There is nothing in the world that a piping hot bowl of crab rasam can’t cure. It’s the perfect antidote to a gloomy day or an aching throat. Add to that perfectly spiced crab cakes, well-prepared fish varuval, zingy pepper fried prawn or the wonderful meen pollichattu wrapped in banana leaves and you feel you can own the world!
On a windy February evening, hunt for coastal cuisine in Chennai took us to the Trident Hotel situated at Meenambakkam, near the airport. Often ignored by city folks owing to its distant location, we ended up discovering a hidden gem in its premises.
Samudra is Trident’s coastal cuisine specialty restaurant that serves delicious food. Add to that beautiful interiors, serene setting and courteous staff; we felt that we had entered food paradise.
As we entered the restaurant, an inviting display of the fresh catch of the day welcomed us to Samudra. There was lobster, tiger prawn and blue crab all waiting to be devoured. They can be made to prepare, according to wishes of the diners.
On being seated, we engaged in a quick chat with chef Gobu, who is in-charge of the kitchen. With a vast experience in cooking at star hotel properties across the country, he tells us that Samudra was started to let the seafood lovers cruise along the vast Indian coastline through a multitude of dishes. So, you have Doi Macch from Bengal rubbing shoulders with Chettinad spiced crab cakes and Kanava Fry under one roof.
We couldn’t wait to get started on our lavish spread and decided to go by chef’s recommendations. The seafood platter had all our attention as it made its way to our table. There was pepper spiced prawn, their signature crab cakes and fish varuval. Every single item was adequately spiced and well prepared. A special mention to the melt-in-mouth crab cakes that are meaty and satisfying.
Equally satisfying was the flavourful crab rasam with a hint of pepper and other mandatory spices to make this broth absolutely heavenly. For main course, we tried the banana-leaves wrapped Meen Pollichathu and the gorgeous Chettinad Crab Masala with soft appams along with some vegetarian specialties like their Kerala vegetable stew and broccoli and green pea poriyal. The aroma of the fish, as you unwrap the banana leaves, would make you want to devour it immediately. But it is all about slowly relishing every bite that has miraculous effect on all your senses. The spicy crab masala was equally tantalizing. Do not dismiss their vegetarian wonders. They serve as a welcome break from the seafood-heavy spread.
The place also has a great collection of wines and the in-house staff helped us choosing the perfect pairing option with our food.
To end our seafood indulgence on a sweet note, we were served some gulab jamun tart and kulfi. The dessert was the perfect end to a sumptuous meal.
Timings: 7 PM onwards