Located in a quiet residential neighbourhood, from the outside, Hamsa looks nondescript and can be easily mistaken for a modern house but once you enter the premises will you know the difference. The lobby has beautiful floral decorations in cages that exhibits the destruction of mother nature because of global warming. But it is the first floor that left me awestruck. As soon I walked through the door, it was like I’ve been teleported from Adyar (ie) Chennai to an exquisite palace in a far away land. The dining decor was absolutely stunning and screamed every bit of royalty. Each piece of cutlery wasn’t just plain silver but with intricate designs that was mesmerizing. As we all sat down for lunch, we felt like a guest in a palace and the same way we were treated by the staffs. I’ve gone to many restaurants from stand-alone to ones in 5 star hotels but never have the staffs been this courteous and attentive.
Now coming to food, there was an intricately designed bell shaped vessel which housed a Saffron Rasagulla that was kept at every table. It tasted amazing and was the perfect way to start lunching at this beautiful place.
For soup, we ordered the Tomato & Dhaniya Soup and this wasn’t the regular version of the creamy tomato soup that you get everywhere but instead this was a broth of tomato and coriander with a great punch of Indian flavours that wasn’t overwhelming to the tastebuds.
For starters, we first got the Paneer Saunfiya and it was the softest paneer I have eaten so far. The marination was a perfect blend of flavours that melted right in my mouth. A must-try dish in my opinion. We then ordered the Makkai Muthia Chaat which was a crispy chaat made of fried corn kernels lightly doused in tamarind sauce, with bhujia and finely chopped cucumbers, onions and coriander. It tasted wonderful and we all ate more than we anticipated that we would. Lastly, we got the the Leaf Enclosed Paneer which was okayish and it failed to impress me especially after having tasted the previous starters.
For drinks, the staff suggested Nannari Sarbath which was both sweet and tangy without ruining our palate.
For the main course, we got several Indian breads, gravies and their signature rice. Kamal Kakdi Kofteh is Hamsa’s signature dish where the koftas were made with lotus stem along with other veggies and condiments. It paired amazingly well with Cheese & Olive Naan and it was my favorite among all the other main courses we tried. If you are planning to try Kamal Kakdi Kofteh order at the beginning to save time as this dish takes a lot of preparation time. The mixed Vegetables & Masala Amritsari Kulchas complemented the Maah Choliyan Di Daal perfectly.
The Urlai Roast was slow roasted baby potatoes in a medley of spices and other condiments. The Leaf enclosed Hamsa Rice was a combination of perfectly cooked aromatic basmati rice with paneer in tomato gravy accompanied by some fresh salad and crunchy onion pakoda. I was filled to the brim but they were already bringing us the desserts.
The first one Amrud Phirni was a subtly sweet guava phirni which compared to the Phirnis I have tried so far, this was much lighter and tastier. The second one was the Shahi Tukda which was a little too oily for my liking as I was stuffed with all the amazing food I have had before digging into this.
Price- It was on the house but it would’ve come to probably 2000 INR for two which is quite reasonable for a fine dining restaurant.
In Chennai, it is easy to find a good restaurant for those of us who are non-vegetarians and I have always wondered if there was any elite veg restaurants that was worth the money spent. With Hamsa, I have found an answer to that question. It is probably one veg restaurant I would recommend checking out.
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