A glittering, chandelier-walled dining room inside the ITC Grand Chola hotel is the setting for Avartana’s modern renditions of Southern Indian cuisine courtesy of chef Ajit Bangera. There are multiple set tasting menus, each available in vegetarian – the seven-course ‘Maya’, nine-course ‘Bela’, 11-course ‘Jiaa’, and the 13-course ‘Anika’ or ‘Tara’. Each is a series of small bites, such as infused tomato rasam, asparagus and coconut stew or pan-fried cod. There are plenty of influences from molecular gastronomy, plus playful touches such as a miniature hammer to crack open the pannacotta ‘egg’ served in a bird’s nest.
ITC Grand Chola Hotel, Little Mount, Guindy, Chennai, 600032