When Satish Rajasingam and Nikitha Selvakumar put together their passion for food and their love for namma Chennai, what followed was the start of MadrAsian, the newest Pan-Asian restaurant in the city. Having been a part of several leading restaurants and hospitality teams, Satish decided to enter the arena himself and converted his love for Asian food into an establishment of his own.
Though Besant Nagar being quite a restaurant-populated area, MadrAsian is the only pan-Asian themed restaurant in the area. “Which is why we wanted to start here”, says Satish. “We wanted our people to experience the real deal when it comes to the food. We did not like the taste of the readymade sauces so we researched extensively before deciding on recipes that our chefs make from scratch”, he adds. All of the components in their food have been curated from kitchens all over Asia and are completely ajinomoto-free.
Looking around at the décor, which is easily one of the prettiest we’ve seen in recent times (that gorgeous painted wall in particular), we learn that everything was commissioned out to local artisans and painters who created everything from the wicker lanterns to the wall murals. Even the cushions have their own story to tell, having been stuffed with vettiver, a root that has cooling properties. “There’s plastic left, right and center anywhere in the city. We wanted to change that and we’re starting from here”, says Satish who tells us that they give a discount of 5% to those who get their own containers for takeaway.
A Spicy Start
We start with their Spicy Tomato Mung Bean Noodle Soup, a spicy, tangy soup that awakens our senses in a flavorful burst of taste on the tongue. Now, that’s how a typical Asian meal should begin, as far as we’re concerned.
We have the Ramen Salad, a bowl of crunchy noodles with assorted veggies tossed in a tangy sauce. Oh, did we mention they have stunning crockery? They’re all from Auroville, Satish tells us.
A Mélange of Flavors
Moving on to the starters, we tried their Prawn Satay, spicy and tangy skewers of prawns that are grilled and served with a slightly sweet peanut dip. The prawns are juicy and flavorful, a definite win.
The Mushroom with Lemongrass and Basil was one of our favorites. Fat, juicy mushrooms stir-fried and tossed with nam prik pao – a Thai chili paste, lemongrass, and basil, will win over even the non-mushroom-liking sort.
Rich, Robust and Right
Our main course was a feast in itself. The Laksa was a divine creamy noodle soup with chicken that’s a popular dish from the Peranakan cuisine. The curry-like coconut milk-based soup served with boiled egg was flavorful and we did have a fun time trying to eat it with chopsticks. Well, we tried anyway.
The next was a combo of Creamy Coconut Rice, a mildly sweet rice dish that’s served with Lamb Rendang – an Indonesian meat curry with perfectly-cooked pieces of lamb and a rich and spicy taste that goes perfectly with the rice. Sweet and spicy done right.
Our last dish was the Roti Jala, a Malay special lace pancake that tastes like parotta but looks totally different and way more interesting. The rotis are served with a rich potato and chicken curry, another coconut milk-based curry with a rich flavor and a spicy aftertaste.
Our dining experience at MadrAsian was inspiring to say the least. Great food with gut-friendly ingredients, vibrant décor, and a striking eco-friendly business module set them apart and we for one left with happy tummies and happy hearts.