When visited: March 2014 Weather: Hot 28C
In Chennai for a meeting over the weekend and had a morning free; it was between visiting Guindy Park or The Theosophical Gardens and I chose the latter just cos it was a little nearer our hotel, the Taj Coromandel…and here’s a tip: if you want a cheap 5 star hotel in India…there was an offer going for 5000INR or about USD80….what more could you ask for?
So we hopped into a tuktuk which is really the way to go…
and we arrived at the Theosophical (which I think means a non-religious brotherhood type of philosophy) Gardens and made our way inside on foot…
There were a few birds around
and walking further in, we found the grave of Olcott, the man who founded the Thesophical Society in Chennai…
And as we walked along this trail, we saw some interesting things…
And as we were following the side of the estuary, there were also crabs and some waterbirds..
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go right to the mouth of the estuary…so had to turn back…and we also then encountered an officious fellow who said we had to pay some money to take pictures…which we would have been happy to do so had we been so informed when we came in…so we stopped shooting…apart from these beautiful bugs…
Another officious fellow tried the same thing as we were leaving and asked for money…totally ‘unofficial’ I’m sure.
Rejoining our tuktuk…we headed back to our hotel well pleased with our morning’s jaunt. My friend was not a birder but I think he found it fairly interesting too….all in all, I would say that it was a pleasant enough way to spend three hours in Chennai especially when it was so accessible.
And so on to dinner…in a previous post on Agra I wrote about a restaurant found wanting and thankfully in Chennai we found a restaurant completely the opposite! We were recommended the restaurant Jamavar in the Leela Palace Hotel by the waterfront….and this is what greeted us as we arrived…a tasteful fountain with floating elephants behind..
and we just had a feeling that we would be in for a treat at the restaurant..
We’d eaten in the highly regarded and expensive Southern Spice Restaurant in the Taj Coromandel for lunch, which basically tarted up the very common southern indian dishes we normally get in Singapore and Malaysia and were presented very prettily. The food was acceptable but unremarkable and certainly forgettable. The meal at Jamavar in the Leela Palace was totally the opposite…it served northern indian food and as we love tandooris…we ordered tandoori king prawn which was out of this world..and if it were in my power to award Michelin stars…I would! Sorry about the poor picture…handphone pic.
But equally awesome was that well known but seldom seen ‘mulligatawny soup’….just delicious..deserving of anther michelin star!
We then had a brilliant tandoori chicken with wonderful vegetable dishes which had even our vegetarian friend purring…the most ordinary dish of the night was actually the lobster curry…mainly because the sauce which was nice..masked the lobster flavour…
We met the chef..who was only 30 years old..amazing! With lots of beer and brilliant pomegranate juice, the bill was a reasonable USD150 for three of us and this was certainly a memorable meal to have before we set off for the airport..highly recommended!
‘Love the photos of course and really good to know that the hotel was pretty well priced. At $80.00 per night. You can’t go far wrong. Thanks for sharing!
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