Dakshin Restaurant at Chennai celebrates 30th Anniversary
Crowne Plaza Adyar Park is one of the legendary hotels in Chennai that has been there for 32 years. Located in the heart of the city, it’s one the go to place for good food and night-life in Chennai. No wonder it’s also the official residence for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – IPL team. The hotel has one of the iconic Dakshin restaurant that’s serves best dishes from 6 different places in South. Recently the restaurant celebrated 30-year anniversary and I was lucky to join celebrations & taste the amazing food. In this article, I will focussing on the Dakshin Restaurant and the #DakshinTurns30 celebration.
Dakshin, the oldest fine dining South Indian restaurant that bring rich culinary traditions from six South India states. The state includes – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Pondicherry. Considered as a pioneer, it distinctively combines concepts from each of these state under one umbrella. The inspiring journey of Dakshin began on 14th of April 1989 and completes three decades of exemplary service.
Dakshin draws inspiration from the temples of Southern India. This inspiration is visible right from when you enter the restaurant and look at the interiors of Dakshin. The same can also be seen with regards to the presentation of food. Traditional brass lamp and the Urli (vessel) with flower petals floating in water welcome guests at entrance.
The restaurant serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian South Indian cuisine. Some of the best sea-food are also available for guests to savour at Dakshin. The food at Dakshin is served on a traditional banana leaf to give the guests a wholesome traditional experience. The USP of Dakshin is the Iyer’s Trolley, a selection of South Indian Tiffin or snack time food items which have been adapted for fine dining. Filter coffee is served in silver tumbrels and hand tossed by the staff.
An iconic restaurant reaching a landmark, meant that a big celebration was necessary. But to take it to next level, the Dakshin team did something unique. A special invitation that looked like the temple door was printed and sent across to the guests.
There was special set of goodies prepared by the extremely talented team of Chef at Dakshin.
Adirasam, Mami’s Snack, Ribbon Pakoda, Mullu Muruku, Homemade Sweets, Ellu Urandai, Traditional Filter Coffee Maker
Every snack sent across tasted amazing and it was well packaged. I also liked their idea of Mini-Filter Coffee Maker as Dakshin is very famous for its Filter Coffee. The hotels management are also proud to share that a fact that relates to CSK Captain Mahi. Filter Coffee at Dakshin is Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s favourite drink.
Celebrations by the Pool
The pool side at Crowne Plaza is one of the best places to celebrate the special occasion. But to welcome the guests, some of the staff in the hotel had dressed up in Traditional Attires. The ladies wore the beautifully draped Sari, Necklaces, Bangles, Flowers, Bindi on forehead. Men wore the Lungi, Shirt and complemented the ladies very well. Guests were welcome with a tender coconut drink that was quite unique and thoughtful.
At one end of the pool, we had special by artists performing Carnatic Music. The music that came out was so soothing and mesmerizing that everyone watched with absolute amazement.
Dakshin is known for serving food from 6 different regions in South. To showcase the same, different were created that served food from different regions. Every counter was well decked with references to Art & Culture from the regions.
A celebration would never be complete without tasting some alcohol. Special bar-counter at one side of the pool served the best of Single Malts, Beer, Wines, Cocktails for guests.
There also a separate section created for taking feedback from the guests about Dakshin. I got an opportunity to talk and my thoughts on Crowne Plaza Adyar Park & Dakshin Restaurant.
Ambiance at Dakshin
The theme of the restaurant are the beautiful Thanjavur Paintings and idols of god. Just outside the hotel one can find an antique cupboard that has a collection of Silver and Brass cups & other vessels.
Entrance of the restaurant, one can find a beautiful statue of Lord Ganesha. Every table has been beautifully setup and every seat look pictures perfect. Guests get to experience eating their food in Silver vessels. Right inside the restaurant, we can also see a beautiful statue of Lord Nataraja in the famous dancing pose.
The taste of food in the restaurant is consistent and team of Chef have been doing a great job. Chef Vasu who leads the team has been around from the time of its inception.
Vasantha Neer, a drink containing Tender Coconut Water & Lemon was the perfect cooler before the start of meal.
Vazhai Shunti, Masala Vada, Banana Dosa, Kuzi Panniyaram, 5 types of Chutneys (Tomato & Onion, Coconut, Tamarind, Ginger & Garlic)
I enjoyed the taste of every starter along with the chutneys. My pick among the dishes was the ‘Vada’ as it had all the requirement ingredients and tasted well with chutneys. Banana Dosa also quite unique as it has the flavours coming from the banana added while making dosa.
The best way to get a taste of multiple dishes is by trying the Thali. Let me list some of the dishes that were included in the Veg Thali.
Vankaya Koora, Carrot Poriyal, Karaikudi Urulai Roast, Keerai Kadayal, Sakkarai Valli Varuval & Tomato Pappu
It was hard to pick a favourite dish in the plates every one of them had their own unique flavors. The dishes were served with staples like Paratha, Appam & Veechu Parotta.
Non-Veg lovers had many more interesting dishes.
Kozhi Ammi Masala, Kerala Style Meen Kozahambu, Rayalaseema Mamsam Miriyalu, Karaikudu Uralai Roast, Kai Kurma, Kodi pulao
Rice in one of the staple items used in South Indian cooking. The last part of the meal some of the rice-based dishes were served.
Pachadi, Thair Sadam / Curd Rice, Steamed Rice & Sambar
A fitting end to heavy meal comes by serving the best dessert. It needed to be something that can be enjoyed and no too heavy.
Tender Coconut Payasam, Badam Halwa
The Payasam was probably one of the best desserts I have had from long time. It had the right amount of sweetness, tender coconut and slices of coconut that was amazing. I relished taking every sip of the payasam.
Making of Filter Coffee
Another interesting thing about the hotel is the special way in which the Filter Coffee is served. The expert in the hotel, can be seen pouring the coffee from Tumbler to Lota from a height of 1 meter. He has perfected it well and pour it correctly without looking at it. Apart from watching the coffee pouring act, the aromas of coffee energize the room with nice aroma.
It was an amazing experience being part of Dakshin Restaurant turning 30 at Crowne Plaza Adyar Park. The arrangement made inside the hotel, especially around the pool area was just amazing. I also completely amazed by the interiors at Dakshin that was filled with paintings, statues, beautifully setup tables. The food at Dakshin was very tasty and I feel that it’s one of the Best Restaurant for South Indian food across all 6 regions. Glad to see that the Crowne Plaza has kept the place intact all these years. I wish the team at Dakshin at Crowne Plaza Adyar Park, many more years of success.
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
132 TTK Road, Chennai – 600018