanko Nabe works equally well as a soup or as a main course. If you like your Asian curries, the Bamaa curry rice is a good option. My predilection for Iced Milos meant I hardly had any room for dessert. The Iced Milo here comes with an interesting twist – a hint of peanut. If that’s not enough, there’s a classic Milo ice cream and a delicious rose and litchi ice-cream (both home made). The Sesame balls are worth checking out too. Eastern Wedge is a great alternative for vegetarians who stay clear of Pan Asian and Japanese restaurants. The service team is switched on and the menu is not too exhaustive.

Eastern Wedge is at 11. Kasturi Rangan Road, Kasturi Estate, II street, Near Aswini Hospital, Poes Garden, Chennai: 18. For reservations: (044) 4868 9800. Meal for 2: Rs 1,600

 

Sesame balls with red bean paste

 

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